The proliferation of smart phones has delivered to us so many conveniences in relation to everyday life. Easy photo editing, quick weather checks, sports scores, social media, music carrier, and so much more. However, I think there is something else on my iPhone that I value more than all of these things.
I consider the navigation feature on my phone a lifesaver. For me, there is never such a thing as being lost anymore. You just type in an address, and your phone gives you crystal clear directions to your destination.
Everyone my age and older can remember a time when electronic navigation did not exist. You had to rely on directions from someone else or look at something called a map. But getting directions from someone else always posed the possibility of problems. The person could accidentally tell you a single wrong direction (such as a left instead of a right) and you would be screwed. Or when you were jotting down your friend’s directions, you could make a simple error yourself. For many people, following a map proved troublesome too…especially when one couldn’t even get passed holding it the right way and folding it back up. Yep, who knew how pizza delivery people survived fifteen years ago.
Then came Mapquest. You could go online, type in the destination’s address, and just like that you would have clearly spelled out directions along with a map. In my high school and early college days I used Mapquest a lot. Sure my car looked a little cluttered with all the white pieces of computer paper I printed out with directions on them but it was efficient and most of all, accurate. But referencing the printed out instructions while driving, especially during the dark, was not always the easiest. Plus, if Mapquest didn’t take into account a closed road or a construction site and you ran into it, you had no way to troubleshoot the problem.
Everything improved with the debut of GPS vehicle aides. Buy one and stick it on your dash and you were good to go. Finally, step by step visual and audio directions that took you exactly where you needed to go. But the one Achilles heel with GPS is that it was just another added accessory, something else that we had to spend money on. It also took up space in the car and looked nerdy if you wanted to take a girl out and she saw that you had to rely on a machine to get you where you needed to go.
But as the iPhone has done to stop watches, voice recorders, iPods, alarm clocks, newspapers, cameras, notepads, and board games it also did to GPS. No longer do we need to buy a GPS or rent one out along with our rental car. Instead, we have the best navigation possible on our smart phones.
The navigation I have on my iPhone 5 is superb. I have never had one problem at all using it. If I am going to a new location for the first time ever, I don’t sweat it at all. Way in advance before I leave, I just type the address in and see how long the estimated travel time is and I leave according to that. No stressing on getting lost, no worrying about a potential wrong turn.
The beauty about the iPhone navigation is I could go out in my car and purposely take 47 wrong turns but my phone would still recalculate to put me on a route that would get me to my destination. That is why I never have to worry about a closed road or some freak accident impending my progress. You see, if I can’t confuse the navigation by deliberately doing all I can to sabotage the route, a simple road block or two won’t either. The visual and audio components are great. I like to follow along with both but if I was sketched out about getting pulled over for using my mobile device I would have no problem putting my phone in my cup holder and just listening to the audio directions.
This past autumn when I was doing football travel, my phone navigation was a godsend. It used to be if I traveled to a city that I had never set foot in, getting around would be a little confusing and stressful. Not with my iPhone. I never felt intimated driving on roads I had never seen in my life because the navigation I had at my disposal was just so spot on and trustworthy. When I travel for leisure and am doing a lot of walking, I utilize the mode on the navigation that gives you directions by foot. Even though I am a pro when it comes to Las Vegas, I still use the walking navigation mode to get me to certain places.
I guess the only negative about the navigation feature on new mobile devices is the robotic voice that you are forced to listen to. After a while, it definitely gets old. But hey, small price to pay for the security and accuracy afforded by these devices, huh? Don’t Blink.