GPS Phone Leads The Way
Motorola offers a cellular GPS navigation
In my quest for the
perfect carpet runner, I tried Motorola's ViaMoto GPS navigation
service to find a Home Depot Expo Design Center.
On the road and armed with
a GPS-enabled Motorola i88s handset with Nextel cellular
service, I called a ViaMoto Advisor and asked for help finding
the closest Expo. Unfortunately, the branch that the rep found
wasn't the nearest; ViaMoto could use a better database.
Nevertheless, I asked her to download the directions to my
Launching the ViaMoto
application on the phone, I selected the destination that the
Advisor had identified to call up text directions. While I was
driving, I listened to turn-by-turn voice cues from a friendly,
From the freeway,
ViaMoto's directions instructed me to turn right onto a street
that wasn't a freeway exit. (On a different trip, it incorrectly
advised me to turn the wrong way onto a one-way street.)
Not to worry. I got off at
the next exit, and the computerized fellow told me I was off my
route and asked if I wanted to be rerouted. Well, of course. I
chose Reroute; the service located my position and
downloaded to my phone new (correct) directions.
You can retrieve
directions by entering an address (the number, street name,
city, and state--zip code isn't recognized) on the phone; doing
so can be tedious on a number pad. You can also enter the
address at ViaMoto.com. The live rep costs extra.
On top of Nextel's
cellular fees, you pay $11 monthly for a twelve-month contract.
Each time you use ViaMoto, you expend bandwidth from your data
plan; and when you call an advisor, you use up voice minutes as
well. Despite the cost and fuss, having a GPS navigation service
is one reason I'd sign up for a data plan.