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Smart Phones

Do you remember the days when a cell phone was just a cell phone? You pulled it out of your pocket to make a call and that was about it. Now your cell phone can take pictures, send text messages, play music, become your personal organizer, play games, and even function as your GPS.

I’m not talking about the GPS chip embedded into all current cell phones. That GPS is only present to help emergency crews locate you in the event of an emergency (the same way that your landline will give away your location). I’m talking about new Smart Phones that actually integrate with new GPS devices, allowing you to receive voice guided driving directions, trip planning, toll road avoidance, on the fly off-course rerouting, and now even real time-traffic information that will allow you to reroute to avoid heavy congestion. And for the cell phone purist, these new phones can even make and receive phone calls!

And just like other new GPS systems you’ll have access to a huge database with points of interest. Need to know the nearest gas station? No problem. You can also find the nearest restaurant, movie theatre, and even a parking garage – which is especially helpful if you’re in an unfamiliar city. And if you happen to be somewhere where you don’t have a detailed map – no problem – this isn’t just a GPS unit, it’s a Smart Phone so you can download the map you need. The new SmartPhone GPS devices can easily replace your in-car navigation system.

Probably the most widely used device for making your Smart Phone an advanced GPS is the TomTom Mobile 5 It’s currently only available for a limited number of Smart Phones (check TomTom’s site for a list of supported phones). But for the phones it works with you’ll get an impressive list of features and you’ll even be able to change the voice of the navigator to something more entertaining (Darth Vader, anyone?). If you happen to live in the UK, you can also get access to real time safety camera information.

This is, of course, just the next step in the ever evolving cell phone. Soon new cell phones will have GPS navigation technology built in and probably more features you’ve never even thought to ask for.

Gary Ruplinger is the webmaster and writer for GPS Maestro, site offering tips, tools, and reviews for GPS Devices. To learn more, please visit

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