Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sygic Debuts Navigation App With Dash Cam

sygic blackbox

Why pay for an expensive dash camera that will take up yet more space on your dash when you can just use your phone to record accidents and incidents? I certainly can’t think of a reason, and now Sygic GPS Navigation users can do just that with Sygic’s new BlackBox app.

This new add on application uses your phone’s camera as a dash cam and works simultaneously with Sygic GPS Navigation for iOS. The interface for BlackBox is pretty straightforward: You turn on the feature and then mount your phone to a dashboard mount and start driving. The app will record the view from your vehicle in a continuous loop with embedded GPS coordinates, speed, time and date. read more

GPS Windshield Mounts Illegal in over Half the U.S.

We have posted articles about this before, but with the height of vacation season upon us, I thought it might be a good time to go over where you can place GPS mounts without getting a ticket. Each state in the U.S. has different laws about where you can (or can’t) mount an external automotive GPS device in your car, and if you get pulled over in a state with a different law, ignorance isn’t going to get you out of a hefty ticket! As a general rule, you can mount the device on your dashboard and have no issues–but if you intend to use a windshield mount, be sure to check this list before you take off.  The logic is that these devices obstruct the driver’s clear view of the road and are dangerous.

Currently, windshield mounts are illegal in more than half of the US–no matter where you mount it on your windshield, you can get a ticket passing through these states. Additionally, many of these states have laws about screens being operational in the car where the driver can see them. Windshield mounts in the following states should be avoided: read more

GPS predictions for 2009

Crystal ball

Disclaimer: These are predictions and nothing more, so keep your sense of humor and please don’t sue me.

Auto GPS predictions

  • A nuvi 8×5 series will bring lane assist and voice recognition together in one unit
  • Garmin discontinues the nuvi 200 series; all Garmin nuvi models will now have text-to-speech
  • Crowdsourced HD traffic comes to the US with the stateside introduction of the TomTom GO LIVE series
  • TomTom releases a GPS receiver that utilizes alternative positioning information for improved accuracy in urban canyons
  • More manufacturers display multiple route options visually, ala Dash and Insignia
  • Navigon folds, caught between Nextar on the low end and MiTAC’s aggressive promotion of the Magellan line
  • Red light camera alerts will move closer to the mainstream
  • More downward feature creep — expect to see Lane Assist on some mid-range Garmins, more units with lifetime traffic, larger screens, etc.
  • Garmin announces a desktop application (possibly a
    revamped MapSource) that allows planning routes with POIs and
    transferring them to Garmin units with current City Navigator maps; it
    will be set up to allow users to opt into sharing anonymized tracklogs
    ala TomTom HOME
  • Said application will support wireless transfer of data via ANT or Bluetooth

read more

Dash Express becomes the first GPS to learn your shortcuts


Dash Express users will be getting a major software update today, delivered wirelessly of course. There are lots of changes, so we’ll delve right in and start with the most important.

MyRoutes automatically learns your preferred routes

How long have we pined for a GPS smart enough to learn our favorite shortcuts? Well wait no longer boys and girls — the Dash Express gets bragging rights as the first GPS to do this. The MyRoute shortcut is shown in pink in the image above. Some details…

read more

New Internet content for Dash Express


Dash Navigation is announcing today that they are opening their API to third party developers. Bringing Internet-based content to your car, the first five “DashApps” are:

read more

Dash Express review



I’ve had the Dash Express for over a month now and have been enjoying testing it out. The Dash is a revolutionary new type of GPS navigation device that brings Internet search to your car along with crowdsourced live traffic. The cellular connection built in to every Dash unit sends anonymous location data to Dash servers. This data is then translated to traffic flow speeds that are updated on all Dash units every 15 minutes. If there are enough Dash users on the road in your area, you will receive traffic data superior to that offered by any other GPS device available in North America.

In this review, we’ll look at the Dash service plan, their hardware, interface, how well the crowdsourced traffic feature works, the unit’s Internet search capabilities, and how the Dash Express compares to other GPS navigators in terms of features. I’ll conclude with a list of pros and cons, as well as  a recommendation on who should consider purchasing a Dash Express.

read more

Dash changes the GPS competitive landscape


The Dash Express, the hot new GPS featuring two-way connectivity, has caused a paradigm shift in the GPS industry. We have yet to see how broadly the Dash will be accepted, though they seem to have had a strong launch, with high initial shipments according to the sales rankings at Amazon (updated hourly).

There are a couple of key components to two-way connectivity:

  • Internet search – At least two other GPS companies are moving to integrate this into devices in the U.S., as discussed below
  • Crowd-sourced traffic – For now, Dash is the only manufacturer trying to bring us this feature, providing traffic updates via anonymized cell phone data relayed from other Dash users (though there are companies focusing on this technology that other GPS manufacturers could partner with)

While not a benefit of two-way connectivity, Dash’s built-in wifi will also give them the ability to push large map and firmware updates to the units.

Let’s look at the status of other GPS manufacturers as they move (or don’t move) to implement two-way connectivity:

read more

Dash Express first looks – price drop too


UPDATE: Read our full, hands on, Dash Express review.

Launch day for the Dash Express has finally arrived. I’ve had a unit in hand for a couple of days now, so I’ll give you my first impressions. Before that though, there’s other Dash news today…

Dash Express price drop

Dash has lowered the price of the Dash Express. You can get it now for $399.99 at Amazon. It comes with a three-month subscription to Dash Service. After that, a two-year pre-paid plan is $9.99 a month; a one-year plan is $10.99 per month, while a monthly subscription runs $12.99. Map updates are included in this cost. Clearly you have to factor in the ongoing fees, but I’m glad to see that Dash has brought the price down to an attractive level. This should make it quite competitive with other manufacturer’s high-end models.

read more