Best iPhone GPS Apps 2011

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One of the most innovative features on the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS is the built in GPS capabilities. This allows your phone to calculate your exact position on earth by analyzing the positions of satellites in space. Although hundreds of Apps have begun to implement varying degrees of GPS functionality, here are a few which are worth checking out.

1. Google Maps

This is an App which is already installed on your iPhone when you buy it. On the original iPhone, the Google Maps program could triangulate your approximate position using surrounding cell towers. Unfortunately, the accuracy of this technique is not nearly as good as GPS. Cell tower triangulation can only pin-point your position within a radius of a few blocks. The GPS feature can show you almost exactly where you are. If you combine this feature with the turn-by-turn directions that Google Maps can provide you, you have a very good navigational system.

2. Dedicated GPS Navigators

The only problem with the free Google Maps program is that it doesn't automatically update each turn in sequence, and it doesn't provide audio updates. This limits its use as a full-fledged GPS navigation system. It is great when you are walking around town or have a passenger in your car to help you, but if you are driving alone you need a more powerful solution. There are a few companies which have released such a solution, including: TomTom, AT&T, Navigon, and MotionX GPS Drive. These all have strengths and weaknesses.

TomTom and Navigon's programs are by far the most expensive upfront. For the U.S. version of their programs, you should expect to pay at least $70. The App from AT&T is free to download, but it requires a $10 monthly charge. This could seriously add up if you use it for more than a few months. MotionX GPS Drive is only a couple bucks to download and is free, but there is a $25 per year charge if you want the voice prompting to be included. Overall, MotionX GPS Drive is the best value, especially if you can live without the voice. It is just as robust as the other programs.

3. Where to Eat?

Where to Eat is a fun little program that can give restaurant recommendations in your immediate vicinity by checking your location via GPS. This is especially useful if you travel a lot and aren't familiar with the restaurants in the area. There are other programs similar to this which can recommend where to shop, where to get gas, etc.

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