Will The Lack Of GPS On The iPhone Make Its Version Of Google Maps Useless? - InformationWeek

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6/10/2007
11:18 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
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Will The Lack Of GPS On The iPhone Make Its Version Of Google Maps Useless?

The iPhone is the gift that just keeps on giving. This weekend, just when you thought it was safe to go to the beach or have a BBQ, an AT&T manual for the iPhone was leaked. The leaked manual supposedly details all the features of the iPhone. But one feature -- the lack of

The iPhone is the gift that just keeps on giving. This weekend, just when you thought it was safe to go to the beach or have a BBQ, an AT&T manual for the iPhone was leaked. The leaked manual supposedly details all the features of the iPhone. But one feature -- the lack of GPS -- is sending some Mac fans into a frenzy.Here is a look at the lack of GPS:

- iPhone will not support the TeleNav solutions currently offered by other AT&T devices - GPS is not part of the iPhone feature set.

If this is true, it's really disappointing. AT&T offers a GPS service, called TeleNav, and it's a real shame that the iPhone won't be able to use it, or any other location-based service. U.S. carriers have been flocking to launch GPS and location-based services in the last few months. In fact, just last week Sprint launched a new mobile product search application that uses location.

I had hopes that the iPhone would combine some form of GPS with Google Maps, giving users access to all kinds of new mobile location services. But without GPS or some other form of location, the iPhone simply won't be able to deliver when it comes to location. While that user interface looks cool, how will location searches work? Without GPS users will have to rely on AT&T's EDGE network for data response to search queries, making Google Maps searches much slower.

There are already handsets on the market that combine GPS with Google Maps. For example, Helio's Drift offers Google Maps and a built-in GPS module (and it only costs $225).

Without GPS, the iPhone's version of Google Maps is little better than the desktop version, except that it might be harder to use -- I'll reserve judgment on the iPhone's usability until I actually get my hands on one.

What do you think? Will the lack of GPS impact your decision to buy the iPhone? Or is this rumor without merit?

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