The Design of Software (CLOSED)

A public forum for discussing the design of software, from the user interface to the code architecture. Now closed.

The "Design of Software" discussion group has been merged with the main Joel on Software discussion group.

The archives will remain online indefinitely.

GPS on phones -- does it matter?

I saw the comments on the weakness of the GPS on the Nokia that JS was reviewing, but on my Blackberry i use Google Maps and it works out the location fine based only on cell signals + pixie dust. Turning on GPS just means draining the battery faster and waiting for it to find the satellites.

Mind you, I don't use it in big cities. How does that technology hold up in NY, and is GPS on phones even relevant any more?
David Aldridge Send private email
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I'm not in New York and I have an iPhone "2G" which also relies on cellular triangulation and pixie dust. There are two differences that I can see: it cannot determine my direction and thus tell me whether to turn right or left (unless I move first and it tracks my movements), and it's only accurate to maybe 500 feet. The population density of NYC and SF (in my experience) are such that you can easily miss a friend in the store next door, or be unable to find that elusive hole-in-the-wall restaurant with the best sushi East of Tokyo. I'd think for most Americans, GPS is overkill, but for the few that do live in NYC, it's very useful.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I found the gps in my iPhone 3G invaluable a couple of weeks ago when I was travelling around in LA and Orange counties, CA.  Usually if I'm driving somewhere unfamiliar, my partner will navigate via the pixie dust in his older iPhone, but the specificity visible from true street-level mapping made a huge difference when I was alone...
jburka Send private email
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The google maps triangulation feature is nice, but it generally only locates you within about a mile. That's certainly managable, but having GPS in your phone gets your location to within a few feet. Much better for accurate directions, not all that more helpful for location based searches.

I'm definitely a fan of the GPS, especially if you have turn-by-turn direction software.

And I have the Nokia E71 and I have no problem getting my GPS location in Atlanta. It generally finds the satellites within 20 - 30 seconds when in my car. When indoors, it is a little more iffy. Sometimes it takes a minute or two, sometimes it can't find the satellites.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
GPS > Triangulation > Nothing

Though sometimes yes, triangulation can serve all your needs, there are just some things GPS is better suited for, especially in areas of lower tower density.
Andrew Badera Send private email
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
One night I was trying to get home in a snow storm, roads closed, accidents, all the fun crap.

I didnt have GPS, but I had a BlackBerry that was able to do the triangulation thing.  While it only gave my position to with about 3000 yards, because of that it zoomed right to the correct area on the map so I could see what detour I should take to get around something.

It well worth it to have a mapping phone that zooms right to your area.  My wife's BlackBerry has a full GPS so we use her's when navigating around new areas
Saturday, September 06, 2008
I have a mediocre HTC phone (O2 branded). It crashes every now and then and the battery life is not that marvellous. But it has GPS, and a navigation program called Copilot live. When I want to drive somewhere I haven't been before I shove the phone into the holder in the car, turn it on, tell it to take me there, and it just works. I wouldn't be without it. I've been playing around with GPS equipment since 1996, and the new chips are really so much better... they find out where you are quickly and don't lose the signal in woods or between buildings. And when I'm driving a fair distance I keep the phone charged by plugging it into the car's cigar lighter using the adapter. So yes, GPS on phones is great. "Why take two bottles into the shower?"
Graham Asher Send private email
Thursday, September 11, 2008

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
Powered by FogBugz