Losing My Way or If I Had A Hammer

I’m in my hotel, chilling after Day Zero of GenCon. It took about six hours and change to get here, and my car — The Silver Nemesis — performed in fine fashion. At one point, I couldn’t help gunning the engine just to see how it would feel. Took it to 90 for about thirty seconds, and I think the Nemesis enjoyed it.

However along the way I found I had…issues with navigation…

We are evolved. We use tools. When we have the right tool for the job, we get magnificent results. Sometimes we don’t have that perfect tool, so we make do. We use a flat head screwdriver in place of a philips head, a business card in lieu of dental floss. We’re humans. We’re weird like that.

In getting from Point A to Point B, the GPS is the Perfect Tool. I don’t have one. My smartphone (the model of which begins with a vowel) had an app that accesses Google Maps. It could plot me a course and segment it into waypoints, zooming the map in and out as appropriate. As an IT geek, I like this approach, as it breaks a long journey down into smaller steps (a top-down approach).

Then OS version 6 came about, and with it Apple’s bizarre decision to drop Google Maps and supply their own. Now, there’s been some kerfluffle about how wildly inaccurate Apple’s app is, to the point where Apple publicly apologized and told people to use something else. I didn’t know how bad it was until I tried using it during my trip to South Windsor. The damn thing was off by ten miles and on the wrong side of a bloody river. Meanwhile, the new Google App got me right up to the gate.

However…

The Google App no longer has the funcitonality I talked about earlier. Instead it behaves more as an actual GPS. The problem is it’s perplexing as hell, and if you drop out of GPS mode, you can’t get back in. What’s really irksome isn’t a fault of the app but the hardware. They’re not the most accurate of location devices. Maybe it’s because they talk to multiple cell towers as opposed to a single satellite, I dunno. In the end, the Google App kept putting me on a side street, which ended causing the app to constantly recalculate my course. It was a mess.

Oddly enough the Apple Maps app has been able to get me from the hotel to the convention center and back again without issues.

So, I wonder if I’m in a Lady or the Tiger situation. Do I go with the app that has the interface Ilke but could send me to the moon, or do I go with the app that’s accurate but throws “user friendly” out the window.

Or maybe I should consider a cheap GPS to keep me from getting lost.

Or maybe I should try Hari Krishna. (sorry old Muppet joke)

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