October 31, 2008

Magellan "Suspends" Development on Maestro 5340 Connected GPS

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Did you hear that? That was the sound of the high flying Connected GPS plane crashing back to earth. Magellan indicated through TWICE magazine that they are suspending development of the Maestro 5340 due to consumers' low appetite for high priced GPS navigation systems and the associated monthly fees that come with these units. This comes after a couple of delays in their launch that was originally planned for March.

"Although Magellan believes there is great promise in connected navigation, in the near term, consumers have shown an unwillingness to pay a steep price for PNDs, especially with the recent economic downturns," the company said. "We have suspended our development on this device and will re-examine the market potential when the climate changes."

The article at TWICE is focusing on the BestBuy Insignia CNV10 and CNV20 connected GPS units, and indicates that the BestBuy venture could serve to educate users on how a connected GPS can help them in their daily fight against traffic, etc. If other manufacturers are counting on BestBuy and the CNV10/CNV20 to drive the connected segment they had better hope that people see the value despite the early impressions that the unit is of low quality.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 30, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 775T Review


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The Garmin Nuvi 775T is one of the newer widescreen GPS units (Announced in August) in the Nuvi line at this writing and offers several key upgrades over the Nuvi 770 offering that I think are useful and worth consideration when shopping for a GPS. I firmly believe that text to speech and widescreen GPS units are worth paying the additional money for, and being at the high end of the Garmin line, the Nuvi 775T has both. That's not all though, as Garmin has seen their way to adding in a few other goodies to keep people interested and enticed enough to put the Nuvi 775T high on their list. The reason to spend a little more on teh Nuvi 775T is to get both North American AND European maps pre-loaded on the device. If you are heading to Europe and want a GPS, this is a great high end choice.

Let's take a look at the features of the Garmin Nuvi 775T to see what it has to offer....


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October 29, 2008

TomTom Profits off 41% - How Bad is it Out There?


We all know that we are going through some tough times economically, and that this holiday season is not going to be a normal one - the potential for low spending, deep discounts and low profits for the GPS companies. We may not be talking about consumers win, GPS companies take it on the chin here; we may be talking consumers lose, they lose, when we get great deals and then they go out of business.

TomTom just released results and their earnings are DOWN 41% in the most recent quarter. They had discounting, as well as increased costs which led to the drop, but one might say that they needed to discount this way to get inventory moving. In the holiday season last year, they deeply discounted and gained market share as a result, but that always comes at a cost to earnings.

In this Business Week article, it also talks about the market concerns over TomTom's recent renegotiation of their debt load, partially brought on through the TeleAtlas purchase. TomTom just recently renegotiated it's debt, easing those fears, but it's another sign that things are bad.


To be clear, the stock market isn't just punishing TomTom, Garmin is getting hit as well. Not sure where this will end up it the two market leaders are hurting, where does that leave the others?


Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 28, 2008

Meet Team Garmin win a Team Bike


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Team Garmin has had a pretty good year, and on November 22nd in Boulder CO, you could meet the new Team Garmin and enjoy a bit of the festivities that will come along with the event. One cool thing is that you will have a chance to win a Felt F1 bike - the team racing bike, including all of the extras that come along with a racing bike of this caliber, minus the chase vehicle and of course the team manager who will change a flat for you on the ride.

More at Garmin Blog where there is news and links to interviews from members of the team and their reaction to the Tour de France 2009 route.


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October 26, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 205W, 255W Full Review


The Garmin Nuvi 205W/255W were announced earlier this year and are quickly taking their place as solid entry level units in the Garmin line-up. The Nuvi 205W/255W offer a series of new tweaks that I have quickly come to appreciate and enjoy.


The Nuvi 205W/255W feature several upgraded features:



  • New faster processor, making for a faster routing and map drawing.

  • New shaded elevation maps.

  • Now compatible with optional TMC traffic receivers, or MSN Direct service (Gas prices, traffic, local events, stocks, news, and weather.

