March 31, 2008

Garmin Gets More Mobile - Blackberry and Samsung


Garmin also announced a bunch of mobile news as they build out their mobile phone navigation capabilities. They are putting new features into their Blackberry presence with server hosted navigation that includes realtime traffic and gas prices, on top of the turn by turn navigation that has the familiar Garmin interface. Their dead simple interface asks "Where to?" or offers you to "View Map" - the two basic needs when you turn to a navigation device. The Deal on the BlackBerry devices is for Centennial based units who will make available via download a free, seven-day trial subscription of Garmin Mobile for BlackBerry on new and existing Centennial BlackBerry 8310 Smartphones.

Also available is the Garmin Mobile interface and navigation for Samsung phones where an SD card carries the software- pop it in and start navigating.

More at Garmin Mobile

Thanks Allory for sending this in.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin "Send to GPS" - Google and MapQuest

Garmin is getting hooked up with a couple of online giants as the GPS maker is tying the knot with the online map and directions providers. While it may seem like a small step forward, the bottom line is that millions of searches for direcitons and locations are done every day on these mapping portals. Maybe the Send to GPS capability will open consumers' eyes to the idea of the interactivity between the mapping sites and the GPS.

This follows on the heels of MapQuest announcing a deal with Inrix to provide traffic data through the mapping portal.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 30, 2008

Review: Garmin Colorado 400t Full Review


The Colorado 400t recently launched into an ever expanding category of handheld GPS units, where Garmin has had a long track record of offering solid handheld capabilities in a package that suits customers well. I have been using a Garmin handheld for close to 10 years, and in that time, I have used them to navigate up mountains on hikes, navigate to geocaches around the country and navigate across New England on week-long bike rides. Over that time, I've assembled a wish list that pretty much got erased with the release of the Colorado series. The Colorado 400T comes with a lot of key features that make using it a pleasure.

There are a few big features that make the Colorado 400t a hot handheld: Big color screen, shaded Topo maps, easy access to features with the Rock n Roller wheel, wireless sharing of information with other Colorado users, advanced geocaching features, and the ability to set up profiles allowing you to set up preferences for different uses.

There were a couple of key questions in my mind going into this review: Is the Rock n Roller wheel really something that is easy to use, are the interface changes usable and intuitive for a longtime user, will the interface give me any new advantages over what I already have, and is the screen size and overall size of the unit an issue versus my trusted eTrex Vista unit.

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March 24, 2008

Garmin to Power New Kenwood Models

Garmin and Kenwood are firming up their agreements ahead of 2008 models going on sale so that the Garmin navigation capabilities power the new Kenwood units that include navigation. It keeps both Kenwood and Garmin in their own areas of what they do best. Not only does Kenwood get a great navigation platform, but they can integrate it into some fantastic entertainment units without worrying about developing a navigation interface that would most likely be second rate at best.

Press Release follows...

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Garmin Colorado Software Update - Upgrade Now

If you haven't already, you should consider upgrading your Garmin Colorado handheld. The last updates (2/18) gets you some nice updates that are listed below for the 400t version. The big thing that I have seen is the added Geocache support, including putting the Geocache image on the map. Should have been on there in the first place (it's on the eTrex), but I lije the responsiveness to the customer feedback.

How to Upgrade: You can use the Garmin Webupdater (for Win or Mac), which checks for updates and downloads the right one for your unit once it's plugged into the computer, or you can go directly to the unit update page and download the file yourself.

From the Garmin Site version 2.4 updates:

  • Improved acquisition time in certain circumstances.
  • Improved power on time.
  • Improved backlight support.
  • Improved support for NiMH batteries.
  • Improved Wherigo player.
  • Added ability to show and review geocaches on the map.
  • Added ability to log geocaches as found.
  • Increased maximum geocache count to 2000.
  • Added support for BlueChart currents.
  • Added ability to view extended information for custom POI's.
  • Added ability for turn preview beep to reset the backlight timeout.
  • Corrected map to display road labels.
  • Corrected map to display small towns.
  • Corrected map to not change orientation when beginning pan mode.
  • Corrected metric nautical setting to display appropriate map scale
  • Support for Colorado Field Notes, at

