GPS Services for Cellphones

Five options that can help you find your way.


Here are five ways to navigate with cellphones:

TeleNav GPS Navigator—Besides giving you spoken directions, TeleNav can spot traffic jams up ahead and suggest another route to your destination. It can help find 10 million points of interest, including parks, restaurants, and gas stations. The service is most widely available on phones from Sprint, which calls it "Sprint Navigation." But it's also made for a growing number of handsets from Alltel, Verizon, and AT&T.

AAA Mobile—One of the paper-map companies that are making a move to wireless, AAA is adding its useful diamond ratings of points of interest, such as hotels and restaurants. AAA's guidebook information on this digital service also details many local attractions. And a single button will call AAA for roadside help while also sending your exact location, as plotted by GPS. Available on some Sprint and Verizon phones.

VZ Navigator—The service offers turn-by-turn directions and, like others, will announce the street name as part of the turn directions. Includes a hefty 14 million points of interest. It can also send directions to friends on their Verizon phone. The VZ is for Verizon, the only place this service is available. It's for use on most, but not all, GPS-capable handsets from Verizon.

Garmin Mobile—A series of navigation products that turn cellphones, smartphones, and laptops into navigation devices. For a smartphone with a GPS chip, about $100 buys maps, routing software, and points of interest. Other options through this company, like the $200 Garmin Mobile 10, include a GPS receiver for smartphones that don't have the GPS built in. Garmin also offers a $10 monthly network version for some standard Sprint phones.

TomTom Navigator 6—Aimed at turning smartphones and hand-held PCs into GPS devices. For $300, Navigator 6 includes maps on a memory card along with a GPS receiver that connects via Bluetooth. The $250 version puts the maps on a DVD, requiring a PC to move them to the phone. The $150 version does away with the GPS receiver (if your device already has one built in).