Who is this?

Technology Editor of Times of London until July 2010. Now swimming in the freelance shark pool, with abiding interest in games, gadgets and what it all means. If you're looking for product reviews, head elsewhere. Unless it's a really nice product. This is more of an attempt to sift out what matters from what doesn't. With a bit of gossip thrown in for good measure. I'm also learning to use Blogger as I go along, so please bear with me.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Satnav maker strikes back at "free" nav

One of the great things about Android smartphones is the ability to use Google Navigation for free.

One of the worst things about setting foot outside this country with a smartphone is the price of data roaming.

Garmin has issued a statement claiming that a UK user of Google Nav using his Android-based satnav on a trip to Paris would run up £74 in data charges, based on an O2 tariff of 20p per megabyte.

Garmin, of course, makes satnavs. And has a phone on the market in the United States. You can take it from this that the company's a little upset that someone is giving away map data.

Garmin’s Head of Communications, Anthony Chmarny said: “Using free satellite navigation isn’t as free as it would like to make out, especially when you are using your mobile phone abroad. Many of the well known navigation products use the mobile phone network to download maps as they go, meaning people could end up with a nasty shock when their mobile phone bills arrive."

All of which is of course absolutely true. Am slightly mystified why anyone would need a satnav from Calais to Paris. The novelty of "stay on the motorway and follow the sign for Paris" wears off for me after a few hundred kilometres.

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