Using the Mobile Phone Navigator App

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Using the Mobile Phone Navigator App

While I have the AT&T navigator app on my Blackberry and have had it for some time, I never used it until, amazingly enough, I needed it twice in the same week this past December.  I always just either printed out directions from Mapquest or took my old Garmin with me when I needed this kind of thing.  Well, in December I needed it since I didn’t have either of them since, well, I knew where I was going!

I have to say I was really pleased with the AT&T navigator app, which is done through partner Telenav.  I don’t subscribe to it monthly, but I was able to pay a daily usage fee with my Blackberry.  I notice that you also have to pay data charges, which I take to mean for downloading of the maps. 

By the way, I subsequently used both the AT&T navigator app and the Garmin simultaneously since I wanted to see how they compared and I have to say, the AT&T navigator app was better – was very crisp in terms of what I needed to do, and also took me on a better route.

At one time, before the phones had GPS chips in them, using navigator apps on your phone was somewhat dicey since your location was determined by cell towers and if you had no cell coverage, it didn’t work.  And if you got a call in the middle of it, it probably didn’t work.   We’ve all seen the commercials with AT&T and the iPhone where you can web surf and talk at the same time, so this is no longer an issue.

But once the phones got GPS chips in them, the game changed.  The personal navigation business is now via phones, or cars have them all built in now.  Interestingly enough, I notice that Garmin is doing OK, but that Garmin has exited the Smartphone navigation business, and I notice that TomTom is also doing OK, which shows the power and demand for many segments of navigation devices. 

Will I ever use my Garmin again?  Since I have it, I’ll likely keep it with me in the car just in case….since it keeps costs down.   But, then again, I know where I am going so I doubt I’ll ever need it. smiley-smile


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