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Discussion Starter #1
As many of you guys who have read my comments in XM threads, you know that I hate anything that involves a monthly fee, but this one really has me baffled.

You can go buy an inexpensive GPS with a decent size display, and get GPS reception for free. Why in the world are people paying monthly fees for GPS on their cell phones when it is free otherwise? Am I missing something? I always thought this was never going to take off, but apparently it has. What's up?
 

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Larry,

I have wondered about that as well. The only explanation I can come up with if they don't want to shell out several hundred dollars for the initial expense of a dedicated GPS. Paying an extra $10+ a month is easier to stomach.

Seems silly to me too! :shrug:
 

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Larry, What does the subscription get you? Is your phone actually a GPS or is there some magic that tracks you via cell phone towers? So if you go out of cell phone area, will your GPS quick working too?
 

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My phone has "GPS" on it, and I have Google Maps downloaded. Using those features, it can be operated just like a navigation system.

BUT, I do not pay anything extra for it, and didn't know people did. I have an unlimited "everything" plan that allows me to use it for Internet, e-mails etc for $99 a month (and unlimited calls and texting).
 

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How many people carry a full function GPS on their belt?

To each their own...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Larry, What does the subscription get you? Is your phone actually a GPS or is there some magic that tracks you via cell phone towers? So if you go out of cell phone area, will your GPS quick working too?
I'm not exactly sure how the technology works. As far as I know, it will do many of the things that a regular GPS will do. I have to suspect that it is just a novelty for those that have to have everything in the latest toys, but I really was just curious as to the logic behind it.

I guess if you are out taking a walk, get lost, and can't find your way home, it would come in handy.:shock:
 

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I'm not exactly sure how the technology works. As far as I know, it will do many of the things that a regular GPS will do. I have to suspect that it is just a novelty for those that have to have everything in the latest toys, but I really was just curious as to the logic behind it.

I guess if you are out taking a walk, get lost, and can't find your way home, it would come in handy.:shock:
I find it quite handy when traveling, unless you want to unmount your Zumo and carry it around with you when walking around the town.

If you download Google Latitude for your GPS-enabled phone, you can get all the Google Maps features (satellite view, street view, etc.) right on your phone. You can search for places of interest, mark them, get directions to them, etc.

You can also share your location with other Latitude users. If you are traveling with other people, you can see where they are right on the map (kinda like a multi-user SPOT messenger.)

As for the subscription, in most cases the GPS hardware is already in your "smart" phone. What is NOT in your phone are the maps and the POI database. What you are being sold for the monthly fee is access to the content provider's maps and database. You can buy similar map/database products from folks like Garmin and install them yourself on your phone, but sometimes there's a catch:

Certain content providers, being scurrilous cheese-faced twinkle-farting douchebags, used to block 3rd party software from accessing the GPS hardware so that you were forced to buy their service if you wanted to use the GPS hardware you've already paid for. Verizon did this with the 8xxx series Blackberries because they are scurrilous cheese-faced twinkle-farting douchebags. As far as I can tell, this restriction does not apply to 9xxx series blackberries on Verizon because Google Latitude has no problem using my on-board GPS with Google's maps. (Maybe Verizon got tired of being scurrilous cheese-faced twinkle-farting douchebags and opted to downgrade themselves to common, ordinary douchebags? Time will tell...)
 

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Just what is it that's so darn funny about calling someone a douchebag?

Every time I hear somebody get called a douchebag it makes me laugh.

Every time I call somebody a douchebag it makes me laugh.

I'm laughing just typing douchebag!

Douchebag douchebag douchebag douchebag douchebag douchebag

hahahahahahahahhahahahahahah hahahahah hahahah

I love this! DOUCHEBAG! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAH HAHAHAH

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAH HAHAHAH HAHAHAHAH HAHAHHH

i'm so easily amused
 

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Discussion Starter #9
LOL, I think we can assume that he was amused!

Thanks Astute Reader. That is the answer I was looking for. It makes more sense now. I do think that paying $10/mo. for access to a database is a tad on the crazy side, but then again, what isn't with cell phone companies?

I know what you mean about Verizon. They continue to pull some despicable stunts to this day, as they always have. With my Razr, they actually had the balls to lock out the capability to download pictures from the phone to computer. The purpose was so that they could charge airtime rates to upload them to their website. They caught a lot of grief for that, and I guess they stopped the practice. I hacked my phone and re-enabled it.

