I Guess I’m Not Normal People

Normal people don’t suction-cup their phones to their windshields for navigation.

I have been put in my place by no less than David Pogue in this morning’s New York Times. He was writing about single use devices like cameras and GPS systems and how they match up with all-in-one solutions like cell phones.

Normal people don’t suction-cup their phones to their windshields for navigation.

Either they do or I’m not normal. Please hold your judgement!

Maybe I don’t want to replace my DSLR with my iPhone (though the photo on the left was taken with a Motorola Droid X cellphone and it’s my profile picture on Facebook), but I use the camera all the time. It’s there! My DSLR often is not.

The GPS is among the most valuable features my phone possesses. For under $10 I bought the suction cup Pogue has hoisted me upon. Seriously, I use this thing all-the-time in my car which has no GPS. I use Mapquest4Mobile which is free on my iPhone. Google’s nav software is free on Android phones.

Among the many advantages: I get live traffic info because the GPS is connected to the phone which is connected to the Internet.

Most people don’t suction cup their phones to their windshields. Maybe they should!

24 thoughts on “I Guess I’m Not Normal People”

  1. I agree Geoff suction away. We do! Its way safer than looking down to see your GPS, and you can use voice activated apps to answer and dial your phone. Seems safe to me.

  2. Actually, in some states, California being my current example, it is illegal to suction cup anything to the windshield. So I have a ‘sticky pad’ device stuck to the dash that holds the suction cup for my dedicated GPS. The iPhone is clipped to an A/C vent with another holder, and the bluetooth for the iPhone is clipped to the sunvisor.

    The Ham radio is actually installed in the dash above the car radio, so it’s actually solidly mounted…

    Talk about a badly-integrated system, huh?

    1. It’s illegal in California to suction cup anything to our windshield?? Haha, I lived there for 2 years and had my GPS suction cupped to my windshield almost every day. OOPS!!

  3. David Pogue is clearly behind the times. The trend is definitely to get more and more out of our phones. Many of my friends suction their phones to their windshields. *I* don’t, but my boyfriend does. As much as I love my Garmin, I actually like the navigation on his phone (google maps) better than on my GPS.

    But Geoff, who wants to be “normal” anyway? 🙂

  4. Heard from someone that thieves look for suction cup rings on windshields. If they spot one, they’ll break into the car to look for the GPS. (You don’t leave it in the car now, do you?)

    1. Happened to someone I know – It’s believed that the thief saw the ring the suction cup left, smashed the driver’s side window, and ransacked the car looking for a GPS. It’s assumed that when they couldn’t find anything good to steal, they slashed the seats!

  5. And see, all this time I thought Pogue was picking on me! Why would you suction cup anything other than your IPhone to your windshield? I’m a big fan if multi-taskers — my GPS fails in this category — so does my digital camera. If normal people can’t see the value of having a turn-by-turn GPS that can be used anywhere in the same handy dandy device that lets me make phone calls, read your blog and play words with friends — I don’t think I want to be “normal”.

  6. Great idea! I don’t have an Iphone or an Android as I do have a touch screen as I have One of those beyond talk phones from VM. I have maps which you can turn it into a GPS kind of thing for two fees which isn’t that for prices! One for 24 hours and one monthly. I haven’t used it because the maps app has never worked for me until now!

  7. Geoff, in my humble opinion, I’d wear the label “not normal”, especially coming from The New York Slimes, like a badge of honor. Them calling ANYONE abnormal is laughable.

  8. Hey,GEOFF! Well, i DONT drive AND, my smart G3 phone ‘s data plan, is too expensive for me(im disabled). I’m not that tech savy, I BARELY know how to use my old computer,BUT, i get by, pretty well. What is “NORMAL” today, anyway?? With the latest gadgets, obsolete,even BEFORE they hit the open market, i’d rather keep what i know, is reliable!!!

  9. You are normal; I am out of it. I don’t have a “smart” phone. I have simply a TracFone for emergencies and rarely turn it on. Believe it. I depend on my GPS. I really don’t even need a good mobile phone. I’m really technologically challenged.

  10. So I’m not the only one!! What with an iPhone 4(personal) with Mapquest for mobile (nice for nuthin)in my pocket. Blackberry on my belt(work) and recently purchased iPad! Can you say geek? How bout dweeb?

    1. Thanks Geoff
      Had the suction cup for my phone didn’t know about Mapquest 4 mobile
      Now I have it all. 

  11. My cell phone is my GPS, my MP3 player, my newspaper (mostly by twitter now – go figure!), my alarm clock, my Kindle reader, and I can’t imagine living without these functions. Have a special holder for my Droid that uses special magnets to put it in car mode, and a base to put it in alarm clock mode. Love it all.

  12. Hey I do the same thing and quite frankly David Pogue, no offense, is living in the past if he thinks its better to waste money on single use devices that are targets for thieves. And my Droid actually works better as a gps than my old gps did.

  13. Just got a Droid X. Love it. It sits in the cupholder on the console and tells me how to get places.

  14. I used to use Google Maps on my iPhone but without turn-by-turn voice instructions and no suction cup mount is was not a great solution when I was alone in the car and not much better when my wife had to decipher where we were going. So I just bought Navigon [http://www.navigon.com/portal/us/produkte/navigationssoftware/mobile_navigator_iphone_us.html] which I run on my iPad. It has voice turn-by-turn so I don’t have to look at it when I’m driving alone and my wife can actually figure out where we are going when she’s with me.

  15. Pogue is a Luddite. It is precisely the ability to use your phone as you (and I) do that is driving the current revolution in computing technology. Yes, one of my cars has nav, but not live traffic; the other cars have neither until I get in and open my Droid, then they have capabilities not readily available from most automakers. My current question is what happens to the hand held GPS/nav systems as smartphones become more widespread?

  16. I was ahead of the curve back in 2005 with my motorola i605 and later i580, used trimble nav and some other nav software, but nowadays I’m back to just using my head. As much as I enjoy these little devices I often find I don’t need them or even want them, kinda like how I was with radar detectors.

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