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GPS obsessed

Tuesday
22 August 2017

Garmin nuvifone G60 release date and price confirmed

nuviphone home 150x150 Garmin nuvifone G60 release date and price confirmedGarmin confirmed yesterday that the nuvifone G60 would indeed be available through AT&T in the United States on October 4.

One feature in particular that caught my attention, mainly because I don’t think it’s ever been mentioned before, is the parsing of web addresses with latitude and longitude information. This feature gives nuvifone owners who touch a physical world address on a web page the option of being navigated there.

The pricing rumors we heard the other day are accurate. $299.99 for the Garmin nuvifone G60 with a 2-year contract commitment and $30/month data plan minimum. Furthermore, you’ll have to send in a $100 mail-in rebate. Garmin Nuvifone Connected Services which provide real-time traffic updates, white pages listings, fuel prices and weather, will cost another $5.99/month after a free 30-day trial.

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Mobile navigation apps retain 1/3 of users after 30 days

Mobile analytics and monetization startup, Flurry, has released the results of a study today that sheds light on the difficulty mobile application developers have in retaining users over a long period of time. The study compiled usage retention data over a period of 90 days (in 30 day intervals), 200 million user sessions, apps in 19 separate categories, and across 4 mobile platforms including the iPhone and iPod Touch, Google Android, Blackberry, and JavaME.  The results?

Mobile app loyalty by category

Mobile app loyalty by category

The results are fairly intuitive. News, weather and reference applications tend to be the ’stickiest’ as they always have currently relevant content. On the other side of the spectrum are book-related and entertainment applications that tend to be tossed aside after they are completed. Navigation applications sit in the mid-range, closer to having the user retention of news and weather applications. But it’s interesting to note that while user retention for navigation apps sits at 73% after 30 days, it dips all the way to 33% after 60 days, after which it plateaus somewhat. Overall the average navigation app was used 6 times per week.

The lack of navigation app retention in the second month strokes my curiosity a bit. Why such a drop? Is it due to the huge amount of navigation and location-aware mobile apps being released, seemingly on an almost daily basis? Are there too many me-too apps out there? What is it? And whether or not we can pin down the specific reasoning, are there ways mobile developers can make their navigation apps ’stickier’ in order to retain users for longer periods of time? Any thoughts?

App loyalty quadrant table

App loyalty quadrant table

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Palm Pre deals: Where to find the best one

Palm Pre deals

Palm Pre deals

Earlier in the month when Palm announced the second webOS smartphone, the Palm Pixi, the company immediately slashed the Palm Pre price to $149.99. Great. But now Amazon is carrying the Palm Pre for $99.99 and Walmart has it for an even lower $79.99. If you’re planning to wait for the Pixi, then disregard the rest of this article. But if you’re planning on taking advantage of one of the Palm pre deals, there are a few things you should be aware of.

First of all, Sprint’s price for the Palm Pre is currently $150 after a $100 mail-in rebate and with the signing of a 2-year contract. Amazon’s price skips the mail-in rebate and still includes the 2-year contract. The Walmart deal is a little bit tricky. First of all, the $80 price is only applicable after sending in a $100 mail-in rebate. Furthermore, you can only mail in the rebate after you’ve been using the phone for 4 months, as it requires to be attached, your up-to-date fourth month Sprint bill.  Both the Amazon and Walmart deals require buyers to be a new Sprint customer.

The Walmart deal sounds like a giant pain in the arse to me. If you don’t want to wait for the Palm Pixi to launch later this year, your best Palm Pre deal bet is found at Amazon.

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TeleAtlas updates MultiNet digital map database for Q3 2009

multinet 2009q3 TeleAtlas updates MultiNet digital map database for Q3 2009

Tele Atlas MultiNet coverage map for Q3 2009

Tele Atlas has released its latest MultiNet map database update today, including 1.25 million validated community inputs from 30 countries, almost all of which come from TomTom PND users. The latest MultiNet release contains community fixes across 10 map attributes including one-way road direction updates, updated intersection information, and exact locations of addresses.

Community updates in tandem with government and company GPS information has also helped to validate and realign 116, 000 kilometers of secondary roads in the United States, 25, 000 kilometers of Germany’s freeway network, 1, 400 kilometers of new road geometry in Ireland, and 1, 000 kilometers of new road geometry in Turkey.

The new MultiNet digital map database release includes a total of 30.1 million kilometers of road coverage in 94 countries and territories. New to this release are complete coverage of Romania and the Ukraine, 17, 000 new kilometers of coverage in Malaysia, and expanded Thailand coverage which now includes 80% of the country’s road network with full attribution.

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TomTom XL 340S LIVE GPS brings AT&T connectivity to mid-range devices

TomTom XL 340S LIVE connected GPS navigation device

TomTom XL 340S LIVE connected GPS navigation device

TomTom on Monday announced the XL 340S LIVE, its latest connected GPS navigation device to hit the United States. Essentially a revamped TomTom XL 340S with the addition of AT&T wireless connectivity, the XL 340S LIVE will add Local Search powered by Google, real-time traffic information, TomTom’s Fuel Price Service and Weather, and QuickGPSfix technology.

The mid-range XL unit also features TomTom’s IQ Routes technology, which predicts routes based on historical traffic speed measurements for every time of day and for every road segment. Real-time traffic updates will appear every 2 to 5 minutes on the display and can also be heard audibly, after which drivers can choose to change routes or stay the current course.

Other features include pre-loaded Tele Atlas maps of the United States, Canada and Mexico, a pre-loaded database of 7 million POIs, and Advance Lane Guidance which shows drivers the best lane to take in the event of approaching a complex junction or intersection.

The TomTom XL 340S LIVE will cost $299.99 from online and offline retailers across the United States, but only includes 3 months of AT&T connectivity. Presumably subscription pricing will take effect after that.

Quick update: The XL 340S LIVE has already appeared for pre-order via Amazon. It will ship November 10th!

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New Zealand bans mobile phone navigation while driving–but PNDs are legal

car tree New Zealand bans mobile phone navigation while driving  but PNDs are legalTell me if I’m missing something here, but a new New Zealand Transport Ministry law will prevent drivers from using mobile phone navigation software while driving, even if it is mounted on the dashboard or windshield–while still keeping traditional navigation devices legal.

Called the Road User Amendment Rule 2009, the law will allow drivers to make and receive calls via a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone that is mounted in the vehicle, but rules out looking at maps, emails, and other text and image-based features. Meanwhile, PND owners will be allowed to view maps while driving as long as the PND isn’t network-equipped.

What am I missing here?

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Garmin nuviphone G60: October 4 for $299.99 after $100 mail-in rebate

Garmin nuviphone G60 AT&T leak

Garmin nuviphone G60 AT&T leak

An anonymous tipster has sent the Engadget folks some in-house AT&T training material that indicates Garmin’s nuviphone G60 will finally be released on October 4–squarely in the fourth quarter as expected.  The G60, manufactured in partnership with ASUS, has been a long, long, long time coming. And only time will tell if the long wait will effect its commercial success.

One thing is for sure, the nuviphone G60 is expensive. With a 2-year contractual commitment and a minimum $30 per month data plan, you’ll still be paying $299.99 for the G60–and that’s after a $100 mail-in rebate. When it comes right down to it, you’re just paying extra for a connected PND in a mobile phone form factor. In fact, the nuviphone G60 comes with a dashboard mount in the box.

One thing I’m not clear on in Engadget’s material, presuming it’s real, is the $5.99 monthly cost for “Garmin Premium Services”, which includes real-time traffic updates, gas prices, weather updates, local event and movie listings, and white pages access. The first month is free with purchase after which the charges will automatically take effect until you decide to cancel them. Shouldn’t this be included in the AT&T subscription price though? Or am I misreading something?

In any case, basic navigation works right out of the box and as long as a SIM card is inserted in the phone, it’ll continuing working with a contract or not.

So, has it been too long for nuviphone success? Will you buy one at such a high price point? Or just opt for a cheaper Garmin PND that’ll still fit in your pocket?

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Nokia confirms purchase of social travel location startup Dopplr

dopplr logo Nokia confirms purchase of social travel location startup DopplrNokia on Monday substantiated rumors that it has purchased location-based social travel startup Dopplr. In a press release issued this morning, Nokia stated that the deal will bring Dopplr’s seven person staff under the wing of Nokia’s Services unit, giving the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer access to Dopplr’s massive dataset pertaining to international travel patterns. The financial terms of the deal and its completion date were not disclosed.

Dopplr launched to the public in December 2007, enabling international travelers to share plans, tips, and points of interest with their private social networks. The startup, which has offices in London and Helsinki, aggregates and crunches the incoming data into a collection of travel-related intelligence it calls the “Social Atlas“. It also produces a fairly popular iPhone application of the same name.

Both companies said that the Dopplr service would not change from an end user perspective.

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Twisst helps you see the International Space Station in the sky

International Space Station insignia

International Space Station insignia

Every once in a while a new location-aware application appears that is a little bit different than the rest. Today I came across Twisst, an interesting Twitter app that alerts you every time you can see the International Space Station (ISS) pass through the sky in your locale.

Twisst combines a variety of services to do this. First of all, it requires users to follow the @twisst Twitter account which functions as the alert system. Then, it queries Twitter as to the geographical information provided by followers in their respective Twitter profiles. If coordinates are provided, as many iPhone users tend to do, coordinates are used for location pinpointing. If a geographical name is used (like ‘Winnipeg’ in my case), Twisst uses Google Maps or Yahoo to convert the place name, or geocode it, into latitude and longitude coordinates.

Once coordinates for a user are obtained, they are passed to the website Heavens Above in order to find out what time the ISS will pass over the coordinate pair. In order to account for differing time zones, Twisst queries the geographical database, Geonames, in order to convert normalized passover times for each users’ actual time zone.

Once this is done, Twisst sends an alert to each users’ Twitter account, in localized time, regarding each ISS fly-by.

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Worldmate 3.0 for Blackberry has Yelp.com reviews

Worldmate 3.0 for Blackberry has Yelp search and reviews

Worldmate 3.0 for Blackberry has Yelp search and reviews

Worldmate 3.0 for Blackberry has been released with a great new feature: local dining and entertainment search powered by Yelp.com.

Yelp isn’t integrated very well though. In fact, you’ll just be redirected to Yelp’s website when you click on a search result. Hopefully we’ll see a full integration in later updates; if for anything, to improve the overall ease of use and user experience.

The GPS-enabled application only integrates Yelp for searches in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada right now. Hopefully the list of supported countries will grow in the future as well.

Aside from my couple of quibbles, there are a few more excellent added features to Worldmate 3.0 for Blackberry as well. The Calendar Sync automatically changes time zones, the hotel booking engine now has thumbnails and special offers, static maps have been upgraded to Blackberry’s dynamic, movable maps, and users can reserve train tickets from within Amtrak, Euro Star, and TheTrainLine.

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