October 31, 2005
Things are picking up here at the GPS Lodge, and October was another big month. We wrapped up the month with an announcement on the New Garmin models: the StreetPilot 7200 and 7500 - two new models that are basically media hubs for the road. Huge screens, FM modulation, MP3 playing, and video playback. Garmin also announced a StreetPilot 2730; lots of features, but not the big screens of the 7000 series. In their spare time, they also announced the new PDA - the iQue M4.
The big announcement kindof towards the end of the month was the launch of the TomTom One car GPS in Europe. This entry level GPS for the car is out in Germany, but no news of it coming to the US. Our story got picked up all over the web... Gizmodo, Engadget, PocketLint, AutoBlog.... For all of those people who found us through these sites, Welcome to the GPS Lodge.
We started the month with the announcement of the Magellan RoadMate 800 announcement. Another huge new product for the automotive GPS segment. More and more options for taking the GPS in the car!
Some other product announcements from Lowrance: iFinder Hunt C, the iFinder H2O C, as well as a very cool way to skin your iWay 500C.
Fun stuff? Check out the Golf only GPS - the SureShot, or our story on Mologogo - tracking through your NexTel phone.
We have a lot of GPS Reviews coming out this month, stay tuned.
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October 31, 2005
Garmin also announced today the release of the Garmin iQue M4, the Windows Mobile based PDA with integrated high sensitivity SiRF GPS receiver. It comes preloaded with detailed maps of North America (US, Canada and Puerto Rico). The high sensitivity SiRF chipset and the pre-loaded maps differentiate this model from the iQue M3 product.
Continue reading: "New Garmin iQue M4 - Maps to go"
October 31, 2005
Garmin let news slip on the StreetPilot 7200 and StreetPilot 7500 late last week, and this morning announced - another addition in their string of new products in the GPS line. The StreetPilot 7200 and 7500 add many new features to the top end of the Automotive GPS category, building on a new chassis that has a HUGE 7 inch 16:9 ratio screen for viewing navigation, and maybe even your onboard videos! The featureset is huge, and it raises the bar for the category. (See related article on the StreetPilot 2730)
Continue reading: "Garmin StreetPilot 7200 and 7500 GPS Announced - Media Hubs for the Car"
October 31, 2005
In addition to the StreetPilot 7200 and 7500 Media Center GPS's that were announced, the Garmin also let news out on the StreetPilot 2730. The StreetPilot 2730 is built on the existing 2700 chassis, which means a smaller screen (compared to the 7" screen on the 7200/7500 - see related article). Hey, what can I say, the 2730 takes a whole bunch of the 7200/7500 features and jams it into the 2700 chassis, without the big screen. There you have it, that's what you need to know. It doesn't do video playback, and doesn't do the Dead Reckoning of the 7500. What does it do? It does GPS stuff, with a pretty good set of goodies; enough to be interesting.
Continue reading: "New Garmin StreetPilot 2730 GPS - Announced Officially"
October 30, 2005
Garmin has released an aid to keep your Garmin software up to date on your computer for your Garmin GPS; the Garmin WebUpdater.
According to Garmin:
Continue reading: "Garmin releases WebUpdater Software"
WebUpdater's simple interface makes it easy to upgrade your operating software. Just connect your Garmin GPS to your PC, run WebUpdater, and follow the screen prompts. After confirming that you want to perform an update, WebUpdater will download that update for you and install it on your GPS. WebUpdater always checks for its own update first before performing a unit update. Unlike previous versions, you no longer need to download Web Updater every time you upgrade your unit software. Once installed, simply run it from your PC-no need to download anything else yourself.
October 28, 2005
Lowrance has announced the launch of their Lowrance iFinder Hunt C handheld GPS, the only color GPS specifically designed by hunters for hunters. "The new iFINDER Hunt C with color display offers everything you'd expect in a versatile, precision mapping GPS unit made for the field, including hunting-specific icons, unique "Scout Mode", electronic compass, barometric altimeter, built-in microphone, and more!"
