June 30, 2008

Dash June Update - Big Improvements

DashMyRouteOption.jpg
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.
Dash_SearchAlongRouteResults.jpg
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........

ArrowContinue reading: "Dash June Update - Big Improvements"

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 29, 2008

Big Green Bus - Veggie and Garmin Powered

biggreenbus.jpgThe Big Green Bus is making a trip this summer across the country to spread the word of renewable powered vehicles; veggie oil in this case. Their round the country tour has already led them to talk to folks in Washington DC< and at this writing has them in New Mexico. After playing a few videos from the article in the Boston Globe this morning, I noticed in this one that the Big Green Bus is being guided by a Garmin Nuvi 600 series. I love the "What is Love" song playing in the background; where are the guys from SNL?

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 26, 2008

Mio Launches Mio Moov 380 - Connected GPS

miomoov.gif
Mio has launched their connected GPS that they have been talking about since earlier this year. The new unit will feature connectivity through Qualcomm, and offer 2.75G - 3G speeds; not bad for a little GPS.

The Mio Moov 380 will be SIM card based, which seems like a logical way to go. The TomTom HD connected devices are moving this way too. No news on subscription prices on the connected Mio Moov, but I would hope that coming from Mio it would be a reasonable price.

If it comes later this year, it would join the Dash Express, the once delayed Magellan 5340+GPRS, and maybe if we are lucky the TomTom HD on this side of the pond. The Half Navigator, Half phone - Nuvifone should also be out by the holiday season.

More Press Info follows...

ArrowContinue reading: "Mio Launches Mio Moov 380 - Connected GPS"

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 26, 2008

Google Maps Traffic - Now with Super Slow Shading

GoogleMapTraffic4Zone.jpg

Google Maps has recently updated its traffic flow representations to show not only the regular Red-Yellow-Green format, but a Red/Black hashing that shows super slow traffic at <10 MPH.

Can I get that on my GPS? Red goes up to 25MPH, and there is a huge difference between essentially stop and go at under 10 MPH and putting along at 25 MPH when you need to get home. One, I might try to plow through if it's short; the other I would avoid like the plague.

Note that Google also gets the predicted traffic looking at specific days and times.


Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 26, 2008

DeLorme PN-40 Handheld GPS - Fast Redraws, Super Sensitivity

earthmatepn40.jpg

DeLorme has a new handheld coming this Fall, the PN-40, an upgrade to the PN-20 handheld unit that brought imagery to handheld GPS units. The New PN-40 comes with a new chipset for higher sensitivity in low signal conditions, and a dual-core processor that allows for fast redraws of maps and images. The advantages here for the new units is that people can start to really use and enjoy the image based mapping that Google Maps has made familiar to everyone searching a location on the internet. The PN-40 also adds a barometric altimeter, and support for high capacity SD cards so you can take a lot of maps with you. Available this Fall from Delorme.

Some of the features below:

  • NEW! Super high-sensitivity 32-channel Cartesio chipset by STMicroelectronics delivers near-instantaneous signal acquisition and ConstantLockā„¢ satellite retention
  • NEW! Dual-core processor for rapid screen re-draws, even with large aerial imagery files
  • NEW! 500 MB of onboard Flash memory (1 GB total hard drive)
  • NEW! 3-axis electronic compass with included accelerometer performs when held in any position--while in motion or standing still
  • NEW! Sensitive barometric altimeter for reliably accurate altitude readings
  • NEW! Supports SDHC high-capacity SD cards--32 GB or higher
  • NEW! Fast USB 2.0 data transfer to internal memory or SD card in device
  • NEW! More detailed onboard base map data for the U.S., now with secondary and connector roads (along with major highways and thoroughfares for the entire world)
  • 65K-color daylight-readable TFT screen for clarity in any light conditions
  • Topo USA 7.0 software with complete U.S topo and street maps included--no extra purchase required. Also displays USGS 7.5-min quads, aerial imagery, and NOAA nautical charts via online download from DeLorme

    More at the DeLorme Blog

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Garmin GPS Astro 200 Collar Gets an Upgrade - DC-30

    george-astro.jpg

    Garmin announced an Astro upgrade today. Looks like the dog tracker GPS collar gets some better performance just in time for Hunting Season....The main news here is the new collar, the DC-30 that has the bulk of the components on one side of the collar (which hangs at the bottom), while a small GPS antenna sits at the top of the collar; allowing for solid view of the sky and overall better performance. The info is all pushed back to the Astro 220 handheld device that can track up to 30 dogs. The Astro 200 is based on the Garmin GPSMap 60 CSx.

