Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Navigates GPS App Territory for iPhone and Android

hand-holding-samsungThe release of Garmin’s new smartphone app, Viago, gives fans a chance to utilize Garmin’s powerful GPS software on their smartphone. Available on both Android and iPhone, the basic Viago app costs only $2 and offers a range of features such as Worldwide maps, address search, turn-by-turn navigation in your region, realistic junction views, lane assistance, current speed limits and posted speed limits. The interface is clean and simple and looks sharp. But what makes this app both powerful and pricey is the ability to customize with premium add-ons which can cost anywhere from $5 to $20 depending on the add-on. read more

Android-based GPS-PAD clears the FCC


Coming to Magellan, Mio or Navman?

Mitac, parent company to Magellan, Mio and Navman, has gotten an Android-based GPS-PAD through the FCC. According to the manual, the “series include several products with different physical dimensions.” read more

Garmin’s Android strategy

Garmin Navigator Australia

Screenshots from Garmin Navigator for Australia

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 GLO brings GLONASS to your smartphone or iPad

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

Enter traffic circle and keep left?

Traffic-circle-failOkay, maybe it’s unfair to call out Google Maps Navigation for this error. After all, every GPS can give you faulty directions, no matter what database they are using for road data. But I’ve never seen this type of error on a unit using NAVTEQ or TeleAtlas maps. Fail!

Google Maps Navigation to use onboard maps?

Nav screensAccording to All About Phones, a Dutch website, Google Maps Navigation will soon have a full-blown offline mode. Late last year, with the introduction of Google Maps 5.0 for Android, GMN moved to vector graphics and improved route caching. But this new capability would allow you to plug in a destination while outside of cell range, which means that some maps and associated data would always be cached on your device.

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Preserving cellphone battery life in the backcountry

Dazzle-Android-batteryI 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.

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Navigon MobileNavigator for Android comes to US

MobileNavigator-AndroidWow, 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.

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TomTom comes to Android; battles free navigation

HTC-Desire-HD 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.

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T-Mobile Garminfone review


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.

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