Sunday, March 18, 2012

Magellan SmartGPS brings connectivity via your smartphone

Magellan SmartGPS

Magellan SmartGPS with a couple of “squares” showing

UPDATE: Read my hands on Magellan SmartGPS review.

It’s no secret that GPS manufacturers are trying to figure out how to respond to the threat of smartphones. One way is to embrace them, giving us a large screen navigation device while using the smartphone for connectivity. We saw that last year with Garmin’s Smartphone Link app, which unfortunately remains Android only, leaving iPhone users out in the cold. Today Magellan has stepped into the fray with the Magellan SmartGPS, which can utilize a free companion iOS and Android app to bring all sorts of info to this 5″ navigator. The app will also allow for advanced route planning from your smartphone or tablet.

Besides Bluetooth, content can also be sent over WiFi, offering an incentive for those of you who haven’t made the jump to smartphones. And the SmartGPS will automatically sync some data whenever the device is in WiFi range.

It sounds as if there are some featured providers, including Yelp and Foursquare. And while the news release is a bit fuzzy on this, there may be some future integration with OEM infotainment systems…

Additionally, the Smart Ecosystem is architected to integrate with automotive infotainment and mobile network service platforms.

Magellan SmartGPS squares

Driving local without the need for directions? Switch to a full screen view of eight real-time squares

Some info will be pushed to the device automatically, and you will be able to customize the device to show “a complete GPS navigation screen, a panel of eight real-time squares that show updated information as you drive, or a combination of navigation and information squares.” I have to wonder about distracted driving issues with the full screen panel of eight squares, as shown above!

Magellan SmartGPS jct lane

Magellan SmartGPS with junction info

Here’s additional info on how the interface will work:

As a vehicle progresses on its route, the SmartGPS accesses the cloud-based Smart Ecosystem to deliver a rich variety of location-relevant information “squares” that are displayed on the SmartGPS screen and graphically flip between service establishments in the vicinity. When the user taps on a square, detailed profile information is displayed including the address, phone and any available special offers or consumer reviews, plus an icon to navigate to their selected destination. In addition, the SmartGPS delivers current gas prices in the vicinity, weather, traffic events and speed camera warnings.

Other Magellan SmartGPS features

The SmartGPS will feature a 5″ glass, multi-touch, capacitive touchscreen. And since it sports a Bluetooth connection, the SmartGPS will of course offer hands free calling as well as connectivity. One other thing of interest – in an industry that usually keeps mum on processor specs, Magellan has included the following information on the SmartGPS: “Texas Instruments CortexA8 1 GHz processor to support the increased demand for high resolution graphics and multi-function dataprocessing.” The device is also compatible with Magellan’s backup camera.


The SmartGPS lists for $249 and availability is “targeted” for spring 2013.

Here’s the full news release.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. offthegrid says:

    According to the Wall Street Journal traffic on this comes via TMC rather than through wifi or bluetooth.

  2. Offthegrid says:

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