    The full press release is below....


    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin GPS Astro 200 Collar Gets an Upgrade - DC-30"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 25, 2008

    Pocket Caddy Golf GPS Coming to US - Rumor

    PocketCaddy.jpg
    So, a reader wrote in the other day letting me know that the Pocket Caddy, a touch screen GPS is rumored to be coming to the US later this year. I didn't really think much of it, until I started looking into their website. It's got some features that are pretty advanced and doesn't just tell you that you are 175 yards from the green; way more than that. So I thought I would pass more about it along.

    At the base, the unit gives you insight into where you are on the course, and distances to the green and hazards. Yea, that's basic, but like I said, it goes a lot further. As you play, you get an overhead picture of the hole, and as you play along you mark where your shots landed.

    PocketCaddyDriveStats.jpgNot only does the Pocket Caddy keep score for you, but after your round, sync it with the computer and it will pump out an analysis of your round, giving you your average drives, and a visual graphic of their accuracy. Same thing with your approach shots, showing you a visual of where you land, and some cool stats on the approach shots. Finally, because the software is integrated with Google Earth, the analysis will also show you a visual of the hole and where your shots were.

    Because you are entering the information on what club you use on each shot, the Pocket Caddy will also start to recommend clubs for you. Something you should have in the back of your head, but I find myself questioning my choice sometimes and could use the help.

    The site has a lot of information on the unit. Currently it comes loaded with a golf course, and others can be bought for an additional charge, then added through the desktop software. This handy comparison chart pits it against a lot of the other units in the marketplace.


    Check out more at Pocket Caddy


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 24, 2008

    Apisphere & Traffic Cast Team Up - Location Aware Future

    Apisphere and Traffic Cast teamed up to continue to grow a robust offering of location aware living that will no doubt start to shape how we look at navigation and the role it plays in our lives.

    Data/Environmental Awareness - Traffic is not the only thing to consider when we need to get somewhere, but it's the easy one to understand. Got to get to the airport, traffic is slow, leave early; easy to understand. Traffic Cast will be providing this pretty big component in this deal.

    What about the fact that what you really need to get on the 5:15PM flight back home? There are a lot of things that impact that; traffic, time needed to return the rental car, the normal security line length, as well as the fact that your airplane is coming from Atlanta and they have thunderstorms going on there right now; your inbound plane is already 30 minutes late; delaying your flight..... All of this needs to be projected into the future. I don't want to keep checking this information for data right now; I need to know what time I need to leave the meeting this afternoon to hit the airport.

    Yes, I'll take this on my iPhone now thank you.


    Press Release below....


    ArrowContinue reading: "Apisphere & Traffic Cast Team Up - Location Aware Future"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 23, 2008

    Navigon 2100 MAX Full Review

    Navigon2100maxviews.jpg

    The Navigon 2100 MAX is is a widescreen entry level GPS that adds might to the value end of the Navigon offerings. The GPS market is getting crowded in the value end, as more competitors come to the market, while the big guys continue to innovate in this arena to stay competitive. The 2100 MAX is of course the follow-up to the blitzing Navigon 2100 (See my Navigon 2100 Full Review) that vaulted onto the market in the holiday period with $99 sales and lifetime traffic deals. The standard screen (3.5-inch) Navigon 2100 did well, and got a lot of attention for its innovative interface design and their overall design aesthetic. They also got some unwanted attention for some rough spots on their interface and what I would call "Cultural Adaptations" that didn't translate from the native German design to the American expectations. Navigon showed that they were in the game in a serious way and have brought software updates and launched the FreshMaps (after market map subscription), which shows that they are serious about the US market.

