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
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.
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.
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.........
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.
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.
There are a lot of iPods, iPhones and iPads that were gifted this year; I saw the iTunes servers slow down on Christmas day, did you? There are a lot of navigation and associated Apps out there these days, here are a few to consider:
Start with a free/almost free navigation App (iTunes App Store Links):
Waze - They used to bill themselves as a crowdsourced mapping program, but now talk of themselves as a traffic app "Outsmarting Traffic. Together." Good navigator, not great, but worth a try if you are looking for free.
GPS by TeleNav - A free navigation App that is a little hobbled as a free version - but you can try it out and if you like it, you can upgrade for just $10 in the first year. Good little App from a company that knows navigation - they make the navigation for the Ford Sync system.
MotionX GPS Drive - OK - this one is $0.99, but packs a lot in. It's an award winning App that delivers a lot for a low price. The interface is new and different, but well worth checking out.
All of the above require that you have a connection to your network so you can download the maps. The Apps do not come with maps, which means the App is only a few MB, whereas the Apps with US maps are over a GB.
If you want to move up, there are a few very good navigation Apps you can consider:
Garmin StreetPilot - on Sale at $39 - this is a very good App with a lot of the best features from their standalone personal navigation devices: Junction View showing you details of which lane to be in when you come up to difficult interchanges, Trip Computer, Google Search for points of interest, and more.
TomTom - Also $39, and a pioneer in the iPhone Navigation space. Still a fantastic application with a lot of features. A big plus is that you can add their HD Traffic on for a few dollars more through in in-app purchase allowing you to route around the worst traffic issues.
Navigon - various prices - Navigon was a German company, but they are now a subsidiary of Garmin. What I like about them is that they offer lower priced regional Apps where you can get the Eastern US, Central or west for just $19. The navigation is good, with lots of options for customization - a plus if you want it, a downside if you want simple.
One more App for you to consider is another freebie that lets you see some of the best traffic coverage out there:
Inrix Traffic has potentially the best traffic coverage out there and is the engine that feeds a lot of the navigation traffic information that you see on a regular basis (TV Stations, etc). With millions of miles of coverage, down to secondary roads, it can give you a great picture of what's happening in a traffic-jam situation. Award winning and well worth the price.... it's Free.
I don't know about you, but the Allstate Ad campaign has been a joy to watch; it's creative, and while not all versions are great, a vast majority of them are. Actor Dean Winters (Johnny Gavin for you Rescue Me fans) stars in the ads and plays the very believable character "Mayhem" who brings chaos to your life as an insurance customer. They've put together a bunch of these, and this is one of my favorites - a GPS based ad.
If you're new to GPS, the scenrio isn't all that foreign. Here are a few tips to being safe with your GPS:
Don't type and drive - take your eyes off the road for only 15 seconds and you've gone about a quarter of a mile at highway speeds. Do you really want to do that?
Pre-plan the route and look at the route overview - This always grounds me in what the GPS is going to do so it doesn't surprise me with a random turn.
Pay Attention to the "Turn Right in X Miles" line or icon on your GPS - this lets you keep track in the back of your mind where you are and when you need to turn. The GPS' pre-turn prompt a mile or two ahead of time will clue you into your upcoming turn. Start looking for it in the real world.
The Garmin Nuvi 1350LMT is a good step up from the more basic Garmin Nuvi 1300 and offers lifetime maps and traffic for a few dollars more; a bargain price for something that used to cost well over $50 a few years ago when sold separately.
The Nuvi 1350LMT is a 4.3-inch widescreen unit with good navigation, maps of the 48 states + Hawaii and Puerto Rico and about six million points of interest. The unit also offers solid navigation, a good interface and Lane Assist, a feature that I think should be on all units (it's not on the lower priced Nuvi 1300 line). The feature gives you a quick view of which lane you should be in as you approach different turns.
At a little over $100 - its a pretty good value for a pretty good navigator.
If you have an outdoor enthusiast on the list, this is a pretty good choice for a great gift. Garmin has a large line of handheld navigators, but this is one that offers a lot of features at a very reasonable price. It's a little more expensive than the base Garmin eTrex 10 that only offers a monochrome display and lacks the ability to add more advanced Topo maps that the eTrex 20 does, but I think the upgraded features are worth it.
The eTrex has a long list of features that pack its small form factor, and on top of the color display and the ability to addTopographical maps, marine charts, it comes in a tough IPX7 water resistant housing and runs about 25 hours on a pair of "AA" batteries. The unit is great for paperless geocaching, making hunting for, finding and documenting your geocache hunts fun and easy. the compact size, (2.1" x 4.0" x 1.3") makes it pocketable.