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GPS Software for iPhone

woodmanca 81 Points
edited November -1 in Smartphone Navigation
I'd heard that Tom-Tom was going to have this available...any rumors on when? Does anyone know if Garmin is planning on iPhone software...


  • Tim 1484 Points
    Lots of companies have (rather quietly) announced plans to have an iPhone navigation app... TomTom has mentioned something, as have Nav-n-go and TeleNav. However some of the necessary software components to make it work well have not been made available to Apple. When/if those software components are made available to developers, I'd expect to see an iPhone navigation app from those companies. Since Garmin is building their own mobile phone, I wouldn't expect them to release an iPhone app.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    I wouldn't hold my breath for TomTom on the iPhone, or for any other full featured auto navigation software either. I have a 3g iPhone and have used several of the existing programs (Earthscape, Google Earth and the built-in Google Maps). The GPS chip sucks down the battery faster than you can believe. And some battery chargers can't even keep up with it when plugged into the cigarette lighter.

    Also, the phone gets really hot when running these apps. On the Apple support forum people have reported problems with the phone shutting down or refusing to charge.

    TomTom claimed they had a working version of their software shortly after the phone was released, but said they had no current plans to make it available. I suspect one of the issues is whether Apple/ATT will want to stream the maps to the phone (like other cell phone navigators) as opposed to loading the whole country into memory.

    I agree that Garmin won't participate. I think you will want to keep a dedicated GPS device for auto use.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    Based on conversations I've had with industry people, I think we will still see GPS nav for the iphone. The car charger will solve the battery issue. I've never seen a car charger not keep up with the battery usage. I can go from 20% to fully charged (while using the GPS chip) in less than 2 hours. My iPhone gets hot when using the GPS for an hour or two at a time, but it has never suffered any ill consequences as a result and it gets just as hot playing games for extended periods of time.

    I doubt the maps would get streamed over the device, rather utilize the onboard space already there.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    See the following at Apple's support forum:

    Personally, once I ran Google Maps for a half hour or so while plugged into my car charger (can't recall the model). After unplugging I noticed the battery level was slightly lower than when I first plugged it in. At other times it seems to continue to charge slowly. The longest I've ever run one of the gps apps is probably 45 minutes. The phone was quite warm after that.

    I will be very interested to see a full featured nav app on the iPhone, but not likely I would buy it. If it includes full US maps then you'd expect the price to be, maybe $100. I prefer a dedicated device for a car gps, and also a somewhat larger screen.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    I've seen the discussions, but haven't experienced that myself. I'm able to keep up with the charge.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    I had talks with "some people" recently about GPS applications for turn by turn directions on the iPhone. I won't say who the company (or companies) were I talked to about it, but it might not have been the first one (or ones) that come to mind-- but companies who would be serious contenders to release a native GPS turn-by-turn app for the iPhone.

    They all have told me a similar story. The necessary pieces to build the application exist. They have developed applications that are working, and they report they work quite well.

    So what's the hold-up? It seems that when turn-by-turn comes to the iPhone, Apple wants to make sure it is perfect. Thus Apple isn't yet 110% happy with what they have seen so far, and are still working with various companies to see that their applications will be a great user experience for iPhone users.

    That seems to be the gist based on what a few people have told me. It could have been smoke and mirrors, but it came from people I generally trust.

    I didn't see many indications that Apple didn't want it to happen and people were pretty clear there were not technical/programming hurdles.
  • patruns 10 Points
    That's not surprising. Apple has always been that way with 3rd party software. It's great from a quality control standpoint, but makes application development extremely slow and ends up keeping reasonably reliable software out of users' hands until Apple is completely satisfied, even if it is "good enough" for the masses.
  • Boyd 2002 Points
    Honestly, it's all good for me. There are a variety of cool gps-enabled iPhone apps already available. I like my iPhone as a phone, web browser, e-mail device and other things. I am not likely to use turn by turn navigation when it finally does become available. I really prefer a dedicated device for that. I am very firmly in the old school camp which feels that a GPS should be a GPS.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    As of today, any plans that might have been in the works for a TomTom mobile iPhone app have been abandoned. So I'd watch for Garmin Mobile XT or Telenav as the most likely to offer turn-by-turn iPhone navigation at some point, tho it might be the next gen Apple release before anything is available.
  • Tim 1484 Points
    As of today, any plans that might have been in the works for a TomTom mobile iPhone app have been abandoned.
    While others have interpreted their statements to suggest that... they didn't come out and say that. I'm not sure I'd jump to that conclusion.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Short of mentioning the iPhone by name:

    "I don’t think it would be a good strategy for us to try to do everything ourselves and build large engineering teams to do specific applications for very specific phones or network operators."
    TomTom's CEO
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