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The Google Maps app and related Google Latitude location-sharing feature worked as expected, connecting quickly to GPS in an outdoor setting.
Sprint includes the Navigation app for Google Maps, which adds turn-by-turn directions. These apps work about the same here as on other Android smartphones.
One unique feature is that you can enable "sensor aiding" on the handset, which use the onboard gyro and accelerometer to sense which way you're heading for pedestrian-level directions. The GPS on the Samsung Epic 4G Touch worked quickly and accurately. Indoors, the GPS connection would falter as expected. You can also use wireless networks to enhance the Maps app for indoor wayfinding.
There's also a TeleNav GPS app for turn-by-turn directions included as a demo.
Samsung offers the Android Market for buying and installing apps, but not the usual Samsung Apps - presumably because of an arrangement with the Sprint network in the US.
Bundled apps include the NOVA sci-fi shooter, Polaris Office for reading and editing Microsoft Office documents, a voice recorder app and all of the typical scheduling, email and photo apps.
Compared to other recent Android smartphones, the Samsung Epic 4G Touch is just a bit light on third-party apps but still has the core Android offerings.
We installed several additional test apps, including the Vlingo app for reading text messages, and found that the phone correctly added the related widget to add more functionality to the home screen.
Apps are organised in the Applications area, where icons are added alphabetically. All of the typical apps for Android phones work as expected, including the calculator, a calendar app and the messaging clients.
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John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.
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