Continue reading: "Lowrance Announces the iFinder Hunt C GPS"
Lowrance has announced that you can now download or create skins for the popular iWay car GPS units. The iWay 500C car GPS units are a pretty good little unit already, having received the PC Mag editor's choice award for excellent automotive GPS. It features a touchscreen display, a 20GB hard drive pre-loaded with detailed maps of the US, and the ability to play MP3's. The hard drive leaves you with about 10GB of space for your MP3's. (The unit also plays oog vorbis formats too.)
Continue reading: "Lowrance: Skins for your iWay Car GPS"
So, if you thought Garmin was doing well, check out TomTom. They announced earnings and they are doing just fine. The maker of many well liked GPS units, including the recently announced TomTom ONE (see article), had revenue up 373% over last year, with profit up 166% over the same quarter last year.
"The market for personal navigation devices has continued to grow strongly. Integrated devices have overtaken PDA solutions as the driver of growth in the sector and we expect this trend to continue," says TomTom's CEO, Harold Goddijn.
Continue reading: "Earnings are Way, Way up for TomTom"
Lowrance announces an update to their iFinder H2O unit, adding color to the popular handheld. The product is a good solid middle of the line handheld GPS featuring color and mapping, with the space to add more capacity with an SD slot.
Designed for anglers, boaters, and outdoors enthusiasts, this totally waterproof handheld is pretty rugged with its sure-grip rubber welt seal. It features dual processors and a high-res screen.
Continue reading: "Lowrance Announces the iFinder H2O C"
October 26, 2005
Well the Automobile GPS wars get another chapter, and this one has Magellan bringing the roots of their car GPS product line success to Europe for a little search and reapply. Hertz will be rolling out the popular NeverLost product in Europe throughout 2006. They will be rolling to 5 countries this month: France, Germany, The UK, Italy, and Germany. The NeverLost system is a modified Magellan RoadMate 760 that gets a lot of business travelers in front of a high end Magellan product for a few dollars, pounds, Euros a day and gets much needed trial. Once these folks learn what a great product this is, they often decide that they want one for home. At least that's the plan for Magellan.
Continue reading: "Hertz and Magellan bring NeverLost to Europe"
Garmin reported earnings for the most recent quarter, and earnings are way up. The consumer segment had 31% revenue growth, while the aviation segment saw 26% revenue growth, resulting in a 30% growth overall in revenue. It looks like the new i-series and c-series Streetpilots are doing well for them. They go on to talk about the continued high pace of product rollouts (more below). Recall that Magellan dominates (?dominated?) the US market for Automobile GPS units, while Garmin dominates the handheld markets in the US. This move with the i-series and the c-series StreetPilots is an attempt to unseat Magellan as King of the car GPS segment.
Continue reading: "Garmin earnings WAY up"
October 24, 2005
Tired of the same old voices on your GPS or SatNav? The TomTom line of GPS navigation devices are able to download new voices and plug them in so you enjoy yourself as you navigate along.
Continue reading: "New Voices for TomTom's"
Update: TomTom has announced that the TomTom ONE will be shipping in the US. See our review of the TomTom ONE.
TomTom announced the launch of their TomTom ONE all new GPS for the Car that extends their line-up of already great automotive GPS receivers. Today marks their launch date for Germany and the Benelux countries, with a UK launch later this year; no word on a US launch date yet.
Continue reading: "TomTom ONE GPS Announced"
October 23, 2005
FINAL DAYS at Amazon.com for sale on GPS units....
Another Amazon Sale
It's time for big savings on thousands of electronics at Amazon.com. For two weeks only, our most popular items in GPS and two-way radios are on sale. Treat yourself, or get ready for the holidays, but don't pay more later--sale prices end October 24.
Here are a few of the hot models to check out the prices:
Garmin Forerunner 301
Garmin StreetPilot c330
Magellan eXplorist 300
Garmin GPSMap 60C
Magellan eXplorist 100
Magellan RoadMate 300
Don't forget about the $50 rebate on select Magellan eXplorist models --> see our article.
