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Have Apple and Google Killed Personal Nav Devices?

June 13, 2012  - By
Image: GPS World

Two prominent tech magazines are tolling the death knell for portable GPS devices today, spurred in large part by Apple’s announcement of Maps, its own mapping and GPS navigation service.

“Apple made a number of significant announcements at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) yesterday, but one of the most insidious was its widely expected move to launch Maps, the company’s homespun mapping and GPS navigation service,” reads PC World’s article “Apple Moves to Kill GPS Devices, Reduce Dependence on Google.

“The updated app marks the first time the iPhone will have free, voice-enabled GPS navigation. It also includes real-time traffic, Yelp integration, crowd-sourced traffic data (hello Waze), Siri support, and the ability to work in the lock screen. In a move to match Google, Apple is also working on 3D modeling for buildings and terrain data, which it will acquire by flying planes over U.S. cities.

Wired Magazine was even more dire; its article titled “Apple, Google Just Killed Portable GPS Devices,” begins, “If it wasn’t obvious before, it’s crystal clear today. The dedicated portable GPS device is dead, with Apple and Google playing pallbearer to Garmin, Magellan and TomTom’s hardware businesses.

“Between last week’s hastily organized Google Maps event, where the search giant showed off a new interface, new features and — most importantly for Android users — offline map downloading, and Apple’s new Maps app announcement at WWDC, a dedicated device for mapping and navigation comes across as superfluous. Or even worse, incredibly low-tech.

Meanwhile, Apple signed TomTom for mapping services over Google Maps for its new operating system. Also read LBS Insider editor Kevin Dennehy’s latest column on Google’s plans to enhance its maps on Android.

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