iPhone turn by turn navigation

Every time we have a larger gathering of people, being it at my house for a party, at a lake for some water skiing fun or at the mountains for hiking and back country skiing there is a guarantee that in the 10 or so phones there is going to be at last couple of iPhones. What can I say, all of my friends are super cool and ride the technology fashion wave.

During the process of trying to help businesses to adopt iPhones as tools I run into couple obstacles. Some are small like the calendaring functionality and some were bigger.

However today, one of the large obstacles for using iPhone primary device was removed – TomTom has announced availability of their turn by turn navigation in the Apple App Store. It features some interesting technologies such as the one called IQ Routes, said the company. Instead of suggesting the quickest route based on travel time, IQ Routes taps into the actual experiences of other TomTom drivers to determine the fastest route to take. TomTom said this technology lets people reach their destinations quicker up to 35 percent of the time.

I prefer TomTom, mainly because on Windows Mobile, where I have been using it for years now, it allows you to select driving, walking biking and other types of transport, it uses my phone thus I don’t have to pay the extra 9.95 when renting a car for a dedicated GPS unit, has a great database for points of interest and I really like their performance and functionality. But they are not alone in providing turn by turn navigation for iPhone here are couple other solutions:

TomTom for iPhone – 99$ for US and Canada maps – more details here

Navigon – 69$ for US and Canada maps Comparison with iGo My Way is here

iGo My Way – 79$ for US and Canada maps Comparison with Navigon is here

Now only time will show if my friends will stop buying and using the sometimes bulky and overpriced standalone GPS units for their cars or paying for the software update in their car. One of them shared that to update the built-in navigation in a Japanese high end sedan it close to 700 US$! But I know that anybody who has an iPhone now has a good, reliable and well working alternative for turn by turn navigation How about you? Will you use iPhone instead of other GPS devices? Please share your opinion in the comments below.

World (mobile) has changed. Multiplatform is the (only) way to go…


Cancelled Sendo WM device

I have started to work with smartphones sometime in 1998. I even have a mint prototype of what supposed to be the first Windows Mobile powered phone by Sendo – project that got canceled in 2002. Read more about it here.

Anyway fast forward to 2006 and any IT executive that was thinking about deploying mobile email / PIM and mobile applications basically had two basic option RIM/Blackberry and Windows Mobile. Each had its advantages and issues but once you had your requirements and made your decision, there was a good chance for you to run homogeneous platform. IT Helpdesk and Support, Training, Security and other departments became aware of the platform of choice and while international presence may posed a challenge with availability and the Symbian disruption (especially in Europe) the job was quite easy.

But something did happen in 2007 – the Apple released iPhone and stirred the pot. While the first generation was not suited at serious business use, the second one in 2008 added support for Microsoft Exchange and history started to repeat itself. IT managers were asked by their executives to figure out how to support iPhone, instead of their Blackberries. Regular employees started to bring their own devices and peer support helped them to get corporate email enabled. And the numbers grew.

Today with the introduction of Palm Pre into the mix, the bigger use of ruggedized devices that almost exclusively run Windows Mobile OS, over 30 new smatphone devices running Android planned for release before the end of the year and iPhone being on its 3rd generation, the 2006 homogenous era looks like a something that will never happen again.

The reality is that most if not all IT departments and business owners have to consider supporting multiple platforms and consider the impacts and risks of all of them. There are some tools that serve multiple platforms well but most are just in their infancy. Also how to make a decision on which support and which just allow /enable but don’t provide any support?

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