    The Navigon 2100 MAX adds the 4.3-inch screen to the entry level where a lot of people are interested in a sub-$250 widescreen unit. The Navigon 2100 comes with 48-state maps, Text-to-Speech, and the ability to create multi-destination routes. With a fairly robust POI database, and branded POI listings, how's the new widescreen from Navigon do?

    ArrowContinue reading: "Navigon 2100 MAX Full Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 22, 2008

    GPS Steals and Deals - 6/22

    Well, we know that GPS units can save you money on gas, but this week we learned that people feel safer, more confident and less stressed with a GPS onboard. What's not to like?

    We continue to see some good deals on GPS units. The Nuvi 350 is under $200 this week, while TomTom has dropped it's price on the TomTom ONE 130 to $149. The higher end Garmin units are falling in price too - the Nuvi 750 and 760 are down in recent weeks; good time to consider those.


    Standard Screens - 3.5-inch

    • Garmin Nuvi 350 - $199 this week; very hot prices point for this unit. North American Maps, Text to Speech, and 5+ Million Points of Interest. Want Bluetooth? Get the Nuvi 360 that adds Bluetooth Handsfree, for a few bucks more at - $226.

    • TomTom ONE - $148 and Free Shipping at Amazon; Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech. Consider spending the extra $1 for the updated model - The TomTom ONE 130; same features with a thinner design and a new fold-flat mount. The TomTom ONE 130S ($249) adds Text to Speech. Big leap in price unfortunately.

    • Garmin Nuvi 200 at Amazon - $159 No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps, solid interface and routing. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200 for more info. Also at Target for $149 this week.

    • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $224 Text to Speech, Maps of North America, solid interface. Same quality routing as Nuvi 200, just adds more maps and text to speech.

    • Mio Moov 200 - $129 at the Shack; 50-state maps, Text to Speech. See my review of the Mio Moov 300/310 for an idea on how the new Mio operating system works.

    • Pharos 150 - $99; No idea on performance but a bargain bin price


    Widescreen Models

    • Garmin Nuvi 260W - $254 at Amazon; down $80 in the last few weeks; Text to Speech and a dead easy interface.
    • Nuvi 650 at Amazon $267; Text to Speech, North American Maps, See My Full Review - Nuvi 660, which is the same model with the addition of the TMC Traffic, which is the main feature not included on the Nuvi 650.
    • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $199 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
    • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $334; still the best seller at Amazon - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
    • TomTom ONE XL S at Amazon $249 - Text to Speech, North American Maps, MapShare. I think the Text to Speech is worth the extra money, but if you don't need it, the TomTom ONE XL is only $199.
    • Nuvi 750 - $355 at Amazon down $25 in recent weeks (Ouch - $399 at Best Buy; no thanks) - New thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning.
    • Nuvi 760 - $389 down $30 in recent weeks. New thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning, adds Bluetooth handsfree and built-in TMC traffic. See My Full Review of the Nuvi 760.
    • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $524 - Has MSN Direct 2, with traffic and gas prices sent to your GPS. See My Full Review of the Nuvi 780 for more information.
    • TomTom GO 730 - $386 -New IQ Routes, Text to Speech, and more. Maps of North America.
    • Mio Moov 300 - ($180 at Amazon) - $169 at the Shack. Super thin design and a new interface on the Moov series with Text to Speech capabilities at this price. Before you buy, know that I think that this unit is Ok, with a few qualifiers; please read my Full Review of the Mio Moov 300/310.

    The Forerunner 405 is finally shipping. Very hot, very popular.


    • Garmin Forerunner 405 is available for pre-order - the watch-like GPS enabled fitness device has a smaller design with all kinds of functionality, including wireless sharing.
    • Forerunner 305 - $214 at Amazon - Heart Rate Monitor with wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.
    • Forerunner 205 - $154 at Amazon - Wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, no Heart Rate Monitor. Tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 21, 2008

    Knight Rider GPS from Mio

    MioKnightRiderGPS.jpg

    In the total fun camp, comes the Knight Rider GPS from Mio that will be hitting stores later this year. Too bad the Trans Am is a long forgotten model at GM Dealerships, and with $4 gas who could afford to drive one anyway.

    So, the voice of KITT, William Daniels will be lending his voice to this GPS, and with those cool lights on either side, it will just be like you were there. Crank the ZZ Top, and you'll never know the difference.

    Look for the Knight Rider for around $270

    Via Engadget

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Dash Express Now $299

    DashExpressMed.jpg

    Just got confirmation yesterday that the Dash Express is going to $299 as an everyday price. The Dads and Grads promo must have driven demand and the volumes are up when the prices are down. The Dash is the first next generation device that connects the GPS to the internet and to other Dash drivers so that you have the most up to date traffic information possible.

    From my use commuting into Boston, the Dash has an amazing read on traffic congestion and offers alerts when traffic is shifting or changing. The unit has a cellular radio in it to get up to date traffic feeds, while sending back anonymous updates on what traffic you are encountering. Combine these feeds with the other Dash users and you form a network of buddies patrolling the trafficked roads for you. Pretty cool.


    The Dash Express is available at Amazon.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 19, 2008

    Pharos 150 With Text to Speech - $99 at Amazon

    Pharos150.jpg

    If you are looking for a rock-bottom priced unit, here you go. I can't vouch for the performance, and it seems like there are a mix of satisfied and unsatisfied user reviews at Amazon on this one. The unit has the entire US onboard for maps (NAVTEQ), and a Sirf Star III GPS chip for quality tracking.

    At Amazon - Pharos 150 - $99


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    GPS - Safer, More Confident, Less Stressed Drivers


    TomTom announced some findings from a study done by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and Dutch research institute TNO saying that drivers felt more confident, less stressed and safer when using a GPS. It's no surprise here at the GPS Lodge when you think about all the places you can go and all of the things you can do when you let the GPS get you to where you want to go.

    For me, a few prerequisites of feeling safer, more confident and less stressed is:

    1. Get a Good Quality GPS that has an easy interface to learn - this means skip the bargain bin. I also recommend Text to Speech if you are driving around town with the unit - it helps your recognition of which street you need to turn onto.
    2. Drive around your own town using the GPS to navigate to work, the gas station, and home again - you get used to how it works and what to expect. You'll be familiar with it when you hit the road and really need it.
    3. Check on the Route Overview before navigating - almost all units have an overview of the route. Before driving, you'll know in general terms which way you are going so there won't be any surprises.
    4. Know the settings - "Set it and Forget it" Don't decide while you are driving down the highway that you want a different color scheme or a new voice on the GPS. Make sure the settings are how you like them and simply navigate when you need to.
    5. Finally, don't be an idiot - This means no playing with the picture viewer showing off those pictures to your friends while driving down the highway.

    The Full Information on the study follows.......

    ArrowContinue reading: "GPS - Safer, More Confident, Less Stressed Drivers"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Mio Store - Mio Power Plugs and Mio Map Upgrades


    Mio has rolled out a new Mio Online Store where you can pick up a few needed accessories like Map Updates, extra power plugs and more. I have had a lot of readers write in about finding these types of things, as well as extra mounts, etc for the other car, and now you have a resource on the web to get them.

    "We're constantly working to improve the Mio experience for our customers and to offer additional tools that make their Mio devices more functional and fresh," said Kiyoshi Hamai, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Mio Technology USA.

    Full Press Release Follows.......


    ArrowContinue reading: "Mio Store - Mio Power Plugs and Mio Map Upgrades"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 18, 2008

    Team Garmin - Going to Tour de France

    newgarminlogo.jpg
    Team Slipstream is now Team Garmin; the name change happening and announced as they are making plans for the Tour de Tours. The sponsorship and backing by the fitness GPS manufacturer has stepped up and is going big time to the biggest biking event in the world.

    Not only will the team be racing with the Edge 705 unit (See my First Impressions Review of the Edge 705), but they will also be driving with the Nuvi 770 unit - a unit that has both North American and Euro maps.

    The Edge 705 will be used during the race, and hopefully we will get some insight into their performance as they might just upload some of the data online during the race, giving a little insight into what it's like to be in such great shape and to ride such a grueling race.

    The Edge 705 represents several breakthroughs in cycling technology, including power compatibility, wireless unit-to-unit connectivity and the ability to monitor GPS position, heart rate, speed, cadence, altitude and gradient on the same display. And Team Garmin will be able to share data - including saved rides, waypoints and workouts -through ANT+Sportā„¢ wireless technology.

    Full Press Release Follows...


    ArrowContinue reading: "Team Garmin - Going to Tour de France"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 17, 2008

    Microsoft Enters the GPS Software Space - NavReady

    microsoft_logo.jpg
    After years of GPS Makers using Windows CE as a platform to build sometimes mediocre user interfaces at best, Microsoft decided to make a GPS platform that works well with advanced features to integrate into the connected lifestyle; enter Microsoft NavReady.

    The software platform will be available later this year and will allow GPS makers to have their own hardware and a well made software platform together that will incorporate some potentially interesting features like MSN Live search, Bluetooth connections, MSN Direct integration for the use of traffic and gas prices, and SideShow. SideShow is a way for the GPS to act as a second screen for a handheld Windows device that will allow you to display information as well as exchange it.

    So What?
    First, you can insert the standard Microsoft taking over the world joke here, then another Apple Guy vs. PC Guy Joke before we continue.... But seriously, no doubt this will change how the market looks in a year or so, with new units coming to the market faster, and from more makers by removing a big barrier to entry and if Microsoft does their job well, making a whole bunch of manufacturers who previously couldn't program a user interface have access to a decent market.

    Does this make Garmin and TomTom want to use NavReady? Probably not, but what if everyone else does? Mio is already signed on, making for the third operating system in a year (iGo, then recently their NavMan based OS on the Mio Moov Series, and now MS NavReady). What if Magellan dumps its aging OS? Will they merely fade into the pack of NavReady powered GPS units or become more competitive with technologies coming to the market at a faster pace?

    I think the net effect if this NavReady OS is reasonable is that the GPS market becomes a lot more competitive. This will allow almost any hardware maker to launch a GPS at rock bottom prices, while the titans battle to stay one step ahead of the rolling pack. Should get interesting.

    Full Press Release Below


    ArrowContinue reading: "Microsoft Enters the GPS Software Space - NavReady"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 16, 2008

    Nextar K4 GPS

    NextarK4.jpg

    Nextar is letting another GPS fly - this time it's the K4 with some media extras like a video and MP3 player. The K4 comes with a 4.0" screen and has the ability to play MPEG4 & AVI files while supporting JPG/BMP/GIF formatted pictures. The unit has the entire US for maps and comes with voice prompts in English/Spanish/French. The Maps and 1.6 Million POI fit onto the 2GB built in memory.

    No word on price, available this summer.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 13, 2008

    TomTom to Share the MapShare

    TomTomlogoSM.jpg

    TomTom said that they will be sharing the information gathered through their MapShare program when customers of TeleAtlas get map updates later this year. Having just closed the deal on TeleAtlas this news comes as a signal that TomTom is committed to keeping TeleAtlas as a competitive mapmaker in the marketplace.

    Of course before this deal was announced TomTom was indicating that this data was proprietary and would most likely not be shared with their map provider but a few months later things all changed with the bidding war that ensued for the purchase of TeleAtlas vs. Garmin.


