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Most new cars offer smartphone connectivity to use with features such as music and maps, and many also offer satellite navigation systems, so what is actually better to use when trying to get to your destination? Are you better off using a smartphone or an inbuilt sat nav system?


Smartphones become more advanced every day, and it is actually quite hard to get through daily life without relying on them in one way or another. They allow us to carry around every photo we have taken, a calendar, games, phone numbers, social media sites, quick access to the internet and lots of different map apps – all in your pocket!

This heavy reliance on “being connected” has encouraged many people to reach for their phone when it comes to maps and directions, rather than using the sat nav inbuilt in their vehicle. Many taxi services also use Google Maps, Apple Maps or other types of sat nav apps to navigate the way to your destination.

As an added bonus, if you have Apple Play in your car then your smartphone map will also appear on your built-in car screen, giving the technology of a smartphone, but inside the car. This has led to multiple car manufacturers making the decision to not include navigation in the models, even in their highest spec cars because they know car buyers are moving towards using their smartphones with Apple and Android connectivity.

Why do people prefer Smartphone mapping?

Smartphone maps, regardless of the app being used, are generally more accurate than a sat-nav system and this is because in most cases, the sat-nav has a preloaded map/route that doesn’t give you real time updates. Smartphones allow users to get real time updates with elements such as road closures and accidents and can change the route based on the traffic situation, thus getting the driver to their destination in the fastest possible way. However, this does come with a problem. Smartphone maps rely on the internet, whether it is 4G or Wi-Fi, so if this is not available in a location when a driver is using a smartphone map, then it will not be able to show the directions. This can be overcome by downloading a route before you travel, but not always so good when driving “on the fly”.

In-built sat-navs

Despite the advantages of using a smartphone map, there are still advantages to using a dedicated sat-nav system – as above, for a start they don’t rely on the internet to work, which is a plus in certain situations. Also….

  • Running out of space on a smartphone is a common problem that users run into as mapping systems use a lot of it.
  • Preloaded maps on standard sat-nav systems do not need any internet connection to show a driver the route and which turns they should be taking, which does give them an advantage in this area – but at the same time, could get you stuck in heavy traffic in the first place without real time updates
  • It is much easier to use a proper sat-nav system than a phone because they are designed and built to use in cars with larger screens and louder clearer directions. With a built in sat-nav, you do not have to worry about memory usage, internet connection and battery usage.

What is better then? It comes down to the driver and what they are more comfortable with. Many built-in sat-nav systems with live traffic updates are great and easy to use but they do not match the ever-evolving sophistication and accuracy of smartphone maps. However, many drivers may not trust their phones when it comes to internet connection and usability factors.

Author gofersnational

GOfers is a fully integrated same day delivery service, offering a comprehensive range of courier and logistical solutions

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