Product Review: TeleNav + Google Maps = Successful Road Tip


By Ryan Williams, TechBetter.com - Greetings all. This is a special summer vacation product review tech tip. My family and I just returned from a weeklong vacation in which we spent a lot of time driving. I'm sure every rational person reading this is already thinking that with gas prices being so high I must have a screw loose. So if I told you I did so with two children ages four and one, you'd probably think I was really nuts. Then, if I told you about halfway into the first day's drive, we realized our one year old had a stomach virus and proceeded to pass the virus to each of us over the next couple days, you'd just begin to get an idea as to how much fun we had on our vacation. But that is a story for another blog. :-)

In this tech tip, I'm going to discuss one technology and two software applications that were a rare bright spot in this year's vacation. The technology was GPS. Now, I realize GPS is old news, but the two software applications I relied on are still relatively young. The software apps were TeleNav (http://www.telenav.com) and Google Maps (http://www.google.com/mobile/default/maps/index.html) both running on my cell phone. A TeleNav subscription runs $10 per month, and Google Maps is free. The combination of the two made this year's vacation road trip a breeze. Here are the highlights:

The beauty of TeleNav is that you can plan your trip itinerary on TeleNav's website, and when it is finished, you can easily synchronize the itinerary with your cell phone. This allows for easier searching and inputting of addresses and points of interest along the trip. Another feature TeleNav offers that Google Maps does not is spoken directions. If configured to do so, TeleNav will verbally prompt you when and which direction to turn as with most vehicle navigation systems. However, unlike most other vehicle navigation systems, both TeleNav and Google Maps are always up-to-date with the latest maps because the maps are downloaded real-time from the internet via the cell phone's internet connection each time a route is planned.

Now, you may be wondering where Google Maps fit in to the summer vacation plans. I'm sure the suspense is killing you, so I'll tell you. Google Maps will also provide real-time driving directions, but unlike TeleNav it will not speak to you. You have to pay attention to the screen which can be dangerous. For this reason alone, I use TeleNav while driving. Google Maps does do two things better than TeleNav in my opinion. If you want to search for an impromptu place of interest, Google Maps' search feature seems to be a bit more robust and accurate, not surprising since searching is Google's bread and butter. The most used Google Maps feature for me on this trip, however, was the "favorites" feature. Since cell phone GPS is accurate to within about 3 meters, each time we parked the vehicle to walk I pulled out the cell phone and marked the vehicle's location in Google Maps using the favorites feature. This placed a star on the map which I labeled "vehicle." We then set out to walk the town, the nature trail, the mall or whatever. When we were ready to leave, I just pulled out the cell phone and found our current location in relation to our vehicle. We didn't need this feature all the time, of course, but it sure came in handy when we did need it.

Well that's about it for this tech tip. If you are considering using either or both of these apps for your next road trip, I highly suggest purchasing a windshield suction cell phone holder. This way you can position your phone above your vehicle's dashboard, and you won't have to take your eyes off the road. It is also helpful to have a cell phone with built-in GPS. You can use an external GPS receiver but having the GPS built into the phone is much more convenient. I use a BlackBerry Curve however there are many phones that offer built in GPS.

I hope you found this tech tip useful. As always, if you have anything you'd like me to address in future tech tips, please contact me using the information below.

Ryan Williams

Ask Me A Tech Question
http://www.techbetter.com/question.aspx

View & Subscribe To My Tech Tips
http://blog.techbetter.com

About Me & TechBetter
http://www.techbetter.com/aboutme.aspx

This blog

by Ryan Williams - Ryan is a business technology consultant living in Southern Georgia. He is Partner and Chief Technology Officer at Nexxtep Technology Services, Inc., the largest technology service provider in the South Georgia region.

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.

48589

Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.

81827

Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.

53755

Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

97109
Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.
24549

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".

61120

William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.

86889

Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (www.ubcc.com), a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.

28478

Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.

69883

Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

38175
Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website: www.leveragestateandlocaltax.com
109899
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.
29949

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

58104
Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
31974
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.
36577

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

108686

The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.

37848

FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.

119854

Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.

67226

Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

43630
Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.
71329

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of Yellowbook-CPE.com a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.

98240

AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish AccountingWEB.co.uk share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.

58838