NaviGadget: Google’s new phone, Nexus S from Samsung was officially announced today. It comes with the latest Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread which now includes NFC (near field communications) features.
Needless to say Nexus S comes with A-GPS and various other specs that add to the location awareness of this phone. These include the three axis gyroscope sensor, accelerometer, and the digital compass.
Google Maps looks really sharp on the new Nexus S. You can dive straight into “Places” from the map, view ratings, or see if the place you’re looking at is recommended by a friend. You of course get the Street View, free turn by turn GPS navigation, live traffic updates, satellite imagery, and locations of your friends on the map via Google Latitude.
With Google navigation you can enter a destination just by saying its name, get traffic conditions on your way, get alternate routes, drive with satellite view, or search for places near you.
Check out these two videos:
Navigadget: I guess we really should’ve said “GPS enabled smartphones are taking considerable market share from standalone GPS navigation makers” but a sensational title is always more fun. But either way future is not looking great for GPS navigation manufacturers. According to a study done by a Swedish research company (Berg Insight) standalone GPS navigation systems are bound to become obsolete as their functions are now part of most smartphones or just embedded into vehicles’ dashboard.
Now that Nokia and Google are giving the technology away for free, GPS navigation makers will have to come up with ways to make their products standout or offer functionality that is not covered by smartphones. We can already see some change as Garmin and TomTom now offer real time traffic information, and working with vehicle manufacturers to embed their technology into vehicles at the factory.
… the number of personal navigation devices shipped globally will peak in 2011 at 42 million, up from 40 million this year, before beginning a gradual, but inexorable decline…
However CEO’s from navigation makers are still hopeful arguing that people are still willing to pay extra for high end specialized devices. I guess Garmin is in the best position here as they’ve already branched into other markets bringing in 1/3 of their sales from marine, aerial, and fitness related GPS devices.
NaviGadget: People at gpstuner must be really happy because their iPhone app got approved and it is already available on iTunes for $5. If you haven’t heard of them yet, these are the guys that make off-road GPS navigation software; now called smartroute on the iPhone. Unlike most other GPS navigation software smartroute provides users with automatically calculated directions for all off-road travel along with the option to manually calculate their routes. The application integrates the iPhone digital compass functionality for accurate positioning once users are on their way. smartroute also lets you download online maps and lets you use store them on your iPhone for offline use. Some other features of this GPS software include 8 different types of online maps from multiple providers, 4 different types of route planning logics, 40 selectable trip computer tools with multiple layout options, various selectable trip computer charts, and even bubble level functionality to assist in slope measurements.
Smartroute works with iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.