The Garmin BlueChart Mobile iOS app is now available for download from the App Store. This new app will allow your iPhone / iPad to function as a chartplotter using Garmin BlueChart maps. The app is free, while charts are available as an in-app purchase. read more
Garmin has announced new models in their marine line of chartplotters and combination chartplotter/sounders. Features and capabilities have been upgraded and enhanced at many different levels.
Hands on with the Garmin GPSMAP 541s
The Garmin GPSMAP 541s Chartplotter is an incremental upgrade to the discontinued GPSMAP 540s. The GPSMAP 541s has a 5″ diagonal color screen and the same Garmin appearance is maintained with the silver bars at the top and bottom of the case. The major upgrade is the ability to interface with NMEA 2000 networks for engine diagnostics, weather instruments and additional uses. The GPSMAP 541s comes pre-loaded with United States Coastal Charts and also has a SD card slot for additional charts. The SD card can also be used for transferring waypoints, routes and tracks. The GPSMAP 541s includes a built in sounder module, that allows direct connection to a transducer for depth and fish finder functions. read more
The Garmin GPSMAP 78 brought a major update to the GPSMAP 76 handheld line. Garmin had a huge hit with the 60/76 series, and instead of messing with a winner, they turned their attention to new interfaces, which were introduced on the Colorado series, followed by the touch screen Oregon line. These new units brought the ability to add custom maps and aerial imagery, paperless geocaching, and high-resolution screens, but the latter made them less than bright (although later models like the Oregon 450 have largely solved this problem).
Hands on Review of iNavX Marine Navigation for iOS
The iNavX marine charting app is targeted for recreational boaters. This app allows navigation using NOAA raster charts and a few other proprietary vector and raster chart formats. Users can create waypoints & routes and also record tracks. read more
Looks like Magellan is trying to carve out a new niche with boaters. Following Monday’s announcement of two Angler editions of the eXplorist line, they’ve now announced the Magellan eXplorist 510 Marine Edition, which includes U.S. coastal coverage up to two miles offshore, with data on 5-foot contours, tides, currents, wrecks, port plans, marsh areas, and marine services. And just in case you spend time both offshore and on inland waters, 12,000 US lakes are charted for you too.
Hands on review of Navionics Marine & Lakes: US & Canada HD
The Navionics Marine Charting app is targeted for recreational boaters. This app allows viewing the proprietary Navionics Nautical Vector Charts on your favorite iOS device. Users can create routes and record tracks, which can be shared with friends using Facebook, Twitter, and email. The routes can also can be uploaded to certain fixed mount chart plotters that might be found on a boat. The Navionics app will function as a chart plotter displaying your position on the chart with the enabled route making it somewhat practical to use as a chart plotter while underway. read more
Barely two years after their introduction, Garmin has pulled the plug on the original Oregon line, along with the GPSMAP 76Cx and 76CSx. Owners shouldn’t fret; these models will continue to be supported, though I wouldn’t expect to see many new features added in future firmware updates.
Hands on with the Garmin GPSMAP 78s
The Garmin GPSMAP 78s brings the first major update to the GPSMAP handheld line in over four years. The reason for it taking so long is that Garmin had a huge hit with the 60/76 series, and instead of messing with a winner, they turned their attention to new interfaces, which were introduced on the Colorado series, followed by the touch screen Oregon line. These new units brought the ability to add custom maps and aerial imagery, paperless geocaching, and high-resolution screens, but the latter made them less than bright (although the latest model, the Oregon 450, has largely solved this problem).
But patience has its rewards and Garmin did well not to rush things. With the 78 (and the forthcoming 62 series, which shares the same interface), Garmin has married the best features of the 60/76 models, with many of the advantages of the Oregon line. Before we get into the details, lets look at some closely…
UPDATE - I’m now doing hands on testing of the GPSMAP 78 series, which seems to be the same platform as the forthcoming 62 series.
Garmin has announced three new color marine handhelds this morning, the GPSMAP 78, 78s and 78sc. Updating the 76 series, these units support Garmin custom maps and BirdsEye imagery. The “s” models include user profiles, a tri-axial compass and wireless exchange of data between units. The flagship 78sc includes pre-loaded cartography for the coastal US. And like the 76 series, they float!
There have been rumors of an updated 60 series, but I had doubts due to the supposed 62 series numbering. That is certainly making more sense after today’s announcement. We should know soon.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the GPSMAP 78 series is $299.99, $399.99 and $499.99, with all three units expected to be available in May, 2010.
The Garmin product pages are showing prices $50
less more (oops!) than stated above and in the news release. Somebody goofed one place or the other. They also confirm paperless geocaching capability. Here are the links: