Drivers looking for an electronic navigational assistant have more choices than ever these days. Basic dedicated GPS navigators can be found for less than $100, and they are still a wise choice if you don’t mind carrying a single-purpose device. Personal navigation devices (PNDs) are ready to go right out of the box, with a mount and charger included. Plus, they are easy to use and can be shared with family or friends.
Smart phones are an increasingly popular navigation option, especially among models that come with turn-by-turn guidance built in. Other phones require purchase of a downloadable navigation app or a service subscription. In our tests, we have found that the best navigation applications are made by well-known GPS companies like Navigon, TomTom, and Magellan. These apps look and function much like a standalone GPS unit.
I was reminded of the difference between a dedicated GPS Unit and my Android Cell Phone this past weekend when taking a forty mile trip to a location that I had never been before.
And frankly, I found myself liking my cell phone’s abilities much more than the GPS navigation unit I was trusting to get me where I needed to go.
My GPS maps are out of date and if I want to update them I have to pay extra. However, Google Maps is updated on a regular basis from what I can tell and I can get current traffic data. Something that came in handy this morning on a run to the Tampa International airport.
I also find it most useful because the phone is always with me, even when I am riding with someone else.
It surprises and scares me a little bit, at how accurate Google Maps and navigation is, but I have to say I prefer it much more over my dedicated unit.
How about you? What do you prefer?