To answer that question, one only needs to look at the iPhone and Android smartphones and the recent improvements in software and apps that started to replace brands like Garmin, Tom Tom, and Magellan in the GPS navigation marketplace– that is, according to a recent post on Wired. Apple’s iOS 6 promises improvements on third-party mapping solutions while Google unveiled a brand-new mapping interface for both its online and Android platforms.
Even though several months ago, CNET begged to differ that GPS navigation devices were dead, new mapping technologies from Apple and Google raises the following question: at one point will smartphones fully replace dedicated GPS units? Several breakthroughs will probably have to occur:
- Smartphone batteries need to be able to handle the power needed to run standalone GPS apps.
- Usability in the country, 2000 feet above the ground in a private plane, and places with limited mobile access (yes, those places still exist, not just in the United States, but in many parts of the globe.)
- And for the avid outdoorsmen and adventurer, they will need to compete with this.
On a similar topic, interactive designer Eric Rodenbeck once spoke about the Google Maps revolution in a Commonwealth Club event and described the company’s innovation into mapping places other than streets, such as the insides of buildings.
Last year, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue spoke at a Maker Faire event on the brilliance of the latest iPhone apps as sort of preview of what is the come from Apple in the coming years.