If you’re currently using every other Android device besides the Motorola DROID, you might have thought that Google was holding out on that navigation love. Luckily, and just in time for your holiday travels, Google Maps Navigation has just been made available for Android 1.6. Now your myTouch 3G, Motorola CLIQ and T-Mobile G1 can better help you in getting around your in-laws’ town for turkey day with GPS voice navigation, automatic re-routing and Google’s new Layers feature for navigation. Unfortunately for Hero and Eris users, you’re left out in the dark until HTC and your respective carriers crank out that 1.6 Donut update for your phones. We’re crossing our fingers for you that it hits before Christmas. More →
The Galileo navigation satellite project has been in the works for some time now in Europe, spearheaded mainly by the drive to mitigate reliance on U.S. foreign satellite guidance systems. Galileo will, in theory, “offer greater accuracy — down to a meter and less; and greater penetration — in urban centers, inside buildings, and under trees; and a faster fix” when compared to the U.S. run GPS satellites. The new system is set to be offered with a tiered service model, five tiers to be exact, and will also come with an integrity check of sorts, warning users if and when their reported location may not be exactly bang on. Any good news for those of us stateside? Sure is. The U.S. and EU have agreed to make both the GPS and Galileo systems interoperable; newer navigation hardware will be able to position you using either constellation as well as benefit from any future improvements to the United States’ system. Europe started launching Galileo ‘sputniks’ into orbit in December of 2005 and the main constellation is set to go live sometime in 2010. Here’s to hoping that our beloved smartphones are updated with the new technology sooner rather than later.
We hit up Verizon’s Motorola DROID event a bit earlier and finally got a chance to check out the DROID in person. Ok, seriously though, Verizon and Motorola engineers were on hand to answer any questions and gave us a quick walkthrough of the handset’s browser and amazingly cool Google Navigation application. We’re pounding away on our own full review with video, but in the meantime you can check out this quick one after the jump.
Recently I visited Mercedes-Benz’s headquarters in Montvale, NJ to see their all-new 2010 E-Class vehicles. You might be thinking we’re pulling an Autoblog, but we’re not. If you knew the amount of technology and engineering in the new E-Class… well, you’re actually about to.
When you begin to look at how much effort, planning, design, testing, and money goes into creating a line of cars, you realize it’s not an easy task. Forget about competition from other manufacturers, just hearing and seeing the process of how it’s done was an incredible experience for me. We’re going to focus on just some of the technological features in the E-Class which is more than we could ever imagine, so once you add that in with every other component in a car, it’s really amazing. I was lucky enough to get a whole sense of how the process works and how it’s executed. I also test drove two 2010 E-Class vehicles, the E550 Coupe and the E63 AMG Sedan. Read on for my experience and an overview of some of the amazing stuff in the E-Class.
Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz North America is a past and present advertiser on BGR.
It was a simpler time. The economy was the last thing on most people’s minds, Dane Cook was just a weird annoying guy from Waiting, Galvatron ruled over our comments section with an iron fist… And Garmin announced that it would enter the wireless arena with the soon-to-be released nuvifone. A lot has changed since then but one thing has remained constant over this historic 18-month period — no nuvifone. Believe it or not however, that might actually change in the near future. Despite having a bit of trouble spelling nuvifone, TWICE reports that Garmin is “getting very close” to a carrier launch here in the US. Why the massive delays? Garmin president and COO Cliff Pemble:
Originally we thought we’d launch the phone into the open market, but because of the strong interest we had from carriers, we chose to focus on a carrier-centric launch and meeting carrier requirements is a lot of work.
Yeah if Garmin thought working with carriers was easy, the company was definitely in for a rude awakening. The June/July time frame does jibe with what Reuters reported back in April so it’s looking like this little guy may actually see the light of day. We shall see.
[Via GPS Tracklog]
According to an article published yesterday by GPS Business News, RIM may have quietly acquired struggling nav/LBS firm Dash Navigation. The site’s co-founder and Editor allegedly spoke to a trusted source who claims that the acquisition is a done deal. Dash, as we’re sure you’ll remember, was the maker of an awesome little connected nav unit that, well, no one bought. In November of last year, Dash laid off several staffers and announced it would cease production of its hardware solution, the Dash Express. While Dash has long since stopped making hardware navigation units like the one we had a little fun with above, the company would continue to license its software to hardware and mobile handset manufacturers moving forward. Despite its lack of user adoption, Dash indeed built a solid platform that is literally world’s beyond RIM’s current mapping/LBS solutions on BlackBerry devices. If RIM is looking to improve its offerings, snatching up Dash would definitely be a very inexpensive way to go. Neither RIM nor Dash have commented on acquisition rumors.
UPDATE: RIM confirmed that it has acquired Dash.
So much for June. During a conference call with analysts last week, Garmin President and COO Cliff Pemble confessed that the nuvifone G60 will be delayed due to technical issues. Stating that creating a smartphone such as the nuvifone G60 is “complicated” and that “bringing one to market that’s built totally from the ground up on a custom Linux platform is not an easy task,” is somewhat of a valid excuse, but we mean c’mon — this handset was announced over 15 months ago and still hasn’t seen the light of day. And you know what that led to? Garmin-ASUS pimping the G60 like it was brand new because of their “strategic alliance”, which so far has amounted to nothing more than vaporware and lots of it. The nuvifone G60 is now slated for a release sometime in 2H09 meaning that Absolutely. No. One. Will. Care.
[Via PMP Today]
It may have taken a year and a half and a second official announcement but it looks like we may finally have word on when the Garmin-ASUS nuvifone is set to hit the streets. Of course we still don’t have any official pricing info or an exact launch date, but a Reuters article from this morning places the nuvifone G60 on store shelves in June. As for which store shelves the G60 will land on, it’s still looking like AT&T is where the smart money is though nothing has been confirmed. The article cites “a source with direct knowledge of the project” in stating that ASUS will issue its first LiMo-powered handset in June. As the M20 runs Windows Mobile it’s a safe bet to presume we’re talking about the G60 here. An AT&T-subsidized, LiMo-fueled, 3G-rocking navigation beast… We want it.
[Via GPS Tracklog]
Garmin and Asus took advantage of Mobile World Congress back in February to announce the second nuvifone-branded handset that will reach market — the nuvifone M20. Despite the fact that the G60 has yet to hit store shelves, Garmin and Asus are seemingly anxious to display the fruits of their joint handset efforts and hey, were not going to complain. The M20 is tiiiiiiiny. Not so tiny that the duo couldn’t stuff a nice bright 2.8-inch VGA (640×480) touchscreen in there, but definitely small compared to other similarly-styled phones. As you would imagine, it’s all about navigation. Garmin uses an exclusive customized version of its GPS navigation software on its handsets — think of it as Garmin Mobile XT but tweaked and fully integrated into the OS. The OS on this little guy by the way, is Windows Mobile 6.1. We found that a bit odd considering Garmin whipped up its own Linux-based OS for the G60 but such is life. Garmin and Asus are actually planning to use a variety of different OSes for their devices, including Android. But we digress.
The way navigation is implemented in the M20 is awesome. Example: the M20 has a presence app that will display a list of all of your buddies. Select a buddy and his or her position will be plotted on a map. Another poke or two and you’re off, navigating to his or her location with Garmin’s great turn by turn nav app. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of course, as Garmin has really gone through and tied its navigation capabilities into the OS wherever appropriate and convenient. If you’re constantly on the go, the M20 is certainly a handset you should be on the lookout for when it drops sometime before Q2 is out. Hit the jump for more images of this little nav powerhouse all dressed up in yellow.
Oooooh Garmin. Your nuviphone should have been released eons ago and now you’re staring down the barrel of what looks to be some pretty steep and exciting competition in the Mio Explora K70. Mio made it known late last year that the company was cooking up a mobile handset and it appears as though the Taiwanese GPS company’s entrance into the mobile game will indeed be a sexy one. Specs, Jeeves:
- Windows Mobile Professional 6.1
- Quad band GSM / GPRS / EDGE connectivity (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
- Tri band HSDPA / HSUPA connectivity (850/1900/2100 MHz)
- 3.5 inch TFT 240 x 400 touchscreen display
- Qualcomm MSM7201A 528MHz processor
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, USB 2.0
- 3 megapixel camera, autofocus, geotagging support
- 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM
- MicroSDHC support
- GPS usage time: up to 4 hours
- Talk time: up to 4.5 hours
- Stand-by time: up to 200 hours
- 115 x 61.5 x 11.9 mm, 115 grams
No release timing or pricing has been announced thus far but don’t expect Mio to sit on this one anywhere near as long as Garmin has with its nuviphone. Hit the jump for another product shot.
T-Mobile G1 owners had long wondered who would be the first to offer true navigation services for Android handsets and today we have our answer. Later this month, Android users will be able to begin testing out TeleNav GPS Navigator, the brand new navigation application that will surely be as usable and feature-rich as its BlackBerry cousin – actually, even more so. The app features 3D turn-by-turn GPS navigation with voice guidance on top of nationwide maps and a business listing directory of over 10 million POIs. It will also provide traffic alerts, gas prices, weather forecasts and even direct access to restaurant reviews. TeleNav co-founder Sal Dhanani had this to say:
TeleNav has become synonymous with mobile phone GPS navigation. It is relied upon by millions of mobile customers. It was important to us that we build a great application for Android and the G1 so that customers with this phone would have a remarkable experience. The device’s large, beautiful touch screen creates an incredible navigation experience when combined with our software.
TeleNav GPS Navigator will become available as a free 30-day trial beginning Tuesday February 24, and will run $9.99 per month for those who find it useful enough to hold on to. Unlike some bigger navigation companies building nav software for mobiles such as Garmin and Tom Tom, TeleNav still opts for the monthly subscription model as opposed to a one-time fee. The idea behind a one-time fee of course — make mobile navigation purchases akin to buying a dedicated navigation unit. Buy the hardware, get the service forever, pay a subscription if you want advanced features. Different users have different preferences of course but we wonder how TeleNav would fair with a one-time fee option as well. Which pricing model do you guys prefer?
Big news today from everyone’s favorite nav company turned mobile handset company turned “will it ever release its phone?!” company. We all know Garmin joined the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) earlier this year but word is now trickling around the web pointing to some pretty lofty aspirations in terms of the timing for the company’s virgin Android offering. From Tony An, Garmin’s Asia Pacific Marketing Director:
Garmin will launch Nuvifone, its first GPS-enabled handset, in the Taiwan market in the second quarter of 2009, An noted. Garmin also plans to launch self-developed Android handsets in the second half of 2009, with production to be outsourced
Wow. Garmin looks to be positioning itself as a potential player in the mobile market – if it can ever manage to push a handset out the door, that is. Asus will almost certainly be responsible for production of Garmin’s Android phone as it is contracted to build the Nuvifone and it joined the OHA on the very same day as Garmin. With both Mio and Garmin looking to branch out into mobiles and Dash ditching its stand-alone units, we have to wonder if dedicated navigation boxes will soon be a thing of the past. Either way, Mio and Garmin are currently in a race to release what will likely be very similar handsets and to the victor may go the spoils. Either way, we’ll be looking forward to more info on Garmin’s first Android offering regardless of when it might actually come to market. 2H 2009? We might be lucky if we see the Nuvifone by then.
Sure it might have been delayed but at least the FCC was kind enough to remind us that the Garmin Nuvifone does in fact still exist. The good news is that Garmin’s sexy nav-centric handset is likely still on track for a belated 1H 2009 release in the US and it does indeed don the 850 and 1900 MHz WCDMA bands needed for some 3.5G love via AT&T. The bad news, for Garmin at least, is that it may soon find itself in a race with Mio and the first to bring its handset to market will likely garner the most interest from consumers, barring a possible carrier contract. Mio announced earlier this month that it too would be bringing a handset to market in Q1 of the coming year that will be direct competition to the Nuvifone. While we haven’t yet seen live images of Mio’s upcoming offering, the company certianly knows what it’s up against and is aiming to deliver. As such, odds are good that Garmin is doing everything in its power to push the Nuvifone out as soon as possible. Good luck to both companies – we just want hot new phones.