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.


VW and Garmin working together too

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

VW Nuvi Mount

We’ve covered a number of car manufacturers working with Garmin and TomTom to provide custom mounts, and now Volkswagen have announced plans to provide a VW-specific Garmin Nuvi 7×5 mount.  The Volkswagen “Click&Ride” solution is custom made and “tailored for all models” and will provide power to the Nuvi.  It will also integrate into the car’s audio system so that all information is broadcast through the stereo.

The “Click&Ride” solution includes the Nuvi itself, and features all the normal functions you would expect of a Garmin Nuvi model; lane assist, traffic information warning of roadworks and accidents, and will sit in the bottom left hand corner (LHD) or bottom right hand corner (RHD).

This looks a nice solution for those looking for a more integrated feel, but still want the power and flexibility of a portable SatNav unit.


TomTom broaden LIVE services, and alienate existing users

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009


Pocket GPS World bring us news of the new TomTom XL LIVE, which brings the LIVE services (which we’ve covered before here and here) to the cheaper range of devices (previously, LIVE was only available on the expensive x40 range).  The TomTom XL LIVE will retail for £249.99 and the LIVE services will be £7.99 after the initial 3 month free trial.  Compare that to the TomTom 740 LIVE at £322, and you can see this may well be a very popular model.  It comes with mapping for 42 countries.

However, we understand that only 30% of existing LIVE users have chosen to renew their subscription, and do you know what; we think we know why (and so does TomTom).  You see, even if you bought the top of the range TomTom 940 LIVE, giving you full European (and North America) mapping, your LIVE services would only work in the UK, despite TomTom offering traffic across a number of popular destinations across Europe (France, Germany Switzerland and Holland).  So, as soon as you went abroad, even for a trip to France, you had absolutely no traffic information at all.

Well, TomTom have finally accepted this, and have resolved it!  To begin with, the TomTom XL LIVE will include roaming support and allow you to use the online services across Europe (where available).  However, it will take TomTom until “towards the end of 2009” to enable this functionality for existing users.

Although it’s good to here TomTom have finally realised the benefit of providing their LIVE services in all possible countries, it’s a shame it’s going to take until after the summer holidays for people to be able to benefit from this.


TomTom and Renault announce Carminat solution

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Renault Carmninat TomTom

Here’s a picture of the new Carminat TomTom system that will soon be available to purchase for selected new Renaults.  Unlike the majority of TomTom’s solution, but more in keeping with a traditional car manufacturer SatNav solution, this will not have a touchscreen, but will instead be controlled either via a remote or via controls built into the car itself.  It features a 5.8″ colour screen, RDS-TMC traffic information support, and still features other recent TomTom advances such as MapShare, and latest map guarantees (offering automatic access to any newer maps released within 60 days of purchase).  This screen will also be able to display information about the radio station or CD being played, and some models will also have support for displaying telephone information.

This is designed as a low cost solution, so doesn’t feature all the bells and whistles of some of the higher spec TomTom devices, but will still allow some “data” to be downloaded from TomTom HOME onto an SD card, eg speed camera alerts.

It will ship just with the maps of UK and Ireland, although it’s possible to buy maps of Western Europe on an SD card for use with the device.  It appears the first car that will be offered with this system is the new Renault Clio at roughly £500, and should be available during 2009 on the new Megane, new Scenic, and new Grand Scenic.

There is some more information on TomTom’s website here, with some other information available direct from Renault here.


Tele Atlas now using TomTom MapShare data

Monday, February 16th, 2009

TeleAtlas Logo

We first covered this last year, but Tele Atlas have just released their 2009.02 maps to their navigation partners, which include, for the first time, updates that have been based around the TomTom MapShare data provided by TomTom users.  The previous map update included basic updates (one way road errors, turn restrictions, incorrect names), but this update has taken things a stage further.  Tele Atlas have analysed the tracklog data (of those users who have opted to share this with TomTom and Tele Atlas) to spot where there have been road layout changes, or where their data could be made more accurate to reflect the actual position of the road on the map.

This should, in time, improve the quality of their data, especially with the ability to use data from users to be alerted to new roads and road layout improvements.  Over the last few years, despite the sales of TomTom units, many people, including us, feel that Navteq have had better mapping data for the UK, and this may help to level the playing field a little.


TomTom Boxing Day Sale

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

TomTom GO 940

TomTom have joined in the Boxing Day Sales, and have offered a £50 saving on their top of the range TomTom GO940 LIVE

.  This brings the price down to around £390, and also still offers £50 of fuel vouchers that we mentioned before.  Head over to TomTom for more information and to purchase.


Pronav release their second HGV specific SatNav

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Further to the original device we featured here, Pronav have now launched the successor, the Pronav PNN-200, which will be available from Maplin from Monday at £199.99.  The key features are:

  • Navigation based on height, weight, width, length and hazmat
  • Potential hazard warnings (steep hills, crosswinds etc.)
  • HGV POI’s including truck stops and loading bays
  • Bluetooth hands free calling
  • Free six month safety camera alerts trial
  • Free 2009 map and transport updates

This is said to be useful for not just HGV drivers, but also drivers of any vehicle with any height, width or weight restrictions, including, for example, caravan and motorhome drivers, or drivers towing horse boxes.

Providing map updates is an interesting idea, it will include web access to quarterly updates up to and including the Q2 2009 Navteq release (which we suspect is likely to actually be released much later in the year than it’s name implies); alternatively CD-ROM versions will be available with a small extra cost.  However, the unit must be registered within 14 days of purchase to qualify for these updates.

This unit doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a TomTom or Garmin, but does do one thing very well, and that’s ensure the route selected is relevant to the vehicle.  As we said when we first covered the first unit, we hope other Navteq map-based SatNav manufacturers take advantage of this data and release similar units; after all, if every unit included this functionality by default, we should have less stories about lorries being stuck in narrow lanes.

Also, it looks like Maplin are running another Free Delivery weekend, so if you are looking for that last minute xmas present, then head over and see what they have to offer.

Initial story courtesy of Pocket GPS World.


TomTom announce online route planning

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

TomTom have this week announced an online route planning service.  Currently in limited beta, users who are accepted onto the service are able to plan routes, which will take into account the average speed of the roads at the time you specify for the journey, and also if possible, will use the latest HD Traffic information available.  The website is set to constantly use the latest maps available from TomTom, so will always be up to date.

Although it sounds wonderful, there one key thing missing for us; all of this is available from the device itself, yet there is no capability (yet) of transferring this route from the website to the individual device; with that level of integration, it may well be worth using the service.  It also questions where TomTom HOME will fit into their future strategy…

Head over to here to request access to the beta programme.


TomTom releases map updates

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

TomTom Logo

As well as updating the majority of it’s current maps, TomTom has also just released maps of Brazil, Turkey, Greece and Mexico.  Along with a software update for existing x20 and x30 units, they have now released these v8.15 maps, which are required to get the 24/7 IQ Routing working that is included in the latest software (v8.3).

These software and map updates should be available via TomTom HOME shortly, if not already.


TomTom announce new units

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

TomTom have finally announced UK availability of the new x40 range of LIVE devices. These SatNav units include a built in GSM radio (and SIM card) to provide LIVE services directly without the need for bluetooth connections to mobile phones, or an RDS receiver for traffic. Even better, one of the LIVE services is the new HD Traffic we’ve talked about a number of times. The range of LIVE services includes:

  • HD Traffic
  • IQ Routes (historical travel time information for every road, every hour, every day of the week)
  • Safety Cameras (provided by Road Angel in the UK)
  • Fuel Prices
  • Weather
  • Buddies
  • Google Search

The Fuel Prices is interesting; the SatNav will direct you to the petrol stations with the cheapest prices in the area you are in, which TomTom claim could save you a lot of money over the year. The devices ship with 3 months subscription to the LIVE services, after which you will need to purchase it (although it can be purchased a month at a time) for £7.99 per month.

There are 3 models;

  • 540 – UK / Ireland maps – RRP £299.99
  • 740 – 32 European countries – RRP £349.99
  • 940 – European and US maps, and mp3 playback – RRP £449.99

All devices can connect to an iPod, although the 540 and 740 need a new accessory dock (at extra charge), whereas the 940 includes this as standard.

Having been announced yesterday, these devices should be in the shops by the weekend, with an added bonus, whilst stocks last, each unit will ship with a fuel card to reduce their fuel costs; the value varies by model, £30 for the 540, £40 for the 740, and £50 for the 940.

More detailed news of the TomTom launch at Pocket GPS World.