September 30, 2009
Garmin announced that their G60 Nuvifone will be available on October 4 in AT&T stores. The price will be $299 after a $100 rebate. The new phone will come equipped like a high end GPS, with a very full featureset, allowing you to get turn by turn directions from preloaded maps, while searching millions of Points of Interest. The Nuvifone will come with a 30-day trial to Nuvifone Premium Connected Services which includes traffic updates, white pages, weather, movie, local events and fuel price content are available after the trial for $5.99/month.
One beautiful feature that seems enabled only due to the total integration of the GPS is the Location Link feature - "Garmin's location link, which parses addresses on the web with latitude and longitude information, allows customers to easily navigate to addresses they discover on the web by simply touching the address."
Full Press Release Follows....
Continue reading: "Nuvifone - Available October 4 at AT&T"
September 3, 2009
-- Google Search, Traffic, Gas Prices, and more; No Monthly Fee for 2 Years --
Garmin is moving into the connected GPS space with a bang, delivering the Nuvi 1690 connected GPS that comes packed with some standard, some pretty innovative. The connected capabilities come free for two years, as the up-front price of the unit appears to be elevated ($499) allowing you to walk away free of a subscription price. Interesting departure form the model that Dash looked at by offering the service with a monthly fee. With the Nuvi 1690, the subscription fee is $5/mo after two years. Pretty manageable.
The Nuvi 1690 (With nuLink connected services) comes with gas prices, traffic from Navteq/Traffic.com, movie times, flight status (would have loved this on my last business trip), Google Search, and Ciao! a social networking feature allowing you to share your whereabouts with other friends on two social networks (for now); uLocate's Beacon Buddy, and GyPSii. More networks are to be added expected later. The capability will also allow you to see other friends' locations and navigate to them too.
White Pages - The search also includes a white pages search, allowing you to look up a person by name, and pull up address and phone number information.
Predefined Searches - Tired of punching through menus for POI information? There are high level searches pre-defined, allowing you to quickly access Food, Lodging and Fuel with the touch of a button. I like the fast search capability, and this ties into the pre-loaded POI set, so you won't wait for a search result to come back from Google.
The maps are pre-loaded North American maps, and the unit comes with Bluetooth handsfree capabilities, and ecoRoute - the onboard application that helps you drive more economically.
Full Press Release Below......
Continue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 1690 Connected GPS Announced - Social Networking"
September 1, 2009
Garmin has announced a new low profile bike GPS that will be targeted at performance minded cyclists, with data galore, and no on screen mapping. The unit tracks speed, distance, time, GPS position, elevation, calories burned, climb and descent; the latter is facilitated by a barometric altimeter in the Edge 500. Like the Edge 705, the Edge 500 will have ANT+ wireless technology which syncs with third party power meters and Garmin's heart rate monitor and cadence meters. In the cool department, the Edge 500 also changes time zones automatically, and shows temperature readings. A quarter turn mounts and dismounts the unit on the handlebars. No doubt this will be on the Team Garmin-Slipstream's handlebars in the coming months.
The Garmin Edge 500 has a suggested retail price of $249.99. When bundled with a heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor, Edge 500 has a suggested retail price of $349.99. It will be out around the ed of the year.
Full press release follows.....
Continue reading: "Garmin Edge 500 - Performance Bike GPS Computer with Altimeter"
August 28, 2009
Garmin introduced ecoRoute earlier this year, an add-on application to its newer Nuvi line that helps drivers save gas through a feedback mechanism (Leaf icon with a score right on the main screen under the "+/-" zoom buttons on the right side of the screen) so that they learn what types of behavior helps and hurts the environment (your gas mileage). The application has you putting in your car's mileage estimate profile (City and Highway MPG), and utilizes the icon to send you feedback about your driving habits via a little leaf icon (red, yellow, green) overall. The program also offers you a "Challenge" where it will monitor your driving for a period of time and show you a few specifics about your challenge; where you are doing well and where you are not.
I activated the ecoRoute on a Nuvi 255W to test things out. You can access the ecoRoute program through the "Tools" menu on the GPS, off the main screen. ecoRoute is available on the 205, 705, 1200 and 1300 series at this writing.
More details below on my ecoRoute escapades.
Continue reading: "Got EcoRoute? Playing with EcoRoute on the Nuvi 255W"
August 19, 2009
Garmin seems ready to blow the doors off when they announce the next round of upgrades with the previously leaked 1690 connected GPS, and now an 1800 class of products that appear to be bigger and better than the rest. A few details are known about the Nuvi 1820, a large 4.8-inch screened giant, with an internet browser, access to email and streaming audio and video. these functions are supported by the WiFi connection. Not sure if the connected EDGE technology is beefy enough to provide these services reliably. It is however plenty big for providing other important connected services like traffic updates, weather, fuels prices, etc.
The Nuvi 1860 is said to add a 3 megapixel camera with geotagging to the mix, above and beyond the beefy 1820 features. Engadget is also reporting that the Nuvi 1690 will come with 2 years of service and be priced in the $500 range. At $10 a month for connected service, that's half the price of the unit at sticker price.
My observations over the years is that if Garmin is not the first to market with new features, they tend to do it well shortly after someone else's launch. I am not over the top excited about streaming video on the 1820/1860, but I suspect that the traffic interface, connected search features and other higher order navigation capabilities will be well engineered. We'll see when they shoot this out come September (hopefully).
