AT&T has released a free turn-by-turn iPhone navigation app - but to actually use it, you'll have to pay ten bucks a month. AT&T Navigator (iTunes link) is being distributed - and billed - by AT&T Services, but it's powered by technology from cell-phone navigation veteran TeleNav. AT&T already offers the Navigator service for …
turn-by-turn is the new SMS
This is exactly why I root for open cell phones and why I hope John Kerry succeeds at getting the courts to stop these cell provide exclusives. The cellular service providers in the US are evil.
Just like SMS where data rates are orders of magnitude higher than regular data transfers, now it's 'turn-by-turn navigation".
Default iphone with google maps already does manual turn-by-turn navigation FOR FREE. So, they're asking $10/month for what... hooking up GPS to the "next" button in google maps, and adding voice?!
Um, Telenav charges everyone $10 a month
I just checked, Telenav is going to charge everyone $10 a month, including me Blackberry user and including people not on AT&T.
That is capitalism, my anonymous friend.
It's not illegal until AT&T/Apple institute a policy of forbidding other GPS-based navigation utilities from the appstore. Until that time, it's simply a business taking advantage of gullible consumers.
Yes, this is stupid. Yes, this is slimey. Yes, this is one of the reasons that American telcos are awful, terrible companies. I still can't believe it took "old" AT&T less than 20 years to remanifest itself with the Bell buyouts. The American antitrust system is a joke, but let's be realistic here: greed is merely a personality fault, not something that should incite antitrust trials.
Navigon app has been available for a few days now
Fwiw, the Navigon app is already on the UK (and probably other European) store for an introductory price of £40 for the UK only version and £60 for the Europe-wide one. One off payment. Not a subscription.
Just buy a sub-£50* Tw@t-nav off the internet, wait 6 months and then use the tenner you'd have spent on 'subscription' to treat yourself to a couple of beers**.
Failing that, spend a couple of quid on a fecking map and learn to use it!!
*Yeah, I know the story relates to the US, but this is just examplatory.
**Or just one in some London pubs!!
As someone with drawers full of OS maps spanning the last 70-odd years, bookmarks to more mapping sites than I can shake a stick at, and a well-thumbed UK atlas in the pocket behind my drivers seat, I absolutely agree with the idea that people should learn how to read maps and use them more frequently for route planning.
However... I *also* own both a dedicated TomTom unit and the TT software for my WinMo phone.
Familiarising myself with the expected route and the basic layout of the roads along the route is something I find easier to achieve with a traditional map, and I generally aim to memorise enough of the route such that if I can't get right to the destination without further aid, I'll at least be close enough such that I could easily pull over, have a quick check of the A-Z/atlas, and be back on my way. So in theory at least, I should never need a sat-nav.
In practice though, if I'm travelling through unfamiliar areas where I don't know the traffic patterns and where the route I've planned turns out to involve the use of the most heavily congested roads in the area, being able to call up an alternative route that skips the jam ahead is quite handy. As is being able to reroute around accidents, roadworks, unexpected/unmapped changes in route accessibility (roads that used to be two-way being turned into one-ways, junctions being remodelled to stop you turning right etc.). Sure, *sometimes* I know the nearby road layouts well enough to be able to reroute without assistance, and *sometimes* the amount of rerouting required means it would only take a few seconds of studying the map to figure out a new route. But not always.
Sat navs and maps complement one another. Yes, it's a bit stupid to rely solely on a sat nav, but it's equally stupid to assume anyone who uses a satnav is doing so only because they don't know how to read a map.
OK, look at it this way. A basic TomTom is $200. Map Packs are $49 anually (just for US and Canada) from what I understand.
This $200 includes hardware, so an app for the iPhone I'd expect would be maybe $79, tops, one time fee, and $49 a year to continue to update maps. they're offering the (optional) car dock as an added revenue stream, which will likely be $69 - 99 (based on the existing landscape of car docks).
If AT&T thinks I'll pay $240 over a 2 year contract for a knock-off GPS system, that doesn't offer a dock with native additional features (like more sensitive GPS, embeded mic, etc), vs the TomTom system which even including the doc would be at most $130 over the same 2 years if you optionally by the new maps... they're deluded. For $10 a month, the free google maps with the little blue GPS dot is more than good enough for my needs... especially on the 3G S where the map will auto orient to the direction you're heading...
All I'm paying TomTom for is voice-over and the ability to take calls and play music while still getting turn notifications. Does AT&T's app even offer the backgrounding features TomTom offers???
Heck, I've actually found that when using the google maps in hybrid, it;s easier to determine how close to a turn I am by looking at the roof profiles around the intersection than it is to simply read the map and street names... I don;t mind at all having to tap a little button to show the next intersection.
I had decided i wasn't going to get TomTom's dock (i already have a nice one that also integrates the FM tuner) and I wasn't going to buy the software unless it was $39.99 or less...
$10 for 3G or 3GS, $10 for turn-by-turn...
$10 for 3G or 3GS, $10 for turn-by-turn... this just tells me the re-sale value on the Edge based iPhones are going to remain high!
WiFi and Cell Tower triangulation with Google Maps is good enough for many users - saving $20 a month would practically pay for en eBay'ed first generation Edge based iPhone in a single year for those poor people in the U.S. with AT&T!
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