    The updates, upwards to 20 million of them, have come from users of the TomTom devices who input map changes right on the device that are then uploaded and verified by TomTom.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 12, 2008

    TomTom Gas Price Service - Cheaper Gas at your Fingertips

    TomTomlogoSM.jpg

    Quick article in the Baltimore Sun today about the Gas service on the TomTom 930 - which is also available on the TomTom 720/920. The TomTom gas service is available to purchase for $15 per year, and you can sign up through TomTom HOME when on your desktop computer. This columnist plugged his TomTom into the computer to download gas prices and took them with him. They are also available over the air when you have a compatible phone and data plan. I think the article is a good read for anyone who wants to go after the Fuel Prices service from TomTom. I can't see me being diligent enough to connect my GPS to the computer to download prices, so I would need to have a compatible phone; over the air is probably the way to go.

    The Sun found that there were a few stations that were very much out of date, which is too bad. I have seen using the Dash Express that there is a lag, but it is noted next to the price, so you can use that as a gauge of how trustworthy the data is. With that type of feature, I think that the service is helpful and can save a bit when searching for decent gas prices.

    ReadMore at the Baltimore Sun

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 11, 2008

    Navigon 2100 - $95 at Staples

    Navigon2100.jpg

    Thanks to all the folks who sent this one in. Use Code 29100 at checkout for an extra $25 off Net Price = $95. Expires today.

    See my Full Review of the Navigon 2100 to read up before buying.

    More at Staples

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    June 10, 2008

    iPhone with GPS - TomTom on iPhone?

    iphone3gGPSMap.jpg

    So, unless you were under a rock yesterday, you probably heard that the iPhone 3G finally came out and is coming out with a real GPS chip inside. No more fake triangulation junk from cell towers to approximate where you are. The interesting development is that with the developers pack, GPS software makers are jumping on board too.

    TomTom said yesterday that they are already running software, "Our navigation system runs on the iPhone already," said a TomTom spokesman, according to Reuters. No word on availability. This may come as a surprise to some folks, but it shouldn't be knowing that TomTom does a decent little business on the side for PDA navigation. Repurpose the code, and go. My guess is that for $149, you'll be up and running.

    There are also other rumors that has the Dash navigation software loaded onto the iPhone too, which would put a very connected experience into the hands of iPhone users. The advanced traffic capabilities would be a plus.


    Car Mount? - Oh, yes, you will need a car mount, but they are already on the market.

    A concern is the power supply, and the loudness of the verbal directions - the speaker phone is hardly loud enough to cover road noise, but the Bluetooth earphone might just be a great way to hear those turn by turn directions.

    Can't wait to try this out... gonna have to upgrade.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 8, 2008

    Father's Day GPS Recommendations - GPS Sales


    A lot of people are emailing with requests for what to buy their Dad in their lives, so I thought I would put together a recommendations list. It's not comprehensive, but it will get a lot of folks taken care of. Part of this is to get you the most for your budget; a good value. To be a good value, you need to be able to use the unit and appreciate the features. If Dad can't figure it out; it's not money well spent.

    There are a couple of things I recommend spending money on Text to Speech and Widescreen units if you can afford it. Text to Speech will say the road name ahead, and widescreen units allow you to see more of the map and it makes tapping out letters on the keyboard a lot easier.

    Entry Level GPS Units - No Text to Speech or Widescreen

    Text to Speech - No Widescreen

    • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $223 Text to Speech, Maps of North America, solid interface. Same quality routing as Nuvi 200, just adds more maps and text to speech. At this point, I am recommending the Nuvi 260 with its updated interface, and newer design even though the Nuvi 350 is $199 this week; for more see: Compare the Nuvi 260 vs. the Nuvi 350.

    • TomTom ONE 130S - The upgrade to the TomTom ONE 130 that adds Text to Speech - pretty easy.


    Widescreen AND Text to Speech

    • Garmin Nuvi 260W - $269 at Amazon; down $80 in the last few weeks; Text to Speech and a dead easy interface.
    • TomTom ONE 330S - Adds Text to Speech in a widescreen model. Now only a few dollars more than the non-text to speech widescreen TomTom ONE 330; a definite bargain.


    And a few units for specific needs of features I like......


    • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $529 - Has MSN Direct, which is a service (with a annual fee of about $50) that allows you to get traffic and GAS PRICES feeds through the FM airwaves. Limited coverage to cities, but with Gas prices these days, you can save a bundle with this. I saw a dime or more difference before gas prices got out of control. Read my Full Review on the Garmin Nuvi 780 for more information.
    • Dash GPS - $299 ($100 off the regular price) - Connected to the internet while you drive. The Dash is unique right now that it has the ability to be connected to the internet while you are driving, which allows for a LOT of functionality that allows for better traffic reporting, better search and some features that just can't be accommodated without a data connection. It comes with a monthly fee of about $10-$12, which pays for the data and the cellular connection. Read my First Impressions Review of the Dash Express for More. Finally, the unit is not a flat unit; with all of those electronics in there, it is a larger unit.
    • TomTom GO 730 or GO 930 - these units add a fun feature that would allow Dad to record the kid's voices (or someone else's voice) for turn prompts. It's a lot of fun to get these recordings instead of some computer voice. Launched with the GO 730/920 series, it was one of the under rated features in my mind. See the "Custom Voices" section in my GO 720 Review for more information on this feature.


    Most of these have a GPS case of some sort - leather, or hard sided, which can be a nice touch for those dads who need to pack the unit in luggage. There is usually a link right off the main product page at Amazon for a suitable case.

    Finally, if you live in MN or CA, you need to have a dash mount for a GPS. All of these units come with an adhesive disk (permanent) that can help mount the GPS. I would recommend friction style mount - there are a couple of options in this post on Friction Mounts.


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 5, 2008

    Inrix Evolves Capabilities, Major Coverage

    inrixlogo.jpg

    Inrix is upping the traffic ante again with some new capabilities that should continue to evolve your ability to avoid traffic. Their new 3G engine is coming with some features that make INrix equipped GPS devices more adaptable to what consumers seem to need:

    More Coverage - Inrix is expanding its coverage of road miles to over 800,000 miles with integrated data sources including fleet data, and road sensors.

    Time Intelligent Routing - The new system will look ahead to see what traffic conditions will be like when you are traveling, not just what the traffic conditions are at the time you set up the route. Things change, and the Inrix engine can predict those changes with its historical information.

    Inrix is currently loaded in into the Dash Express. We'll be interested to see the capabilities evolve.

    Press release follows...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Evolves Capabilities, Major Coverage"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 4, 2008

    Magellan Maestro 5310 Review


    MagellanMaestro5310GPS.jpg

    PC Mag has a review up on the VERY Large screen Magellan Maestro 5310 - a 5-inch larger screened unit that is targeted at the RV and "bifocal" set who want or need that large point of view on their navigator. The Maestro 5310 5-inch screen offers 35% more viewable space than regular "widescreen" units are 4.3-inches measured diagonally. Craig Ellison liked the unit and thought the routes generated were reasonable. The unit does not have Bluetooth hands free, but does come pre-loaded with maps of North America and the AAA club data that allows you to search for POI entries and get informational write-ups on the location. I liked this feature when I used and reviewed the Maestro 3140, but wished it was better integrated with the rest of the system. PC Mag also mentioned that the larger unit and speaker made for plenty loud turn directions; not bad and maybe another nod to the aging demographic.

    For more information, read the review at PC Mag

    At Amazon - the Magellan Maestro 5310

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    June 3, 2008

    Impressive GPS Deals at Tiger Direct

    These deals come along every now and then, and they make other deals look boring. To be clear, most of these are for refurbished units. Some people avoid refurb's like the plague, and some people embrace them. Here are a few of the deals:

    TomTom ONE XL - $149. Usually over $200, this is a widescreen unit without text to speech.

    Magellan 3100 - $99.
    A very basic entry, with a short list of POI's. Shorter than I would recommend normally.

    Garmin Nuvi 250W - $179
    - Maps of North America, no Text to Speech. Normally above $200.

