Long story – short – my phone broke. The deductible, with insurance, was $50 and a new GPS-enabled phone was $30. Lesson learned – I'll never get phone insurance again.
Anyways, I was excited to get a GPS-enabled phone. Notice I said, ‘enabled'. In true Verizon Wireless fashion, that means you have to pay for anything and everything. It winds up the GPS package, called VZ Navigator is $9.99 per month for a subscription. I'm a GIS nut so I had to try it out.
It appears (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), this allows me to do a couple things:
- Look at where I am on a map online that only I have access to as long as I give permission to myself. (huh?) Check out a screenshot below… I figured out that I was at home!
- Look at where I am at on a map on my phone.
- Send another phone my location via text message (text message charges apply) but only if they are with Verizon as well.
- Download directions from my phone (not from the VZ Navigator website). It's so much easier on that teeny, weeny screen.
- Look for stuff nearby with the map on the phone (so Verizon can get some advertising revenue for this paid service I suppose).
So… if I died in a fiery car crash out in a corn field somewhere by myself, 9-1-1 could find me. Or perhaps if I'm somehow targeted by the government, they could find me. But my kids? Nope. They can't find me because I can't publish my location anywhere automatically outside of Verizon's VZ Navigator service.
Verizon… anyone at Verizon… if you're reading this… why don't you simply open this up for public consumption?! If I want my location public, I should be able to post it in public. Even better, I should be able to develop an application that uses it. Grow up! By closing the technology, I'm not going to magically try to talk all my friends into going with Verizon so we can send map locations to each other. C'mon!
Another disappointment of many from my service provider. When will I learn?
Thank goodness for the AC/DC ringtone, otherwise I would be totally disappointed.