Garmin announce portable Head Up Display

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

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Today Garmin have launched a very interesting product, although before you get too excited there are a couple of issues; firstly, it’s not actually for sale yet, it’s likely to arrive in the UK around September October time, and although it’s not yet guaranteed to come to the UK, I think it is quite likely to arrive as even Garmin UK have been talking about it.

The Head Up Display is portable, although more on that later, and assuming you have the right SatNav software on your smartphone, will display turn information (lane assist), distance to the next turn, current speed and speed limit, and estimated time of arrival. It looks like it may also be able to warn you of upcoming speed cameras and traffic too.

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At something like £80 – £130 it won’t come cheap, but will offer two modes of operation; you can attach a reflective film to your windscreen for the best effect, but if you swap cars a lot, it will also come with a reflective lens panel (as above; there’s quite a large bezel to this, which is a shame, but a small price to pay). It appears to need constant power, but the power cord includes a USB port for connecting your phone charger to, allowing you to only need one power socket in the car. It connects via Bluetooth to your iPhone, Android device or even your Windows Phone, although your choice of SatNav software is limited; on iPhone you can use Garmin’s StreetPilot for iPhone or NAVIGON for iPhone whereas for Android and Windows Phone you are limited to only NAVIGON. Finally, it will auto adjust the brightness depending on the conditions.

I like this device. Given Garmin already have Bluetooth built into many of their hardware devices (for both handsfree calling and their Ecoroute HD product), I hope they are able to add support into their hardware devices for the HUD, but even so, this does look like an interesting product even if you can only use it with your smartphone.

We’ll provide more information closer to release time.


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iPhone updates

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

iPhone 3GS

Since the release of the new OS, v3.1, a number of applications have had some “issues”.  Well, some of them are now fixed, so we thought we’d lay out some of the updates that application vendors have informed us of…

Skype have released v1.2, which has the following new features:

  • You can set up call forwarding from your iPhone – forward Skype calls to a phone number when you’re not signed in, so you can pick up calls even when the Skype app isn’t running on your device
  • Improved performance and better audio quality when making Skype-to-Skype calls
  • It’s even easier to send text messages (SMS) – you can now send SMSs from the Call tab

Devicescape have confirmed, that after their earlier problems, their Easy Wi-Fi client is now fully functional again, and have stated:

  • First of all, Apple’s special support only applies to the original Easy Wi-Fi multi-network application (the one with the white icon).  If you’re using any of the other Easy Wi-Fi apps, like the AT&T or T-Mobile version, you’ll need to install the original version too.  It’s free in the AppStore.  You don’t need to use it: just the act of installing it has the effect of telling the iPhone OS not to do “smart” stuff with your Wi-Fi connection in hotspots.
  • Previously, we recommended installing Boingo because we knew it had the same effect.  You don’t need Boingo anymore (unless of course you’re a user, and maybe you should think about becoming a user, it’s a great service!)
  • Finally, if you’re one of the many iPod touch users who never upgraded from 2.x firmware, ignore all of this.  You’re fine.  The issue only occurs with iPhone OS 3.0, and if you upgrade you’ll be jumping past that version from now on.

Navigon have updated their Navigation application too (although not specificially for the new OS).   As well as recently adding text-to-speech and iPod controls, they have now launched lifetime traffic (it needs a one time fee to activate).

TruPhone have addressed their problems with the latest OS, and they have confirmed that v3.0.3 of their iPhone client now works fully with the new OS.


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More iPhone SatNav updates

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

TomTom iPhone app and car kit

Two big pieces of iPhone SatNav news have happened this week.  Firstly, the big news is the release of the TomTom iPhone application.  Costing £54.99 for the UK version, or £79.99 for Western Europe mapping, making it the most expensive iPhone SatNav solution, according to the Pocket GPS World iPhone SatNav Comparison page.

This app has features such as IQ Routing, but misses out on any LIVE Services, and no support for custom POIs, preventing the use of third party speed camera databases, such as the excellent one from Pocket GPS World, and there’s no news on the TomTom iPhone mount, except that TomTom have stated that their mount will work with other SatNav apps too.

