Why are Nav Apps so popular now?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by StruckANerve, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

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    Rio Rancho, NM
    #1
    I have been notice so many different apps lately for Navigation purposes and noticed how expensive some of them are and it got me thinking.

    Do people really get lost that much? It almost seems like people are getting taken for a ride on this concept. You are paying $50 for a map that you can buy at a gas station for a dollar. What do you guys use the Navigation for the most? I guess if you traveled a lot it would be more useful.
     
  2. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

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    DFW, TX
    #2
    Does that $1 map tell you where to turn when? That's what they're paying for.
     
  3. StruckANerve thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Well yeah, it does. If you can count you can know where and when to turn.
     
  4. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

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    DFW, TX
    #4
    *verbally tell you.
     
  5. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    around/about
    #5
    Paper maps are fun if you have a navigator, annoying if you're on your own. Ditto for printing directions from someplace like Google Maps. Sometimes people just want the assurance that even if they miss a turn or hop onto the wrong highway, they'll know just how to get where they need to be.
     
  6. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
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    Location:
    FL
    #6
    GPS units have been selling like hotcakes for years. Cars now come with GPS units. At rental agencies GPS units are common. The map information is frequently updated.

    GPS units/or iPhone navigation apps give you turn-by-turn verbal directions, can warn you of traffic issues and reroute you, can locate points of interest, and can calculate time/distance to your destination. And you dont need to fold them up.

    YOU can buy your $1 map, look at the stars, and pull out your compass if you want. I am old enough to remember travelling with maps. On my last trip Navigon more than paid for itself.
     
  7. juliainor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #7
    Uh huh. That's why the couple following their GPS in eastern Oregon last week was stuck in the snow for three days.

    And why James Kim from CNet a few years ago died and his family almost did because they also followed their GPS onto unimproved roads in poor weather in Oregon and got stuck.

    I think GPS is great in a lot of ways, but I think it's providing some people with a false sense of security. At the end of the day, the route on a GPS is determined by a computer by shortest distance or whatever parameter you choose. There's no person there looking at the topography on a map or noticing the seasonal closures or realizing it's a gravel road and deciding that it's an excessively dangerous way to go.

    Just a vent. Sorry for the hijack. I like GPS, but I think too many people have more faith in it than they should. In metro areas - it's awesome. In vehicles in wilderness areas, it should be used with caution and a big dose of real world common sense.
     
  8. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #8
    You have to have a little common sense when using it, of course. I personally find it useful so that when I'm in an unfamiliar area of town I can find restaurants, etc without too much hassle.
     
  9. rwilliams macrumors 68040

    rwilliams

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    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    #9
    I prefer having a voice telling me how far I have to go and when/where to turn as opposed to having to keep looking down at a paper map. The less distractions I have on the road, the better. I'm not sure I'd pay the prices that some of these apps command, though. I get mine for "free" as a Sprint customer, but I'm sure the price is rolled up in there somewhere.
     
  10. stockcerts macrumors 65816

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    Jun 29, 2007
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    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    This posting kind of surprised me. Prior to buying Navigon I was using a Garmin Nuvi. I will never not own another GPS system. It's not a matter of getting lost. Having a GPS constantly comes in handy, especially for someone who travels. Paper maps would be fine if you have a passenger who can follow along, but even this method seems arcaic to me. Those are probably the same people that write checks at the grocery store as opposed to using their debit card.

    Also, paper maps don't show current traffic conditions and re-route you when severe traffic patterns are present.
     
  11. Mademan12321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #11
    Que

    Would I use it to find a casino or hotel in Las Vegas or go to a job interview in an unfamiliar part of a metro city? Absolutely.

    Would I use it in Kilgore, TX in the middle of nowhere with back roads, FM roads, and newly open roads that I'm almost sure wont show up on the navigator? No. Maybe for a sense of direction but the sun or a compass can take care of that.

    To say its not useful is stupid as I can't read a freaking map while I'm driving. I can read google directions but if I don't know squat about a city and there are mixmaster freeways out the wazoo with multiple splits then it can wear your patients and cause you to have a wreck by you paying attention to the street signs and not paying attention to the road.
     
  12. Neotyguy40 macrumors regular

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    Jul 15, 2009
    #12
    Can someone tell me the difference between these $50 maps and just using the Maps app that comes on your iPhone?
     
  13. Mademan12321 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2009
    #13
    Voice command. I would rather have a program announce I'm 1 - 2 miles away so I can be aware of when the exit is coming up instead of looking while im driving and crash or having to pull over to see how far I have to go.

    If you use a paper map then good for you as my parents use it. I travel to different cities very frequently and Navigon helps me get to meetings and destinations on time. $50 helps me earn 80k a year. It accurate enough where I don't need an expensive stand alone and the program can go with me wherever I go. If someone else is driving and has a bad sense of direction, I can help them out with getting to the destination.
     
  14. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #14
    And no one has ever had this happen while following a paper map?
     
