Consumer Reports has a navigation faceoff story today, judging the contenders by six different factors. Dedicated navigation units were the clear winner in two, mobile phones in one, with the other three criteria giving results that were a bit muddied.
With apps that mimic your TomTom or whatever, and function as an all-in-one device, you’d think it would be a slam dunk for cell phones to win this one. But I’m going to take a different approach and say that their ability to do it all is in fact their Achilles’ heel.
There’s already too much distraction from phones and GPS navigators as it is. Now you’re going to try and multi-task, managing the controls for navigation and music, and answering calls on one unit? There’s just too much temptation to interact with these little computers, even if you are smart enough not to text and drive. In a couple of years, mobile phones may have good enough voice command systems that you can do these things with significantly less risk. But we’re not there yet.
A lot of our readers have tried both approaches. What do you think? Have you retired your GPS or do you continue to use it?