October 21, 2005
A new golf specific GPS device has hit the market and soon the links called the Sureshot GPS. It's an Australian unit, so it may not hit your pro shop any time soon, but it's an interesting first step in the field that is sure to expand. The unit can hold data for about 10 courses and is able to download course data over the internet.
Continue reading: "SureShot GPS - New Golf Specific GPS device hits the market"
The AP has released a story all over the earth (really, check the number of papers that picked this one up), that pans the Gizmondo console due primarily to the lack of good games. They say that the Gizmondo "will initially have 14 games to choose from -- most all of them uniformly terrible." The console that has a GPS receiver in it, as well as mobile phone technology allows for a very broad array of capabilities: a VGA digital camera, GPRS cellular wireless networking for text and multimedia messaging ( no voice capability) and a 400-megahertz ARM processor running on a customized version of Microsoft's Windows CE operating system.
Continue reading: "Review: Gizmondo lacks value - no games"
While you may have thought that a GPS receiver in a handheld gaming console was stupid, or at best novel and potentially useful, Gizmodo insists that is has value now. According to Gizmodo, the GPS receiver helped track down a thief from their London store. Apparently, the story goes that on 18th September, a twenty-something man stole one of the consoles from the company's Regent Street. Gizmondo then tracked his position using GPS and sent him a text message (see inset) which led to the handheld being quietly returned the same day.
See Related Articles:
Gizmondo Plans Widescreen Handheld Game
Gizmondo Announcement - GPS based gaming
October 20, 2005
Segway has announced that buyers of the Segway Human Transporter will receive a free Garmin eTrex Legend or Legend C with the purchase of various models of the Segway HT. The offer is good through January 6, 2006. This is the latest thing to add to your Segway to trick it out; head lights and blinking tail lights are also available.
Continue reading: "Want a Free Garmin eTrex? Buy a Segway"
October 17, 2005
TeleType has released their new car GPS navigation unit, a great looking gps receiver that offers in-car gps navigation, spoken word directions and an MP3 player to boot! TeleType has been around for a while with a line of GPS units including an award winning Bluetooth GPS receiver, and their well known GPS software business; they are now introducing a feature packed handheld device that has a decent set of features for a pretty affordable price.
Continue reading: "The TeleType WorldNav 3000 XL"
October 16, 2005
TomTom US has launched their very own blog for the US customer, Club TomTom. The intent of the blog targeted at a couple of things according to Jocelyn Vigreux, President, TomTom Inc. U.S.A.:
1. Providing you, our users, with a place where you can easily find up-to-date and relevant information on our products and services.
Continue reading: "Club TomTom Blog launched for US"
2. Enabling you to share with others your suggestions, ideas and TomTom experiences so that new TomTom users can benefit from your expertise!
October 14, 2005
October 13, 2005
October 11, 2005
Want to track someone and their mobile phone for free? Here's a service that launched today that will allow you to track the location of the mobile phone in question privately via a sign in account or verrrry publicly. Just download Mologogo, a free Java app that works with any Sprint Nextel GPS phone. Once the software is installed on the phone, you can log in to Mologogo's site and track it using Google Maps. And unlike other web-based GPS tracking services, not only is the software free, but accessing the tracking data is as well.
Continue reading: "Add tracking to any Nextel GPS phone - Mologogo"
The ever expanding Automotive GPS category got a big bump this past summer with the Garmin StreetPilot 2720 - advanced GPS routing with text to speech turn by turn directions and an innovative traffic feature (optional) that gets real time traffic feeds and turns it into useful re-routing options for you to avoid wasting time in the traffic jams you haven't even sat in yet.
(If you haven't heard of the next step in traffic avoidance, check out our post on Inrix - predictive traffic services that is teaming with Tele Atlas providers of mapping information to GPS manufacturers.)
