I don't need GPS in my iPhone

I don't need GPS in my iPhone

Summary: The current iPhone can't do true GPS – which is fine with me. Many people put the popular navigation technology at the top of their iPhone wishlist but I think that 3G networking is much more important.


I donÂ’t need GPS in my iPhone

The current iPhone can't do true GPS – which is fine with me. Many people put the popular navigation technology at the top of their iPhone wishlist but I think that 3G networking is much more important.

iPhone's Google Maps application does pseudo-GPS by approximating your location using information from cell towers and Wi-Fi networks (via a partnership with Skyhook Wireless) but it's far from precise.

I have a Garmin nuvi GPS receiver in my car that I love and have come to rely on. It has a top-notch interface and it's a single-purpose, no compromises device. Every phone, PDA, watch/GPS hybrid that I've tried just doesn't measure up. I really don't need GPS technology in my iPhone, especially if it: a) adds heft, b) adds size, c) decreases battery life and/or d) increases costs.

JG Mason gives four reasons why he thinks that iPhone GPS is coming, but if there's a monthly charge for the service, count me out. Garmin doesn't charge me a monthly fee, I already paid for those government satellites in my taxes.

There's no questions that a true phone/GPS hybrid is feasible, Garmin's announcement of nuvifone on 31 January is evidence that a market exists. I think that there are better areas for Apple to focus their R&D resources on.

What about you?

[poll id=114]

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, iPhone

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  • cool stats 67%-50%

    I don't know what that means. Half of us want GPS in our next iPhone, just like the Blackberry, 67% of us don't. 17% of us are just conflicted?
  • how often are you in the streets of NY City w/ your car?

    Most people are smart in a big city and use the subway system rather than wait in traffic. So, once you exit the subway and enter the street level, are you going to pull out your Nuvi, and look to see how much farther you need to walk?

    They say, the more channels on television you have, the less there is to watch. But with gadgets and phones that's not true, because you choose to keep what you want. The GPS option would be worth having for the phone.
    • but in NYC,

      The google maps "find me" thing is very accurate. i use it often instead of typing in my location. then i can just enter "hardware store" or "coffee" or whatever it is that i'm looking for... and bam, there they are. gps isn't necessary when you have a ton of cell towers around.
      • That's assuming

        that you live in New York. Last time I checked, around 293,000,000 Americans live somewhere other than the Big Apple.

        It's much more difficult to get around in a place like where I'm from than it is where the streets and cross-streets are numbered and the city is laid out on a grid. This is GPS becomes uber handy. There are many people who have lived here their whole lives who have no clue where many things are, because so many places are quite out of the way.

        Where I'm from, you need to know if you follow this road for 2 more miles or 4 more miles before hanging a left on to county road whatever, because you are going to pass 10 county road whatevers and you don't want to take the wrong one who lord only knows what god-forsaken hollow you'll wind up.

        And there is hardly any such thing as a straight road here, so unless you can track yourself using the sun and/or North Star, GPS is pretty handy around here. Considering that places like "Randy's Market" aren't generally part of Google's system. And that doesn't even consider that if you are going somewhere you aren't familiar with.

        I want a Garmin so bad I can taste it, but my fiance says that I already have enough stuff mounted to the dash of the car. :(

        Unfortunately, he's not wrong.
        • I'm dying to know...

          what all stuff you have mounted on the dash of your car, but I won't ask.

          By the way--Garmins come with a suction cup thingy that let's you mount them on the windshield, not the dash. So don't let that deter you from getting one. They're great!
          • Mounted to the dash

            Let's see...XM Radio, some silly little clock/radio thing (which belongs to him, btw, so I don't see why I get flack for it...), a globe compass...

            That's all. Not too bad when listed out, but when looking at the dash, I can see his point. LOL.

            Of course, only the XM radio is permenent and necessary. The rest can be removed and put in the glove box (suction cups).
        • i was responding specifically...

          to the comment about new york, which happens to be where i am as well. i'm sure you are totally right about most of the country, based on my experiences at my brother's house in western massachusetts--hint, it wasn't pretty.
    • In NYC

      all the streets are labeled, its hard to get get lost. Corner of East 28th Street and Park Ave for example. Most of them are numbers, just count up or down.
      Loverock Davidson
  • RE: I don't need GPS in my iPhone

    GPS on the iPhone would be simple.

    Do what Palm did with their Treo line of Cell phones: Open
    up the Bluetooth to 3rd party developers.

    With the Treo you can use any 3rd party Bluetooth GPS (I
    use an OnCourse GPS) for about $100 and then TomTom
    Navigation 6 software. It is a simple addition and it works
    Flawlessly. It potentially could work on the iPhone too.

