Do I Need a GPS? Technology Is Killing a New Field Before It Even Started.
If you’ve ever gone travelling somewhere, the first thing rental companies will try to sell you is a GPS. But do you even need it in this day and age? The iPhone or smartphone in your pocket tends to have more processing power and juice in it than a standard low-end GPS. So why waste the money.
If you don’t use GPS very often, then a smartphone is more than capable of getting you to your new friend’s house, or a new restaurant that you’ve never been to. If you drive all the time (say, a package delivery service), then a GPS might be better.
In a word: data. We’re living in a weird limbo stage of technology where companies are trying to charge a lot for using a very small amount of data. So if your phone is using it up as you drive around (anytime you’re not on wifi you’re using data), you will use up your available data quickly. Not to mention your battery (GPS services are a huge battery drain).
Another time getting a GPS is useful is when you are travelling. Right now if you go to another country/state/province and use your phone on another carrier, you could be charged A LOT of money. Recent EU legislation is the first step in reining in these ridiculous fees, but for now getting a GPS with your rental car can be a time and money saver. That is, if you plan on doing a lot of driving where you’re travelling.
Another time you might want a GPS is if you’re going camping ‘off the grid’. If you know there won’t be any cellphone towers where you are (here’s a cool map of cellphone towers in your area, then you might want to get a GPS. The devices use actual satellite data to figure out your position, instead of cell phone towers, so it’ll be more reliable.
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