Continue reading: "Another Good Review: Garmin StreetPilot 2720"
October 9, 2005
Microsoft has announced the availability of the new Streets & Trips 2006 software with included USB based GPS unit. This is the latest version of the popular mapping and travel software application for the U.S. and Canada. New with this release is support for Voice-Prompted Directions which provides a hands free option of delivering turn by turn directions.
The GPS is provided by Pharos Science and Application Inc. and turns any laptop, Windows Mobile based PDA or Smart phone into an all inclusive GPS tracking device. All you have to do is plug in the GPS Locator via a USB port and you can start using the mapping software in real time.
Continue reading: "Launched: Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006 with Pharos GPS Unit"
October 7, 2005
The Timex Body Link products have been around for a while with all sorts of gizmos to help runners and athletes in general learn more about their workouts and train better. Timex has announced the new smaller and lighter GPS component to their lineup. The 5E671 bundle offers a Sports Watch, Heart Rate Monitor and a GPS tracking unit (the Navman II). The 5E681 bundle includes the Sports Watch and the GPS tracking unit (the Navman II). These models go directly after the Garmin Forerunner 301 with a Heart Rate Monitor, and the Forerunner 201 without the Heart Rate Monitor.
Continue reading: "Timex Body Link: Now with Small GPS Receiver"
October 6, 2005
Update: Tiger telematics announced that the Gizmondo GPS equipped handheld gaming console will be released in the US on October 22. They have been on sale in the UK for a while now, and are going to be priced from $239.
From September 3, 2005: Gizmondo is rolling out a new handheld player that uses GPS (SiRF Xtrac) to provide location based gaming. GPS is not the only feature of this gaming platform, as the list is long and looks pretty good. It's got a camera, a Music Player, a Movie Player, Messaging, a GPS, GPRS connections for head to head playing, and Bluetooth. Whew! That's a lot of stuff. The Sony PSP looks like it is in the sights of the Gizmondo, as the Sony comes closest to the feature set of the Gizmondo, but the PSP does not have a GPS receiver. Hang on, because with the advent of low cost, small and highly accurate GPS components like SiRF is rolling out, is there any end to where the GPS location based activities will end? It's not just for geocaching anymore folks...
Continue reading: "Update: Gizmondo - GPS based gaming"
October 5, 2005
Has the GPS really gone mainstream? Apparently so if there is a feature film on the subject. An indie studio from Washington is releasing a new film based on the GPS and "GPS treasure hunting" - commonly known as Geocaching around these parts.
GPS the Movie tells the story of a pair of scavenger hunt enthusiasts who embark upon a camping trip with a group of old friends, following the trail of a mysterious invitation with hopes of finding fortune. When the trail leads them to photographs of a masked woman tied to a chair along with a new set of coordinates, their search takes a frightening turn. The mountains and forests that give western Washington its reputation for natural beauty contrast with the infamous Green River, which served for decades as a horrific dumping ground for the notorious serial killer.
Huh, last time I went out geocaching, I only found a key chain with a plastic Jeep on it.
ReadMore - Trailers and more at the site.
October 4, 2005
Last week we revealed the Magellan RoadMate 800 a few days before it was officially announced. Today Magellan has officially announced the Magellan RoadMate 800. Additional specifications are available, and the thing looks pretty packed with features. Check out their press release, and the product specification and information pages.
From Thursday 9/29:
The latest in the RoadMate series has been announced (not officially - more later) upping the ante on the hot automotive GPS market. The Magellan RoadMate 800 adds a couple of extended features on top of the popular RoadMate 760 released earlier this year, namely a build in MP3 player and a photo viewer. Magellan calls it a "multimedia marvel." This release comes on the heels of the new Automotive GPS, the Magellan RoadMate 360 which was announced September 14, 2005 (see article).
Continue reading: "Magellan RoadMate 800 Announced - OFFICIALLY"
Anyway, much like it's little brother the Magellan RoadMate 760(see review), the feature set on the GPS side of the RoadMate 800 is plush and rock solid.
