Google's free GPS app

 

It's been a long time since I've posted here, but I do check in once and while. Anyway, I was surprised that I haven't seen a post about this (unless I can't find it?). It was a big enough deal to cause both Garmin's and Tom Tom's stock to drop.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/technology/companies/29gps...

Anyway, I've always been a proponent of dedicated devices. "Multi-task" devices do lots of things, but are never the best at any one of them.

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Chuck - Nuvi 200, Nuvi 255W

Google's free GPS app

It may be free from goggle but it will still cost to use it on verizon plus, and upgrade phone.

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johnm405 660 & MSS&T

A YouTube Video

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If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

You overlook many points

johnm405 wrote:

It may be free from goggle but it will still cost to USE IT on verizon plus, and upgrade phone.

Actually, the Google App runs without need for a connection (although obviously not giving traffic or other data that would need a connection). So there will be people who are able to use this on phones that are not even signed up to a carrier. And it will not cost to use it as a basic GPS for anyone who has a compatible phone. It is not unreasonable to think that someone could build an Android type device without even having a phone included (much like the iPod Touch is to the iPhone), although it might be cheaper to build one version with the phone and just not register it with a carrier. Plus, in just a year or two, used droid systems will start showing up as hand-me-downs as the users replace their phones, particularly as newer phones with faster processors or more features show up. Sure, there are hand-me-down nuvi's too, but a hand-me-down nuvi still gets out of date on the maps unless you buy an expensive map update, or a more expensive non-transferable Lifetime Subscription was purchased. Now Google is giving free map updates for anyone running the GPS app on a 'droid platform. I'm sure that Garmin will still try to get their loyal customers to keep paying steeply for what Google is giving away for free (they may have little choice since they don't actually own the maps), but that will only cause their decline faster.

There is a reason that both Garmin and Tomtom stock dropped so much that day that this free Google product was released.

I expect that I'll continue to use my nuvi for a few more years. And I don't own a cell phone, don't want the over priced monthly bills that come with it. But by the time that I replace my nuvi, I can't see it being another nuvi Why buy a nuvi when I can get some kind of Android based device and run the Google software on that, with free new maps as fast as Google provides updates? The Android would give me everything that the nuvi does and so much more. I could load and run other applications in the same device. Even without a cell phone carier, a wifi connection might even let me use the phone as an Internet based VoiP phone. Plus I would have a camera and other handy things in my Google based GPS, something that the nuvi lacks. And lets not forget that when the battery ages it could easily be replaced, unlike the sealed nuvi. I could even carry and use spare batteries if I wanted.

Plus, lets not forget that this will not be the last really slick thing announced for the Android platform. If one buys into Android technology, they will have those applications available to them. True, some may require a cell phone connection that costs the user. Others will not, or will be able to connect by wifi when it is available.

I might even be able to find an Android available for a pay-as-you-go cell program. Sure, the cost of the device would not be subsidized by hidden charges in a multi-year cell phone contract, but even buying it outright it very well should cost less than a mid or high end Garmin device.

And, of course, even an unsubscribed Android phone still has emergency free access to 911 services (in the USA). That's another feature that Garmin just can't touch.

One additional concern in making a new purchase is simply, which company do I expect to still be around and thriving in several years? Right now it looks a lot smarter to bet on Google than Garmin or Tomtom.

So if the choice on my next purchase is between a relatively open device that I can put lots of applications on, or a closed device where the company even wants to sell me the map updates that the open device people get for free, I know which I'll be choosing.

You overlook many points

No I was just making a simple comment not writing a book. The info you supplied is interesting but, I will stay with my 660 till it dies and by then I may not need either one. smile

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johnm405 660 & MSS&T

I wonder if this will

I wonder if this will eventually run on a Blackberry?

Google's Free GPS Application

Good find and thank you for the posts.

What about...

the fact that it relies on CELL signals, as others have pointed out, and therefore might be of no use in the places where you would need it the most?

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Nuvi 760 Nuvi 2598 LMT Nuvi 3597 LMT Garmin Streetpilot Onboard for iPhone

cell signals

very true , your putting your life on the line if you rely on cell ,especially ATT wireless