And it isn't a standalone GPS.
My son visited during the holidays and brought along his new Verizon (Motorola) Droid smartphone. Way cool but here's the kicker. I live in a fairly new development and my Garmin 760 doesn't have any idea where my home is. Navigating to 'home' produces direction after direction for "turn on street" because the Nuvi is clueless and the latest maps don't show my street much less the address. When I give people my address and start to provide directions most say something like 'no problem, I have a GPS.' That's when I say "if it's a Garmin you'll need my directions."
The Droid, however, brought the kid right to my door, turn by turn complete with street names. After the final turn his 'phone' told him "your destination is ahead" then counted down the number of feet.
In addition to being a better GPS, the Droid (which uses Google maps) also allows the user to take a picture of a building. It then tells him/her what the building is and where it is. If Google has done a "street view" survey of an area the Droid offers that view which appears on the screen exactly as the street and buildings look.
Beyond navigation the Droid does all the expected smartphone stuff via various apps. We went shopping and had a great time scanning bar codes. The Droid then logged onto the Internet, sought out the code and presented us with a review of the item and pricing online and at other retailers. We learned an electronic item we were looking at in BestBuy was being offered at a lower price right next door at a Staples store. Nifty!
Anyway, while standalone devices 'should' be better at what they do than a Swiss Army Knife type device, that is not the case with GPS, not anymore. The smartphone (Droid) bested my Nuvi in every test except cost. All the extra online functions for the Droid cost an additional $35 per month (unlimited time/access) where my Nuvi is cost free after the initial purchase. When my Nuvi dies (or if maps don't stay up to date) I'll be saying goodbye to Garmin after more than a decade of buying their products.
the time when you might need a GPS the MOST is when you are in a remote area where there is no reliable cell signal. This is probably my biggest concern about cell phone based GPS.
Well put. That's exactly why you have a GPS unit for reliability.
I kinda like the idea that as long as I can get a clear view of the sky, I know where I am. Also, you can always target the nearest intersection and then "wing it" for the last few yards.
Yeah cool stuff coming out on the newer phones...
with a cell phone as being the one device which does everything.
The phone has a smaller screen, less battery, less features. Same for using my phone or GPS for an MP3 player - my MP3 player is much better (better battery, playlists, storage).
I have a Samsung Moment with free unlimited GPS service from Sprint. But I'll never be without my dedicated GPS units.
No way for me to install custom POI points like red-light camera alerts on it, battery does not last very long when using GPS, and I can't easily use the phone when in GPS mode.
All-in-one units may be handy, but not for frequent traveler like myself.
I think GPS functions are a nice add-on to a phone, but not the other way around. When I am relying on my GPS for navigation, the last thing I want is for the navigation to be interrupted by a phone call. That is why none of my GPS's have bluetooth.
But I realize I am in a shrinking minority with this view and I think Gadgetjq's vision of the future of standalone GPS is probably right.
My nephew also has the droid and I agree with you. The last nail in the coffin will be when free wifi is ubiquitous in most areas.
The best chance standalone GPS devices have is to stop nickel and diming us to death with 30 different models that only differ by a feature or two and start offering kick-ass all-in-one devices that rival the iPhone.
The way I see them competing is to try and replace your entire automobile radio/nav/phone/instrument panel that you can take with you and sync with your computer.
I don't know... while I like the idea of a cell phone that has all the fixin's of a standalone GPS, I find the form factor of a cell phone to be very unappealing for in-car use. Perhaps as a mobile, trail GPS (assuming you can cache the maps locally) I could see a device like a cell being a good replacement.
But in the car, the small screen, small print, is very distracting. Plus, using a cell phone (even if you're not in a voice call) in some areas (around here school zones) is illegal.
There's only one thing wrong (from my point of view), with multi use electronics. If one of the multi's go bad (and you have to send it in for repair or a replacement).. your screwed because all the other aspects of it you can't use anymore untill you get the repaired or replacement item back.
I dont personally have an android phone but a buddy of mine does and its amazing. It got me thinking What if google made a stand alone gps unit? I think they might clean up the competition...personally, I would think about switching from garmin to google if they did so.
Droid's not my future. Cell data plans are too expensive and the thing won't work where there's no cell service. Routes? Tracks? POIs? Waterproof for motorcycle use?
I have absolutely lost track of the number of times my garmin has failed me, and I had to ask for directions to a hourse, or place of business. I had make a delivery at a business park that they said was built almost exactly 2 years ago. My GPS, with up to date maps had no such location. Just an empty field! It took me an extra 45 minutes to find the place. My experience has shown me that it takes about 18 months to 2 years for the GPS to have a new entry in its database. People sometimes laugh at me when they see the maps, with the GPS on my dash, and I am still asking for directions.
I am looking at an Android based phone in the near future, but will not be getting rid of my Nuvi - yet.
Cell tower connectivity may be needed to enable the GPS functionality in the Droid, but you also get internet browsing capabilities. Might the smartphones someday replace the standalone navigational units? I think so and it's not too far away.
So true groundhog. I recently moved so am relying on gps for new POIs and after many bad experiences with the nuvi 360's POIs, upgraded to the 855 and so far it's not much of an improvement. Yesterday, after asking it for the nearest gas station it sent me to a housing track that had obviously been there for years, and that was after routing to a farmhouse where non-existent Barnes & Noble was supposed to be. The Address Entry doesn't recognize many valid addresses. It's laughably poor.
I expected it would not only be accurate by now but perhaps even make helpful suggestions. That is why google seems ready to take over the gps market.