Trimble announced the release of the GeoXH handheld. The is GeoHX is Trimble's top-of-the-line solution for high accuracy GIS data collection. It's not exactly engineered or targeted at the usual backwoods GPS geocacher. Engineered with H-Star technology, the GeoXH handheld delivers the subfoot (30 cm) GPS accuracy required by electric and gas utilities, water and wastewater services, land reform projects, and other applications where accurate positioning is crucial.
Continue reading: "Trimble announces subfoot GPS Accuracy Unit"
In news out of Olathe Kansas, Garmin announced yesterday that they will buy MotionBased Technologies, a privately held start-up out of California. We reviewed the MotionBased site earlier this year, and really liked it. Motionbased has more than 11,000 registered users and over 140,000 logged postings of routes. Recently MotionBased has more closely integrated some Google applications - the Google Maps and Google Earth. Frequent users will have already noticed the recent changes. As we noticed this past summer when we studied up on MotionBased, they continue to innovate and add new features. Obviously the folks at Garmin noticed too.
The web service allows you to upload your GPS tracks from workouts and analyze data from those workouts either in tabular or graphical form. MotionBased is very much tuned into using Garmin GPS units, and one of the downsides we noticed is the work arounds needed to upload GPS tracks from other non-garmin units...... maybe this was by design? Maybe just a coincidence. The service fits well with the line of training devices that Garmin exclusively offers - the Forerunner line and the upcoming biking focused line of Edge GPS units. Anyway, we like Garmin and MotionBased; good luck.
October 3, 2005
What's cool? This is. Could this be the future of electronics? The Nokia 888 communicator concept phone is a design that won a recent Nokia Benelux design contest, and is seen using a new liquid battery, include speech recognition, have a flexible touch screen and a touch sensitive body cover. A video showing off the device's potential features shows off close to a dozen functions, including an alarm clock, PDA, GPS, phone, push email receiver, digital wallet and, of course, jewelry.
Continue reading: "Hummm Nokia 888 Communicator Concept GPS Phone"
The NYC Taxi and Limo commission announced a while ago that they were going to require the Hacks of NYC (Taxi drivers) to install GPS devices in their cabs. They are not happy and don't want any part of it.
The plan, which would mean installing video screens, credit card readers and GPS in all the cities cabs, has been a stickling point for some hacks. Especially the GPS part which they say would cost cab owners $3k to install and $125-175 to maintain.
Continue reading: "Hacks say no to GPS"
MapQuest who recently announced the launch of a MapQuest branded Automotive GPS unit (built by TomTom - see article), has announced the MapQuest Find Me service available through Sprint and Blackberry for the Blackberry 7520 wireless handheld operating on the NexTel network.
With this service, you'll be able to use the GPS-enabled phone to find their location, access maps and directions and locate nearby points of interest including airports, hotels, restaurants, banks and ATMs. MapQuest Find Me now allows users to share their location with colleagues, friends and family members as well as view the location of other users who have opted to join their private networks. Users also can now set up alerts to be notified when network members arrive or depart from a designated area.
Continue reading: "MapQuest and Blackberry team up for FindMe service"
October 1, 2005
Geocaching.com and Jeep Contest
Continue reading: "UPDATE: Geocaching.com Contest Details for October"
UPDATE: This is the LAST MONTH of the Goecaching.com and Jeep summer promotion. Use your GPS Receiver to have fun this summer with geocaching.com. The contest has you out looking for travelbugs and taking pictures according to the themes below to win prizes. The new goals or themes are as follows:
More new products hitting the shelves these days, Navman has announced their new ICN 550, a moderately priced handheld/automotive GPS unit with a 4GB hard drive on-board. Yea, it contains maps and points of interest, but where's the MP3 player upgrade? It's ready to go out of the box with maps of the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Guam pre-loaded. Guam? Huh. It has an available live traffic module (see below).
Continue reading: "Navman iCN 550 - Now Available"