would be a BIG mistake on HTC's part....
I seriously doubt htc would be able to block access to google navigation since it is available in the market. Nor do I think it is their intent. They are offering a solution with advantages over google nav, but due to the licensing requirements of the two leading map providers, they need to charge for the routing data. There will still always be free options available, but in the case of electronic maps, you do get what you pay for. Google maps works, and will improve over time, but tomtom (teleatlas) and Garmin (navteq) are way ahead right now.
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I couldnt find any current info as to who had map coverage and who had actual Nav coverage. The bottom line, is this is a pretty ignorant thing to be posting on the internet and stirring the pot like this when they make no mention of the two most important topics about this topic. 1) Is this in order to improve the use of the phone in countries where Nav is lagging behind that in the US? and 2) Where does it even mention that HTC would be removing GMaps?
It just angers me that sites that claim to be sources of Android information when they post garbage like this clearly just to stir the pot. Even when you read the press release it makes NO mention of GMaps being removed from the phones. It DOES say that TomTom maps will be stored on the phone though. Pretty convenient IMO.
I can't address TomTom, but at least in my experience, while Garmin hardware is good, their device map updates are expensive, time consuming and buggy...
After having done updates on our family's 4 Garmins, at a cost of $240 ($60 x 4), taking over 16 hours to download and install and finally requiring me to go in and tweak the file systems on each device in order to get the stupid updates to work, I'll go with GMaps anytime.
GMaps is free on our phones, is always either up-to-date or very close to it, and there is no fee or special installation to keep it that way. It's got my vote.
Why would Garmin or Tom Tom be superior? I'd assume they face the same issues as Google with being able to put a huge honking database on your phone to eliminate the need for 3G coverage. Ultimately they all rely on GPS (which is independent of 3G).
Haven't been out in the countryside, but I've found Google Nav to be very fast, responsive and accurate.
Glad I do not have an HTC phone and since their customer service folks told me that HTC is not and will not be Mac compatible I will not be an HTC owner.
Forgive your enemies it messes with their minds!
To me, the main issue here is GMaps not being stored on the phone. That's the problem when coverage is spotty. I don't know if it's the only issue, but my guess is GMaps didn't go that route because until Froyo you couldn't put apps on the SD card and there simply isn't space in phone memory for Maps. The new phones coming with 8 gigs or more internal memory you can definitely do it, if YOU as the user want to commit that much memory to Maps (and really 8 gigs is a ton of memory for apps because no reason music, movies and photos can't be stored on SD).
I'd also guess that the other challenge for Google is VZW and other providers don't want 2gig map updates going to every phone - talk about capacity issues! But here HTC would effectively charge that extra bandwidth hogging with a subscription fee for the app. And that, right there, is probably your answer to all this debate.
My main concern was that NO WHERE in the press release or on HTCs page does it say that the HTC phones WON'T come with GMaps installed. Pretty careless and ignorant to post on a website like BGR without that fact being substantiated. All that happens is a bunch of people begin to complain and speculate about rumors that are completely unfounded.
I suppose I've come to expect too much out web "journalists"