Technical Support

Eleven common FAQ’s


  1. I can’t search for an address without a data connection. Why is this?

    All the map data and required functionality for navigation is included in the app which means the navigation will work without any need of an internet connection. However, there are occasions where finding an address or searching for a position can cause difficulty. This is mostly due to the manner in which the data from is compiled and indexed.

    Traditional map data is optimised in a very specific way, but unfortunately OSM does not share this optimised structure. It is our intention that the app should function fully as an offline address search device, and that Internet access should only ever be required to augment functionality of this feature in exceptional circumstances. Our developers are working to overcome the barrier caused by the OSM map data to the search feature.

    Currently the UK is the test bed for the onboard/offline search and despite some noticeable improvements there are still issues with reliability of the search which need to be resolved. In the meantime we recommend using the Google Local search feature when able as this offers a powerful search facility supporting native language queries and returning many suitable results.

    To work around the limitation of not being able to navigate to an address without needing a data connection we recommend storing likely destinations in the Favorites folder of the app. This way the address can be recalled within a few clicks and as the destination is already known to the app, navigation will be possible without requiring an internet connection. This can be of particular benefit for those travelling abroad where roaming charges can be very expensive.

  2. Why isn’t there a map for my country?

    There are currently map region versions available for both Android devices and for Apple devices, though generally more maps are available for Android handsets. It is our intention to increase the number of map regions available for download over time and hopefully your region will be covered in the future.

    To vote for map regions please visit

    Regions currently available are:

    Country iPhone iPad Android Data Connection*
    Czech Republic
    New Zealand
    South Africa
    UK & ROI

  3. Can I download OpenStreetMap data into the app?

    Unfortunately it is not possible to use any form of OSM map data directly within the app. We update the map data on an on-going basis.

  4. Why won’t my device download the maps?

    There can be a number of reasons why maps won’t download properly. Most common problems are caused by the Internet settings on the device being used. A thorough check of the settings as detailed by your device’s manufacturer will usually resolve issues with Internet connectivity.

    Another common issue affecting map downloads can be caused by the memory space requirements of the app. Map datasets are large, and the device requires plenty of free space before performing the download. Please ensure your device contains sufficient memory by either removing unwanted data or increasing the storage size of the SD card.

    There are also a range of issues specifically affecting Android versions, some of which are detailed as follows:

    Memory space is more of an issue in that double the amount of memory the app actually takes up on the device is required during the download and installation process. The maps download as an archive that is not directly addressable by the Navfree app. The Installing process is where the archive is unpacking itself to the correct map data directory. During that process there exist two copies of the data until the copy/verify is complete and the initial download is removed.

    France for example weighing in at 800Mb of data needs an actual 1600mb to unpack and install in.

    Our developers are working toward resolving that situation but in the meantime we recommend a minimum 4GB SD card be used with the app to ensure there is sufficient free memory space to carry out the download and installation procedure.

    Occasionally some Android devices will experience a problem where the app fails to correctly identify the SD card as the preferable storage location and instead attempts to install itself directly onto the device’s internal memory. We’ve discovered that this problem is most evident on devices with a large internal memory such as the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy range, for example. This can cause confusion as there is no real indication as to where the data is being stored. If you have problems installing the map regions due to a seemingly inexplicable shortage of space then this is the likely reason why. There will be updates arriving soon which will fix this issue.

  5. Why doesn’t the app follow my current position? Why does my device display the message `Poor GPS’?

    ‘Poor GPS’ is only intended to display when the signal is too weak to obtain an accurate position from satellites. Unfortunately it is also the error displayed when the GPS service is functional and appears to be working but there is no position information coming through to the app. Please check the following steps first:-

    On Android devices: Menu -> Settings -> Location - Ensure that 'Use GPS Satellites' is enabled.

