The hardware is only one component of GPS technology because software plays a major role as well. This may not be noticeable right away with the early GPS devices because their interface and graphics are basic. This was normal considering the limited hardware capabilities, but now hardware is expanding to make way for better software. Both components are necessary for a GPS device to give a smooth experience for consumers as they get acquainted with this technology. |
For a smoother transition, phone manufacturers are equipping their mid-range and high-end devices with similar GPS hardware found in GPS devices being sold today. Software developers are also doing their part incorporating a GPS interface to the phone forming a GPS phone.
GPS phones are increasing in popularity as users become more dependent upon them. They are often found in Smartphones and some mid-range phones as not everyone may need these GPS features. Some GPS phones may have a keypad for navigating the interface or may utilize a touchscreen interface to suit those that are used to the touchscreen functionality of GPS devices.
Compared to GPS devices, GPS phones can be similarly priced, but have the phone and messaging capabilities that ordinary GPS devices lack. This may save some consumers some money since they no longer need to buy a separate GPS device just to get around places. GPS phones are often more compact so they are great for hiking and related activities. Some phone models consider GPS functionality as an extra feature since modern smartphones are generally multifunction devices that can do other things like take pictures and video, play music, surf the Internet, and more.
On the feature side, the GPS phone is pretty adequate when it comes to basic functions. This depends on the software, but some of the popular makers manage to display all the important details with colored maps so users can plan routes and get a general look at their surroundings. Other phone features may integrate well with the GPS interface such as technologies like geotagging which adds photographic data and other data to a point in the map. If the phone has a good camera, users can make better use of their GPS phone without much effort. Most modern phones also have higher internal memory with some having a slot for storage media to expand their total capacities. This memory can be used to store POIs and other related GPS data.
An average GPS phone can be compared with an ordinary sports or GPS device. These phones often have keypads and these results in the screen being smaller than the dedicated GPS devices. This means that you need to zoom in to get a more detailed look or zoom out to get a better view of the area.
The other disadvantage is a limited feature set. While GPS Smartphones have larger screens and good graphics, GPS devices that are priced similarly to these powerful phones may have more advanced features like text-to-speech, lane assist, and others. Also, it is not common to mount a phone on a dashboard even if it has car GPS features.
This is not to say that a GPS phone is better or worse than other GPS devices. It is all about what you need in a GPS device and how much you are willing to spend.
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