Tuesday, January 3, 2012

(not) getting lost

As I mentioned earlier, my new phone really endeared itself to me (and Eldest, who was with me) pretty quickly after we finally got it activated. Actually, it was fitting that Eldest was with me, seeing as she was also there for the whole activation ordeal the day before.

We headed out to a New Year's Day open house celebration, (in)secure in the knowledge that we'd gotten thoroughly lost the previous year -- wandering about for an hour looking for a specific turn. Google Map directions are pretty good, a tool we've often relied on, in the past. Look up an address, print out driving directions, and go. But on the way to the party last year... Let's just say it's hard to make a turn when the street sign can only be seen coming from one direction, and we were coming from the other.

But this time was different. This time, we had...The Phone.

I had played around with the "Maps" application already, marveling at the way the phone knew where it was without being told. I had the bright idea of putting in our destination and asking for directions. A little map appeared on the screen. I was fine with that. Gave the phone to Eldest so she could look at the map and advise me, started the car and pulled out of our parking spot.

...and the phone began to speak...

"In 1,000 yards, turn right on -- Street..."

Now, I hadn't planned on following the cute little map on the phone until we were about halfway to our destination. The phone chose, for some reason or other, to route us along surface streets with their associated stoplights and low speeds, and I figured he freeway would be faster.

I thought the phone might get a little heated, what with our ignoring its series of instructions, but as soon as the tiny thing figured out that the freeway was in its immediate future, it began on a new series of instructions, and quite efficiently took us directly to our destination.

It also brought us safely home again, unfazed by our stops at a grocery store and gas station, merely remarking that it was "recalculating" in response to our slight detours.

If I were driving in wilderness, I might not stake my safety on this little device (too many have, and have run into trouble). However, for city driving to unfamiliar places, it's just the the thing.

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