Sunday, March 18, 2012

Apple iOS 6 maps complaints widespread

iOS 6 Maps FailThe Internet has been buzzing for the past 24 hours, filled with complaints about Apple’s new Maps app in iOS 6. Back in June, Apple revealed the app, letting folks know that free turn-by-turn navigation was coming to iOS and that they were dropping Google Maps. The problem is that Google has been mapping the world since 2005 and has a seven year lead on local search, fixing errors, etc.

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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

iOS 6 brings turn-by-turn navigation; Apple licenses TomTom content

Apple has provided a sneak preview of iOS 6, letting us know that turn-by-turn navigation is coming to the next version of the iPhone and iPad operating system (click the image above for a larger view).

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Garmin StreetPilot Onboard iPhone app gets traffic camera option

Garmin StreetPilot 2.0 PhotoLive Traffic 3Tired of inaccurate traffic data? How about live traffic camera images instead? Well that’s a new option as of today’s update to the Garmin StreetPilot Onboard app for the iPhone. The update will also add live weather info and the ability to share points of interest via Facebook and SMS. While the update is free, the photoLive Traffic Cameras feature will cost you $9.99 as an in-app purchase.

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Garmin Fit Apps and ANT+ adapter announced

Garmin Fit screens 1

UPDATE: Looks like the ANT+ adapter for iPhone will be available later this week.

Garmin has announced the Garmin Fit app for iPhone and Android this morning, and an ANT+ adapter for the iPhone (that link wasn’t live when I posted this, but it probably will be later this morning). This is Garmin’s first fitness app, allowing users to track speed, pace, distance, time and calories. And at $0.99, it’s likely to gain a lot of users pretty quickly.

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Bad Elf GPS for iPad, iPod and iPhone

badelf-gps-ipad-iphone-ipod-touchThe Bad Elf GPS Receiver plugs into your iPod touch, early generation iPhone, WiFi iPad or iPad2, allowing you to start using your beloved iOS device for navigation and all sorts of geo-goodness. I’m not yet an iOS user (though an iPad 2 is on my wish list), but the Bad Elf is so popular that I thought it deserved a post. As I compose this, it’s ranked number 23 on Amazon’s GPS bestseller list and has been in the top 100 for 147 days.

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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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Apple iPad, A-GPS, and ambiguity

iPad aerial imagery

UPDATE: The WiFi model can determine your approximate location via Skyhook WiFi positioning, but does not have a GPS chip. The WiFi + 3G model has true GPS.

The Apple iPad was announced today, and Apple’s specs led to some confusion over whether or not this thing has GPS. For the record, here are the “location” specs for the iPad:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Digital compass
  • Assisted GPS (Wi-Fi + 3G model)
  • Cellular (Wi-Fi + 3G model)

It’s that assisted-GPS (A-GPS) thing that was confusing. A-GPS can mean a couple of things:

  • A software-based system designed to speed satellite lock, by providing alternative positioning data, projecting satellite locations, etc.
  • A system that relies solely on cell tower triangulation

The fact is, we don’t know yet which the iPad has. If it does have a GPS chipset, it seems clear that it’s limited to the 3G models. And the more I look into it, the more I’m inclined to think it does.

If the iPad does have GPS

But even if it does have GPS, what would you do with this 9.7” touchscreen beast? If you think your smartphone is fragile for geocaching, the iPad seems even less appropriate for field use. If you drive an RV or an 18-wheeler, perhaps you could justify the screen real-estate; it will be interesting to see if any of the nav app providers come up with a dedicated iPad version of their software. The iPad is bound to be used as a portable device though, even if its just for the coffee shop set, and as such I can see location-based services (including social media apps) being quite useful. What would you use an iPad with GPS for?

Two free apps help name that peak

Peak-AR Hey What’s That goes mobile

It’s been quite a while since I wrote about Hey What’s That?, a website that helps you identify mountains on the horizon. Well, today comes news that they have a mobile app for Android and iPhone (here is their mobile FAQ). So I tweeted about it and @CompeGPS turned me onto…


Peak.AR icon(iTunes link) is a free augmented reality app that looks much better. There’s a screenshot at the top of this post (note that both English and German languages are supported). It’s limited to the iPhone now, but an Android app is expected by the end of February.

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iPhone GPS – What we know now


You’ve probably heard by now that Apple unveiled their next-generation iPhone yesterday and that it has GPS. So here’s a little roundup of what this may mean in terms of navigation and competition with personal navigation devices (PNDs) and the forthcoming Garmin nuvifone.

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