I don’t think I’ve ever seen a GPS application running on Adobe’s Flash Lite, but Kirk Ballou and a team of developers from Teleca have been working on just that. The application finds your location using the GPS on a mobile phone, then serves up nearby points of interest. Right now the Flash Lite GPS app works with the touch interface on certain Windows Mobile phones, including the AT&T Tilt and Moto Q9, with a little back-end work to access your coordinates. So it is definitely still being refined, but Ballou says that eventually the team wants to add other features to the app including turn-by-turn directions, messaging, and some sort of exercise-related functionality.
Oct 31 at 11:11am by admin
Oct 31 at 9:09am by admin
Consumer Reports has been busy testing 49 of the most popular GPS navigators on the market and has come up with 14 of the best. Not surprisingly, Garmin’s nuvi 880 ranked number one overall “provid(ing) intuitive controls, good guidance, an array of features, and an effective voice-recognition system that lets a user enter an address, choose a point of interest, or change a setting simply by speaking a command. Of course it also costs $600.
If you’re a little more budget conscious, the mag recommends Garmin’s nuvi 255W or 255 as offering up a good combination of value and features. For the cheapest of the cheap, look at Garmin’s nuvi 200, 250, 270, 200W or TomTom’s ONE 130.
Just keep in mind that while budget models will provide you with reliable basic GPS functionality, you won’t have real-time features, Bluetooth, voice recognition and all the fancy features you’ll find in a model like the Garmin 880.
You can see the entire review guide in the December 2008 issue of Consumer Reports or you can subscribe online.
Recommended GPS Units:
Garmin nuvi 880-$583 at Amazon
Garmin nuvi 255W-$239 at Amazon
Garmin nuvi 255-$187 at Amazon
Garmin nuvi 200-$148 at Amazon
Garmin nuvi 250-$154 at Amazon
Garmin nuvi 270-$158 at Amazon
Garmin nuvi 200W-$175 at Amazon
TomTom ONE 130-$142
Oct 31 at 8:08am by admin
FindWhere, a Virginia-based provider of real-time GPS tracking applications, has just launched its website in Arabic after recently partnering with Dubai-based I2TC. The two company’s combined have created the leading location-based service provider in the Middle East.
FindWhere has been moving aggressively into the Middle Eastern and North African markets as cellphone penetration has been steadily increasing in the areas. Their real-time location-based GPS applications can be used to find the location of family members and friends and are used in the enterprise space as well.
Now when FindWhere application users want to log onto the company’s website to find the current location of who or what they’re tracking they’ll be able to comfortably access the required information in native Arabic.
Oct 31 at 8:08am by admin
SiRF Technology Holdings, the chipmaker that supplies GPS chips to the likes of Garmin and TomTom, continues to be a bag of hurt. Despite managing to cut operating expenses by 22% in the 3rd quarter, SiRF still posted a Q3 loss of $0.11 per share. The loss did beat Wall Street expectations, but a forecast of weak Q4 results still knocked the company’s stock price down 4% on Wednesday.
While Garmin and TomTom have been hit hard by competitive pressures resulting in dropping PND prices, and a generally weak economy, SiRF has been further hampered by ongoing patent litigation with rival chipmaker Broadcom. Earlier this month, the United States International Trade Commission decided to review the initial findings of one of its judges that found SiRF infringed upon six of Broadcom’s patents.
While SiRF does expect litigation costs to decrease in the fourth quarter, should the review panel decide to uphold the original infringement findings, it may mean that SiRF will not be able to export the questioned chips into the US without licensing them from Broadcom. This will of course devastate the company’s margins and with a share price currently sitting at $0.91, could mean huge problems for SiRF.
Maybe it’s not a good time to buy SiRF stock after all.
Oct 31 at 3:03am by admin
We have to have a little Friday fun, right? This is really cool. CNN’s John King is using the studio’s Magic Wall to show off some serious Skyhook Wireless GPS real-time locating that is tracking CNN correspondents following the United States presidential race. Not only does it track in real-time, but King displays the previous week’s travel of all the correspondents that results in something like an airline grid. Definitely a cool 2-minute video you should check out before heading out to tonight’s party!
via all points
Oct 31 at 1:01am by admin
Nissan has integrated Google Maps with its Carwings navigation system in Japan and while its only available in the company’s home country for now, it will probably make its way to the United States at some point. The service will use Google Maps’ car navigation link to allow car owners to send locations found via Google Maps directly to Carlinks which will synchronize the data for in-vehicle use. Carlinks will also provide Google Maps satellite imagery to improve its mapping experience.