  • Garmin HotFix capability to automatically calculate and store satellite locations so that you will be able to turn the unit on and go a lot faster greatly reducing satellite acquisition time.

  • Geolocated Picture capability - Download geotagged photos to the Garmin to be able to navigate to a loaded picture; works with Google's Panoramio photo sharing community and Garmin Connect Photos website.


The subtle changes don't sell themselves in any huge way as breakthrough innovations, but these changes add up to a whole lot more in use than the quick read might lead you to believe. If these were houses for sale, the 200W/250W and the 205W/255W may look the same from the outside, and offer the same number of bedrooms and baths, but the think of it like the Nuvi 205W and Nuvi 255W just got kitchen, bath and master suite upgrades that make them stand out as easier and more enjoyable to use.


Let's take a look at what's inside and why these are worth the upgrade.


Update: The Nuvi 2x5 series has the ability to use the Garmin ecoRoute program that helps you drive more efficiently. It's not nirvana, but it can help those interested in being a little more gas conscious. See my post "Got ecoRoute?..."


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October 23, 2008

Jeep GPS Navigator RT-300 Review

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It's always a little concerning when I see co-branded GPS units that usually scream "crap" as they attempt to sell a pretty complex piece of electronics based on a commoditized interface. I will say it again, It's easy to make a GPS, It's hard to make a good GPS, and PC Mag just reviewed the Jeep GPS Navigator RT-300 that sounds like it fails to meet expectations and offers a poor quality product that can't measure up to the quality standards set by Garmin and TomTom.

Craig Ellison reports that the interface is a bit clunky and that it is based on Windows CE, which is fairly standard for a lot of third tier units which gather a whole bunch of applications that aren't seamlessly put together and usually provides mediocre navigation at best.

The Jeep Navigator RT-300 comes with a ruggedized rubber cover that may fit with the Jeep lifestyle, but doesn't offer a lot of the attributes that might actually enable the Jeep lifestyle, like off-road capabilities, or waterproof ratings. I can't tell you how many times I was caught in a rainstorm in my Wrangler when I had it; I would have ruined a GPS several times over if I had one due to rain alone. Maybe the new Garmin Nuvi 500would be a better choice - off road capable, waterproof to 1 meter, and comes with Topographic maps. Jeep had been with Garmin a while ago; maybe they should have locked up a deal on something like the Nuvi 500?

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 21, 2008

Garmin GPS Icons - Halloween Set Now Available - The "Boo-Bundle"

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So there are a few new Garmin Garage icons available for download to your Garmin GPS. The latest celebrates Halloween. They have poured it on lately, celebrating just about ever major holiday or Garmin-centric event that has come down the pike. That leaves them with a lot to choose from.

The Halloween ones include: This Franken-dude shown here, a Hearse, Knuckles - a bony hand, a candy corn, a witch's broom, and a ghost. All fun.

More at the Garmin Garage

Via Garmin Blogs

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Nextar ME Launching at SEMA

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Nextar is ready to introduce the ME, a slim navigation system that comes pre-loaded with Tele Atlas maps. At only 0.7" thickness, it can be easily moved for use in multiple vehicles. The Nextar ME features a 3.5 inch touch-screen display, 1.6-million points of interest, 50 U.S. maps, text-to-speech, and includes a host of portable media player for functions like MP3 playing and JPEG image viewing. The ME will be available at leading retailers across the US with a SRP of $129.99 in Spring 2009.

Text-to-Speech and 50 State Maps at a list price of $129 that will effectively be less than that in the spring sounds like it will continue to drive the competition for features up while the price points continue to drop.


More information after the jump......


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October 19, 2008

Insignia GPS NS CNV-10 Connected GPS - Unboxing & First Impressions Review

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UPDATE: See my Full Review of the Insignia CNV-10/CNV-20 - a Must Read BEFORE you waste your money.

The new Insignia Connected GPS unit is shipping and I thought I would grab a new Insignia GPS NS CNV-10 Connected GPS over the weekend to check out the Best Buy house brand's new connected GPS out, then put up a First Impressions Review. The CNV-10 and CNV-20 units just became available and are the second brand of connected GPS to hit the US market; the first being the Dash Express. The benefits of having a connected GPS can be numerous, but for now, the Insignia is counting on better traffic data, better search results through Google, and the ability to email locations straight to your GPS from websites like Google Maps. The Insignia CNV-10 offers a 3.5-inch screen while the CNV-20 offers the 4.3-inch widescreen.

A quick trip to Best Buy had me walk out with the goods and a few hundred dollars lighter ($399 + Tax). The box reminds you that you had better like this or else, with its 15% re-stocking fee reminder. Open the box up and you'll find the diminutive unit set in a large cardboard holder, which when removed will reveal the rest of the ingredients that will make up the entire batch of connected GPS goodness.


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More after the Jump......


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Best GPS Steals and Deals - 10/19

Lot of movement going on as the GPS makers and retailers try to shake off the economy and get some units off the shelf. I have seen a lot of news about early discounts this year, and it's no surprise. Here's a run down of the best GPS deals that I have seen this week. Shop around, read the reviews, and figure out what you want and need.

I recommend some upgrades as your budget allows, Text to Speech, and a widescreen in that order. Other additions such as Traffic, Bluetooth Handsfree, etc. are definitely nice to have.


Standard Screens - 3.5-inch

  • Garmin Nuvi 270 - $159 - Has US and Western Euro Maps pre-loaded for the same price as the US only unit (Nuvi 200) No Text to Speech, but if you are heading to Europe and need a unit, this is a great deal.

  • Nuvi 205 at Amazon - $153 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps, solid interface and routing. This is an updated version of the Nuvi 200 with faster satellite acquisition times and a better interface. For a more up to date unit, consider the extra $18 and look at the . Faster Acquisition times and an updated interface. Oh yea - and it's $6 less than the older Nuvi 200!
  • Garmin Nuvi 350 - Still $179 this week; very capable older unit that has an older interface. 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 - $199

  • TomTom ONE 3rd ed. - $138 and Free Shipping at Amazon; Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech.

  • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $197 Text to Speech, Maps of North America, solid interface. Same quality routing as Nuvi 200, just adds more maps and text to speech.

  • Navman F15 - $99 exclusively at Radio Shack - it's a very basic Standard Screen (3.5-inch) model with US maps. Haven't used it, but the interface is going to be like the Mio Moov system (Mio owns Navman) - See my Mio Moov Full Review.

Widescreen Models

  • Nuvi 760 - $340 - 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.
  • Nuvi 750 - $284 - down $40 recently. 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. Doesn't have the Bluetooth, or the Traffic capability that the 760 has.
  • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $449 Has MSN Direct 2, with traffic and gas prices sent to your GPS. See My Full Review of the Nuvi 780 for more information.
  • Garmin Nuvi 260W - $237 at Amazon; Text to Speech and a dead easy interface.
  • Nuvi 650 at Amazon $219. Older design with 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 $177 - Entry Level Widescreen - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
  • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $293 - Older Design with Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
  • TomTom ONE XL 330 - $199- the new Basic Widescreen for the TomTom line, Maps of North America, new Easy Port fold flat mount, and no text to speech - Move up to the TomTom ONE XL 330S for Text to Speech at $247;

  • Garmin Nuvi 880 - $648 - Has voice recognition and MSN Direct traffic, gas prices and weather data feeds. Let's you say your destination and it routes you there. Very cool; love the capabilities.

Refurbished GPS units - Radio Shack has a few sub-$100 units worth considering if you are OK with refurbished electronics.

Finally, TomTom.com has some specials to offer - bundles that you may not find anywhere else, as well as discounts that seem to match other sites' discounts. It's another resource to consider if you want to shop for a TomTom.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 17, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 270 - N.America + European Maps - $159

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Pretty good deal here for the Garmin Nuvi 270 - the standard screen navigator that comes preloaded with North American AND European Maps and offers voice guided (not text-to-speech) capabilities ("Turn Right in 400 Yards").

This is a pretty amazing price considering that the regular Garmin Nuvi 200 with only US Maps costs about the same price right now. It's such a great deal that it's the top selling GPS right now at Amazon! If you want an idea of the performance of the Nuvi 270, check out my Full Review of the Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270.

At Amazon - The Garmin Nuvi 270

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 16, 2008

WalMart May have iPhone 3G[ps] for Black Friday

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With the iPhone 3G's integrated GPS, it still isn't a turn by turn directions master replacing the Navigation Device that you probably have or want on your dashboard, but it is seeing several applications that make good use of that GPS. RunKeeper is a good example of fitness tracking, while there are several Geocaching applications that can keep you going in the woods (as long as you have a cell signal).

Well, it looks like WalMart might be offering the iPhone for the big Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. It is said that they will be activating it in the stores, just like BestBuy and the phone stores. Personally, I think that standing in an activation line at WalMart on Black Friday is not what Steve Jobs had in mind for a customer experience when he first had iPhone users activate them easily and quickly through iTunes when they got home.

We've had some pretty good coverage for GPS Deals on Black Friday last year, and the year before and will be gearing up to cover all the GPS deals this year for Black Friday.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 15, 2008

Ads on your GPS - Driving the Future of GPS Capabilities?

Garmin recently announced that they are offering free traffic feeds to their Nuvi 755T, 765T, 775T and 785T units via small ads that come up every now and then. When using the Nuvi 755T for my Full Review, I found them unobtrusive, and a natural fit to what I was doing or where I was going; it got me thinking about where this will all lead. If you hadn't noticed, the stocks of Garmin and TomTom are down about 70% and 80% YTD, respectively indicating that the markets aren't convinced that these businesses have the growth ahead of them that we have seen in recent years, where 100% year over year profit growth was possible. With margins being where they are, GPS manufacturers may only be making $20 on each low end device, which is not a lot when you consider the work that they are doing to get such a device to the market. The idea of ad supported GPS units may offer the residual income that so many businesses seek with their offerings from Tivos to razors and satellite radios. What's the potential for GPS?

Ad Supported FM-based Traffic Feeds - Quick Ad, POI Listing

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These are here now, with the Garmin introductions. Previously costing users about $60+ a year Traffic feeds give you the ability to route around traffic problems is big. I have long thought that this is a huge need that is partially met by the current mix of data feeds and low bandwidth capabilities of the FM-based TMC network (or MSN network). Broad swaths of generalized traffic trends allow good GPS units to help figure out the big problem spots. Big step up from the guy in the traffic copter. The ads are small (shown right - an ad from the Nuvi 755T) and when tapped connect you to a Points of Interest list of those stores or locations - pretty basic, but it's a start. Basic ads gives you $60 a year in value.

Intelligent Ads with Unique Offers - Daily Use

With the launch of the Dash Express this year, two way connected GPS units starbuckslogoRT.jpgushered in the wave of higher bandwidth more intelligent data feeds. With better bandwidth and better interactivity, a more intelligent ad network can be had too. Can you imagine the confluence of a few data feeds to drive targeted marketing: 1) "Home" location and zip code, 2) Frequent search topics on the GPS, 3) Current location, 4) Time of Day, and 5) Travel habit profiling - daily commuter vs. business traveler. With this information fed back to ad servers, highly targeted offers can be made, and thus be more lucrative for the GPS make

  • If you ever search for a coffee shop in the afternoons while on the road, why wouldn't Starbucks send you an ad when you are within a less than mile of their store with a coupon code for $1 off your Venti?
  • If you are a business traveler, why wouldn't restaurants start pushing ads for dinner when it's later in the day knowing that you always look for a place to eat when you are on the road?
  • When Target knows that you drive to their parking lot every other week, why wouldn't they send the latest announcement to entice you back and keep you as a loyal shopper?

The possibilities are either endless or scary depending on your sentiment, but this is all dependent on a two way exchange of data between a highly intelligent GPS, and a data crunching server somewhere. For this you'll need connected GPS. Better, more targeted ads could possibly cover the current $120+ per year annual fee for this cellular connected service. While you are at it, throw in free Map Updates once this model matures. Advanced Targeting, rich ads = Higher Value Freebies like a connected subscription and free map updates.

Interface, Interface, Interface

Like the rule of real estate where location is king, the interface rules the GPS world, and only a couple of makers are currently up to the task. I am pretty sure that Garmin worked hard to make sure that their initial offering with the Nuvi 755T and its siblings was very well thought out made to be not at all polarizing. The next step of bringing richer, more obtrusive and more informational ads will bring new challenges. With the maturation of the Web, and the serving of its ads (Think Google here), the idea of data crunching and serving up relevant ads seems like a small hurdle, it's striking that balance between obnoxious and unseen. We all hate pop-up ads on a web page, but we won't swerve off the road trying to "X" out of them while sitting at our computer desk; these can't be the norm on a GPS device. Advertisers won't pay to be unseen either. The true art will be knowing the consumer and knowing how to subtly bump them while not interfering with the navigation experience.

There are a lot of possibilities for rewards if ads are done right, and the potential to save the GPS companies from this recent slide, but ads need to be expertly integrated into the interface so that they are seamless and relevant. If they are, consumer, and businesses will benefit through better services and better offerings. Looks like a lot of fun ahead; I can't wait to see the possibilities.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 14, 2008

DeCarta Connected Navigation Ready to Launch

Interesting development here that deCarta is launching it's own Connected Navigation (CNav)capability where it is serving as the engine behind the interface. The CNav (yea; we needed a good acronym for this term), capability will go a long way to trying to match the Dash Navigation capabilities that burst onto the market back in March.

The connected capability will give connected search (Think Google), as well as offer a bigger data pipe for sending more finely tuned traffic data down to the GPS devices. This means that not only can you get faster updates across a broader set of roads, but you can also get finer resolution on where jams start and end.

According to their website their traffic engine appears to use the Inrix data feeds to deliver broad coverage in dozens of metro areas.

Should be interesting to see who and what comes along using the deCarta engine.

Press Release after the jump......


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Garmin Nuvi 265WT - Widescreen and Lifetime Traffic

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Garmin has a nice widescreen entry with the Nuvi 265WT, that offers a lot of capability in a lower tier model within reach for most GPS buyers. The Nuvi 265WT was announced in August 2008, along with the Nuvi 265T and Nuvi 275T.

The Nuvi 265WT offers Text to Speech and Lifetime Traffic with a departure from the older 3-month free trial and a monthly subscription after that. This is TMC based traffic service that is served over the FM airwaves. The Nuvi 265WT has the newest Garmin interface that I like a lot - it has subtle changes that make a big difference. The distance to turn is in the upper left corner with the turn indicator next to it - easy to see and quick too. The speed limit indicator is down the left side also making that time glancing at the left side of the screen pretty productive. I used this interface extensively in reviewing the Nuvi 255W, the sister unit to the Nuvi 265WT, and thought that it was a big improvement to the overall system. For more information on the Nuvi 255W, and the new Garmin interface, see My Full Review of the Nuvi 255W.

The new Nuvi 2x5 models come with the enhancements that you get with the rest of the 2x5 line, including:

  • New faster processor, making for a faster routing and map drawing.
  • New shaded elevation maps.
  • Garmin HotFix capability to automatically calculate and store satellite locations so that you will be able to turn the unit on and go a lot faster greatly reducing satellite acquisition time.
  • Geolocated Picture capability - Download geotagged photos to the Garmin to be able to navigate to a loaded picture; works with Google's Panoramio photo sharing community and Garmin Connect Photos website.

With all of these features, the Garmin Nuvi 265T, and 265WT seem to be a very well appointed and well targeted to the masses. The Nuvi 265WT will expand to a 4.3-inch screen, and Bluetooth Handsfree capabilities to work with your compatible Bluetooth phone.

The Nuvi 265WT has text to speech turn directions; "Turn left on Main Street."

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Got your nuMaps? Garmin's 60 Day Map Update Guarantee Starts Tomorrow

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Garmin wants to get the word out that they have a nuMap - New Map guarantee, which means that if you register your Nuvi or Zumo and within 60 days of your purchase there is a new map update, you get that map update for free. Not bad, but considering that there is only an annual map release, this will only hit a small portion of buyers.

Full Press release follows and states that this is effective for people who bought their Nuvi or Zumo after August 17, 2008, and the program starts tomorrow, October 15, 2008. Garmin says:

"After a customer purchases a new nüvi or zūmo PND, they can check to see if they are eligible for a free map update simply by registering their unit at http://my.garmin.com within 60 days of the first use of their new PND. If new map data is available anytime during that 60-day period, the user can request and download the new data, free of charge, by following simple online prompts."

So make sure that you register your Nuvi or Zumo, and then check online to see if you qualify for a free map update.

Register at the My Garmin Website

Full Press Release after the jump.....


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October 13, 2008

RunKeeper - Fitness Training for iPhone - Now Going to be Free

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Just a few weeks ago, I wrote up a post on tracking your runs, walks, hikes or bikes with a new application for the iPhone called RunKeeper. I got an email last night from FitnessKeeper, the makers of RunKeeper letting me know that the application was going to be free. So go check it out, and join the party tracking your fitness regimen for free with your 3G iPhone.

At iTunes - RunKeeper
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October 11, 2008

Deal Alert - Mio Moov 200 - $99 At Staples


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Starting tomorrow Staples will be selling the entry level Mio Moov 200 for $99 after instant rebate and a mail in rebate. Pretty good price point for a basic GPS, one that I think we will continue to see more of as we get closer to Black Friday and the extended holiday shopping season.

The Mio Moov 200 is a basic GPS with turn by turn directions, standard 3.5-inch screen, maps of the US, but also has text to speech - says street names, and comes loaded with 3.5 million Points of Interest - a good middle of the range number

For an idea of how the Mio Moov 200 will work, check out my full review of the widescreen version the Mio Moov 300.

Deal starts tomorrow and runs through 10/18 at Staples

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 10, 2008

TomTom wins Garmin Awards?


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In some stroke of miscommunication and bad outcomes, TomTom has won the Garmin T3 Gadgets Awards for Gadget You Can't Live without from the Brit Gadget site T3. This stopped me in my tracks this morning as I read it and thought; huh? So it seems the Garmin is sponsoring the T3 gadget awards, specifically the Gadget of the Year category, but TomTom was voted by the generally Euro based readers as the Gadget you Can't do Without - specifically the TomTom GO 930.

Want to learn more about the TomTom GO 930 - check out my Full Review of the TomTom GO 930.

Check out the whole list of awards at T3

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 9, 2008

Garmin Set to Launch Map Subscriptions

Garmin who owns a giant share of the US market, is starting to plan for ways to capture more revenue from that installed base; this time with a Map Subscription. Following on the heels of Navigon's FreshMaps and TomTom's Update Service, Garmin is bringing updated maps to subscribers on a regular basis. I was speculating about a Garmin release in the TomTom announcement thinking that with Navigon also using NAVTEQ maps said to me that it wasn't a map supplier barrier that needed to be broken down; it was an internal Garmin decision based on technical delivery and market strategy. I have talked a lot lately about getting different revenue streams from the GPS after its sale, and map updates have been a good one. The subscription model though brings a large cash flow injection upfront that has marginal costs later on down the line. In these troubled times, it's great to capitalize on the cash flow now. This may also lead to a better marketing position at point of sale, and result in more satisfied users who stick with the brand due to better perceived quality of the product.

The Cost is 119 Euros, which directly translated to the US is pretty high, but my hunch is that the US price will be more competitive with Navigon's $79 price point. The updates are quarterly for the lifetime of your device.

More at YourNav

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 8, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 765T Review

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The Garmin Nuvi 765T is one of the newer widescreen GPS units (Announced in August) in the Nuvi line at this writing and offers several key upgrades over the Nuvi 760 offering that I think are useful and worth consideration when shopping for a GPS. I firmly believe that text to speech and widescreen GPS units are worth paying the additional money for, and being at the high end of the Garmin line, the Nuvi 765T has both. That's not all though, as Garmin has seen their way to adding in a few other goodies to keep people interested and enticed enough to put the Nuvi 765 high on their list.

Let's take a look at the features of the Garmin Nuvi 765T to see what it has to offer....
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Azentec SmartMiroor with Navigon Navigation on Sale in Q4

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Azentec has their SmartMirror coming to market in the last quarter of the year, at a price of $799. The mirror features an integrated GPS and back-up camera feed for a lot of functionality at your fingertips. The Navigon based navigation system has Text-to-Speech while also offering Navigon's Lane Assist and Reality View capabilities. Finally, it's Bluetooth capable for handsfree calling - a nice feature to have right there in the car - all the time. This YouTube video shows some of the features of the SmartMirror.

More at Azentec's website

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October 7, 2008

Geocaching with your iPhone

Well it's about time that the GPS enabled 3G iPhone got out in the woods and found a little treasure! We've seen that it can go running with you via RunKeeper, and now the latest iPhone can get you into Geocaching. It's not a big surprise to see, but you'll have to keep yourself close to civilization so that you have at least Edge network coverage while searching.

Geopher Lite (iTunes Link) is a new application that allows you to access the Geocaching database to search Geocaches around your current location, and then go out and find them. The application is a work in progress with more features coming including managed Geocache lists and GPX file management. The price now is a measly $1.99; cheap. Read more at their Blog/website.

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Also in the news, Groundspeak/Geocaching has let it be known that they have also submitted their own Geocaching application for consideration and review to Apple. It should be posting to the iTunes App store in the coming days. See below for a screenshot of the new application. The retail price will be $9.99.

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Finally there is iGeoCacher (iTunes Link) that is a full featured Geocaching application for the 3G iPhone, which at $15 tops the list in terms of price. It is able to search by location at the Geocaching site, and by bringing up details of the Geocache, you are able to download its ket information enabling paperless geocaching.
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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 6, 2008

Mio Moov 380 Connected GPS On the Market (In Taiwan)

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Mio's connected GPS, the Mio Moov 380 is being reported by Taiwan Times that it is now available (in Taiwan) for purchase. Mio has been talking about since earlier this year. The connected GPS gets its information over the cellular network allowing it to get better traffic information via typical traffic data feeds and peer to peer networking. through bigger bandwidth connections. More bandwidth = more data = better informed drivers (we hope).


According to the Taiwan Times, "The development of wireless networking has enabled Mio to integrate wireless communication and real time transmission technology into its GPS, enabled car electronics products allowing them to offer six kinds of location-oriented services: on the go safety, positioning, navigation, tracing & management, commercial and leisure entertainment services, generating new business opportunities for car electronics products.

Wang of MiTAC states, "By adopting networking technologies, Mio enables in-car devices to offer more services than traditional car GPS systems. From real time traffic message navigation to the latest entertainment information, it enables in-car GPS's to navigate smarter, and also enrich the lives of our consumers.""

Wonder when this might hit the US? Stay tuned.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 3, 2008

Insignia GPS - Connected Search NS-CNV20 and NS-CNV10


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UPDATE: See my Full Review of the Insignia CNV-10/CNV-20 - a Must Read BEFORE you waste your money.

Best Buy is letting go a pair of pretty advanced GPS units that have connected search via Google. Hum, was that the long fabled Magellan 5340 connected unit that never made it to market? Or is that still coming? Best Buy is certainly making a big leap into GPS, in an an especially difficult end of the pool here. The entry level end is flodded with cheap brands and a lot of fairly inexpensive units from the big guys. Dash Navigation has their Dash Express that has incredible connected capabilities, but has had a tough time breaking through with their entry.

The Best Buy Insignia 4.3-inch NS-CNV20 and 3.5-inch NS-CNV10 models, will use a cellular modem to deliver real-time traffic information and Google Local Search. Cost will be $499 for the NS-CNV20 and $399 for the smaller screen NS-CNV10. The nice thing is that the unit has a free subscription to the service for a year - no word on pricing after that.

On sale at your local Best Buy October 19.

Via Twice and GPS Tracklog - Photo via Engadget

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin GPSMAP 620 and 640 - Boating to Driving

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Garmin unveiled their new line of marine GPS units - Garmin GPS 620 and 640, two GPS units that are set for sea navigation but can also be used for driving home from the marina. The 600 series has a 5.2-inch screen that offers a large screen size, which is the same size as Garmin's Nuvi 5000 automotive only unit. Of course the unit comes with marine maps, but then flips to a pretty able bodied road navigator with text-to-speech capabilities.

The GPSMAP 620 offers a world marine basic mapset with the options to add in specific detail as needed, while the GPSMAP 640 offers US Coastal maps as well as North American driving maps. An optional XM Satellite antenna would allow you to get XM satellite weather service as well as radio and traffic. Pricing for the 620 is expected to be about $1,000, while the 640 would carry a price tag of about $1,200. Should be available "soon".

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 2, 2008

RunKeeper for iPhone - Fitness Tracking Using iPhone's GPS

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I came across this cool little application the other day on the iTunes store and thought I would pass it along. The RunKeeper icon application uses the iPhone's built in GPS tracking to record your fitness outings; runs, bike rides, hikes, etc. to measure performance. The simple interface is easy to use and grabs some nice stats; total distance, pace, time as well as showing you your speed performance in a bar graph to easily understand how you are doing. Another nice feature is that you can pause your run in the middle if you need to stop mid-workout for a phone call, stop light, or to tie a shoe. Of course since it's the iPhone, you can listen to your iTunes music as you go too.

Runs can be saved in the iPhone, but are also uploaded to the RunKeeper website, where you can log in and see your run superimposed over a Google Map. The image below is an example of the current capabilities. According to the RunKeeper website, future releases may include the ability to superimpose the run on the Google Maps right on your phone.

RunKeeper: icon is available for $9.99 at the iTunes Apps Store


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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

October 1, 2008

Garmin Colorado Handheld 300, 400c, 400i, 400t - $50 Rebate

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The Garmin Colorado is getting a boost in its appeal just in time for the holidays, as they are putting out a $50 rebate (PDF Link to Rebate Form) that is good for purchases from October 1 - December 31st.

Want more information on the Colorado? Check out my Full Review of the Colorado 400T for an idea of how the unit works.

Available at Amazon:

GPSLodge Monthly Round-Up September 2008

As summer winds down, we saw some news of new units pick up for holiday sales planning, while we also saw some nice discounting of older models as they were being squeezed or replaced on the shelf by new models.

GPS Reviews

Garmin GPS News

TomTom GPS News

Dash News

Mio GPS News

Navigon GPS

GPS News

GPS Rebates and Sales

Mapping News

About GPSLodge

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Sex and the City Star Lends Voice to TomTom Navigators

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Sex and the City star, Kim Cattrall has recorded voice commands that can be downloaded onto your awaiting TomTom to coo and offer a little more color to your commutes. Fans know her as Samantha on the show and will get treated to a few sayings that will make things a little more fun while driving.

Her voice and others can be bought ($12.95) and downloaded at TomTom's website

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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