  15. codo macrumors 6502

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    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    England, United Kingdom
    #15
    I don't use navigation apps on my iPhone but have a dedicated GPS in the car.

    I've only been driving for 6 months, and as I'm sure you can remember, once you pass the test and in the car by yourself, it's just a total different kettle of fish. Not having the security barrier of someone saying "turn left" etc was quite difficult at first in unfamiliar areas. Obviously, this is something that you overcome fairly quickly in your home area but doing a 400 mile trip by yourself on roads you've never been on... Not so fun (The M1 was pretty daunting alone a fortnight after passing, it's nice to know exactly when my exit is coming up and prepare accordingly).

    I don't consider myself dependent on it, perhaps I was too much at first, but it is very comforting to know if I have absolutely no idea where I am, I can reach under the passenger seat, stick the GPS on the screen and get directions to my destination in a few seconds. I can't see these apps/devices disappearing anytime soon.
     
  16. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 601

    Knowlege Bomb

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    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #16
    Maps on your phone doesn't give you vocal turn by turn directions. It also doesn't give you the option to route according to fastest, shortest or most efficient route to name just a couple of reasons.

    With all of the features built into these apps it's easy to see the advantages but some don't see them as justifiable when compared to the prices.
     
  17. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020

    Jeremy1026

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    Nov 3, 2007
    #17
    Well duh, paper maps automatically update to show road conditions. Didn't you know that?
     
  18. Gokunama macrumors 6502a

    Gokunama

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    Sep 13, 2008
    #18
    I have never owned or used a nav system before, but I would guess they are more useful than the inbuilt maps app. The inbuilt maps app has been invaluable in getting me to shops, my son's basketball locations in other parts of Japan, and in getting me home from those tournaments, but only once I thought, gee, it would have been nice to have had a nav system with me. I took an extra two hours going home for one of my son's basketball tournaments due to a wrong turn, and damn I was tired after getting up at 4 am to get there in time for his first morning game. A nav app isn't possible for me as I'd have to enter and read Japanese kanji into the app, most of which I don't know.
     
  19. juliainor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #19
    Of course they have. Plenty. But people seem quicker to second guess paper maps than GPS. So if they have planned a route not using GPS that is starting to look sketchy, they are more likely to abort and try something else. For whatever reason, when the all-knowing GPS tells them the route, they have more confidence that it's accurate and will push on, despite the fact that their gut may be saying they should turn around.

    Again, I'm not talking about metro areas where the rerouting due to traffic conditions, locating points of interest, etc, are all extremely useful. I'm talking about off-the-beaten-path areas where GPS frequently routes people through USFS roads and other routes that really are not suited to your average family going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house.

    I lived in rural Oregon for 10 years and I can't tell you how many crazy ass routes my nav system would give me. But I KNEW they were crazy because I was from the area. Someone who wasn't wouldn't know and it could lead them into bad situations. If they were looking at a paper map, they'd see it was a gravel road and how much elevation gain and that there could be a seasonal closure, etc..

    All that said, I do have and use GPS... both on my BlackBerry (love my iPod touch, but can't bring myself to leave Verizon for the iPhone) and built into my car. I do love it. But it's not infalliable. And even some people on here are talking like it knows all... that's the risk I'm talking about.
     
  20. iphonemom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #20
    Navigation/GPS iPhone Apps

    I think the key here is specific niche apps. I have seen so many intriguing applications come out recently and think 2010 will bring niche specific navigation apps along with complete interactivity as the hardware is able to support it. I wonder if Apple will move the iPhone to Verizon or what will happen with the tablet. Lots of good stuff to come im sure.

    What are your favorite navigation/gps apps?

    Mine are:

    Motion X GPS Drive and FastMall which is an incredible platform and community experience and I expect it to be one of the apps everyone talks about for 2010. All I know is you can shake your phone for the nearest restroom and get turn by turn directions inside my shopping mall without using gps. Ive used it 3 times at the Westfield San Francisco Centre and it has been amazingly helpful, especially the elevators only route option so I can get where I need with my daughter in her stroller without having to look at the basic directory kiosk.

    Another fun app for nav is iPark but since I have FastMall they have the same type of GPS car finder for free built into the app.

    Happy 2010 everyone! Cheers.
    :apple::cool:
     
  21. navguy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #21
    if you take roadtrips, then yes

    ... pinpoint directions to warmth and through scenic america (but not in rural Oregon!)