Oct 30 at 8:08am by admin
TomTom’s GO 540, GO 740, and GO 940 LIVE models will finally be available in the UK come mid-November. They’ll be priced at £299.99, £349.99 and £449.99 RRPs respectively, with fuel vouchers for £30 (540), £40 (740) and £50 (940).
The connected GO LIVE line features IQ Routes, based on historical traffic data, that thanks to the two-way SIM card-capable PND’s updates hourly. The PND’s also offer advanced lane guidance, High Definition Traffic bringing you real-time traffic data updated every three minutes, Safety Alerts warning you of traffic camera, unmanned railway crossings, schools and more. You’ll also have access to a fuel price database of 12, 000 fuel stations across the UK so you can find the cheapest gas, plus Google Local Search, TomTom Weather, all controllable via voice command. Check out all the details in the release after the jump.
TomTom puts drivers in control of their journey with ‘connected’ TomTom GO x40 LIVE series
~ New navigation devices offer dynamic route guidance, real-time traffic, fuel price search, mobile safety camera alerts – plus free fuel card ~
29 October 2008 – TomTom, the world’s leading navigation solutions provider, has announced the UK launch of the TomTom GO x40 LIVE series – three high performance, connected satellite navigation devices with a package of ‘over-the-air’ live services that are set to take the chaos out of everyday motoring and change the driving experience forever.
Aimed at high mileage and daily drivers, the TomTom GO 940 LIVE, TomTom GO 740 LIVE and TomTom GO 540 LIVE come with a new and extended version of TomTom’s innovative IQ RoutesTM technology, which is now based on historical travel time information for every road, every hour, every day of the week.
Furthermore, the devices deliver smart, dynamic navigation and route guidance that continuously adapts to changing road conditions, always giving drivers the fastest route to a destination. The products also offer enhanced advanced lane guidance as well as full voice control.
Products and pricing
• TomTom GO 940 LIVE (European + US maps) with £50 fuel card – £449.99
• TomTom GO 740 LIVE (32 European maps) with £40 fuel card – £349.99
• TomTom GO 540 LIVE (UK/Ireland maps) with £30 fuel card – £299.99
Three months LIVE Services trial included, £7.99 per month thereafter.
Andrzej Kasprzyk, senior vice president sales, UK and Ireland, TomTom, said, “We believe the introduction of the TomTom GO x40 LIVE will mean a dramatic change in the way navigation devices are used. As well as assisting drivers in getting to a destination in the fastest and most efficient way, the device will become a daily ‘driving companion’ that will keep the motorist informed of all the known factors that relate to, or could affect their route, and put them back in control of their journey.”
TomTom LIVE Services
The TomTom GO x40 LIVE series comes with a range of essential information services for motorists, delivered directly to the devices ‘over-the-air’ via a built-in SIM card:
TomTom High Definition TrafficTM
According to recent research, 49% of Britons say that traffic jams are the most frustrating and stressful part of their day*. The TomTom GO x40 LIVE models automatically connect to TomTom’s exclusive High Definition (HD) Traffic service for the most accurate and detailed live traffic information, which is updated every three minutes. If the measured traffic conditions differ from the expected traffic flow, the TomTom GO x40 LIVE will automatically calculate a better, alternative route if one is available. The expected time of arrival will also be adjusted accordingly.
TomTom Safety Alerts with mobile camera data from Road AngelTM
With an average of £60 in camera fines received per driver in the UK every year, accurate safety camera data is becoming more and more vital. As well as a comprehensive fixed safety camera database, users will have access to the most accurate mobile camera data, supplied in partnership with Road Angel (UK only). In addition, the service will include real-time safety camera reporting and sharing, meaning users can keep each other informed about mobile safety cameras. Drivers will also receive warnings about unmanned railway crossings, schools, places of worship, and other potential accident blackspots.
TomTom Fuel Price Search
With 66% of Britons concerned about the cost of fuel more than any other modern-day issue, including the failing economy and knife crime*, TomTom has included one of the most useful features for drivers today – a fuel price search to allow users to locate up-to-date pricing information from 12,000 fuel stations across the UK, and guide them to the cheapest fuel stations along their route or in their local area. TomTom has calculated that high mileage drivers can save up to £250 per year in fuel costs using this service**. As well as saving money with the Fuel Price Search function, TomTom customers in the UK will also benefit from a free fuel card included with each purchase*.
Local Search with Google
Google Search gives TomTom users access to information and location details of more than 11 million businesses and turns search results into a destination with the press of a button. Results show the location name, a user-generated rating (if available) and phone number, so drivers can call ahead to book a restaurant or hotel of their choice, for example.
The TomTom GO x40 LIVE devices also provide five-day weather reports in the local area, or for the chosen destination, allowing users to plan their journey according to road conditions.
Allows drivers to begin their journey immediately, by locating satellite information – now updated ‘live’, rather than via TomTom HOME.
With Buddies, drivers can link their TomTom device to those of their friends so they can locate each other on the map, share favourite locations, as well as exchanging and sharing location information and messages.
Updated design and user interface
The new TomTom GO x40 LIVE series has a new, streamlined body and a newly-designed user interface with optimised icons for even easier navigation through the device menu.
Voice command and control
With safety in mind, the TomTom GO LIVE series features voice command and control in addition to existing safety options. For the first time, users can plan a route or make a phone call just by using their voice. Around 140 tasks can be activated by voice, so drivers can keep their eyes focused on the road ahead.
Even more benefits
All products come with TomTom’s wide range of award-winning navigation features, including TomTom Map Share – TomTom’s unique map improvement technology, as well as enhanced advanced lane guidance with more detailed instructions, and an Active Dock including a system connector, for semi-integration into the car, while ensuring easy docking and charging.
The TomTom GO x40 LIVE series also comes with a full range of accessories to match the design and finish of the new range.
Availability and pricing
TomTom GO x40 LIVE will be available from leading electrical retailers in the UK from mid November 2008, starting from £299.99. A free three month trial period for TomTom LIVE Services is included. Following this, users can register for a monthly, flat-fee subscription of £7.99 with no hidden costs, so they can continue to receive all LIVE Services directly to their device. Each device also comes with a free fuel card to the value of £30 (GO 540 LIVE), £40 (GO 740 LIVE) and £50 (GO 940 LIVE) while stocks last.
More information at www.tomtom.com.
Related Points Of Interest
Oct 30 at 3:03am by admin
Sharp AQUOS is a name synonymous with high-def LCD TV’s rather than GPS-enabled mobile handsets, but Sharp has moved the respected AQUOS name directly into the mobile landscape with the launch of the FULLTOUCH 931SH. Carried by Softbank in Japan, the 931SH has a 3.8-inch LCD touchscreen display boasting 1024 x 480 pixels that rivals the sharpness of notebook computers. With the narrowing profit margins in the LCD TV display market, I wonder if Sharp can make up the difference by moving AQUOS displays into much smaller form factors.
The touchscreen functionality even goes beyond that of the 3G iPhone ; a two finger touch will enable you to zoom in on a website, and the touchscreen is even used to focus the impressive 5.2 megapixel camera, which is further enhanced by an image stabilizer. Being launched in Japan definitely means the 931SH has a 1seg TV tuner, and it does, as well as GPS, HSDPA-based 3G and support for tri-band GSM, a motion sensor, Bluetooth, a magnetic compass independent of the GPS receiver, FeliCa-enabled mobile payments, and all the storage you could possible require through the use of microSDHC cards.
Available in black, red and silver, and pink-tinted gold, the FULLTOUCH 931SH will ship in Japan in late November, but like all the best toys, we probably won’t see this better-than-the-iPhone-3G handset outside of lucky Japan. Damn.
Oct 30 at 2:02am by admin
So now that Motorola’s announced its 3rd quarter earnings we have some confirmation regarding the whole Android issue. Turns out that Motorola won’t be releasing an Android phone in the first half of the year, much less an entire Android line. However it is true they’ll be focusing on the Android platform and Windows Mobile. As for Symbian UIQ? It’ll be cut. And Motorola’s own P2K platform, also cut. The company feels it needs to consolidate its mobile handset unit in order to cut costs and hopefully profit, something their $397 million loss in the 3rd quarter is far from. Oh, and back to the ‘Android not coming in 1H 2009′ thing, it’ll be more like holiday season 2009 before we see a Motorola Android phone.
Oct 30 at 1:01am by admin
Given Garmin’s struggles in the third quarter, it should be no surprise that TomTom cut shipment forecasts to 18 million PND’s for both North America and Europe, as opposed to its previous forecast of 20 million units for each continent.
TomTom shipped 2.53 million PND products in the third quarter, up year-over-year, but down a huge 18% since last quarter. However, it was good enough to hold the lead in Europe with a 45% market share, but they’re well behind Garmin in North America with just over 20% of the market.
Sadly, TomTom’s earnings are down 41% this quarter despite a 5% increase in gross margins and surprisingly a 5 euro increase in the average selling price (which is still 26% less than a year ago). Of course the company’s recent TeleAtlas acquisition obviously left them with a huge debt load, but they are reporting that it’s been renegotiated for a longer term at a slightly higher interest rate. At least we don’t have to worry about TomTom defaulting on their loan…for now.