New version 3.8 adds ability to connect friends during road trips, more
Navigation and traffic app Waze (free) has updated to version 3.8 for both Android and iOS today, including a redesigned main menu and more integration between the app and a users' contacts. With permission, the app can sync "Waze friends" with one's contact list, which can be useful if a group of people in separate vehicles are heading to the same destination.
Demands placement of GLONASS ground stations on US soil
Russia is threatening to shut down American-run GPS stations in the country, in retaliation to the refusal by the United States to allow similar sites to operate in its territory for the competing GLONASS system. The threat comes at the same time as another against NASA's use of the International Space Station, in retaliation to US sanctions.
Fenix 2 can automatically record laps, activity for sporting activities
Garmin is releasing an updated version of its ruggedized Fenix GPS watch, with a number of smart watch-style improvements. The Fenix 2 offers a similar set of features meant for outdoor enthusiasts as the original, except it adds more to its recording capabilities, and is now capable of displaying call and message notifications from a connected smartphone over Bluetooth.
Premium app offers cheapest gas, unlimited saved places at lower price
Inrix, a provider of traffic and driver data and services, has updated its free Inrix Traffic app to version 5.0 to add more free services, and has also reduced the price of the in-app "premium" version purchase from $25 to $10 permanently. The new version features a personalized traffic congestion news page which features the fastest routes given current traffic conditions, and has made a number of formerly premium features free.
Garmin targets cyclists with new Edge Touring GPS devices
Garmin has rolled out two new cycling-specific GPS aimed at touring cyclists, commuters and mountain bikers. The new Edge Touring and Edge Touring Plus come with pre-loaded maps and points of interest for both on-road and off-road treks. Users can also program round-trip ride options based on a set distance for up to three routes with distance and elevation profiles.
GPS on refreshed tablet usable for short period, stops
The new Google Nexus 7 tablet appears to be having a few teething issues a short time after its launch. A number of owners of the second-generation device are complaining on forums about its GPS navigation, with position tracking seemingly working fine for a short period of time, before suddenly stopping and becoming unusable.
Suggests potential expansion for Maps alongside Locationary
On the same day it became public that Apple had purchased business-listing and information service Locationary, it has been confirmed that the iPhone maker has also acquired public transit navigation service HopStop. The most likely plan for the service is to fold it into Maps, Apple's own in-house GPS and mapping program. Apple's decision to forego transit directions when it launched its own Maps app was a major point of criticism from early users, and a selling point that kept many using Google's Maps application once it returned to iOS.
Features could be used in future wearable devices like 'smartwatches'
A document detailing future features planned for the next three years of Bluetooth show a strong interest in using the short-range wireless protocol for health monitoring, but also hint at features that could be useful to Apple, Google and other companies in the race to develop more "wearable" devices like Apple's rumored "smartwatch" and Google's Glass project. Among the planned enhancements are support for IPv6 web browsing, biometric functions such as heart rate monitoring and even indoor GPS, which Apple and Google are both known to be working on.
Simplified range, new maps, lifetime traffic updates
TomTom has updated one range of its dedicated GPS devices, and revealed a new line of GPS sports watches. The TomTom GO adds a new interactive map as well as more information for drivers, while the TomTom Runner and Multi-Sport marks a departure by the company from its previous Nike-branded efforts.
Localized positioning service expanding, allowing public access
China is promoting its own global positioning satellite system, with a view to making it available to mobile phone manufacturers and related services. By offering the Beidou navigation system to public-interfacing companies, China hopes that it will eventually replace the current GPS service in most devices in the next few years.
Google patent application details GPS-based camera settings
Google has filed a patent application with the USPTO for using a GPS to alter the settings on a camera. The abstract in the filing suggests that a weather report based on a specific physical location could give the camera important data to optimize its settings for a photograph or video recording, such as how much ambient light there is to work with, reports Engadget. While it is possible that the method may not make its way into digital cameras, it is possible it could appear in a Google-produced handset, like the X Phone, in the future.
