Good news for iPhone users in Australia with Navigon announcing some new navigation software for the smartphone. I have always thought of the next logical step for navigation software for the smartphones. These phones can do so much these days – surf the net, take videos and still pictures, and email, so why not GPS. But before you write off SatNav units such as TomTom and Navman, I still think there is a place for them in the market. Much like people thought that the TV would be the end of cinema, I believe that a dedicated GPS device is still an important tool. In fact, I have one, and have no intentions of getting rid of it, even though one of my mobile phones is an iPhone. There are a couple of reasons for this. Most GPS units have a whole lot of added value that smartphone software applications don’t have. TomTom for instance has IQ Routes, which is a nifty little product that makes getting from A to B in real time a whole lot easier. Then there are the dedicated weekly updates, as well as the convenience of having the GPS always hooked up to your car. I don’t fancy having to hook-up my mobile every time I go on a trip. I would also query how much battery power is drained using the software.
Finally, there is the cost. A dedicated system varies in price from $250-$650 or anywhere in between, while this new software is $100 but there has been no mention of costs with regard to paying for updates and additional features. I think there is a lot of life left in the GPS unit yet and when I talk to the big Navigation companies about where their products are going and the features they will have in the immediate future, I know there is still plenty of life there still to be found.