Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tech Tip Tuesday: Where in the world are you?

The Global Positioning Satellite system has become almost as ubiquitous as electricity for many of us.  We are so used to being able to use our phones to find everything from driving directions to a local pastry shop.  But with the growth of this system and it's usefulness it has had one shortcoming on the iOS platform.  You can only get a GPS reciever by purchasing the more expensive 3g/4g iPads or an iPhone.  What about an iPod?  No luck, until Now!  Well actually 2010 but I just found out about them.  It is a dock connecting GPS receiver.  It works for any of the iOS devices. Now, you might say to your self, "Self, Why would I buy this the increased price is the same as buying a dedicated GPS or the same as the extra cost to get GPS included in an iPad?" Well, I would say to yourself.  It comes down to one word. Transferencability. 1 of these devices and a classroom set of iPods could allow multiple students to enable GPS and location features when needed.  This means the iPod touch can take Geo-Tagged photos and then the student can hand off the receiver to another student and continue working on editing photos or creating a slideshow.  Even better in my mind is the GPS Pro.  It is a GPS receiver and autologger (meaning it can keep track of tracks, stops and locations) Better still it uses BlueTooth to transfer the information to iOS devices.  So this will allow 1 receiver and up to 5 Devices to connect.  I think this would be great on a Geocaching road trip. Another benefit of both these equipment add ons is that there are a multitude of Mapping/Location apps.  The limitation of a dedicated GPS receiver is that often they are like a paring knife.  Extremely useful but in only a very narrow use.  A swiss army knife can do lot's of things pretty well.  This is the iOS approach.  With the variety of Apps it is possible to do Geocaching, Turn by Turn navigation, and find coffee shops, and then take a run and keep track of where you went all on the same device. Of course, there is the option I would prefer to see.  The one the Android Market has taken.  Incorporate GPS receivers into the WiFi devices.  I have had two Android Tablets and there are a handful of handheld devices that all have GPS built right in.  So take a look at where in the world you are.  Let us know in the comments if you have tried out this device and what you use location services for on your mobile device.

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