A recent article from PC Magazine reviewed the pros and cons of using a stand-alone GPS device (such as a Garmin or Tomtom) vs. equivalent mobile phone based GPS apps. Some interesting points were made in both cases which we’ve enhanced here with our own research & experience.
For the business traveler the decision seems clear on the surface; go with the app instead of the device. However, frequent travelers using a company car may want to reconsider. Whether you’re a consultant, sales person, or marketer, chances are you’ll want to use your mobile phone once you arrive at your destination. GPS apps can quickly drain phone batteries as location services need to be turned on, and often so does mobile data. These same apps also prevent the phone from sleeping as they constantly display map information to the user.
After a long trip, you may arrive finding your battery very low and your phone very hot as a constant location & data connection tends to heat up most devices. Compare that experience to using a stand-alone GPS device. This system is typically powered directly by the car battery via a plug-in outlet or direct wiring. It also has louder speakers and a larger screen than what is available on most phones. The big drawback can be the timeliness of the data as many GPS units need to be plugged into a PC or connected via WiFi to the Internet to get map updates