Home PageFacebookRSS News Feed
PocketGPS
Web
Read the current newsletter! Weekly
Newsletter
SatNav,GPS,Navigation
Get Speed Camera Warnings For SatNavs Get Speed Camera Warnings For Android Get Speed Camera Warnings For iPhone
Google Nav coming to other platforms inc iPhone


Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 23 Apr 2010

pocketgpsworld.comNews from Google this morning confirming plans to roll out their Google Maps Navigation app to other platforms including iPhone. No timescale has been given though.

The widely held belief amongst many sites reporting this is that manufacturers such as TomTom, Navigon etc will have cause to fear this announcement but is this really the case?

In the US, off-board navigation is a much more widely accepted option than it is here in Europe. Google Nav is an off-board solution with map data stored on Google servers and delivered to the handset as required. Given Google's business it is hard to see them ever considering a solution that has map data on-board a device instead.

Off-board solutions work reasonably well when you have a strong signal and a data plan with inclusive data but it works much less well when the signal is poor, the data is not bundled or where you are roaming.

Navigation solutions that rely on off-board mapping have not proved popular in Europe because data charges have been high and inclusive data plans have only recently become widely available. We also roam across national borders and have to consider roaming data cost issues.

I've only had a brief opportunity to personally evaluate Google's Nav option in the last few days and certainly my first impressions are far from great. Yes it does navigate you but it is very basic, slow (though that may be due to my HTC Hero) and is a long way off competing with an equivalent fully fledged navigation app.

Personally, and given the state of Google's app as it is currently, it has a long way to go before it is anywhere near competing with other navigation apps. Of course being Google, they will doubtless improve its feature-set at a rapid pace but being Google, there is always going to be a price to pay, be that in handing over your trip/travel data (which many TomTom users already do) or worse still, in targeted advertising.

So, do we think Google's app will be a navigation app killer or will it instead just fill a niche for the occasional user, one who perhaps already has another satnav or perhaps would not otherwise consider buying a navigation app?
Comments
Posted by gatorguy6996 on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:57 pm Reply with quote

Darren, I think the real issue for traditional navigation providers like TomTom and Navigon isn't that the quality of Google's app is as good as what they offer. It isn't yet, altho it does have features you can't get from either of those. Layered views including terrain and/or realistic satellite view. In the US, free traffic that does tend to cover some local areas ignored by the standard traffic providers. Actual photos of your destination, a bit of assurance that you've arrived at the right place. (Note: Not always accurate yet tho).

The real issue will be that these free nav solutions will be "good enough" for some percentage of users. Personally. I think that will be a very significant percentage too. I'd wager that some of the current buyers of premium nav apps don't actually use them very often. They were impulse buys, or iPhone owners thought they'd use a nav app frequently, whether they actually do or not. Many of those will accept Google's app, assuming it's offered on the iPhone, as sufficient for their needs. In fact many will be impressed that they can get so much for free. No premium purchase will be in their future. In fact those premium apps may be regarded as very over-priced. Once volume slows and app prices dive, there may not be enough incentive for companies like TomTom to continue putting significant resources into mobile app improvements and feature additions. Thus a slow slide into marginalization. That's what I see coming. And sooner than we might expect.


Garmin 1695 / 255 / 760 w/MSN - Droid w/Google nav + Navigon - Navigon 8100T - Dakota10 - GPSMap76C - GeoMate Jr.

 
Posted by Darren on Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:16 am Reply with quote

And the off-board issue?

That is a non-starter for anyone planning to use abroad or the vast number of consumers who do not have, nor wish to have, a smartphone and the associated burden of data charges or inclusive data bundles?


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by DennisN on Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:08 am Reply with quote

gatorguy6996 Wrote:
The real issue will be that these free nav solutions will be "good enough" for some percentage of users. Personally. I think that will be a very significant percentage too.
How very perceptive of you. Although we get visitors here on pgpsw who are interested in adding value or resolving issues with PNDs, I think we all acknowledge that the vast majority of PND owners find them "good enough" - I know several such, who have had their devices for years and have never connected them to a computer, never updated, but find them "good enough", get from here to there happily and never run over a cliff or into a stream.

The "off board" issue is perhaps also not that much of a problem. Take myself for example - as a thoroughly modern man in his dotage (!), I drive 50,000 or more miles a year. All in UK. I have a data plan on my iPhone which is effectively unlimited, so all my driving navigation will be free.

