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The next wave in smartphone apps . . .

Slot machine
GPS. Think outside the driving directions box.

Cars.

That’s right, integrating smartphone and other apps with people’s vehicles, especially positioning and navigating.

Recently, Nokia demonstrated at the Internationale Automobil Ausstellung (which the non-German speaking world calls “The Frankfurt Auto Show”) unveiled a smartphone that totally integrates with the vehicle, so that all the apps and their functionality are available in a vehicle interface.

And the research firm, iSuppli, expects GPS apps to grow from 2.5% of the market today to over 10% by the end of 2013. Now the iPhone GPS apps work with iPhones GPS feature, but, as an unlucky few have found out, these apps are memory hogs (over a gigabyte of storage required) and energy vampires. Not to mention the cost (around $100) and instability (they tend to crash).

Other GPS apps for smartphones could rely on the cellular signal itself, which is the direction Nokia and AT&T seem to be going.

Needless to say, there are millions of opportunities for thinking about smartphone apps that integrate directly with your vehicle (right down to telling you what the check engine light means).

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