Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘GPS’

Apple Maps and the Long Road Back ➝

Matt Hauger:

I’d even identified the perfect test case. The West Virginia Division of Highways just opened a five-mile stretch of highway near our home in the Potomac Highlands. “Surely,” I thought, “Google will incorporate this new route before Apple.” […]

I was wrong. Firing up both apps on my iPhone last night, I was surprised to find that Apple had discovered the new four-lane stretch before Google.

My fiancée and I used Apple Maps to navigate from upstate New York, to Gettysburg, to Philadelphia, and back this past weekend. My experience with Maps has been nothing but positive since it first launched in 2012, but this was the first trip that we relied on it as our only mapping application — usually we use TomTom to do most of the heavy lifting. Whether we were traveling on the back roads of central Pennsylvania or the busy traffic of Philadelphia, Maps handled it all without a hitch.

Jobs, Schiller, and Forstall Talk About Location Data ➝

Ina Fried interviewed Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, and Scott Forstall regarding the recent iPhone location data concerns. It’s a good interview and worth reading all the way through.

Apple Publishes Q&A Regarding Location Data ➝

I’ve stayed away from discussion on the iPhone location data thing. Not only was I disinterested in the whole situation, I didn’t want to contribute to the overall hype of a problem that wasn’t really a problem.

From Apple’s Q&A:

Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.

Apple is collecting geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers that is sent anonymously and in an encrypted form to Apple. This information is being collected so that iPhones can download a subset of the database to aid in location services.

Apple will be issuing a software update that will reduce the size of the database cached on iPhones, ceases backing up of this cache, and that will delete the cache when location services are turned off.

Also worthy of note:

Apple is now collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database with the goal of providing iPhone users an improved traffic service in the next couple of years.



Garmin Exits Phone Business ➝

Associated Press writer Dana Wollman:

Garmin Ltd., maker of GPS devices, reported higher earnings but lower revenue Wednesday for the third quarter, and said it would abandon its efforts to break into the smartphone market and instead focus on selling GPS hardware to plane and boat makers.

I was excited about the Nuvifone when it was initially announced, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that it was nothing more than a poorly executed product. Garmin would have done much better in this market if they went the route of developing and releasing premium navigation applications on as many of the major smartphone platforms as possible.

Magellan Releases RoadMate App for iPhone ➝

Magellan RoadMate for iPhone

Magellan has released its RoadMate 2010 North America application for the iPhone and iPod touch.

The application’s most interesting features include:

  • OneTouch Favorites Menu
  • Spoken Street Name Guidance
  • Address Book Integration
  • In-app Music Control

Magellan is also planning to release a car kit to compete with TomTom’s. Their Premium Car Kit will have a fully adjustable rotating mount, enhanced GPS signal with its built-in receiver, and a noise-canceling speakerphone with Bluetooth hands-free calling.

Magellan’s RoadMate application is available now for the introductory price of $79.99. Their Car Kit is coming soon but no exact release date or pricing has been announced.

There have been several GPS navigation apps in the App Store but now that there are two big names (Magellan and TomTom) in the game the competition will really start to heat up.

Magellan RoadMate 2010 North America – $79.99
Magellan Premium Car Kit

Update 11/30/09: The Magellan Premium GPS Car Kit has shown up on Amazon. The price is $129.99 and the product page says that it will be released on December 11, 2009.

TomTom Car Kit Will Not Include App ➝

TomTom has finally confirmed pricing on the iPhone Car Kit. It will have a suggested retail price of $119.95 and will be available in October. TomTom has also confirmed that the Car Kit will be sold seperately from the TomTom app and will be compatible with the iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS.

There has been rumors that the application would come bundled with the Car Kit but it appears that they was incorrect. TomTom’s Yann Lafargue had previously told Mac4Ever that the Car Kit would be compatible with the iPod touch. This press release implies that the app and Car Kit aren’t compatible with the iPod touch, we might have to wait until the Car Kit launches to know for sure.

TomTom Car Kit Coming in October
8/17/09: TomTom Says the Car Kit is Compatible with the iPod touch
8/16/09: TomTom Apps Show Up in the App Store

TomTom Car Kit Coming in October ➝

TomTom for iPhone

TomTom has published some answers to frequently asked questions, including the answer to obviously the most asked question regarding the Car Kit.

When will the car kit be available?

The TomTom car kit availability was originally planned for this summer. But we have decided to take some extra weeks in order to deliver the highest quality on this innovative product. So, the car kit will become available this October on www.tomtom.com.

The FAQ also reveals that the TomTom app will not come bundled with the Car Kit, it is only available on the App Store.

I’m starting to get a little worried that this is going to cost $300 between the Car Kit and the application.

TomTom Says the Car Kit is Compatible with the iPod touch
8/16/09: TomTom Apps Show Up in the App Store
8/12/09: TomTom for iPhone May Have September 22 Release Date
6/9/09: WWDC Keynote 2009
5/9/09: TomTom Rumored to be Hiring an iPhone Developer for Navigation App

Update 9/26/09: TomTom Car Kit Will Not Include App

TomTom Says the Car Kit is Compatible with the iPod touch ➝

TomTom for iPhone

Mac4Ever managed to get a hold of Yann Lafargue, TomTom’s public relations manager, and received confirmation that the upcoming Car Kit will be compatible with the iPod touch and will also support third party GPS navigation applications.

It will work with the iPod touch and will also work with third-party GPS applications.

When the Car Kit was originally announced back at WWDC TomTom announced that the Car Kit would enhance the iPhones GPS accuracy, this made many (including myself) assume that the mount actually had a GPS chip in it, this has now been confirmed. And presumably, if the iPod touch is capable of using the navigation software with the Car Kit there doesn’t seem to be any reason why the first generation iPhone can’t.

The ability for third-party navigation applications to use the Car Kit to enhance their accuracy is very good for consumers. If you purchase the Car Kit and eventually decide that you want to try out another piece of navigation software you won’t feel locked in because of all the money you spent, the hardware is still useful to you.

Lafarque wasn’t able to shed light on the actually release date of the Car Kit but the release of the TomTom application itself alongside TomTom’s September 22 event leads me to believe the Car Kit is coming very soon.

(Google Translated).

TomTom Apps Show Up in the App Store
8/12/09: TomTom for iPhone May Have September 22 Release Date
6/9/09: WWDC Keynote 2009
5/9/09: TomTom Rumored to be Hiring an iPhone Developer for Navigation App

Update 9/5/09: TomTom Car Kit Coming in October

Update 9/26/09: TomTom Car Kit Will Not Include App