This one is for you iPhone toting backcountry types. It looks like the DeLorme inReach two-way satellite communicator is finally going to see an iPhone version. Or to be more precise, there’s actually a new model, the DeLorme inReach 1.5 that will be compatible with both iOS and Android.
Hands on review of the DeLorme inReach
UPDATE: The newest version of the inReach now supports both Android and iOS.
The DeLorme inReach for Android pairs with compatible phones to offer two-way texting without cell service, as well as two-way SOS, tracking and positing to Facebook and Twitter. The device can also be used in standalone mode. A model that pairs with the DeLorme PN-60w is also offered.
The DeLorme inReach is now shipping. For those of you who don’t recall, this is one of the first consumer satellite communicators with two-way messaging capabilities, so search and rescue can tell you that they’re on their way to bail your ass out. It requires another device to pair with (to compose messages), which is why it comes in two flavors – one that pairs with Android smartphones and another for the DeLorme PN-60w. Here’s where you can pick this bad boy up:
Holy fragmentation Batman! DeLorme issued a news release yesterday about its upcoming inReach product and, buried in the last paragraph, was this bombshell:
There are separate models for Android and DeLorme users.
Now that isn’t a big deal for users (unless you happen to be a DeLorme toting Android owner), but it’s bound to be a headache for DeLorme. Apparently this is due to the PN-60w using a wireless protocol other than Bluetooth, but really, couldn’t they have included two wireless technologies in one unit?
DeLorme surprised a lot of us last Friday afternoon, announcing the DeLorme inReach 2-way GPS communicator. This morning they’ve let us in on a few more details. You can hit that link for the full story, but here are some quick highlights…
Earlier this afternoon, DeLorme gave us a sneak peek at the forthcoming DeLorme inReach, which allows two-way messaging in the absence of a cellular connection. With plans starting at $9.95 per month, it sounds a bit pricey, but when you consider that the basic SPOT plan costs $99.99 per year, that’s not so bad (depending upon what the basic plan allows and the cost of the device). The device will work as a stand alone unit, or paired with the DeLorme PN-60w or Android smartphones. It’s late and I’ve got family obligations pressing, so for more info hit the link above and read all about it.
UPDATE: DeLorme tells me that SPOT units have been tested and sorted, and that “any new package from DeLorme heading to retail will have a blue sticker on the bottom of the box as the indicator it is a new or tested good unit.”
I received an email overnight announcing a recall of SPOT Communicator units sold with the DeLorme PN-60w. Apparently there is an issue with messages not being sent when temperatures are below 40 degrees F. Affected units include all those with an ESN number range between 0-2000000 and 0-2019999. To make amends, the company is offering a six-month extension on service plans. Hopefully, the company discovered this issue without it impacting any emergency situations. This just goes to point out that there is no substitute for good old-fashioned wilderness preparation.
DeLorme has made their worldwide topo basemap available for download, at a cost of one cent per 100 square kilometers (minimum purchase $10). I’m flying today, sitting in a cramped seat, so I’m just going to link to some additional images and paste in the news release for more info…
The Delorme Earthmate PN-60w updates the PN-40 with improved battery life, expanded internal memory, activities (similar to Garmin’s profiles) and the ability to link wirelessly to other PN-60w’s and the SPOT Satellite Communicator. Power management is one of the biggest improvements, as short battery life was a common complaint about the PN-40.
The DeLorme Earthmate PN-60 updates the PN-40 with improved battery life, expanded internal memory, and activities (similar to Garmin’s profiles). Power management is one of the biggest improvements, as short battery life was a common complaint with the PN-40.