August 6, 2009
Maybe things are better than expected for the economy? Garmin's sales were off 30% vs. year ago, as it's key segments were all down in sales, and its earnings were down 32% to $0.81 per share.... so why the stock jump? Apparently Wall St. consensus was for earnings of $0.51 per share and that's a lot better than expected. The market is still tough, and I am sure that Garmin is working hard to make sure that the promotions go off well, the inventories are managed well and prices are as low as possible to keep the product moving. Wall St. rewarded the over delivery by moving the Garmin stock; it closed at about $27 before the news and opened above $33 after the news.
CEO Min Kao said:
"While the macroeconomic conditions continue to dampen consumer demand, we are encouraged by the 53% sequential improvement in revenues in the second quarter. We are also pleased with the solid margins and earnings in the quarter achieved by the various initiatives that we have taken to improve productivity, reduce expenses and utilize the strength of our balance sheet.
The automotive/mobile segment continued to show sell‐through growth on a unit basis in both the North American and Asian markets and Garmin maintained its strong global market leadership position. The sequential improvement in pricing and margins in the quarter were on target with our expectations entering the quarter. We intend to continue to position ourselves to take advantage of the ongoing demand for portable navigation devices by delivering innovative solutions to the consumer. Our recently introduced 1200, 1300 and 1400 nüvi®series which offer affordable navigation solutions in a sleek form factor with pedestrian capabilities have been well received, and we continue to expand the utility of in‐vehicle navigation through the introduction of our first product designed specifically for the trucking market.
August 3, 2009
Garmin is late to the party a lot with product technology leaps, but they sure know how to make an entrance. I suspect that this will again be the case with a strong Garmin Nuvi 1690 that was recently posted to the FCC site. Rich over at GPSTracklog posted this from the FCC website, and this always foretells an imminent launch. The wide-screened Nuvi 1690 will of course come with Bluetooth, that much we know, and a GSM module for connectivity. In the ever expanding Keeping-up-with-the-Jones battle, one would expect a strong traffic capability, internet search, gas price service, and potentially some other features that are rolled into the MSN products - weather, movie times, flight tracking, etc.
Bing? - Maybe Garmin's tie up with Microsoft brings Bing to the connected Search module on the new Garmin 1690, which would present both companies with the opportunity to talk a lot about the product. Only time will tell.
When? - I expect that this could be announced in the coming days to weeks; solidly in time for the recession to end, consumers wade back into the market for a high end device and of course the holiday season.
June 26, 2009
Garmin has introduced the Garmin Dakota 10 and Dakota 20 handheld GPS units that are going to take up the place in the line as the smaller siblings to the Garmin Oregon. The smaller, touchscreen units still boast a well appointed feature list. While the unit is smaller that the eTrex, with the screen size stretching across almost the entire front of the unit, the screen is actually a bit larger than the Garmin eTrex series, coming in at 2.6" diagonally. The new operating system offers paperless geocaching, and comes pre-loaded with a world basemap, offering the easy ability to add Garmin City Navigator NT street maps, Blue Chart g2 marine charts, and TOPO U.S. 24K and 100K that will load into the 850 MB of onboard memory.
- Dakota 10 - Offers 850 MB of memory, world base map, touchscreen interface, 20 hour battery life on two "AA" batteries, and has the same spine format to accept all of the Oregon and Colorado mounts and accessories. It will connect to your PC or Mac via USB. List Price $299.
- Dakota 20 - Adds a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, a microSD card slot, and wireless connectivity to other Garmin handhelds like the Oregon, Colorado, and Foretrex units (Other Dakotas as well). List Price $349.
These should be available in July.
Full Press Release Below......
Continue reading: "Garmin Dakota 10 and Dakota 20 Handheld Touchscreen GPS"
June 25, 2009
If you recently updated your Garmin Firmware and i essentially killed your GPS, the fix is here. Garmin has posted fixes and FAQ's all over the place to get you back and running via "Mandatory" updates; shouldn't have let that first one out the door, but hats off to Garmin for getting a fix out quickly. The good news is that for many, it's a simple update, the bad news for some is that you need to send the unit back in for repair. From Garmin's Blog:
"Garmin nüvi 7x5 series products that are no longer able to acquire a GPS satellite signal may download a firmware update immediately that will correct the software issue. This firmware update may be downloaded using Garmin's WebUpdater.
Garmin nüvi 7x5 customers who are no longer able to power on their GPS device will need to visit www.garmin.com/support, and select the first FAQ titled "My nüvi 755T, 765T, 775T or 785T is giving me the message 'Updating GPS Firmware' or will no longer power on..." Customers will then need to follow the instructions to request a return authorization so that the device may be repaired under warranty. "
If you are having trouble, start a the Garmin Blog, then move to the proper download or FAQ page.
June 21, 2009
So if you are into pimping out your Garmin Nuvi, you can now download some classic Father's Day icons for use on the Nuvi from the Garmin Garage. The lawn mower and tie icons are a part of their consistent rollout of new icons for just about every occasion and non-occasion on the calndar, making for a lot of fun.
If you didn't get a Nuvi for Father's Day, and still want one, see our GPS Steals and Deals post today for some ideas.