iPhone 3.0′s Magnetometer and A-GPS

iphonetomtom

Looks like the iPhone 3.0 firmware plus the new 3Gs hardware will give the dedicated GPS market a run for it’s money. The new hardware includes a magnetometer, otherwise known as a digital compass. Combine that with the A-GPS, which supplements the slow satellite signal with fast WiFi and cell phone tower triangulation, and accurate and timely turn-by-turn navigation is possible. Both TomTomNavigon, , and TeleNav have jumped into the fray, joining X-Roads which was briefly available in a crippled form on the App store. Garmin might be shooting itself in the foot by staying out, but they have their own GPS + phone plans already. Besides the added precision of the new hardware, it’ll be easier for developers to incorporate maps directly into their apps. We should see a whole new class of apps available. Imagine walking along a street and pointing your phone at a building, statue, mountain, road, etc and have reams of helpful information come up about that particular feature. A great wayfinding device in the making!

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2 Responses to “iPhone 3.0′s Magnetometer and A-GPS”

  1. Melissa says:

    Ahhh but it can’t replace a Garmin in the woods (or deep canyon in Escalante maybe . . .). ;-)

  2. nathaniel says:

    For professional surveying purposes no (and Escalante was a great trip, btw), but for casual consumer use, I’m guessing GPS phones will rip out the cheap underside of the dedicated GPS device market, both outdoors and in-car navigation.