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Use a TomTom sat nav with an Apple Mac

I'd be lost without my sat nav! Satellite navigation systems have transformed the way we drive cars these days. Now we blindly follow our sat nav units the wrong way up one way streets, into muddy fields only fit for a farmer's tractor, down country lanes that become too small to fit through, and into streams that the device swears is a ford that will only come half way up the wheels.

OK, joking aside, sat nav systems are really useful devices and they help us to get to wherever we want to go to without having to stop and try to read a map, or to rely on your partner's dodgy map reading skills.

Sat nav systems can be updated with the latest maps and corrections and with brand new maps covering different areas. They can have extra information added to them such as points of interest, various attractions, theme parks and shopping centres. They can have extra voices installed, new graphics, and so on.

The usual way to add this is to plug the sat nav device into the computer and then to run some software on it to update it and download the new features. In this article we will be looking at the popular TomTom sat nav systems on sale in the UK. However, the principle applies to all sat nav systems and other countries. No matter where you live or what device you use, it will be very similar.



1. Start the Safari web browser and enter www.tomtom.com/home into the address box. Follow the links to the download page for TomTom HOME and click the download link for the Apple Mac. It will be saved to your home/Downloads folder.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

2. Open the Downloads folder and then double click the TomTomHOME.dmg file. The application is on the left and as the illustration shows, to install it you just drag it to the Applications folder in the usual way for Apple Mac apps.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

3. Double click TomTom HOME in the applications folder to run it and the first time you do this you will be asked to select the country and agree to the license agreement. Click the I Agree button to continue to the next step.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

4. You can browse the products and services using the software, but to actually download and use any of them you need an account. Click the Log In button in the top right corner of the TomTom HOME home screen and click Create account.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

5. Enter your email address and then think of a password for your TomTom HOME account. When you have created your account you will automatically be logged in next time. Your account name (email address), is in the top corner.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

6. Connect the TomTom to the Mac by plugging in the USB cable and then switch on the device. You will see a message on the TomTom screen asking if you want to connect to the computer. Press Yes on the TomTom to continue.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

7. The device will appear to restart and then the Mac will recognise that the TomTom has been connected and you will see a message box appear on the screen. What happens is that the device is linked to the account you created. Click Link device.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

8. The Mac app will display a list of updates and on the right-hand side are tick boxes. You will probably find that a couple are ticked already, such as QuickGPSfix and Map Share map updates. Tick any others you want, like safety cameras.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

9. Click the Update button and the items you selected will be downloaded and installed on the TomTom sat nav device. You'll see a report screen afterwards and also in a panel at the bottom are some recomendations. Ignore them for now.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

10. There are two pages of items and you can switch from one page to the other by clicking the arrow in the bottom right corner. Go to the second page and click the Manage My Start icon (the model being used is a TomTom Start).

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

11. There are two tabs and you can either view items on the device or on the computer. Select the Items on device tab to see what is installed on your TomTom sat nav device, how much memory is being used, and the amount free.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

12. If the device is new, there will be plenty of free space on it to install more content, but as you add more you might eventually run short of space. You can remove items to free up space, such as some of the voices you don't use.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

13. It's a good idea to make a backup of the device if you have purchased extra content, so return to the home page and click the Backup and restore icon. Click Back up my device on the next page, and then click Back up now.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav

14. Return to the home screen and click Add Traffic, Voices, Safety Cameras, etc. There are several options, but let's try Points of interest. You can browse the items or use the search facility to find things. Click Add to install it.

Apple Mac TomTom sat nav



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