When the likes of Google started to offer GPS on their Android devices to be used in your cars, this was seen as a great alternative for those who were unable to afford purchasing a standalone GPS. However, there has always been this fear that some courts would deem this illegal.
Now you may think this is a little harsh, but a Californian court has updated the legality of both Google Maps, Apple Maps and other such apps, so you will no longer be able to use these apps while driving. We’d like to point out that this only applies to drivers in the one state for now, although we have to wonder how long it will be before others follow?
This will be a huge blow for drivers who have cars without GPS built-in or do not own a standalone device. We do find it strange how a judge can say it is dangerous to check your phone while driving, including using GPS, while you can use your TomTom, Garmin or other such device without being illegal.
According to the “California Appeals Court Ruling on Maps and Driving” (see here) the judge believes checking the maps is the same as using your smartphone while driving, such as making/taking calls and sending text messages – yes people really do that.
This ruling is certainly a fine line, but the bottom line is, you will have to spend some extra cash in order to purchase a GPS, or you could end up in a heap of trouble in the state of California.
We do find it funny how using a paper map is even more dangerous, yet this is not illegal to use while driving. What do you think of this ruling, and will other states follow? If they do then we have to wonder if future smartphones will still come installed with map apps?
Also See: Apple UK Store skips Friday sales