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • March 12, 2008

    RoadTour - UK Audio Guides for your Garmin


    Going to the UK soon and want to tour the country with your Nuvi? Roadtour has audio tours that work with your existing UK maps on your Garmin to give you the option of hearing about the local sites. The package works by highlighting key highlights within a radius around you, and by tapping on the icon, you pull up a short audio history of the site, along with hours and prices if available. If you would like, you can have the Garmin play an audio tour of a local site within a certain radius of you as you drive along. Once the tour is done, you can navigate right to the site by tapping the icon. They seem to have thought of a lot; if you need directions from Garmin in the middle of a mini audio tour, the tour will stop, the Garmin will deliver the directions and the audio tour will start again. Pretty good.

    They have several packages to choose from, including Heritage sites and Pubs & Inns:

    ROADTOUR Heritage covers 600 of the finest castles, historic buildings, residences, country houses, gardens and monuments, throughout the UK. It includes those belonging to all the main UK heritage organisations such as the National Trust and English Heritage as well as many private establishments (see full list of locations). Each one has a 1-2 minute audio description covering history, interesting stories and architecture.

    ROADTOUR Pubs and Inns - Sawday's have a great reputation for superb guide books and their well established Pubs & Inns guide has received rave reviews (read reviews). After years of research visiting thousands of pubs, they have handpicked 900 of the best in England and Wales. Each entry is accompanied by a vivid, characterful description and most include pictures and also icons which give useful information such as child friendliness, quality food and available real ales.

    Roadtour packages are available as downloads, as CD ROM's and on an SD card; costs are fairly reasonable too starting at under £8. Installation instructions are on their site.

    More at RoadTour

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    March 4, 2008

    Garmin Nuvi 2X5 Series - 205, 205W and 255, 255W


    Update: See our Full Review of the Nuvi 205/255, and the widescreen version - our Full Review of the Nuvi 205W/255W

    Garmin announced an update to the Nuvi line at CeBit today that makes their entry level devices a lot more appealing. As prices fall, and more consumers get into the market with an entry level unit, Garmin is upping the bar in the hyper competitive low end of the market.

    The new Models all features some very nice 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.

    It appears from the image that the new Nuvi 255W will also have a slightly enhanced interface with a more rounded display data fields and "+" and "-" zoom buttons that are vertically placed on the right side if the screen instead of in the upper left and right corners.

    The Garmin 2x5 model Nuvis will be available sometime in Q2. The list prices should be as follows: Nuvi 205 model will retail for a suggested $199; the widescreen version, the 205W, will retail for a suggested $250. The Nuvi 255 will retail for a suggested $299; the 255W will retail for a suggested $350.

    Press release follows....

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 900T- TV on Your GPS


    Garmin announced the made for Italy Nuvi 900T today, where the "T" stands for TV. The newest Nuvi will be able to get mobile TV due to the built in TV receiver.

    “The Nuvi 900T is the ultimate device for those who want to mix business with pleasure,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales.

    The unit will use the DVB-H format and will show on its 4.3" color screen. So are people going to be watching TV while driving? I guess traffic isn't wild enough around Rome! The unit can also play MP3 files and can act as a Bluetooth handsfree device. Expect the Garmin Nuvi 900T to be available this summer.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    February 28, 2008

    Garmin Sued over Nuvifone Name


    A PBX business phone company, Nuvio, is suing Garmin over the Nuvifone name trying to prevent them from using the name to launch the navigational mobile phone later this year under the Nuvifone name. On top of that, they are also seeking damages and trying to prevent Garmin from selling Nuvi GPS units!!!! I guess while you've got the lawyers at the table, you might as well go for the gusto with that one.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    February 26, 2008

    Edge 605/705 Coming to Stores Near You


    The new Garmin Edge 605 and 705 are (finally) coming to a store near you. After a brief delay to make sure things are right, they are on the way to a store just in time for St Patrick's Day.

    The new Edge 705 can wirelessly share routes, and waypoints with other Edge 705's besides doing all that bike computer stuff like measuring cadence, heartrate and speed. The interesting thing is that the new Edge can also act as a navigator with audible directions to keep you on route in those long dog day afternoon rides.

    Via Garmin Blog

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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