GPS iPhones – The 21st Century Compass

GPS iPhones are the latest innovation in personal navigation devices. From compasses and maps to car-based personal navigation devices, finding our way on the road has always been a concern. Technological advances have helped to modernize that process and now more and more people are moving from car-based devices to apps that they download directly onto their phone.

Not surprisingly, there are both advantages and disadvantages to this type of technology and you need to be very thorough when you shop for a GPS app for your phone. The idea is to find something that provides quick, easy to access information that is also up-to-date and accurate. That may sound simple but with the vagaries of modern technology, it can be more difficult than you think.

Cell-phone navigation is not a brand new idea. It has actually been available, mostly on a “server based” platform, for years from major providers like AT&T and Verizon. These services allow you to access the information you need when you need it, rather than taking up a lot of storage space on your phone for a large, permanent database. The focus of GPS iPhones is to move this service a step forward.

While these “server based” systems are generally rather affordable, they are also limited in comparison to dedicated PND’s. Some of the drawbacks include smaller keypads and screens, poor volume, limited battery life and no pre-loaded map database. All of this can make using these devices difficult and finding the information you need a crapshoot at best.

With these drawbacks in mind, GPS iPhones have stepped in to offer a more user-friendly option. In general, the iPhone offers a larger screen and keypad and a more powerful processor. Not only does this make them easier to use, it allows much better access with cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity. It is relatively easy to download navigation apps, but you need to pay close attention to their features to make sure you’re getting what you need.

While the technology involved in these apps has improved personal navigation tremendously, the iPhone is not without its drawbacks. When compared to dedicated PND’s, it is still smaller and lacking in volume and battery life capabilities. For long trips or individuals who use their navigation device excessively, a dedicated device is probably still the best option.

But for the everyday consumer, who needs a quick and easy way to access navigation information, GPS iPhones can be a godsend. There is a range of apps available, many from well-known manufacturers such as Magellan and TomTom, that can easily turn your iPhone into a high tech, modern day compass to get you where you’re going no matter where you are.


Since prices can vary drastically, you need to shop wisely and make sure that you are getting the best product for your money. Pay careful attention to your phone’s specs and make sure that any product you choose will be completely compatible. With the right app, you can have your own personal navigator right in the palm of your hand!

Tom Gruich

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