I just read the following article.
I was wondering how this would affect Garmin, etc. when I saw in the news that Google was giving directions for free on the Android.
It strikes me that the stand alone makers are going to have to convince the average user that their device is much better than using your phone. As mentioned in the article, extra features might be the answer, but it just might mean that the stand alone device will only be bought by folks that need those extra features.
I probably would still purchase a Garmin, but the allure of one device that does it all (like Tolken's ring) is very appealing.
Battery life will go down dramatically. Granted those that prepare will have a charger in the car the phone. Also I have yet to see a phone with as large of a screen as a GPS. Yes you can have audio directions but it is also nice to be able to look over at the screen to see what is coming up in advance. It is easier to focus on a large screen then that small phone while driving. Now when out walking a city it might be easier to get a signal on the phone for directions then a GPS. They both will have their uses but just use the right tool for the job.
Then again if Garmin is worried about this and drops their prices I can get a better GPS sooner.
Ontario has become one of the latest to ban hand held phones, and entertainment units in the car. GPS units are ok as long as they are mounted in the. Using a GPS map on a Blackberry or other device would not be acceptable unless is was mounted.
In addition, if you use custtom POIs etc. I think the Garmin and Tom Toms will still have an advantage.
It seems like you would be charged minutes while using a phone for a GPS. Even though Google is free- paying for the times is not? Just asking!
I think it would reply on the data plan, which is not free by any stretch. Data plan are expensive as hell, it is the reason that I am leaving verizon (bullshit forced data plan)
I wouldn't think that a GPS app would need you to pay for minutes, anymore than playing games on the phone. A GPS doesn't require your phone to be transmitting, nor using any phone cell towers or equipment etc.
Probably the biggest problem will be size. The hardware, CPU, display drivers and the other chips are small enough. The difficulty will be the man/machine interface. How small a screen and keyboard will the GPS market tolerate?
With today's technology the screen resolution is not a problem, but, how small can the words and details be made, and still be acceptable for the marketplace? Some of you already use their phones for web browsing. You know how much more difficult to read a web page on a small screen compared to even a small laptop. Personally, a 4.3'' screen is as small as I would like for a GPS.
The larger the screen, the more back lighting you need. The more back lighting means more current, that means more current. More current means more heat to dissipate and a larger battery. This significantly increases the size and weight. Not so bad for a GPS, but it's contra to cell phones that are striving to be smaller and lighter.
The need for a keyboard may be eliminated once speech recognition software is improved. Until then I much prefer a full keyboard rather than the convoluted texting on a phone. (I know I'm too old and too set in my ways. My grandkids text with no problems!)
I have no doubt that the man/machine interface will be solved and that laptops, phones and GPS units will all be essentially amalgamated and readily portable. However, not in my time.
At the rate at which hand-held devices and smart phones are evolving, I can't imagine we will still be buying stand-along GPS devices ten years from now. Garmin has to be worried.
Magellan has seen the writing on the wall and has decided to join the mobile phone world rather than compete. They are releasing a GPS app for iPhones in December. (See link below):
As far as minutes go... The GPS applications transmit and receive data which is charged by the byte and not by the minute. Most of the data plans available for mobile devices can easily carry the bandwidth required for GPS use.
I see no comments on gps sensitivity...
I can only speak for blackberry's..but I can say that the gps sensitivity on ALL models, just plain blows.
The accuracy/sensitivity of a blackberry vs a garmin is night and day.
Having stated the above, I will stick with my dedicated, large screen, more accurate, nuvis..
I've been running my nuvi 780 side by side against my Moto Droid for the past 4 weeks... my Droid is proving slightly better in sGPS sensitivity. And with the Droid's sGPS combined with aGPS, overall, the Droid is proving itself more useful/worthwhile... for me at least.
Not familiar with sGPS or aGPS. Some Google searching came up with different names for sGPS. aGPS is using both GPS and cell tower triangulation, yes? So what's sGPS?
I use it in emergency only. I don't keep my GPS in the car, it sits on the counter at home. But sometime I need to go somewhere after work, that I haven't planned on. So I use my cell phone. The only real problem is the signal. I have to be stopped till the phone gets the signals. I have a keyboard so that isn't a problem. I also mount it to my car and plug it in the cigarette lighter and into the stereo system. (The TP has an adapter that has a 3.5mm plug that fits on the bottom mini-USB hole. And has another mini-USB on the end of the adapter so I can plug the cigarette charger in it.) I have no real problem with this set up, but I always use the search ahead feature before I take off, so I have an idea on how to get there. This way I don't have to stare at the 3" screen.
Whether its for printing, taking photos, or getting directions. Nothing beats a device designed from the ground up for the purpose.
A friend just got an Android. It's a very cool phone. He's played with the GPS feature. It's not nearly as accurate as a dedicated GPS (something like 1400 feet off), its also a bit cumbersome. Small screen, etc. He say's its useful in a pinch, but he still prefers his full GPS.
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