June 30, 2008

Dash June Update - Big Improvements

Dash Navigation is releasing a big upgrade today, adding features, fixing issues and plugging a few holes that they knew needed plugging but couldn't get around to it before the launch. Only a few months after the launch, and thousands of units on the streets, the connected GPS generation is starting to demonstrate what is possible, when you are connected to a wide pipe worth of data. This June 08 update will need to come down over a WiFi connection.

"Unlike existing GPS devices, the Internet-connected Dash Express, is the first system designed to keep learning and getting smarter over time," said Paul Lego, CEO of Dash Navigation. "Today's software update is just the beginning. We're interacting with our customers on a daily basis, gathering their input and incorporating it into the product. With our newest features, we're able to help our customers quickly get the answers they need during their daily commutes."

I will be downloading this today and checking it out; stay tuned for more on the June 08 update.

The Dash Express recently dropped its price to $299 and is available at Amazon

Here are a few of the updates:

My Route - Basically, you are smarter than the GPS sometimes, and the Dash will learn your favorite route from A to B, and it can be permanently stored in "My Routes". When you want to navigate this pair again, your My Route comes up as an option and is at the top of the alternatives that are presented. I've been waiting a long time for something like this to hit a GPS, and am looking forward to trying this out.

Developer Applications
- So there will be up to 30 applications hitting the wires with this release, including EveryBlock, which is a news feed for your city, tapping into outlets for all kinds of news and delivering it to your Dash. Available for NY, San Francisco, and Chicago for now.
Search Along Route
- Something they needed in the original release, but added the exact feature that you need to judge how far off the route the Point of Interest is. In the screenshot to the right (click to enlarge), you can see that there is a column of data that shows the number of miles off your current route; very cool and useful in deciding if you want to make the detour for gas at that station a mile off your route, or the other one the next exit up that is 0.2 miles off your route.

Performance Enhancements - faster map draws (by 50%), quicker toggling between 2D and 3D, better panning of the map, etc.

More after the jump from the Dash press release........

MyRoute - Maps and traditional GPS devices are great navigation tools, but they will never replace local street smarts. Drivers often know the best shortcuts to and from the places that they frequent, but what they really want to know is whether their route is the smartest route today based on current traffic data. Dash is the only GPS that learns routes automatically based on user behavior. With Dash's new MyRoute feature, as drivers travel from one point to another, the device automatically learns their preferred route. The next time that they drive between the same origin and destination, the first route choice will be a MyRoute, complete with traffic-based arrival time data. Drivers can compare their MyRoute to the computed Dash routes, including traffic detours, and decide which one is optimal.

Search Along Route - Finding whatever drivers need on the road using Yahoo! Local search just got even easier. With the new Search Along Route feature, Dash drivers can now search for virtually anything they need along their selected route, shortening diversions on the way to their destination. Want to grab a latte on the way to a meeting? Simply do a Yahoo! Local search for "Starbucks" and select "along route" to be presented with the stores that are most conveniently located. Results are displayed with the distance from the current location, the distance from the route and the direction of the destination relative to the selected route.

FasterFind - With FasterFind powered by SiRFInstantFix technology, Dash Express uses additional over-the-air GPS satellite position information to get a fast GPS fix so Dash drivers can be underway in seconds. Since the Dash Express is connected, the FasterFind file is automatically and wirelessly downloaded at regular intervals providing users with the most accurate GPS satellite position information available. There is no need to connect to a PC or wait to get a GPS fix. FasterFind not only helps drivers get a quick start every time the device is turned on, it also enables a fast GPS fix under difficult conditions such as beneath tree cover and near high-rise buildings.

Performance Enhancements - Continued system upgrades have enabled significant progress in overall device performance. For instance, the June08 Update increases the speed in which Dash Express draws its maps by more than 50%. It also enables quicker toggling between 2D and 3D map views and smoother map zooming.

User Interface Improvements - The June08 Update also includes numerous user requested refinements to the Dash Express interface, making it even more intuitive for daily use. These improvements include tuning the route selection screen to make it easier to select among the multiple route choices, improving the readability of road labels on the map and expanding the night mode color scheme across more menus for glare reduction.

In conjunction with the first of its kind software update, Dash announced that the Dash Developer Program, launched in May, is off to a great start with over 30 partner and
user-created DashApps* that enable consumers to access a wide range of personalized content in their cars - weather, garage sales, real estate listings, speed traps, Twitter - and more!
The company's newest partner, EveryBlock, collects and publishes neighborhood and block-level news in cities including Chicago, New York and San Francisco. With the EveryBlock DashApp, launched today, drivers in those cities can access a "neighborhood feed," including public records (e.g., crimes, restaurant inspections, building permits), and user-contributed knowledge (e.g., local photos posted to Flickr) -- all filtered geographically according to the vehicle's current location.

  • IMPROVED - Final Destination Guidance - House numbers are now announced when arriving at your destination.
  • IMPROVED - Arrow Guidance - Visual tuning to the 3D arrow makes it easier to understand turn guidance.
  • IMPROVED - Road Labels - Color and style changes improve the readability of road names (both 2D and 3D)
  • IMPROVED - Address Book Logic - Now when you mark something as a favorite, it will automatically be added to your address book.
  • IMPROVED - Night Mode - For easier readability in nighttime conditions, we have extended the "night-mode" version across more screens including the address cards, the system information and report a problem. We also resolved the bug causing Auto day/night functionality to work inconsistently.
  • IMPROVED - Direction List Guidance - Distance and time data for each maneuver is no longer presented in a cumulative format, but is more specific to the individual road segment.
  • IMPROVED - Traffic Alert Placement - To make it easier to view the direction and distance to next turn, we have moved the traffic alert and blocked road alerts to the right-side of the interface.
  • IMPROVED - Roundabout Guidance - Traffic circle/roundabout guidance now includes both street name and exit number.
  • IMPROVED - Voice Guidance - We have decreased the frequency of ramp guidance. We also resolved the bug around FM (farm-to-market) roads.
  • IMPROVED - Average Speed Data - Your Trip Info should include a more accurate average speed calculation.
  • IMPROVED - Update Messaging - More descriptive update messaging has been implemented to give clearer guidance on the type of update and the amount of time we expect the update to require.

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    Posted by Scott Martin at June 30, 2008 11:05 AM
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