October 31, 2010
No, Mio has not disappeared, they acquired Magellan and kept their own line of navigators. The Mio Moov R403 is a wide-screened unit (4.3-inch) unit that offers a lot of value in a Mio package. The unit offers Text to speech - it says street names, lane guidance to help you when choosing which lane to be in for that confusing highway interchange, and maps of the US + Puerto Rico. The 4 million Points of interest is a little light compared to other brands on the market.
More at Mio Moov R403 (Product Webpage at Mio)
October 28, 2010
Garmin has announced the new Garmin Approach S1; a watch like golf GPS that tells you the limited information that is important to golfers, namely how far it is to the green. With yardage to the front, middle and back of the green from your vantage point, users should be able to better select a club and see their percentage of shots on the green in regulation go up.
While it leaves behind the maps that you find on the Garmin Approach G5, you do get over 14,000 golf courses pre-loaded on the Approach S1; impressive. The other thing that is impressive is that it only weighs 1.8 ounces; it is hardly there.
Street Price is $249 - More information at Garmin on the Garmin Approach S1
Full press release is below.......
Continue reading: "Garmin Approach S1 - Golf's Smallest Golf GPS"
October 28, 2010
The Garmin Garage has a lot of options for customizing your Nuvi's vehicle icons. The Garmin Garage started a few years back offering icons other than the standard ones that come with the Garmin units. They have one for just about any occasion, and if they don't you can recommend one for them to create.
Head over to the Garmin Garage for the Halloween Bundle of icons to see the full Halloween bundle of six icons, and load them up and enjoy the season a bit more. They are easy to download and install, just check out Garmin's directions for how to install new vehicle icons.
October 27, 2010
Big news today from the Navigon camp, they are launching their Android based navigation App. No it's not just a re-tread of the iPhone App, as it offers the industry-first Reality Scanner, a virtual reality view of your surroundings with Points of Interest (POI) superimposed on the camera view. With the NAVTEQ maps loaded onboard, you won't be stuck if you lose reception on the way to that important meeting.
Navigon Reality Scanner and More
Using the camera view, the Reality scanner offers views of POI around you with details about POI to give you a quick read of important information. Live traffic is included at no additional cost, and the App also offers Reality View of key intersections that allow you to see exactly what lane to be in and which way to go. They have also added the MyRoutes feature which analyzes your driving habits, patterns, location, time of day and provides up to three routes with ETA's for you to choose from. I think this offers you the ability to override the GPS as it sometimes might not understand the nuances of your local area.
It is available now in the Android Market for $39.99 - a two week special promotion. After that time, the price goes up to $59.99.
Full Press Release is below...... after the jump.
Continue reading: "Navigon Launches Android Navigation"
October 27, 2010
Waze has a few tricks up their sleeves for the Halloween Season, namely, some Jack-o-lanterns and ghosts on the road for a little eye candy. The mobile app allows users to navigate from point to point while also contributing to the quality of the map coverage.
For those who use Waze, these new icons replace the cupcakes that you used to gobble.
For those who don't Waze, this is is their way of getting people to drive over little used roadways and confirm the location of the roads. By gobbling up the treats, you earn extra points and raise up your status in the Waze community. The more you gobble the treats that are placed on lesser used roadways, the better to mapping becomes and the better the product.
I recently went to NYC from the Boston area and was pretty thankful to all of the folks who reported police traps along the way; thanks.
More info on Waze at the Waze Website.
October 26, 2010
Garmin has an upgrade available for BaseCamp, their mapping software companion that allows users to plan trips, add waypoints, download Birdseye Imagery, and generally interact with handheld GPS units in its product line. The software can be powerful and help users get the most out of their GPS but has been criticized in the past for its slow performance, specifically related to Birdseye image downloading and work.
The upgrade is 3.1.1, and adds some nice features to the BaseCamp repertoire, but the main enhancement is the fact that BaseCamp continues to get faster. Garmin has been focused on this for the last several months, which is good, because early on BirdsEye was barely worth using it took so long to download and put onto your device. I am thoroughly addicted to having the imagery on my handheld, and value it not only for hiking but also when I use it for road biking too. Here's a list from Garmin on the upgrades:
- Added support for additional BirdsEye products. (This relates to additional country specific BirdsEye products for Europe)
- Added ability to select non-rectangular area for BirdsEye download.
- Added ability to search through all text in user data for specified string.
- Consolidated POI, address and new user data search.
- Enhanced display of find results on the map.
- Added support for custom waypoint symbols, including ability to send and receive symbols to non-mass storage devices like the GPSMap 60 series.
- Added support for address search on maps read from a device.
- Made a significant improvement in memory efficiency for BirdsEye images.
- Added ability to search for and download Garmin Connect activities. Use Find Garmin Connect Activities under the Find menu.
- Added ability to transfer tracks to Garmin Connect.
- Added support for a new plug-in architecture that allows users to add new import and export formats. A separate post on these forums will give more details.
- Added ability to import TCX files, using the plug-in architecture.
- Added ability to export TCX, CSV and tabbed text files, using the plug-in architecture.
- Fixed numerous issues reported from the field.
If you upgrade, you will need to allow the BirdsEye products to "update", which can take over 30 minutes. If you upgrade, you will not be able to use the software without doing so. I have a small handful of BirdsEye images, and my computer took 25 minutes running in the background.
Results of Installing BaseCamp ver 3.1.1?
Well, the speed of using the BaseCamp product was a lot faster than I have ever seen. Not as dramatic as some previous updates (moving the speed from glacial to acceptable), but the speed continues to improve and at this point (very good), with speed issues out of the way, I highly recommend it. The $29/yr subscription is well worth it. (I am running the BaseCamp for the Mac currently.)
Problems or issues? Others have reported losing their data in the upgrade, I did not; it was all there. BaseCamp does think that I don't have an active subscription to BirdsEye, but I do, and can still download the images. Doesn't seem to be a problem and may just be a bad flag.
One of the best new features is that you can now download non-rectangular selections of imagery. I previously had to patch together a series of squares to get a long diagonal tract of land, now you can draw a circle with the cursor, or just highlight a series of points in a polygon to indicate what you want downloaded. I drew a polygon around downtown Boston and out into the Back Bay as an example, with a smooth line along the Charles River to the north.
In a few seconds BaseCamp converts that to the underlying (square) images that get downloaded (see below). Much easier to create an efficient download that gives you what you need and leaves out what you don't. In a world where memory is abundant, the images and more importantly the space on your GPS are still limited, so having just what you want is a good thing. The results of drawing an odd shape around just downtown Boston are below.
How to Download the Basecamp Update
If you already have BaseCamp, a quick update check will alert you that you have a new version ready. If not, here is the link for the Mac version of BaseCamp 3.1.1
, or the PC version of BaseCamp 3.1.1
October 22, 2010
The next installment of Looney Tunes voices are available for purchase at TomTom. Announced last month, the Looney Tunes Voices for TomTom GPS
units made their debut with both Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam. Now Sylvester the cat is available for purchase and download..... while he bumbles getting Tweety every time, I am sure he will help you get to your destination with confidence. The voices cost $12.95, and come with a full set of distinctive commands.
October 21, 2010
TomTom and HTC announced that they are teaming up and putting TomTom maps and navigation on the HTC phones. This gives users a high quality experience will start with the HTC Locations capability, offering maps and location content. For an extra fee, turn-by-turn navigation can be downloaded either directly through the HTC LOcations App or through HTC Sync.
The big news here is that HTC decided to team up with TomTom and not bring the standard Google fare to the phone. TomTom has been working their iPhone App pretty hard, updating it as recently as last week to keep it current, and feature-rich. The move to bring that expertise from the iPhone to the HTC product line is a logical extension.
The TomTom maps and navigation will be available on the Desire HD and Desire Z smartphones in Asia and Europe, rolling to other phones and geographies.
Full Press release below......
Continue reading: "TomTom hooks up HTC with Maps for Mobile"
October 15, 2010
Garmin has worked hard to innovate and bring a better experience to geocaching, from paperless geocaching where to download all of the details right to your handheld from your computer, to the new Chirp device, a small wireless unit that you can program with details, place in your cache and it can alert nearby geocache hunters on their wireless Garmin handhelds.
I haven't confirmed this, but the Chirp must be running on the ANT+ wireless standard, which also runs their fitness sensors. In my experience, this typically has a range of 30 feet when unobstructed. This also means that you'll need a Garmin handheld that runs the ANT+ system like Dakotas, Oregons but sadly not the older wireless enabled Colorado units. In order to accommodate the Chirp technology and set-up you will need to update your unit via WebUpdater.
So the Chirp is waterproof to IPX-7 standards, and Garmin has a few tips that will make the Chirp perform well.
- Do not mount the chirp inside a metal container. (Expected, but I love Ammo boxes as cache boxes)
- Do not bury the chirp. (Shouldn't be burying a cache box anyway).
- Do not put the chirp in water.
- A compatible Garmin device should detect the chirp within 10 m. For maximum transmission range, allow the chirp to have an unobstructed view in all directions.
The Chirp runs on at CR2032 size battery, which is user replaceable.
Chirp Wireless Only Caches?
The Chirp is about the size of a quarter, has a battery life of about a year, can be programmed by the owner and is password protected. Costing about $23, the unit can be programmed to broadcast hints, or information about multi-caches. Check-in at the first Chirp-enabled multi-cache and receive your instructions for the next find wirelessly. I could see a day where the Chirp is hidden in a location that doesn't need to be "found" where you can come to the proximity of the Chirp, receive your instructions and move on to the next step of the multi-cache. Sorry, non-wireless cachers.
GPSFix has a nice review up on the Chirp that he published today. Looks fun and fairly straightforward to use.
Full Press Release below.......
Continue reading: "Garmin Chirp - Enhancing the Geocaching Experience"
Our mobile app has been discontinued.
October 13, 2010
"Have it your way" seems to be a rallying cry from TomTom over the years; customize the voices; whether it's Looney Tunes or your own voice for GPS commands, and while you are at it, maybe your vehicle icons too.
My Custom GPS is a whole approach to getting the right GPS in your hands. The TomTom site allows you to walk through the product features, picking the right unit for you then adding the cover to wrap the unit in either stock artwork or custom art to your design which allows you to add pictures of your family, the dog, a great shot of that vacation or that favorite shot from college. The graphical cover printing is powered by CafePress. In talking with TomTom, I found that the graphics are printed directly on the unit, and are not wraps; so no you can't order one for your existing unit.
More at MyCustomTomTom
October 1, 2010
The Fisica Sensor Key ANT+ receiver for the iPhone has arrived for review just in time for a few Fall rides. Wahoo Fitness, the maker of the ANT+ receiver is out of Georgia. The Fisica Key plugs into the 30-pin connector on the bottom of the iPhone to pick up a number of signals from ANT+ health sensors. These sensors can include Heart Rate Monitors, cadence, foot pods, power meters for bikes, scales, with more coming.
Wahoo has a list of compatible ANT+ sensors at their website, and offers their own sensors if you don't have one already. They also publish an API, allowing App developers to use the sensor in a customized way inside their applications, giving readouts, capturing data, and offering visual and audio feedback during or after a workout. This sensor has the potential to change how people use the iPhone for workouts, capturing key data that hasn't always been easy to capture, utilize and incorporate into a workout regime. The opportunity here for the application developers is that this data can not be integrated into powerful Apps that utilize the mini-computer strapped to your arm to give you in the moment readouts or instructions during your exercise.
The Fisica Sensor Key plugs easily into the bottom of the iPhone, and about the size of a US Quarter coin. Yes it protrudes from the phone, but it is not a big deal in my estimation so far.
I am trying it out with the MapMyRide application on my iPhone 4. The folks at MapMyRide are allowing me sneak peek at the new MapMyRide version 3.7 that incorporates the Fisica capabilities seamlessly. The new version is in the Apple approval process and should hit the App store soon. In quick testing around the house and yard, I as able to strap on my Garmin ANT+ HRM, plug in the Fisica Key and have the HRM sensor data right on the workout screen where you would come to expect it among other data fields.
Check back at GPSLodge as we try out the Fisica Sensor Key for the iPhone and MapMyRide application that incorporates the ANT+ sensor information.
The Fisica Sensor Key and the Whaoo Fitness line of wireless sensors are available at Amazon.