Believe it or not, I usually prefer the latter. GPS apps tend to suck a phone's battery like nobody's business, and they tend to interfere with other phone functions--like making phone calls.
However, the real biggie for me is this: I haven't found a single GPS app that sounds like Mr. T. ("I pity the fool that don't take the next left!") That's why I'm sticking with my TomTom GPS, which supports downloadable celebrity voices like Mr. T, Burt Reynolds, John Cleese, and my second favorite, Homer Simpson.
If you want to get in on that hilarious action, Amazon.com has the TomTom XL 340-S 4.3-inch GPS for $89.99 shipped--plus a free carrying case. That's the best price I've seen on this model--which, incidentally, I reviewed about a year ago.
The XL 340-S offers text-to-speech, a folding, quick-release windshield mount that I like, support for an optional traffic information receiver, and the promise of a free map update, which you don't get when you buy a refurbished model. The preloaded TomTom Home software makes it admirably easy to update the GPS, install voices, and so on.
As you may note in the review, this model had a list price of $250 when it hit the streets last year. So getting out the door with it for $90 is just plain sweet. I believe this is Amazon's deal of the day, so don't wait around till tomorrow.
Bonus deal: Speaking of Amazon, they're currently offering a free HD download of "Planet Earth," Episode 1: "From Pole to Pole." Regular readers know of my undying devotion for this series. If you haven't seen any of it, now's your chance--though I'm not sure how much longer this freebie will be available.
Bonus deal No. 2: Are you heading to Staples this week? Be sure to print and bring along this 10-percent-off coupon (PDF), which is good for your entire purchase (excluding certain items, like computers). I used it yesterday to make some cheap copy paper even cheaper. The coupon's good until May 1.