TECHBOOK expert andreas filbig no longer thinks much of mobile navigation systems photo: getty images
By andreas filbig | 23. May 2021, 13:14
For a long time, mobile navigation devices for cars, which you stick on your windshield, were indispensable for many people. TECHBOOK editor in chief andreas filbig believes that the time of these devices is over and navis will soon end up in the electronics graveyard next to walkmans and video recorders.
Navigation devices are practical and facilitate the orientation in road traffic immensely. Long gone are the days of car atlases, paper maps or printed route descriptions. Simply ran to the windshield, enter the destination and off you go the journey. Drivers spend between 100 and 400 euros on a navigation device. But this should soon be the end. Two main reasons will seal the demise of mobile navigation devices, says andreas filbig.
Reason 1: smartphones navigate just as well
Smartphones and their navi apps are the ultimate opponent for mobile navigation devices. A final opponent that they are already failing against. Just about everyone has a smartphone with a free map app in most cases google maps or apple maps. And these bring advantages.
Smartphone is fast- navi expensive and slow
In addition to the obvious price savings of a free app compared to the purchase cost of a navigation device, the smartphone also offers other advantages. Anyone who has ever used a mobile navigation system will be familiar with the situation: entering the destination takes a long time, and by the time the right route has been found and you can finally get going, your patience is stretched to the max. apps like google maps are faster every step of the way, from turning on to entering data to finding routes. In addition, smartphones can also be used for navigation as pedestrians, for bicycles and for public transport.
Supposed advantages do not exist
For a long time, the great advantage of mobile navigation devices was their usability abroad. Add to that the high data consumption of smartphones when navigating. smartphone navigation has already eliminated both weaknesses. Maps can now be downloaded and used without an internet connection. This means that you can navigate not only abroad, but also without significant data consumption. Even if the maps are not stored on the cell phone, data consumption is lower than expected. For a half-hour drive, only 10-15 megabytes are used in the worst case, according to the app. With the volume tariffs with several gigabytes, this is hardly of any significance.
Reason 2: competition from within the ranks
The second reason for the extinction of portable navigation devices comes from their bigger brother. More and more vehicles are coming from the factory with navigation equipment built in. This, of course, completely eliminates the need for a mobile device. Frequent drivers, who still like to rely on classic navigation devices, often drive larger, long-distance cars and choose a fixed navigation system for reasons of convenience. The increasing number of these navigation devices in cars is here to stay.
Conclusion on the mobile navi
Mobile navis are in the grip of fixed competition and smartphones. In the short or long term, the units can only lose this battle. There is already no real need for it today. New navis are already approaching smartphones, integrating voice control for ease of use, a SIM card slot for faster searches, and bluetooth and smartphone connectivity. A last attempt to stay alive that will fail. Instead of investing in a mobile navi, it’s more worthwhile to buy a smartphone holder for the car.