GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation devices are so common now that it’s a rarity to see an old-style map book in a car any more. For a while it seemed like GPS systems were going to go on getting more expensive and bolting on more and more features, but the last year has seen a definite shift towards more compact, budget-friendly designs. Can anyone say “GFC”?

More and more smartphones are coming with inbuilt GPS, and there’s been a surge in the number of available GPS applications as a result. Nokia offers its Ovi Maps solutions for free across a range of its models, and brand-name applications for the iPhone exist from TomTom, Navigon, Sygic and others.

Generally, most smartphone GPS solutions are a little weaker in pinpointing locations than dedicated GPS units, but there is a solid advantage in only having to carry one gadget with you. Be aware though that you’re legally (and sanely) obliged in most states to have a smartphone GPS in an approved screen mount.