    Open up the Bluetooth access and you can add 3rd party
    keyboards, headphones, GPS, etc.

    Everybody please, push Apple to do this!!
  • In an age when...

    ...governments at all levels have decided that they need no longer respect the privacy of individuals, the <i>last</i> thing I want in a phone is a means by which some government, having arbitrarily decided it objects to some word or deed on my part, can locate me to within a couple of meters.
    Henry Miller
  • RE: I don't need GPS in my iPhone

    Jason, you've got to be kidding. Once you have lived with true GPS in your phone you can never go back to a standalone GPS device. GPS units are the NUMBER ONE easy target now for car thieves and they can flip them fast for quick cash. When I leave the car, my GPS goes with me in my phone and as a result I always have GPS capabilities with me and I NEVER have to worry about it being stolen as it's on my belt outside of the car.

    My last two phones have had GPS built in (HP HW6955 and now my new HTC Tytn II) and I won't ever be buying a phone without it again.

    To a comparable Smart PDA type phone it does not add any extra weight or size, any price difference is marginal at best (excluding the software) and the battery life point is moot as most people with in-phone GPS use it in the car in which case mine is always using a vehicle charger. Most of the decent standalone GPS packages are around $100 for all of North America so that's not even a real price issue. (Garmin sells Mobile XT for Smartphone GPS btw.)

    I agree with you 100% that the iPhone needs 3G. In fact, I switched from my HP to the new HTC to get 3G. Not including it was a huge mistake on Apple's part (soon to be rectified I understand) but without GPS, I will still be sticking with a Windows Mobile PDA phone, not an iPhone.

    Actually I'm shocked Apple doesn't have GPS in it as it would be one more revenue stream for Apple to provide map, database, and Point's of Interest updates on a subscription based service.

    Anyhoo, just my two cents on the subject.


  • I'm with you, Jason.

    I also have a Garmin, which does a great job in the car. I don't have an iPhone--just a Touch, so it couldn't announce turns, which is one of the best features of the Garmin.

    What I'd really like to see added is a "Keychain" for user/password storage for web access, and a cookie manager that would allow keeping some cookies instead of clearing them all. And a stopwatch that does laps like a stopwatch is supposed to do!
    • Stopwatch DOES laps

      Your iPhone stopwatch doesn't do laps? Mine does. What are
      you missing? Or, what am I missing?...
      • Yep, it does do laps, but...

        it lacks a timer that displays the OVERALL time. The stopwatch app on the gen5 iPods has two time displays--one for the overall time and one for the lap times. All the Touch has is lap time. When they add an overall time display, I'll be a happy camper (or timer)!

        FYI, I sometimes time events at swim meets, and you gotta have the overall time as well as the lap times.
  • RE: I don't need GPS in my iPhone

    The current location-finding thing is very cool, don't have to be in line of sight of satellites. I have a great GPS for the car. I don't need or even really want it in my phone right now if it will add to cost, size, power consumption, or use more storage.
    • RE: RE: I don't need GPS in my iPhone

      "don't have to be in line of sight of satellites"

      Where are you? Mars?
      • Hoyah- How about INSIDE A BUILDING

        Perhaps not everybody understands it, but the triangulation thing the iPhone does with cell towers and wifi hotspots works inside buildings. GPS doesn't work inside buildings. While the iPhone's method may be less precise, it's more useful for me since I have a GPS in the car and I don't have one when I am out and about.

        The typical use of location on my iPhone has been finding a nearby pizza place, etc., when I'm not in the car. Just like in the Apple "sushi" commercial, I looked for pizza and made a quick phone call.
        • Why would you need it

          Inside a building?

          Seems like getting to the building is the issue that GPS is concerned with, yet finding the proper room in said building, for example, would be the job of the signs by the elevators.

  • GPS - Definitely Yes!!

    Have it currently in my Q and while I have but seldom use the TelNav service, I routinely use my GPS when I open Google Maps and *wham* there I am.

    As I travel a lot, besides living in a large city, this feature has become one of my 'required' for future devices.

    I have a Garmin (for the car) but really can not see myself walking around NY with Garmin in hand....

    Yes 3G is a must, but so is this....
  • RE: I don't need GPS in my iPhone

    While GPS built into the iPhone would be a big plus I don't
    consider it a requirement. As long as the SDK allows for a
    BlueTooth connection to a GPS receiver and someone builds a
    good Nav app I'll be happy. I'm still using my Treo and it has
    this capability, just one of the things that's been holding me
    back from switching to an iPhone.