    ... and everyone can enjoy it since no one is looking at a map

    ... and less arguing as to which way to go w/ shotgun navigator

    ... and might end up paying more for local maps along the way

    ... save a lot of time wandering in the wilderness (literally!)


    if you commute daily w/ lots o traffic, then yes

    ... saved countless hours not sitting in traffic

    ... more time hanging out w/ my family and kids (just as well have been friends if single or w/o kids)

    saved approx $100-$150 on gas annually (old GPS; iPhone satnav don't have just yet)

    won't have a stolen GPS worth $250 or more since it goes w/ you (this one will learn you real quick, believe me)

    easily find and eat at good restaurants locally or on the road (google search w/ ratings)

    don't get tickets (or as many) since it warns you when you are speeding

    now many of these capabilities exist in different apps, many free - but risk of jumping between apps and trying to accomplish what Navigon MobileNavigator can do quickly and easily is high risk while driving ... saves in repairs, medical bills and insurance

    just a few thoughts off the top of my head, i'm sure there are others ... btw, i think maps cost more than $1 these days :p

    good question :)
     
  22. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #22
    This is a person problem, not a navigation device problem. Yes, both maps and GPS units can have mistakes, both in information provided and in its interpretation. Perhaps the use of technology convinces some people to turn off their minds and become servile sheep (heck, look at the number of people on MacRumors who'll believe ANYTHING the read on the internets).

    My car GPS as well as my iPhone's Navigon have chose routes in urban areas I would'nt have. Would following the directions gotten me there...sure, but knowing local pros and cons of the various route options made me choose the better route. On a recent trip to RURAL Colorado, I consulted both paper map AND Navigon. Darned if Navigon didn't do a great job, particularly in planning time of travel. The ONLY hiccup was when I had changed optimal routing to most direct. I did travel on some well-maintained gravel ridgeline roads.

    GPS systems and maps are tools. Not everyone is equally capable of using them correctly.
     
  23. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Troy, MT
    #23
    Personal Preferance

    I believe that each individual should make his/her own choice about how to navigate. The ultimate end is to arrive at your destination, safely, timely, and at the lowest cost possible.

    I grew up in the rocky mountains of north western Montana and new how to read a map and use a compass long before I joined the Army. I learned to navigate using the terrain, wind, sun, and stars and was always able to find my way out of the wilderness area. After joining the Army and traveling around the country and world, I was able to look at a paper map locate my start and end point, look at the where my stops were going to be and remember the route. At each stop I would refresh my memory. I always arrived at my destination and maybe a few times in 25 years, did take a wrong turn or two but always got back on track.

    The iPhone came out and using the google app was able to do away with my paper maps and track my route with the Map App. It was nice to see where I was and if I new route changes were coming, to be able to see that I took the right turn. It made traveling a little more pleasurable and less stress free.

    Recently I purchased Motion X GPS Drive and recently used it and the FREE 30 days of voice command. It was very accurate, nice female voice and loud enough to let me know what was coming up. It was very fast in changing routes when I tested it by making wrong turns and allowed me to arrive at my destination 15 minutes earlier then if I had just driven the way I new.

    The WARNING here is NEVER fully trust ANY Device, Map, Compass or other navigational equipment. Use these tools as an aid but always maintain your common sense and do NOT blindly follow any tool. Maps are wrong, compass needles can be thrown off and batteries die...always maintain a backup method of navigation. Only the FOOL follows a voice command blindly without validation and making sure you are where it actually says you are...just like a map. I have found many a bad and inaccurate map, but I was smart enough to figure it out.

    What I do NOT understand is why some of you pay these OUTRAGEOUS prices for navigation apps:eek::confused:. You do not need to pay so much for a simple program that takes you to your destination...that is totally ridiculous. Currently Motion X GPS Drive is only .99 for the holiday and DOES EVERYTHING the expensive ones do...it gets you to your destination by voice command!!! There are NO monthly fees, it downloads up to 2 gigs of map data and does not clogg up your iPhone. Best of all...YOU PURCHASE 30 days of Voice Command WHEN YOU NEED IT. This app is perfect for me as I only need to use it maybe once every few months. If I need voice command, I can purchase another 30 days right there on the spot. I am not paying for what I dont use. I am not paying huge prices for a name brand or storing huge map data bases. I HIGHLY recommend this app for all types of navigators.

    There are many ways to navigate and each should be allowed to choose and use the method that best supports them. Just use it cautiously and do not blindly let that sweet voice to tell you to take a left turn and drive off the cliff!!!
     
  24. navguy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #24
    SFC - I completely agree w/ your suggestion of 'personal preference' ... I completely disagree w/ you using the term 'retarded' ...

    ... as someone who uses GPS at least once a month (much more regularly for traffic), if I used Motion X GPS Drive, it would cost me $33.88 for the first year (and $35.88/yr after at $2.95/mo -- $0.99 is introductory month, after that it's more)
    ... also as someone who drives in rural wisconsin each month, the Edge/GPRS roaming services would not work properly with Motion X GPS Drive since it requires good data transmission

    Since it's personal preference, I'll stick w/ Navigon w/ fixed cost traffic and free google search ... on a 3GS, it's unbeatable! :D:D
     
  25. StruckANerve thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Rio Rancho, NM
    #25
    Do a lot of these GPS or Navigation apps include phone directories? If you search for an address or business does it give you the phone number for the place?
     

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