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Do dedicated SatNavs have a future?

 
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Faust
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Do dedicated SatNavs have a future? Reply with quote

As the title says - do dedicated SatNavs have a future? I was discussing this issue with a work colleague yesterday, he reckons they don't and I was undecided. My colleagues argument and it was pretty sound is that with the emergence of smartphones and companies such as Nokia now giving the maps away for free is there any real need for a dedicated SatNav. My colleague has one of the latest Nokia phones and he says he just plugs that into his car, mounts it on a cradle and away he goes, full SatNav and hands free calling etc. with everything in one device. I think the iPhone does a similar thing. Well what's your view?
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MaFt
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think there's still a market for them as dedicated devices do a far better job. take tv's with vcr's built into them (and more recently dvd's) - if one part goes wrong you replace the whole lot (even if the tv part is fine).

excluding the free app's there is also the licensing to take into account. if you upgrade (i.e. change) your phone, will the license cover you for transferring to a new device etc?

how loud are the device speakers? in general they're not very loud due to their size. you also get much larger screen on a dedicated device.

having said all that, it IS useful to simply remove phone and put it in your pocket as opposed to removing satnav, finding space in back/jacket pocket that's big enough and then carrying around with you as well as your phone and everything else...

MaFt
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MrT
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not that new, about 6 years ago I used to run TT Navigator on an Ipaq that had a built in mobile phone and I was not happy when TT dropped making software to make PNDs. It seems to have gone full circle.

I think PNDs will still exist as whilst mobiles can carry out all the functions, for me a screen small enough to carry around in my jeans pocket such as on a mobile, is just not big enough to be read from whilst driving without taking my eyes of the road for too long. I still use a GPS based traffic program on my small mobile whilst driving as I cannot rely on HD Traffic yet and this is slightly distracting.

As you get older you cannot focus on near objects as easily as your eye muscles weaken and your lens stiffens. Glasses don't work when driving as you eye focuses normally on objects beyond about 60cm. I can no longer read the text showing "Xmiles" on incidents the traffic bar on my TT. unless I move it out of reach. So anything close up to me needs to be large.

What I would like is a heads up display projected onto the windscreen.
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dhn
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is this factor to consider in some jurisdictions (such as the province of Ontario, where I live).

Ontario is now 'hands free', meaning it is illegal to be handling any pnd, gps, etc., while driving. All units must be attached to the dash.

So, if you do need a map to guide you (and your eyes are as crappy as mine Crying or Very sad ), would you like to look at a screen that may be up to 5" wide (as in the XXL models) or a small screen that is on a phone?
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jimbo_hippo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tested this theory out recently. I've also been a PDA (TT navigator 6) user migrating to a PND (TT720). I recently went back to the one device concept by trying Orange Maps (and the trial of the core app unbadged too) from Blackberry Apps and there's a promising solution there. With more and more cars fitted with Bluetooth capability it's a no brainer. My Parrott car kit streamed music from my Blackberry with control from the Parrot widget thing. Satnav displayed clearly (albeit with little detail) and fed commands (while pausing music) to my speakers then resumed after the command. I could make and recieve calls easily too. When Spotify comes to Blackberry i will be able to stream music, navigate, talk and email from one device then slip the single thing into my back pocket when I park. A bit like I could with my Windows PDA ironically but 4 years on devices have improved and it's potentially on more platforms.

I agree about the display issue (I too am becoming like Mr Magoo with each passing day) but Blackberry already has a device to run PowerPoint from your Blackberry into a projector. How long before whatever is running on your chosen device is displayed on a dash screen or head up display?

One big advantage of navigation on a phone is live streaming maps removing the need to pay TT or other companies (begrudgingly) for map updates. Roaming users will need some changes in the data plans before navigation with realtime maps is viable but I can see that coming with fixed roaming fees for data.

In my humble opinion, if one company makes an app that does all the above with clearer graphics and more features you find in PNDs it'll be a hit. I for one would be very interested.

Either that or Tom Tom fixes the stuff that the above setup can do but Tom Tom can't or just does very badly (no AVRCP profile for Bluetooth? Don't get me started) then adds features I can't do on my phone then I might do a massive U-turn but on current form that doesn't look likely at all with useless or half finished features driving more and more people like me to pray for a new and innovative solution so we can stop giving PND manufacturers putting out shoddy 'all promise, no delivery' devices all our hard earned cash.
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MaFt
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't think off-board mapping is the future in any way shape or form!

clearly in places like the lake district there's an obvious issue of lack of signal = lack of maps. also, near me, in a place called Wilsden, there is NO O2 signal whatsoever - and this is a pretty populated area!

other networks have similar issues...

MaFt
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jimbo_hippo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaFt,
That's working on the basis that maps are streamed in real-time (yes I did use that phrase so I asked for this!) more of a locally cached map updated when connection is ready. The ideal setup is one where you have a full map set to update when in the UK but with roaming prohibited so data charges are not incurred. These kind of solutions exist already.
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h5djr
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PNDs are very useful for those of use who do not have and do not want a smart phone.

I have a TomTom Live XL Europe and a very small simple mobile phone which is only ever used for emergencies.
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aj2052
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its not whether one does it better than the other, it doesnt. its down to where the manufacture makes more money or believes it does.
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Milesey
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally prefer each device to be more dedicated for ease of use.

I remember when I used to run my TT 910 as bluetooth handsfree for my phone, an MP3 player and for navigation. A few technical glitches aside, it was still a pain to switch an MP3, while taking a call while following a route. Having said that, the really good thing was that when on a call, eveything else was muted properly - not so great if approaching a speedcam though :-(

For the past week, I've only been using an iPhone with TT car kit as my TT 940 has been sent back to TomTom (another thread!). This is probably a better example of what can be done with just one device. Again, the muting of sound is good when on a call, but I do miss having the 940, which has the route ALWAYS on display regardless of what the phone is doing.

Overall, I do think there's s place for both types of device but when cost is considered, for most people with a decent smartphone, the temptation to just go and then buy a navigation app is going to be very strong.
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BigPerk
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And of course for those like me without a decent smartphone and no need for one just for emergencies, current tariffs/phone prices are too ridiculously exorbitant for it to be worth binning the satnav, even without its current advantages such as screen size.
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Faust
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too am in the dedicated device camp. My mobile phone bill last year for two phones (me and the wife) wait for it - 1.48p. As you can see very few emergencies which is all we have a mobile for, so for us one of these so called useful Swiss army knife phones would be a ridiculous waste of money. I also think that whilst these devices can do many things they rarely do them all with excellence. Leave it to the dedicated devices, whatever they may be.
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JimmyTheHand
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

people seem to like predicting the death of a "technology device" just because they think something has replaced it

I think PNDs are here for a while yet - just as there will be a demand for GPS units that can handle constant exposure the weather for those of us who like the outdoors
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Calomax
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll certainly stick with a PND. I got a"free" iPhone with my last contract renewal and I persevered with it for several months before going back to my old Nokia, and I'll get another Nokia when I renew next time.

I've kept the iPhone without a Sim in it just to use as an iPod Touch, but as a phone, no thanks. I just can't manage it's awful touch keypad.
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