Saturday, August 21, 2010

GPS Drive

Motion X software manages to sell a GPS program that rivals Garmin or Magellan or Tom Tom for a measly .99! Really? Yes. Even with turn by turn voice directions- of course after month you will have to pay about $20 a year for this.

GPS Drive uses Bing maps, but I think it renders them much faster than Bing does. Likely Motion X buffers them, as there is a feature to load maps when cell coverage is poor.

Back to the voice. I eschewed this feature till one night when I had to negotiate LA by myself. I was impressed. First, the warnings and instructions at 70 MPH were on time. The coolness though, was listening to my iPod via my handsfree headset, and having the instructions fade in and out of my ear while the music volume went down to just the right level. Magic!

So far the map accuracy has been fine. The routing has been adequate. Sometimes I quibble with choices in neighborhoods. It is very easy to read at a glance, as good as most dedicated devices. Before I used GPS Drive I wondered if I needed another map app, since the native Maps on the iPhone is so good. I have been convinced completely.

So how can Motion X provide a Garmin competitive app so inexpensively? They say it is because they are selling it for a true cost, not the cost of having to defend a hardware base and historic pricing. Ineffectual they are simply putting a software front end on Bing maps. Considering the price Garmin and others charge for maps, I feel no sympathy. It seems their business model was short term from the start.

I am a happy customer. Good software that does a good job fillings need. Poor GPS hardware providers.

- Paul/ BlogPress/ iPhone

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