    If the GPS status reports 'GPS Off' - It's usually switched off in the menu: Navfree -> Menu -> Advanced -> Preferences -> GPS

    On Apple devices: Location Services must be enabled for the app. Check that permissions have been granted. These need to be explicitly allowed from the Settings app under the Location Services section. More detailed instructions on how to do this should be available in the support documentation accompanying your make and model of device.

    N.B. Wi-Fi only models of iPad and iPods do not incorporate a GPS receiver thus rendering them incapable of fully utilising turn-by-turn navigation apps that require constant real-time positioning. All these devices can do is guess at their location based on the location of Wi-Fi zones. Plug in products such as those available at will GPS enable those devices.

    After carrying the various checks described above according to your device, you should if possible test the GPS signal. A thorough test is to take the device outside for at least 2-5 minutes. Theoretically it takes a GPS chip 120 seconds to obtain a position if it can achieve good signal reception from the GPS satellites. Signal boosting techniques will often automatically locate to an approximate position within a few seconds but by itself the GPS signal can take a little longer to acquire.

    Finally, there are occasions where the GPS just stubbornly refuses to function. In such situations a reboot of the device can resolve such hiccups. If the GPS has previously worked in the application then a re-install might also present a solution.

  6. Why can’t I hear the voice instructions properly?

    By default the app should be set up for English language voice navigation. All levels should be set to 100% and activated. It is possible to tweak the audio instructions according to personal taste but volume levels and other audio settings should work by default upon installation.

    If an audio issue is encountered then we suggest a first step is to remove or un-install the app and then re-install it. If there are still audio issues afterwards it is possible the volume switches (usually) on the side of the device need adjusting. Advice varies a little depending whether it is an iPhone or an Android phone: some devices have a hold/silent or mute switch - particularly iPhones.

    While the app is running press and hold the volume+ button - this should ensure the media volume is set high. Please also check that any silent switch is not activated. If this fails to make a difference then we suggest looking into the menu system of your device to see if any levels are set too low. Instructions on how to do this will be in the support documentation accompanying your device.

  7. Can I add my business to your POI listing?

    We don't yet exercise any control over the contents of POI listings but we can point you in the direction of the map data sources.

    Versions of Navmii use map data from Automotive Navigation Data -

    Versions of Navfree utilise data from Open Street Maps (OSM) is free for anyone to contribute to directly and business listings are easy to add. It can take some time for the live OSM to be compiled and updated into Navfree but all changes will eventually be included in the app.

  8. What is the difference between Navmii and Navfree?

    The difference between Navmii and Navfree is in the map data. The apps are identical but they are two different products. Current iPhone versions of Navmii use conventional map data from a supplier offering budget level map data, which offers a consistent level of road coverage. Navmii is a budget sat-nav in the conventional sense.

    Navfree is something rather special as it uses OSM is crowd-sourced and community developed, and is constantly being improved and in many areas rivals even the best commercially available map data. However due to the global coverage and relative youth of the database there are areas where the coverage is rudimentary or not mapped.

    In many respects Navfree is a continually changing navigation product and its potential is great whereas Navmii is a reliable navigation app. The differences are slight but numerous. Our future plans are very much with the development of Navfree although we will continue to provide support for all Navmii users.

  9. How do I change the setting for imperial/metric distance display?

    The setting is available from the International Preferences menu Menu -> Advanced -> Preferences -> International

    In the further updates this menu item will be renamed to "Distance Units"

  10. How do I remove safety camera support?

    Everything within the app is set up to use information about where cameras are located however data pertaining to the locations of such cameras is not included by default and is in fact not yet available within the Android version of the app.

    All features can be disabled from: Navfree Menu -> Advanced -> Preferences -> Safety Cameras

    However, there is no feature, as yet, which can remove all traces of the safety camera integration. To be explicit, there is no data about the locations of safety cameras contained within the app by default. We understand that this is not satisfactory and we will ensure the facility can be removed from future versions of the app.

  11. How can I report safety camera data on Navmii and Navfree?

    Unfortunately the application does not yet support the reporting of camera locations.

    This feature will be introduced in Q4/2012

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