Future devices could in theory
Apple has won a pair of patents via the US Patent and Trademark Office, AppleInsider notes. The first, Electronic device with automatic mode switching, talks about a "situational awareness module" which would use data from various sensors to predict what a person needs and adjust a device automatically. A phone could be woken from sleep, for instance, by detecting ambient light and the switch out of a horizontal orientation. The same criteria could be used to decide whether a phone is in ring or vibrate mode.
Commercial, public access to GPS competitor live in Asia-Pacific
China has turned on its BeiDou satellite navigation system across the Asia-Pacific region, with coverage spanning not only across China, but also over Japan and as far south as Australia. Commercial and public access to the network has been enabled, and follows successful trials on its already-launched satellite network.
Tweaks route, destination selection options
TomTom has updated its iOS navigation app, available for a number of different regions, to v1.11. Several improvements have been made, such as Foursquare integration, which lets users find places to go via the service with or without logging in; after logging in, though, the app also lets users check in at a location. Another upgrade is Bluetooth A2DP support, which lets users stream audio to any paired speaker nearby.
Garmin GLO delivers high accuracy positioning for mobile devices
Garmin has taken the wraps off its latest portable navigation device. The new Garmin GLO is designed to bring 'high-integrity GPS capability to mobile devices.' The device works with both iOS and Android devices and offers up to 20 percent faster position locks than just by using GPS technology alone.
Scratch-resistant watch includes smartphone connectivity
Garmin is introducing another product in its watch-based GPS line. The Fenix Outdoor Watch, aimed at outdoor enthusiasts such as mountaineers and hikers, packs an assortment of instruments including optimized altimeter, barometer, and compass sensors alongside the satellite navigation system.
RealMYST opens for exploration on iOS, iPad 2 or later
The classic point-and-click adventure game by Cyan Worlds is available on the iPad 2 and greater. RealMYST allows realtime exploration of the Myst world popularized in the early '90s. The iPad version boasts all the original Myst ages, plus the bonus Rime Age, full retina display support, and an interactive hint guide built into the game. RealMYST is available now in the App Store for the introductory price of $7, a $3 discount over the regular price.
Patent suggests changing phone messages by GPS coordinates
Google has patented location-based message alerts. The patent, filed in September and granted yesterday, details a way for various messages on a mobile device to offer different information depending on location. If Google makes software based on the patent itself, it can see Android devices becoming more location-aware, changing functionality based on where a device thinks it is.
Some models with lifetime traffic alerts and map updates
Magellan revealed the seven models in the 2012 RoadMate series earlier today. The entire line boasts four new features: landmark guidance, traffic camera alerts, access to the bestparking.com database, and junction view. MSRP ranges from $100 to $170.
Adds hooks for Twitter, Facebook
GPS maker TomTom has released an updated edition of its flagship iOS app. Version 1.10 implements several promised social networking features, most notably Facebook integration. Users can choose to navigate to places and events listed on the website, and optionally share destinations and arrival times with others.
Creditors getting antsy about firm's future
Troubled LTE telecom company LightSquared may default on a $1.6 billion loan and reported a net loss of $427 million for the first three quarters of 2011, forcing founder Philip Falcone to consider a "voluntary bankruptcy" to stave off creditors, Reuters reports. The move would buy time for Falcone and his hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners to find ways to salvage the company, which has hit government resistance to its plan to create a satellite "4G" network.
Tim Donahue may replace Sanjiv Ahuja
Beleagured LightSquared, the LTE data company that is facing stiff government resistance to its GPS-fouling technology for implementing wireless networks, is said to be considering hiring former Sprint chairman and Nextel CEO Timothy Donahue to head the company following the resignation of former CEO Sanjiv Ahuja. The veteran telecommunications executive could help the company fight government opposition to its high-speed network plans.
Navigon to launch for Bada, Cisco Cius tablet
Shortly after adding social networking, Wikipedia and check-in features to its iOS Streetpilot onDemand app, today Garmin announced the addition of Google Street View in the Navigon app for iOS, and an Active Lane Assistant feature in the Android version. In addition, the company announced that it will soon make the Navigon app available for Samsung's Bada OS for the Samsung Wave 3, and also for Cisco's Cius business tablet.
