Those worried about what location information their phones are gathering might want to scrutinize their navigation systems first.
Police in the Netherlands have used aggregate data from TomTom's satellite navigation systems to install speed cameras where drivers tend to exceed the speed limit, TomTom said yesterday. The practice doesn't involve any individual data, but TomTom is barring it in the future after customers objected.
The company's sat-nav systems can send position data back to TomTom, and the company uses the information for purposes such as routing people around traffic jams and providing accurate estimates of journey … Read more
Get lost and take a long, hard look in the mirror. That's the message from Ford as it launches a new Garmin sat-nav integrated directly into your car's rear-view mirror.
The MirrorNavi, an after-market accessory that replaces your existing rear-view mirror, was designed and built by Garmin and Wollnikom. It consists of an ordinary mirror and a 320x240-pixel, 3.5-inch touch-screen display nestling on the far left side, and can be installed in any Ford car (except the Ranger and 2009 Ka) by Ford garages in the U.K. for about $460 plus installation charges.
Read more of &… Read more
Yesterday, we took a look at Bracketron's MobileDock universal smartphone dock; today we get our hands on its Nav-Mat II, a dashboard-mounting solution for GPS devices that uses the same Temporbond technology to add a semipermanent attachment point for your existing GPS or smartphone suction cup mount to any vehicle's dashboard.
As you've probably guessed, we're big fans of dashboard mounting our GPS devices. Though nearly every device ships with a suction cup windshield mount, we'd rather attach to the dash. Dashboard mounting has the benefits of keeping your device closer for easier access and clear of the windshield for better visibility. Most GPS devices also ship with a dashboard-mounting disk, but this is often an adhesive-backed permanent mounting solution that isn't transportable from vehicle-to-vehicle and can potentially mar sensitive dashboard materials, such as leather, when the time comes to remove this puck.
That's where the Nav-Mat II comes in.… Read more
On Friday, the carrier announced its Your Navigator Deluxe service that offers such features as voice-guided directions, 3D maps, speech recognition, more than 12 million business listings, and traffic and weather information. Even better, there isn't an additional fee to use TeleNav as it's all included in U.S. Cellular's new smartphone data plan, which costs $30 per month.
Supported smartphones include the recently announced Samsung Acclaim, as well as the HTC Touch Pro2, HTC Snap, the RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630, … Read more
We've been using Google's voice-guided driving directions on an Android phone since October, but we didn't have too many equivalent apps to compare it with until Microsoft released its own voice navigation service for Bing last week for Windows phones.
We took Bing on a few test drives against Google's map navigation, all in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both apps will likely eventually get you where you want to go, but both exhibited overly creative directions and produced their own frustrating errors.
What we liked We immediately noticed Bing's less tinny-sounding directions bot. Sure, "she" still sounds robotic, but less so than Google's navigatrix. We also appreciated how the Bing app "bings" before sounding off the next direction. The chime was a natural and unintrusive interruption to signal that voice guidance is imminent. It would have been nice if Bing also chimed to indicate that it's time to make a left or right turn, as Magellan's GPS units do, but that's a more minor quibble.
What we didn't like Bing was the more navigationally flawed app in our tests compared with Google's navigation. Google's maps also have more features and options; for example, a street-level and bird's eye perspective of the map.
Within our first two test runs, Bing thrice dispensed misdirections that didn't correlate to the real world, including directing us to circle around a neighborhood even when we were on the same street as the destination address. There were also more trivial directional errors that turned up in subsequent testing. … Read more
Canadian iPhone users on the Rogers network have another option for turn-by-turn directions with the Rogers Navigator app for iPhone.
When you download Rogers' app, you get speech recognition for destination entry and search, text-to-speech reading of turn-by-turn directions with street names, and real-time traffic alerts with one-click rerouting around congestion or incidents. Rogers Navigator also integrates your iPhone's contacts data so you won't have to enter the addresses you already have in the phone, and integrated iPod controls so that you won't have to leave the app to manage your tunes.
The app has a pair … Read more
Motorola took a pretty serious beating last year when we reviewed its MotoNav TN30, a portable navigation device that received an embarrassingly low 2-star rating. However, instead of dropping out of the PND market or simply releasing an incremental update with fixes, Motorola went back to the drawing board and came back swinging with the all new MotoNav TN700 series.
Here's the surprising part. The first model in this series, the MotoNav TN765t, is a surprisingly good GPS. This device features an ultrawide form factor, a plethora of physical controls, and a well-balanced feature mix with a few innovative … Read more