Also, I don't see much of a form-factor difference between the typical stand-alone GPS and the Droid when using a suction-cup mount.
The data-plan is the only real drawback and google may end up subsidizing those with adds.
I live in an area of almost no cell coverage. While I have an Iphone and great maps that are updated, once I leave my wifi area at home getting any internet or cell based maps is a miracle.
My Nuvi 770 gets me there and back again.
I will stick with my old, no extras c330. I traveled before I had GPS and I got where I was going. When my outdated maps don't know where I am, I still get where I am going. Maybe one day I will get a map update.
My cell phone is just that, a phone. I have never used the camera or any of the other features it has. My first cell phone had nothing on it, it was just a phone. Darn I miss that phone.
When I am out in the middle, of nowhere and I have no cell coverage, both of my GPS units still know where I am.
And yes I use my GPS units almost on a daily basis.
I will admit, the things the Droid can do is very cool, I just don't want or need it.
I have to admit the Droid is a cool gadget, but do we all need a Droid to depend on? A GPS is a tool to HELP take you from point A to point B and back, nothing more, nothing less.
If it (GPS) fails, use your common sence (AKA: your brain)
Count me in on the Droid, but I won't be giving up my standalone either. To many gaps in G coverage although not to bad along interstates. The screens are just to small for use in car, I do look for forward to using it on foot in NYC using a Subway App and simular situations.
To add to Ryaxin's post:
If the GPS'r fails open glove box and take out a paper map. (AKA:using your brain)
This was a concern of mine also, the remote areas where there is no cell phone coverage, no 3G available. My wife and I have found this on a couple of recent trips one to Maine and one to Vermont. The Motorola Droid will cache your route when you leave coverage area. Now if you stop for lunch and are in an area without coverage you may not have a working GPS at that point, or when you arrive at your destination and want to plot a new route you may not have a working GPS. I purchased for a one time cost CoPilot Live 8 and have the street maps of North America downloaded to my 16GB SD Card in my phone. It was on sale at the time and cost me $19.99. You get maintanance updates once a month. These monthly updates include emergency road closures, significant road changes and updates reported by existing customers.
Also new maps and updated points of interest are issued quarterly. Maps are supplied by Navteq.
The Motorola Droid is a standalone GPS, with the maps on the phone from CoPilot & I understand Navigon later this year, you can use the phone anywhere just as you can with a Garmin, Magellan etc. I used it on a recent trip to Canada where the Google Map Nav at this time is not available. Some day it probably will be when agreements for cell usage allows people to use 3G without the great costs on both sides of the border, I assume that Canadians have the same problem when they visit the U.S.
So it is not true that you need cell service, you don't you can use the Droid anywhere. And yes the Google Map Navigation turn by turn is incredible.
I wanted a smartphone and I got one with two built in GPS programs that is always with me when I travel whether on a long road trip or a short one. Along with the car mount $30.00 and a bean bag mount I bought at Best Buy the phone sits on my dash just like my Nuvi 750 did. I still have my Garmin and feel it is a great unit, but will probably never use it again.
I don't think smartphones (Droid, iPhone etc) need cell coverage to function as a GPS. Almost all cell phones (at least those made in the last few years) have GPS built in so the phone can be located by 911 if the device is being used to make an emergency call.
It's my understanding the GPS function doesn't use any 'minutes' or Internet time or anything else. Just download the (free) maps (plus any apps you want to run) and you're good to go.
The screen is 'almost' as large as the Nuvi so that really isn't a huge issue (no pun intended) and for those who need it, you have a built in, hands free, phone. Yes, you can talk while navigating just like using Bluetooth with the Garmin. For that, you do need cell service but not necessarily 3G or 4G or whatever they're up to now.
The built-in GPS receivers in cell phones are usually nowhere near as powerful as those in a dedicated unit. Tom Tom sells an iPhone Car Kit which has a standard GPS receiver built into the car dock itself, in order to boost the signal reception. The Tom Tom iPhone forums confirm fairly weak reception without the car kit. Not that big a deal, really. That's where it belongs; in a dock on the dash while we're driving. The dock with receiver adds $100 to the cost, however.
It's sounding like your GPS app is making the same decision as Tom Tom on the iPhone does; It will not start navigating unless it has a decent Sat signal. Once it starts navigation, it will continue if it loses the Sat signal for a while, augmenting with cell tower triangulation.
Have you been able to determine or compare the Sat reception capabilities between the Droid and your Nuvi? I'm wondering how the Sat reception is, compared to a dedicated GPS.
that prohibit use of a cell phone due to distracted driving. Although now many states are writing laws about texting while driving, Some are considering just cell phone use a distraction and want to outlaw it while driving. You could have a problem in the future if you use your cell phone for your GPS system. Just a thought.
Not a problem when using it as a GPS it sits on my dash on a bean bag mount just like a Garmin, Tom Tom etc. So if it is outlawed they will be outlawing the use of all GPS units. I feel that won't happen. I think the hands free law is an excellent one. Sadly I see people violating it almost every day.
Exactly, you don't need the cell coverage it will still work, you need the maps. When they are stored on your phone you can be anywhere. That is where Copilot Live comes in. As I posted earlier from what I understand Navigon will also be available on the Droid this year with maps you can download to your phone. Not sure what they will charge but I believe it will be a one time charge also.
Google Maps Navigation is as I posted earlier is awesome, but you need cell coverage which is just about everywhere in the U.S. Using the internet you probable have hundreds of millions of points of interest updated daily along with the maps updated daily. Satellite view, street view the list of features goes on.
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