When Garmin and Asus ended their ill-fated nuvifone partnership, Garmin gave Asus an exclusive for any preloaded navigation apps through the end of 2012. Because of this, quite a few Garmin watchers expect an announcement of a Garmin navigation app for Android early this year. But that may not happen. read more
Garmin has announced the Garmin GLO, a portable GPS and GLONASS receiver that connects to Android and iOS devices via Bluetooth. The company claims it is the first wireless receiver to feature both GPS and GLONASS capabilities. read more
I imagine that a lot of our readers are trying out their smartphones in the backcountry, using mapping applications for navigation. One of the problems with this (and there are several), is that few things will drain your battery faster than your phone searching for a signal where there is none, or where reception is marginal.
Magellan has had quite a bit of success with their 7” models; I’m currently testing the RoadMate 9055 and “tablet” popped into my head when I first held it. My second thought was, how are they going to compete against tablets? Sure, price is one way, but I suspect that we will quickly see Android tablet prices plummet. What then?
Wow, how much can the mobile navigation market change in just a couple of days? Following Garmin’s announcement yesterday that they will develop navigation apps for multiple platforms, Navigon reveals that they are bringing MobileNavigator to the US Android marketplace. I thought perhaps that TomTom had decided to take on the free Google Maps Navigation juggernaut last week, but (as suspected) it turns out that they are only providing maps for HTC, and not navigation. So Navigon becomes the first top-tier navigation app maker to go mano-a-mano with Google, to see if folks will pony up or settle for what the search giant gives us for free.
TomTom is attempting to crack the free navigation roadblock thrown up by Google, sealing a deal to provide maps to HTC, one of the most popular manufacturers of Android phones. Initially available on the HTC Desire HD (shown at left) and Desire Z in Europe and Asia, HTC promises to extend the partnership to “a wide variety of future smartphones and geographies.”
The TomTom / Tele Atlas brand distinction has become more muddled lately, and it is unclear whether HTC owners will be getting just Tele Atlas maps or the option to add TomTom navigation. The maps will be included in HTC’s Locations interface, “while turn-by-turn navigation can be purchased and downloaded through HTC Locations or HTC Sync.” The image at left could be dated, and not indicative of what users will see, though it is currently on the official HTC Desire HD web page.
ALK Technologies has announced CoPilot Live USA for Android for $4.99. I would say it will test whether consumers are willing to pay for an alternative to Google Maps Navigation, but it is currently ranked #48 in iPhone navigation apps with an average three star review, far below much pricier apps.
Hands on with the T-Mobile Garminfone
The T-Moble Garminfone is Garmin’s first Android smartphone released in North America. Produced by the Garmin-Asus partnership, it includes many of the goodies you would find on a nuvi, including North American maps, junction view, lane assist, Where am I?, tracklogs and multi-destination routing.