Late last night, I linked to a blog post Google put up and jotted down some initial thoughts. Given the response (thousands of views, 100+ notes, etc.), I thought it was only fair that I elaborate a bit.
Google’s post is entitled “Greater choice for wireless access point owners”. It outlines new opt-out functionality for Google’s location database. I ripped into the post — as did several others — not so much because of the feature itself, but because the post is misguided and disingenuous. In my view, it is probably the worst post Google has ever put on their blog. And that’s saying something.
First of all, this is a post that should not have been written — at least not in the way that it was. Google is building their location database using WiFi hotspots, likely including yours if you broadcast your SSID (your router’s name). Apple does the same thing. So does Skyhook (which is suing Google for ditching their location database to build their own). So do others. It’s a good idea. And it makes locations services much better.
Nah. I have a 3G Kindle right now (2nd generation), I rarely use the 3G — just to download new books and sync occasionally. And I only ever use it because that device didn’t have an option for WiFi at the time.
Paying an extra $50 for 3G seems silly (though it is a good deal if you’re going to use it a ton since there is no monthly fee, obviously). The bigger issue though is that 3G drains battery life much quicker. That’s the big reason I turn it off by default on my current model.