web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



GPS Versus Smartphone: Which Is The Better Navigator?

Consummate-Consumer

In the “How did we ever live without it?” department, there is no doubt that GPS joins the ranks of cell phones, velcro and zip lock bags as a relatively new invention that has become an indispensable part of our lives.

First invented for use by the military, the Global Positioning System became available for civilian use in the 1980s, when then-President Ronald Reagan issued a directive making GPS freely available after the downing of a Korean Airlines passenger flight carrying 269 people that accidentally strayed into prohibited Soviet airspace. It is comprised of a network of twenty four satellites, launched between 1989 and 1994, that orbit the earth twice daily transmitting signal information to GPS receivers that can calculate the user’s precise location. GPS functions anywhere in the world, 24/7, no matter what the weather, with no subscription or setup fees.

Consumers were more than happy to embrace the new technology, much to the dismay of cartographers everywhere. Gone were cumbersome maps that were impossible to refold, replaced by in dashboard navigation systems as well as stand-alone devices that could be transferred from vehicle to vehicle.

Eller-070513-TomTomBut with the prevalence of smart phones, featuring apps in all price ranges (including for free), is it time to give up the Garmin? Toss the Tom Tom? Can we rely on our phones to guide us safely to our destinations or is there merit in having a dedicated navigation system in your car?

An excellent question. So glad I asked it.

There are definite advantages to using your smartphone to get you from point A to point B. For starters, there is no need to spend money on an additional GPS system and if you have been relying on a portable navigation device until now, you never have to worry about accidentally leaving it home. Also, while we drivers love our GPSs, they are the darlings of street thieves as well, who have no qualms about breaking into cars and stealing them.

While portable GPS systems are convenient and far less expensive than factory installed in-dash systems, they do have their limitations. Subjecting them to extreme temperatures is a no-no, which means that in my climate at least, the Garmin had to be taken out of the car both during the dead of winter and those summer days so hot you are sure you are going to melt into a pool of sweaty goo on the sidewalk. Also, users are advised to wipe off the telltale suction cup marks the device leaves on the windshield, the equivalent of a neon sign flashing the words “You are cordially invited to steal my GPS!!” to would be thieves, who know that those small circular outlines on the windshield indicate that there is likely a navigation device tucked away somewhere in the vehicle.

A few other disadvantages to a portable GPS? I can tell you that my own device is probably about five or six years old and I have no doubt that its maps are hopelessly out of date, although many of the newer portable devices do come with lifetime maps. And while I don’t know if this has happened to you, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times my GPS has fallen off my windshield in the middle of the trip, making it particularly challenging to figure out where I was supposed to make that all important right turn.

That having been said, while there are advantages to using a navigation app on your smartphone, there are still key areas in which dedicated GPS systems rule.

First and foremost, your smartphone GPS app is only going to be of use if you are driving within range of a cell phone tower, so if you find yourself in a remote location where there is no phone service, you are going to be flying solo, with no friendly voice telling you to turn left in 200 yards. Also remember that using your phone as a GPS will run down your battery while eating up precious minutes of your data allowance, so be sure to keep your phone plugged in and to monitor your data usage if you don’t have an unlimited data plan.

While it goes without saying that if you want to see the map as you drive you will need to mount your phone in a visible location on your dashboard or windshield, it pays to note that the screen on your smart phone is way smaller than that of your dedicated GPS, making it much harder to read the actual directions, particularly for drivers in their forties and beyond who may have trouble reading those itty bitty letters that come up in your navigation app. Obviously, any decent GPS app will announce the directions as you go, but if you are one of those people who wants to see turns, exits and other significant locations coming up on the map, it is something to bear in mind. Finally, if anyone in the car was planning on using that same smartphone to make calls, listen to music or play games, they are going to be out of luck.Eller-070513-iPhone

Something else to consider if you are using your phone as your navigator du jour: a California court recently ruled against a man who was pulled over for using a map app on his iPhone while driving. According to TheBusinessJournal.com, Stephen Spriggs of Fresno was attempting to navigate around freeway construction while driving on Highway 41 in January 2012. Spriggs, who was issued a $160 ticket for the infraction, brought his case to a California appellate court, but lost the case, with Judge W. Kent Hamlin ruling that any non-hands-free use of a mobile phone violated California law. While according to reports on ABC News Spriggs is taking his case to an appeals court, this is clearly an issue that will likely recur nationwide and will necessitate further clarification of cell phone laws, so be advised that if you are going to use your phone as a navigation device, it is probably in your best interests not to hold your phone in your hand.

Bottom line: which is the better choice, a dedicated GPS device or your smartphone? There is no easy answer. If you frequently travel to remote locations that have minimal cell phone service, there is no question that a dedicated GPS is the way to go. Otherwise, there are pros and cons to both choices. Yes, a dedicated navigation device is an added expense. But if using your phone as your GPS is going to routinely blow your data plan, that is going to cost you as well. Take your time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and see which choice works best for you.

And if like me, you are just a map geek? Go for it. No matter how technologically advanced we get, there is something to be said for opening up a map, spreading it out in front of you and seeing the world come to life before you on a gigantic piece of paper. As for refolding the map when you are done? Send me an e-mail and I will talk you through it.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “GPS Versus Smartphone: Which Is The Better Navigator?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The wife and I were using a map while traveling in the US west. Somehow we got turned around and had to turn the gps on to find out where we were. I vote for the Garmin.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The wife and I were using a map while traveling in the US west. Somehow we got turned around and had to turn the gps on to find out where we were. I vote for the Garmin.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Protest rally against Metropolitan Opera staging Death of Klinghoffer on 9/22 at 4:30 pm at the Met.
For Grass Roots Klinghoffer Protest 9/22, Jewish Establishment MIA
Latest Sections Stories

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

More Articles from Sandy Eller
A-Night-Out-logo

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Eller-091214-Word

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

Scan those sale circulars either online or when they show up at your doorstep, check out the sale items and plan your menus accordingly.

“We are strong chassidic women and we take the name, we embrace it, and we own it.”

“My father added that after all the pogroms, after the Holocaust, a member of the family had finally returned to the shul, proving once again that the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people can never be vanquished.”

In recent months I have found there are certain things not worth buying and with the help of everyone’s best friend, Google, recipes for some of them are literally at the tip of your fingers.

The chicken and waffle nuggets were fabulous and were like chicken in a dessert form.

The Open Kitchen is so appealing you practically want to eat the pages as you turn them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/gps-versus-smartphone-which-is-the-better-navigator/2013/07/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: