January 30, 2012
Definitely a deal to check out - 5-inch screen AND it's connected for local search, HD traffic and more. This TomTom GO LIVE 1535 has local search powered by Google, plus a suite of helper apps that are targeted to making your travel easier, including: Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Expedia. The GO LIVE services offer HD Traffic, fuel prices, and voice recognition and Bluetooth Handsfree capability. The maps of Mexico, the US, and Canada are includes and come with a lifetime upgrade package - no more severely out of date maps!
Anyway, I thought it was a good enough deal to buy one myself to check out. I will have some posts on it in the coming weeks.
At Amazon Deal of the Day - TomTom GO LIVE 1535
January 24, 2012
We've written about EveryTrail and other outdoor GPS Apps for smartphones before, but the makers of EveryTrail have what I would call an Urban Hiking Guide or more normally called a City Guide which are available for a handful of cities. Since they were bought by TripAdvisor, the hybrid of the two properties had to crank out an App like this; walking style, Points of internets, and guided tours.
The App uses your smartphone GPS and compass to use location based services and offer you insight about what's around you. Not only can you get information about places like restaurants around you, but you can also get city facts written by professional editors so you can enjoy your self-guided tour around the neighborhood or city.
Once you get the App you can download additional content (iPhone), including maps, photos of points of interest, reviews, and more. Android appears to have an App per city; download each individually and off you go.
The current North American Cities Include:
- Hawaii - several cities across the islands
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C., as well as a few European and Asian cities.
At iTunes for iPhone and the Android Market
January 23, 2012
The Supreme Court submitted a unanimous decision today rejecting the premise that putting a GPS tracker on someone's car doesn't require a court warrant. They feel it does. Drug dealers offer a sigh of relief, until the courts step in and signs that warrant, then it's back to the investigation.
While the little black box attached to the underside of a car is in question, it also brings into question the use of onboard GPS data tracking too - How about access to your OnStar tracks - yea, that would need a warrant. (BTW, just because you didn't pay your subscription, don't think that they can't track you. They can.)
For more information on the case - See the NYT
January 14, 2012
TomTom is going for a new three tiered line-up approach to try to differentiate the features and make sure that the consumer value perception is clear and concise. I like the move, and hopefully the buying public thinks it's a good move too.Their "Mission Statements" for each tier are:
Features of each Tier will include:
- Start: The entry-level, and budget-friendly, Start line offers an easy solution for new drivers by providing essential A-to-B navigation on a dedicated device. Start offers access to the world’s most complete and accurate database of maps, as well as features such as lane guidance and spoken street names that help make navigation easier and less stressful. Additionally, the product line offers new features for an entry-level TomTom line, such as access to nationwide fuel prices.
- VIA: The mid-range VIA line offers a stress-free navigation solution for the busy person always on-the-go, such as a multi-tasking parent. With additional safety features such as Bluetooth hands-free calling, voice recognition, and advanced lane guidance, drivers are able to navigate through life while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
- GO LIVE: The faster GO LIVE line offers the daily commuter all the features of the VIA and real-time information with access to connected, LIVE Services. Featuring the award-winning TomTom HD Traffic and branded Travel Apps, users can read restaurant reviews on Yelp® and TripAdvisor®, find hotel availability with Expedia® or automatically tweet their arrival time on Twitter without ever leaving the car. Additionally, they’ll have access to live fuel prices, weather forecasts, and local search.
- START: Lifetime Traffic Updates, Lifetime Map Updates, Spoken Street Names, Lane Guidance, IQ Routes, Maps of US and CAN, 7 Million+ Points of Interest, Essential Routing, Fuel Prices
- VIA: Lifetime traffic Updates, Lifetime Map Updates, Spoken Street Names, Advanced Lane Guidance, IQ Routes, Maps of US, CAN, MEX*, 7 Million+ Points of Interest, Instant Routing Bluetooth® Hands-free Calling, Voice Recognition*, Enhanced Graphics, Slim Design and Integrated Mount
- GO LIVE: TomTom HD Traffic, Lifetime Map Updates, Spoken Street Names, Advanced Lane Guidance, IQ Routes, Maps of US, CAN, MEX, 7 Million+ Points of Interest, Dynamic, Instant Routing, Bluetooth® Hands-free Calling, Voice Recognition, Enhanced Graphics, Slim Design and Integrated Mount, Click-and-Go Mount, Capacitive Touch Screen, LIVE Services incl. Fuel Prices, Travel Apps, Roadside Assistance
It will be interesting to see what models they stick into each tier. Expect these new units to start showing up this Spring.
January 14, 2012
Lightsquared was dealt a setback again this week as a government advisory board sent a letter to the Commerce Department indicating that the Lightsquared plans for nationwide high speed wireless broadband would significantly interfere with the GPS system and saw no easy way to fix the problems.
The group based these conclusions on separate tests by the FAA, the group concluded that the original and even the altered plans by Lightsquared would "cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers."
This has been going on for a while, and we recently reported that one government test indicated that the Lightsquared plans would interfere with 75% of GPS receivers, and affecting up to 100 square miles of newly lost and directionless GPS receivers. Via WSJ
January 10, 2012
It sounds like Magellan is upping their game and designed a pretty feature-packed value-priced navigator in the Magellan eXplorist 110. With a color sunlight readable screen, a US road network in the basemap, paperless geocaching, and various track laying capabilities, you'll be pretty set for a good outing.
The eXplorist 110 also features a suspend mode that powers down everything expect the GPS tracking so that the unit consumes a very small amount of power; Magellan expects 2-AA batteries to last up to 18 hours.
On top of the US maps, the eXplorist has Magellan's World Edition map, which includes a road network of more than 200 countries.
Available Now at Amazon - the Magellan eXplorist 110
Full Press Release Follows…….
Continue reading: "Magellan Announces the eXplorist 110 Handheld GPS"
Just about every day, it seems like some App, website or refrigerator goes "Social" with some feature that seems utterly useless for all but the three people who were involved in the project and their best friends. TomTom is bucking the trend here and is in fact adding a useful feature that wraps the TomTom navigation experience around both Facebook and twitter to enable you to do a couple of useful things:
1) Tweet/Post to FB or text where you are going - got friends following you, and maybe heading out to? Tweet your destination and maybe catch a few friends there.
2) Navigate to where your friends just checked into, a "Location" or an Event - yes; you are meeting them out and they just checked in. Pop open TomTom for iPhone and navigate there with this integration.
The new features will soon be available, and will be a free upgrade for current users of the TomTom iPhone App. Expect the new version 1.10 to appear in the iTunes store before the end of Q1.
TomTom has inked a deal with mobile phone maker Samsung to provide maps, traffic feeds, 3D City buildings and features as well as Points of interest and Speed Camera locations.
Recall that TomTom owns a heavyweight in the map making world, TeleAtlas, and Samsung is looking for a global partner to help them deliver content to their line-up with limited complexity. The new Wave3 smartphone will have the new TomTom content on it.
January 9, 2012
Garmin just unveiled their new Nuvi 3500 line, the newest top-of-the-line set of models designed to take you from point A to point B in a very geeky, very smart way. The nuvi 3500 line is connected, in a way, through your Android phone and Garmin's just-announced connectivity App, while also offering top end features such as:
- Newest Guidance 3.0 Navigation Engine - faster, more intuitive routing, with MyTrends capability to learn your favorite routes
- Junction View Exclusive Database - over 60,000 complex intersections highlighted and detailed to offer clear routing demonstrations
- 3D Digital Traffic (available) - Receive updates every 30 seconds and up to 10 faster than the older TMC systems. Uses a multidimensional feed of real-time traffic data from quality sources including other Garmin nüvi owners, cellphone users, radio feeds, news stations, historical traffic data and fixed traffic sensors on major roads.
The new Nuvi 3500 series will include:
- Nuvi 3550LM - $369 - lifetime map updates, and premium navigation features
- Nuvi 3590 LMT - $399 - adds 3D traffic over HD radio spectrum, voice activated navigation lifetime map updates and Smartphone link
Both will be available February 2012.
Full Press Release follows after the jump......
Continue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 3500 Series - Top of the Line Wonders: Nuvi 3550LM and 3590LMT"
Garmin just announced a new golfing buddy, the new Garmin Approach G6; a svelte 3-ounce device that comes loaded with 25,000 courses and offering helpful, high quality look at yardage to the pin, front and back of the green as well as a rechargeable battery that lasts enough for a weekend's round of golf; up to 15 hours.
Garmin is a leader in easy to use automotive GPS devices, and brings that capability to the Golf links with a well throughout out user interface. They assure that it won't slow you down, and give you insight to help you hit your mark, with guidance on your approach shots while keeping track of your stats. Hopefully, you'll like the truth as displayed by your new golfing buddy; maybe you can still kick that ball out of the rough and not count it... Let's see Garmin track that.
Price is $299, and will be available in february 2012
Full Press Release flows after the jump.....
Continue reading: "Garmin Approach G6"
Garmin just announced their Smartphone link to the 2012 Nuvi line letting you use your Andoird (sorry iPhone Nation) to pull down Live Traffic, get Fuel Prices, see Traffic cameras, weather and more. This is all through the Smartphone data plan, and will start to blur the line between the Smartphone experience and a stand-alone un-connected GPS/PND. The App is available for free, and utilizes the Bluetooth capability to pull down the data - you get weather for free, but pay for the others:
- Live Traffic - $20 a year, covering highways, interstates and main roads. This should give you a reasonable way to get around traffic, more traffic data, and a high quality navigation system. The cost is similar to annual traffic plans on smartphone Apps. I'll try to figure out how expansive the road coverage is.
- photoLive Traffic Cameras - At $10, it gives you insight into the standard traffic cameras; 10,000 of them across the US and Canada.
- Fuel Prices - $10 - I've used service like this and it's not the first time around for Garmin on this service, but it's a great new way to deliver the data to the Nuvi.
- Advanced Weather - $5 a year - to only do you get extended forecasts, but you get animated radar images on your GPS - very cool.
Garmin Smartphone Link works with all Bluetooth enabled 2012 Garmin PNDs, the nüvi 2475LT, 2495LMT, 2595LMT, 3490LMT and the all-new 3590LMT, the company's most feature-packed 5" navigator. All of these models require a software update, except the nüvi 3590LMT. Garmin Smartphone Link is available from the Android Market at no cost. To learn more, go to http://sites.garmin.com/smartphonelink.
Press Release after the jump.....
Continue reading: "Garmin Smartphone Link to Android - The Semi-Connected Nuvi"
Parrot announced two new GPS units that may be attractive, one especially if you want an in-dash option to get you from point A to point B. The flagship is the Parrot 2DIN, shown above as a way to get the functionality without any windshield suction issues…..With a 6.2-inch screen, this is going to offer a lot of real estate and the ability to hook up to your mobile phone, 3G dongle or a WiFi hotspot.
The other items announced are less amazing in the stats department as they offer smaller screens; the Asteroid NAV which offers a 5-inch screen with the ability to pair with two Bluetooth phones. Not bad, but not much on the navigation features. We'll look around some more.
January 8, 2012
The newly announced Magellan RV9145 has a lot under the hood and is set up to help get that RV from here to there in fully-informed style. Not only is the 7-inch screen readable from the kitchen table, but the information on the unit includes over 11,700 private campgrounds in the US, and Canada with stats on their Wi-Fi amenities, ability to handle Big Rig campers, or are pet friendly.
The Magellan RV9145 offers routes that take the size of the RV into account, offering customized routes that keep you safe. If you are a Good Sam member, you'll enjoy the fact that the RV9195 lists which campgrounds offer you the Good Sam discount.
With an MSRP of $349, and should be available soon at Magellan authorized dealers. Full details after the jump.........
Continue reading: "Magellan RV9145 - 7-Inch Roadtripping Wonder"
Magellan has announced their Fitness GPS market entries - the Switch and Switch Up. Both GPS-based and both multi-sport capable, the Pair of Switches offer what athletes want most, the ability to track performance attributes, download them later and track performance. The Switch offers customizable profiles, eight hours of battery life, 50-meter water resistance and compatibility with ANT+ sensors (think Heart Rate monitors, cadence meters, and more).
Magellan Switch-up adds to those features with a barometric altimeter and an outside temperature sensor which can add to the geek-fed data passion; a category that a whole lot of athletes fall into (myself included).
Both can move quickly between sports, and both upload their data to sites like MapMyFitness, Training Peaks, Strava and others.
Available this Spring - Switch at $249, or $299 with HRM strap, and the Switch Up (with Multi-sport mounting kit) for $$299 or $349 with the additional Heart Rate Monitor.
More Information At - Magellan Switch Website
Full Press Release below.......
Continue reading: "Magellan Announces the Switch - Fitness GPS"
The RoadMate 5190T was mentioned on Engadget and is targeted at over the road truckers. With a few Trucker-focused features, the unit should help solve issues for those who need to have a customized route depending on vehicle specifications. The unit should be able to reduce some angst on the roads, but with millions of restrictions, I am a little concerned that the data just isn't reliable enough for anyone to get a truck reliably from point A to point B without some infraction.
Squarely targeting the Garmin Dezl line, Magellan is gunning for a few segments where they don't yet compete.
The Magellan RoadMate 5190T boasts a 5-inch screen and a super loud 93 decibel speaker. retailing for about $380 at a store soon; release date is TBD.