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Beyond GPS: your phone in 2015

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Attention smartphone users: the recent launch of the first two satellites for Europe’s Galileo global navigation satellite system (GNSS) could make things a lot more interesting in about four years.

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Galileo global navigation satellite system (credit: ESA)

Galileo will deliver real-time positioning accuracy down to one meter range, compared to 10 meters for GPS, the European Space Agency (ESA) states, and it plans to give non-European users access.

Meanwhile, Apple’s new iPhone 4S has a chip that will be able to access Glonass (the Russian version of GPS), Engadget reports. Other manufacturers, including Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Texas Instruments, will also support Glonass — and Galileo as soon as it is operational — with new chipsets and software able to receive and integrate all three main GNSS systems.

And just to make it more interesting, China is developing of its own GPS equivalent, named Compass.

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