Unfortunately, they have the widest coverage, and the best perfoming system around, and nobody worth considering has lower rates. They are all about the same.
 

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the best thing about gps on a smartphone for me, is the maps are always updated to the latest roads.... no need to buy or download maps... it's always got the latest. POI or resturant? just a click away to call or for directions. and the $10 a month....how much does the navi option cost? or a zumo 550 ? let's stay with the zumo 550, how long will one keep it, and update it, before buying a new one? divide that by months to get a monthly figure.

overall it's a cheap way to get GPS with a few neat features many others don't have. but so far, no route planning, you can enter in your address on the computer if ya want, it sends it to your phone, but at each way point or POI, you would then have to pick your next spot... i think they are working on that but that is my biggest complaint... i love it... i always have it with me and ready to use just taking it out of my pocket.

i have a neat ram mount just for my smartphone, and i bluetooth it to my scala q2 headset for calls or to listen to my gps....

i don't have a wing, just thought i would mention that....i just like reading your forums and thought i would chime in on this subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
gdawg, you are more than welcome to participate.

I won't get into the debate of price vs features, because a standalone GPS has features like the large screen that is what drives the cost up. You can buy a standalone GPS with a decent size display and full functionality for under $200.

But, what I am curious about is, what kind of situations have you been in where having a portable came in handy, as opposed to having one in your car or on your bike. As a guy who buys a phone to make phone calls, not to text message, send pictures to friends, or any of that stuff, I'm looking to be sold on a smart phone, because I do like the PDA capabilities. If GPS is something I might use, I might try it. I noticed that Verizon sells the service for about $2/day if you don't want a subscription.

I just can't get a handle on how a GPS would be useful outside of a vehicle. Yes, I know that hikers have their own GPS world.


BTW, from what I have seen, even the latest maps, from any company, is not going to be up to date. Every one of the cartography companies (two primary ones) is consistently far behind, even on their latest releases. But that is another topic. I do understand your point about not having to buy new maps every time they are released. With a Zumo, that's 8 months worth of subscription.
 

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Larry:

Suppose I was going to Philadelphia for a history tour and I had never been there before. I can mark all the museums and historic places on my smartphone GPS. I could use my Zumo if i was driving everywhere, but in many cities its far easier to park and just walk.
 

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good point on being able to mark the locations of museums then being able to walk between them. or while walking downtown, and being able to search for a poi. i use the at&t navigator but without a GPS signal (being inside) it's pretty useless... however google maps uses gps if it has a signal, but will triangulate your position from the cell towers if it doesn't have gps signal, within 1000 feet or so, pretty cool.. the google maps has so many features and it's free, it just doesn't do turn by turn VOICE, and thats why i use the pay service. with google maps, i use it as a phone book, looking for anything, either an address or phone number, and will find the closest to you even when inside. one of the internet apps would work too, but you have to know the location your looking for, and again, with google maps, it knows where you are.

it's not perfect, but i don't think the regular navi's are either. yesterday i was going to a buddies house to wash my bike ( i live in an apartment) and had his address when it tried to send me down a closed road. go figure...

if you were to try a smartphone, make sure you get one with built in GPS so you don't have to bluetooth another device and carry it too. with verizon, i would go with the blackberry storm hands down.

it's probably not the best option for turn by turn, but it's pretty good... and conveniant .

one other thing about smartphone navi software.... if you don't have a data signal, NO MAPS... it will show you moving on a blank screen until it can download the map again. i wish you could set a route, and it would go ahead and download the entire map as you went along. but if you run into a dead area, it suxs. which has only happend to me a couple times but my next turn was so far ahead, i had maps again before i turned. last year on the parkway i diddn't have the navi software, but signal was so spotty, pretty sure i wouldn't have had maps. not that you need them up unless your trying to predict what kind of turn is ahead of you.

one of the coolest features as mentioned before is the google latitude.. you can track your buddies and they can track you. for me, i leave in the morning on a 9 day adventure with a couple of gold wing friends, and i sent the link to all my friends so they can track me along my route and see where i am. it can be turned off too if your afraid of a wife or something...
 
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