Turning mobile phones into handheld navigation systems

Michael Goldstein - Sep 18, 2006, 10:59am CDT
Turning mobile phones into handheld navigation systems

Do you spend too much of your time in the car traveling from one appointment to another with MAPQUEST print outs in the passenger seat? Thank goodness MAPQUEST has launched a MUST-HAVE service extension to its already popular brand called MAPQUEST NAVIGATOR. http://www.mapquest.com/mobile/

In a nutshell, MAPQUEST NAVIGATOR is a Global Position System (GPS) enabled application that provides a seamless voice guided navigational experience, turn-by-turn directions, and moving maps – all while allowing the cell phone user to receive phone calls.

Just like the more expensive in car navigation systems (priced between $600 and $2000), MAPQUEST NAVIGATOR downloads a large corridor of route information, so in the event you enter a bad cell reception area, the auto route is able to continue guidance and reroute once cell reception is reestablished.

Available from 9/12/2006. Service is priced at a modest $9.95 per month and is available on select Sprint and Nextel phones. Sadly the service is not yet available on other carriers.

As a less expensive alternative to this offering and available on most cell phone carriers WAP connections is MAPQUEST MOBILE is a steal at $3.95 per month.

Next time you get MapQuest directions, don’t print them. Click on the ‘Send To Cell’ link at the top of the page.

An alternative application for SYMBIAN based mobile phones is WAYFINDER and is available pre-loaded on many SONY ERICSSON phones. http://www.wayfinder.com

Wayfinder Navigator can be used as a stand-alone map application or together with a small Bluetooth™ GPS box that keeps track of the user’s position to provide turn-by-turn instructions. http://www.sonyericsson.com

The only problem with this service is that it requires cell phone users to buy yet another piece of equipment (the GPS box). Aside from equipment purchase ranging from $89 up, the monthly fees associated with WAYFINDER are comparable to those offered by MAPQUEST.

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