3G Internet and a host of new apps for the iPhone are exciting news to be sure, but in my mind, adding GPS is the game changer. Having your iPhone know where it is (and thus where you are) is not just about avoiding the need to enter a starting address when looking for directions. Its about ANY software knowing where you are.
The possibilities are endless and mind-boggling. Looking for a friend to join you for a drink? Check your iPhone and see whose nearby and in a drinking mood. Hungry for a slice? The nearest pizza shops are mapped out for you, and your iPhone will take you there, turn by turn, as you walk or drive. Nearest and next showing of "Iron Man?" No brainer. Forget where you were when you took that photo? Your iPhone tagged it with its location. 911 put you on hold? Don’t worry, they’ll know where you are even if you pass out before they pick up. Lost your iPhone? Go online and find out where it is.
Apple is not alone in adding GPS to cell phones – ABI research, for one, predicts more than half a billion GPS-enabled cell phones will ship in the next four years. But by combining GPS with a platform open to third-party developers, the iPhone will harness the “location aware computing” revolution better than anybody else. This is going to take us to amazing places we cannot yet imagine. But at least we'll know where we are.