Could lose spectrum most needed for GPS workaround
LightSquared has failed to make a $56.25 million payment to UK satellite operator Inmarsat. The payment was to be the first of several payments, totaling $175 million for the year to be payed by LightSquared to Inmarsat, in a deal struck between the two in 2007, for access to spectrum. If LightSquared doesn't pay, Inmarsat can legally end the deal.
Case waterproof down to 40 feet
Pentax has introduced yet another set of rugged point-and-shoot cameras, the Optio WG-2 and WG-2 GPS. Both feature backlit 16-megapixel sensors capable of shooting 1080p video at 30fps, while a "microscope" mode utilizes a ring of six LEDs to light shots as close as 1cm from the lens.
30 Satellite network to turn on in 2014
The European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Agency has struck a deal with the Czech government to have Prague serve as the headquarters for Galileo, the European rival to the US' Global Positioning System (GPS). The European network of 30 satellites orbiting the globe is expected to start operation in 2014. The Europeans claim that Galileo is more accurate and reliable than GPS, which began full operation in 1993.
Sony's latest Xperia mobiles support GLONASS
Sony’s forthcoming Xperia S and Xperia Ion phones will support both GLONASS and GPS, the result of using the latest generation Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets. According to Sony’s Magnus Persson, existing Xperia phones that use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S2 or S3 chipsets also offer support for the Russian equivalent to GPS. By using both systems in tandem, Sony’s Xperia smartphones can get a position lock in half the time it would normally take using GPS only.
Future iOS app will guide to network contacts
TomTom has announced a series of upcoming product changes at CES. Of special note is the company's iOS app, which will see a v1.10 update later this quarter. The new app will sport an unusually high level of social network integration, allowing people to pull information from Facebook and Twitter to navigate to friends, places, and events. Working in the other direction, people will also be able to share destinations and arrival times, whether via Facebook, Twiiter, email, or SMS.
Garmin's Premium GPS line features free updates
Garmin has unveiled its latest premium flagship navigation devices, the nuvi 3500 series. The 3590LMT and 3550LM are Garmin's first to use five-inch displays, and automatically reorient to the user's preference of either portrait and landscape mode. They also have Garmin's latest navigation engine, which features faster route calculation and realistic displays of interchanges and exits.
Chips will leverage both US and Russian satellites
planned to boost location detection of its mid-tier Snapdragon S2 and S3 mobile processors. Currently, the chips use the 24 satellite GPS network to get a fix on a device's location. It will soon be adding support for the 27-satellite GLONASS network Russia uses.
Company still faces opponents
Just one week after a leaked draft of a government report pointed to ongoing interference problems with LightSquared's network, the US Department of Defense and Department of Transportation have issued a joint statement echoing the concerns. The agencies claim the network will not interfere with cellphones, however it has demonstrated "harmful interference to the majority of other tested general purpose GPS receivers."
Sources make more dubious claims
A source within the Iranian military has reportedly provided more details into the alleged hack that is claimed to have resulted in the loss of the US RQ-170 Sentinel drone. The unnamed sources have told The Christian Science Monitor that engineers exploited a GPS vulnerability to trick the stealth drone into making an autopilot landing on Iranian soil.
Company claims report 'incomplete,' will fight on
The ongoing battle between LightSquared, a company that wants to launch a nationwide 4G (LTE) network in partnership with Sprint, and the rest of the GPS industry took another turn today as a leaked draft of a government report concludes that implementing LightSquared's planned network would cause "harmful interference" to about 75 percent of GPS receivers, BusinessWeek reports. The testing contradicts LightSquared's claim that it had found a fix for the issue.
Current topics from the forums
Today in MacNN forums a user by the name of Helmling is looking for a 100% Mac compatible color laser all-in-one printer that can scan over Wi-Fi and isn't overly expensive, click here to join in. A discussion on what kind of Mac software can an eMac use, and how the software would be installed, has recently started, click here to read more.