I'm going to Corfu on holiday in a couple of months time and am toying with the idea of buying the Greece map for navigation if we hire a car. But I wouldn't use the iPhone with enormous roaming charges for that. Or maybe I would? If the Google App is free, then I have the map cost of 40GBP to play with against (a couple of days hire car) data and roaming charges?

I guess perhaps the majority of users won't come up against roaming and data issues - unless they live in somewhere like Lichtenstein with the international border at the bottom of their driveway!


Dennis

Where there's a will .... there's a wake.

 
Posted by gatorguy6996 on Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:18 pm Reply with quote

Agreed that off-board is a less-than-optimal solution. It's less of an issue for actual navigation than might be expected. Lose cell signal and Google nav will happily continue routing you to your destination assuming you don't take a detour. The route and appropriate map segments are downloaded directly to the device when the route is first requested. But I can see roaming charges being problematic for those who travel between countries on a regular basis. Is that the normal user in Great Britain?

It also seems as tho basically unlimited data plans are becoming fairly common for many smartphone users there. Is that correct? Without a good data plan I could see an iPhone costing more to own and use than your auto. With Vodaphone offering roaming between countries for Tomtom x50 live owners, can the same plans be far behind for smartphones? Or do they already offer them? I'm really not familiar with European phone plans, so pardon my ignorance.


Garmin 1695 / 255 / 760 w/MSN - Droid w/Google nav + Navigon - Navigon 8100T - Dakota10 - GPSMap76C - GeoMate Jr.

 
Posted by TheGoodMan on Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:12 pm Reply with quote

It look like Google will bring the SatNav to Android phones only.

This is good news for all phone users in the UK. This truly makes the smart phone, all in one device.

What is going to stop Google from letting users download maps on the memory card like Nokia?

I think Google may add the function if it is successful with phones.

The SatNav manufactures do need some competition; Tomtom have not changed much over a year or two. Tomttom’s map share tried to pass the map updates on to the users which made it worst.

Tomtom maps have far too many errors in compare to Nokia (Navtec) and Garmin maps.

The satnav on the phone will be enough for most travellers unless you are a sales person.

Even if you are a sales person and you do need a standalone satnav why not buy a Nokia phone for around £80.00 with a large touch screen on pay as you go, you will have all the maps with traffic (USA, UK, Europe and many other places) only use the phone for satnav.

Tomtom with the similar maps will cost you over £300.00.


 
Posted by NickG on Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:48 am Reply with quote

I think this will be good, if they had some offline caching of map tiles and perhaps preload them for the route ahead while you have good 3G coverage. I wonder if this will help bring down the prices of existing iPhone apps?

As TomTom own TeleAtlas (which is used by Google for the map data) you also have to wonder if TeleAtlas might refuse to license Google the data for use in an iPhone navigation app (as opposed to the maps app) without charging a decent amount of money for it - so as to not compete with the TomTom app?


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by Simon1 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:13 pm Reply with quote

According to this article: http://www.pcworld.com/article/194857/google_dashes_hopes_of_free_iphone_turnbyturn_gps.html
the maps are cached and it only uses the 3g signal if you re-route.


 
Posted by W90BHP on Sun May 02, 2010 5:16 pm Reply with quote

How did you get it running on a Hero? The android 2 update ain't out yet. Got a dodgy hacked one?


LG G4: Android 6 : Viewranger : CoPilot : Waze
TomTom Go 730T : Traffic subscription long expired
Nokia E61 : Nokia GPS : TomTom Navigator 6 : Retired from duty
iPAQ 3970 : Navman Sleeve : CoPilot 4 : Somewhere in the loft

 
Posted by MaFt on Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:13 pm Reply with quote

W90BHP Wrote:
How did you get it running on a Hero? The android 2 update ain't out yet. Got a dodgy hacked one?


rooted and running FroydVillan from villainrom.co.uk

not dodgy, just a different ROM installed.

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by Darren on Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:48 pm Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
W90BHP Wrote:
How did you get it running on a Hero? The android 2 update ain't out yet. Got a dodgy hacked one?


rooted and running FroydVillan from villainrom.co.uk

not dodgy, just a different ROM installed.

MaFt

You know that post was nearly a year old?


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Reply to topic

CamerAlert Apps



iOS QR Code






Android QR Code







© Terms & Privacy

GPS Shopping