    Check out the Tiger Direct GPS Deals
    icon

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 2, 2008

    Dash Express - Snags Awards

    DashExpressMed.jpg

    Dash has snagged a couple of nice awards for the launch of its Fully Connected GPS device. The first is an award for the best navigation system from the Telematics conference. Not a bad award to have. Also they were the only GPS to be put on the PC World list of The 100 best Products of 2008. (Huh, didn't know it was over, but hey it's a pretty cool list - check it out at PC World). Via Dash Blogs

    The Dash Express is available for a new low price of $299 At Amazon. (Thanks Jim for sending this in.)


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    June 1, 2008

    GPS Steals and Deals - 6/1

    Dad's and Grad's season is here and there are a few discounts to be had this week. If you are going to upgrade on features above the base models, I recommend spending money on Text to Speech and Widescreen units if you can afford it. That puts you into a unit like the Nuvi 260W, or the TomTom XL-S. You can always move up from there for additional features like traffic, gas prices, more map coverage (i.e. Europe), optimized multi-stop routing, etc. See below for prices and for links to reviews on a lot of these models. Consider the Garmin 750/760 or the TomTom 720/730.


    Standard Screens - 3.5-inch

    • TomTom ONE - $145 and Free Shipping at Amazon; Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech. Consider spending the extra $5 for the updated model - The TomTom ONE 130; same features with a thinner design and a new fold-flat mount (Also available for the same price at Circuit City this week). The TomTom ONE 130S ($199) adds Text to Speech.

    • Garmin Nuvi 200 at Amazon - $159 No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps, solid interface and routing. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200 for more info.

    • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $223 Text to Speech, Maps of North America, solid interface. Same quality routing as Nuvi 200, just adds more maps and text to speech. At this point, I am recommending the Nuvi 260 with its updated interface, and newer design even though the Nuvi 350 is $199 this week; for more see: Compare the Nuvi 260 vs. the Nuvi 350. Want Bluetooth? Get the Nuvi 360 that adds Bluetooth Handsfree, for a few bucks more at - $229.


    Widescreen Models

    • Garmin Nuvi 260W - $269 at Amazon; down $80 in the last few weeks; Text to Speech and a dead easy interface.
    • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $199 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
    • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $334; still the best seller at Amazon - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
    • TomTom ONE XL S at Amazon $287 up recently - Text to Speech, North American Maps, MapShare. I think the Text to Speech is worth the extra money, but if you don't need it, the TomTom ONE XL is only $223.
    • Nuvi 750 - $365 at Amazon ($499 at BestBuy!) - New thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning. Also at Sam's Club for $299.
    • Nuvi 760 - $424. New thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning, adds Bluetooth handsfree and built-in TMC traffic. See My Full Review of the Nuvi 760. Also available at Costco online for $349.
    • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $524 - Has MSN Direct 2, with traffic and gas prices sent to your GPS. See My Full Review of the Nuvi 780 for more information.
    • TomTom GO 730 - $399 -New IQ Routes, Text to Speech, and more. Maps of North America.
    • Mio Moov 300 - ($190 at Amazon) - also for $199 at Office Max. Super thin design and a new interface on the Moov series with Text to Speech capabilities at this price. Before you buy, know that I think that this unit is Ok, with a few qualifiers; please read my Full Review of the Mio Moov 300/310.

    It's Running Season and for many, it's time to hit the roads. I am starting to watch the prices on the Forerunners. the Forerunner 305 is down $20 this week.


    • Garmin Forerunner 405 is available for pre-order - the watch-like GPS enabled fitness device has a smaller design with all kinds of functionality, including wireless sharing.
    • Forerunner 305 - $194 at Amazon - Heart Rate Monitor with wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.
    • Forerunner 205 - $157 at Amazon - Wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, no Heart Rate Monitor. Tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
    Join the Mailing List Mailing List
    Enter your Email


    Powered by FeedBlitz

    facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg

    Subscribe - RSS
    Site Navigation

    Visit our other properties at Blogpire.com!

    Archives

    TechPiree

    This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

    Powered by
    Movable Type 5.2.9
    All items Copyright © 1999-2014 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy