The Future of Route Finding?

Posted by chdot on January 9, 2007


Once again Apple has surprised ‘Apple watchers’ with a brand new product. Apple fans (geeks?) love rumours and rumor (sic) sites. The ‘iPhone’ has been coming for a couple of years. Rumours in recent days were saying ‘its not ready yet’. Another expectation for today’s Macworld in San Francisco was for a ‘widescreen ipod’.

So Apple Inc (née Computer) has combined the two. Available in the US in June and in the UK nearer the end of the year the iPhone IS a mobile phone but is more a miniature computer with wireless broadband.

It has a large screen (for a phone), able to display Google Earth (maps and satellite images – demo) (and web sites – including the growing list of maps of Edinburgh rides). On stage in the Moscone Center the iPhone knew where Steve Jobs was. This could just be a pre-arranged trick, but presumably it’s due to the triangulation of mobile phone masts. If so, it will be interesting to see how accurate this is compared with GPS using satellites.

Not exactly cheap (expected to be £3-400 + unknown contract costs), to some it will be a ‘must-have-latest-toy’, for others it will be a welcome weight saver (leave the mobile, iPod, Palm and GPS at home). Cycle couriers may come to rely on it as an essential tool!

Meanwhile Greenpeace has launched a very slick Apple aping web site calling on the company to use its unparalleled design and marketing skills to create more ‘green’ products using ‘greener’ processes.

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