I’ve Had It With My GPS

 

Google Map wrong Way sign

 

I am getting to the point where I can’t stand my Garmin and Tom Tom GPS devices. The Google Map app has become my go to app more and more over the last few years. Don’t get me wrong, as Garmin and Tom Tom are great devices on their own. I would have been lost in Dallas Texas if it wasn’t for my Tom Tom.

But lately, even after being updated to the latest maps on these devices as I have the life time maps models, they have been increasingly more unreliable. If it were not for my Google Maps mobile app, I would have been lost. The last recent example was when I needed to get to a place called Puslinch Lake in Ontario Canada. I tried to pull up the location on the Garmin. But it would not locate the place I need to get to. Well I was glad to have my Galaxy Note 2, so that I could pull up the Maps directions and get moving. Well Lo and behold the address comes up instantly in the maps app, and with it a sigh of relief to add. I see why more people just buy a smartphone holder for their car to place the phone for directions, I need to invest in one myself. I know the Google Map app is not perfect, and I have been mislead directions on a few occasions, but nothing detrimental. The GPS devices on the market are still great, but with the rise of the smartphone are they becoming like the dinosaur? soon to be extinct? Maybe, I’m not sure. But..

If you need to update them, you have to connect to your PC and download the latest maps which can take a bit of time. They are great if you live in a country like Canada, and need to cross the border into the U.S, as they only require signals from satellites without the need to have a data plan. But the updates sometimes just take way too long. I’ve had to wait a half hour at times.

Google-Maps-And-GPS-Updates

 

 

But Google Maps Is Better!

There are a lot of things I like about my Google Maps. I don’t care for most of the features, as I don’t use them. They are great to have though, and having options is a great thing. You can view public transit, bicycling and traffic routes. Get instant Google Earth info with the toggle of an option and more. The feature that I use Maps for, are for locations and navigation. If I have my Bluetooth ear piece hooked up, I love the fact that I can hear the directions through it. Need to know your exact location? you need just tap the GPS icon near the bottom right of the screen for Google Maps to bring up your location. It’s fast, easy and I can get in and out of the app quickly, which is what I need in a navigation device. I love how the app can store your recent searches enabling you to just tap and go. You have the ability to search near by shops, such as restaurants, coffee places, bars and attractions

Google Maps Screenshots

 

 

If you have a smartphone, this app is free to download and use. I’ve never gone over my data usage using the Google Maps directions. I do not however put all my eggs in one basket, and I encourage anyone to learn how to read an actual book map before learning any GPS, or mobile maps app. You may not always have a fully charged phone, or a GPS device, and it is a great asset to learn how to use a physical map that encourages you to pay attention to things like mile markers, landmarks and such. I learned to use book maps a long time ago, and I have no problem traveling from Canada to anywhere in the U.S solely relying on a physical map. I carry them in my vehicle even if I barely use them. I have had poor signal reception from GPS devices, and it sucks when you’re in the middle of  your directions to a place you have never been before, when the device cuts out at “turn left”…. I’m sure we have all been there at some point or another.

Either way, I do love my Google Map app and rely on it almost on a daily basis. If you are driving, walking, biking or even on public transit, this is a great tool to have within your smartphone. Fast, Free and easy to use this is my number one app of all time as I depend on it frequently. You cannot really go wrong with the Google Map app.

 

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Matthew Barnes
Loves all things tech. He's a musician, writer, and founder of Techmalak.