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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

People, Listen. GPS on Blackberry is FREE.

Has the Blackberry 8800 series (8830 on Verizon) become more widely used and more mainstream in the last couple of weeks? The reason I ask is that I have heard the same exact conversation in airports and other locations the last two weeks repeated at least three different times. This was repeated again today on the bus to the car rental area at the San Jose Airport.

Person asking about Blackberry 8800: “Hey, is that the new Blackberry 8800 you have there?”

Person with the Blackberry 8800: “Yeah, it’s a great device – everything is built right in.”

Person asking about Blackberry 8800: “I heard it also has a GPS feature in it, how does that work?”

Person with the Blackberry 8800: “Yes it has the GPS feature, however I have not used it.”

Person asking about the Blackberry 8800: “Really, why not? I would use that all the time.”

Person with the Blackberry 8800: “Me too, however it costs $9.95 a month to use it.”

Person asking about the Blackberry 8800: “Wow. That’s a bummer.”

Conversation ends. Houston, we have a problem – more specifically, RIM Blackberry has a marketing problem. Let me clear this up.....

People, please listen to me. You really do not have to do anything to get the GPS (Global Positioning System) working on that Blackberry 8800 or 8830 that you are carrying on your hip. You do not have to register for anything. You do not have to activate anything. You do not need pay one dime to get that little GPS device working. You can go to Options --> Advanced Options --> GPS, you can pull up your current location really quickly.

Now yes, you might want to install Google Maps (install guide here), as it can show you where you are at and even provide directions to where you are going. And if you really want turn-by-turn directions then the value that TeleNAV (install guide here) provides for $9.95 is a really good one. A similar device from Garmin, Tom-Tom or Pharos will set you back $400 or more – about 3+ years worth of TeleNAV service.

Hey RIM, you should consider promoting this better – get people to use the basic Google Maps GPS (like me) and then end up signing up for TeleNAV service indefinitely (like me).


Anonymous said...

Hi, just wondering if my 8800 doesn't have Data plan, can I still use the GPS feature then ? If so, how can I go about doing that ? Thank you

tosin said...

My first month with this phone I received all of the extra features free. GPS was the one I was sure I would never use. Instead, it is the only one left that I am willing to pay extra for. The Biz Finder alone is worth the price of admission. Using it to find the nearest restaurant, ATM, or cheapest gas will keep me a lifetime subscriber as well!

Anonymous said...

Acctually, Verizon has gone out of their way to BLOCK this feature from the phones they sell....the apparent reasson is to force you to subscribe to their navigation service.