Secondly, the other news is that Navigon have released an update to their application.  Some after the initial launch, Navigon have added support for multiple destinations, calling numbers included with POIs, and the ability to add them to your contacts.

Some content courtesy of Pocket GPS World.


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More iPhone SatNav apps

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

iPhone 3GS

Hot on the heels of the TomTom iPhone app announcement, Navigon have announced they will be releasing an app called MobileNavigator, which will run on the new iPhone 3GS and the existing iPhone 3G, and will feature Reality View Pro, Real Roadsign Pro, Lane Assistant Pro, Speed Assistant, Day & Night Mode as well as current mapping and turn by turn instructions.  Also interesting, and possibly in an attempt to compete with apps like Nokia Apps, Navigon will release a MobileNavigator Lite, which will be free, as well as the fully featured version, which will be chargeable.

None of the SatNav manufacturers have yet to announce their pricing, or how much storage their solutions will take up, but it looks like there will soon be a nice range of options to choose from…

Some content courtesy of Pocket GPS World.


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Navigon 8110 features 3D mapping, traffic and free map updates

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Navigon 8110

Tech Digest have spotted that Navigon have released the 8110 in the UK. This unit features a whole host of features included in the price, one of which is Navigon’s new FreshMaps service. This offer 24 months of updates for a one off cost (which is included in the purchase price of the 8110, with it costing about £80 on it’s own). When a new map is made available, you simply connect your SatNav to your PC and download the new map onto the device. In price terms, this is about the same cost as 2 Garmin yearly updates, but if Navigon actually produce more than 1 update per year, then this may work out better value for those that want or need the latest mapping.

The other specs include:

  • Panorama View3D (A realistic view of the surroundings.)
  • Reality View Pro (Realistic display of motorway junctions and exits)
  • Voice Recognition Pro
  • Lane Assistant Pro
  • TMC Pro (incl. Pay TMC for F & UK)
  • Latest-generation Bluetooth® hands-free kit with integrated microphone
  • Digital Photo Album
  • NAVIGON Sync.
  • MP3 Player
  • FM Radio Transmitter
  • Radar Info
  • Text-to-speech
  • More than 2 million points of interest (POI)
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Highly legible 2D and 3D map display
  • Generous 4.8” touchscreen display with vibrant colours
  • Easy-to-read 16:9 format
  • Plus Europe map covering 39 European countries

The 8110 costs £399.99 and can be bought direct from Navigon, although it may be possible to get it cheaper elsewhere.


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NavNGo releasing South American maps too, and iPhone SatNav news

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

NavNGo iGO 8

After Nokia extended their map coverage into 9 new countries, NavNGo have announced they are about to release maps for Argentina, Brasil and Colombia.  In combination with their 3D mapping, they are trying very hard to compete with the established players, and if they can get their iPhone application we covered before released soon, they could become even more popular.

In contrast, within hours of Apple’s iPhone 3G launch yesterday, TomTom confirmed that they have their SatNav software working on the iPhone 3G, and plan to release it soon (although they have yet to announce an actual date).

Finally, here’s an interesting picture…

Navigon on iPhone

This appears to be (if it’s not fake) an iPhone running Navigon’s software, so it looks likely that all the major players are planning on iPhone solutions this year.

Navigon picture courtesy of Navigadget.


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Navigon announce innovative SatNav pricing model

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Navigon 2100

Navigon have provided options like this before (when their main solution was PDA SatNav software), but this is a first in recent times. As well as announcing the new 2100 SatNav device, this unit comes with their new FreshMaps service, where you are able to receive 12 map updates over a 3 year period – ie every quarter you will be able to download new maps for free.

In other respects, with Lane Assistance, Reality View, and a 4.3″ widescreen, this is a high end device that Navigon are providing at mid range pricing (eg $299 for the US).

Specs and Picture courtesy of Pocket GPS World.


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