Standalone navigation devices struggle to compete
TomTom has announced plans to make significant cuts to its workforce, a move that will leave 10 percent of its current employees out of work. The layoffs are expected to help the company reduce costs as it struggles to survive in a market that has encountered difficulty maintaining hardware sales.
Route and track editing, new devices, more
Digital map software maker RouteBuddy has updated its eponymous software for Mac and Windows to version 3.2, adding 60 new tools and components to increase compatibility with new GPS devices as well as give users more ways to edit and manage map data. Support for 29 new devices as well as significant additions to route and track editing have been made, and compatibility has been improved on two Garmin GPS devices.
GPS deals at Black Friday prices
Black Friday isn't over yet, here are some great deals on GPS units that are still available. Newegg.com has the Garmin nuvi 5-inch GPS navigation system with lifetime map and traffic updates, it has seen a $170 price break from $299.99 down to $129.99. Today Buy.com has slashed the price on the Garmin nuvi 1350LMT portable navigator, which is usually $249.99, but today is only $129 after the savings are applied.
Users can pick subset maps to save space
NAVIGON has updated its various iOS GPS apps to v2.0. While the interface of the software has been refined, the main improvement is the switch to an entirely new map system. App and map content has been separated, the latter in a way that allows people to download only the regions needed for a given trip. Owners of the North American app might for instance download only one or two states or provinces at a time, saving space on their device.
Bundles special GPS app, website access
Accessory maker Mophie has launched a new case bundle, the Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition. Included is a one-year subscription for the Mophie Outdoor GPS app, which covers the continental US and Hawaii. In parallel buyers get a year-long subscription to the Mophie Outdoor Edition website, which allows desktop viewing and planning. After that duration site access will cost $20 a year.
Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is currently pushing to enact legislation that would require government agencies to obtain warrants before obtaining location tracking data. The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act is said to clarify laws surrounding digital location information such as GPS data from cellphones.
3.1.1 adds bugfixes, restores Leopard support
GPS mapping application RouteBuddy released a bugfix upgrade to its recent v3.1 update. Called v3.1.1, the upgrade addresses several bugs as well as restores support for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) users, fixing an issue that caused the program to be unable to launch in 10.5. The new version dramatically increases the speed of importing large geo-data files, speeds up the rendering of all maps available from the company, and includes more recording data.
iPhone 3G to lose out on any future features
TomTom has released a new version of its GPS app for iOS, bringing the software up to v1.9. The title is now a universal app with a new iPad interface. The most attention has been dedicated to a new driving layout, which lets iPad users see the driving view and lane guidance images at the same time. Menu options, similarly, can be brought up without cutting away from the map screen.
Russian GPS network just recently restored
The iPhone 4S supports a Russian version of GPS known as GLONASS, an update to Apple's specifications page shows. The country only just launched the last of 24 satellites needed for global GLONASS coverage at the beginning of October. GLONASS first became fully operational in 1995, but a funding crisis crippled the ability to keep working satellites in orbit. Improvement in the Russian economy since the 2000s and interest from ruler Vladimir Putin has allowed GLONASS to come back to life.
Multi-sport monitor hits FCC
GPS maker Magellan has submitted a new device to the FCC which indicates it's near entering the fitness market. The Switch Up is a multi-sport device that can monitor effort, track movement, and calculate performance parameters. It also comes with conventional GPS tracking.
Package aims to compete with standalone GPS units
Mophie has expanded its range of iPhone battery packs with the new Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition. The battery case offers the same features as Mophie's standard Juice Pack Plus for the iPhone 4, but with an orange and olive drab color scheme. The Outdoor Edition also differentiates itself by shipping with Mophie's Outdoor Navigation app.
Uses subscription model instead of one-time fee
Garmin has launched StreetPilot onDemand, its latest GPS app for iOS. The title is essentially identical to the original StreetPilot, but with the key difference of a separate pricing model. While the original app is avalaible for a flat $60 pricetag, onDemand has an initial cost of just 99 cents, the catch being a need for a monthly or annual subscription to enjoy "premium" features such as turn-by-turn navigation, traffic updates, and public transportation data integrated into pedestrian directions. Each copy of onDemand comes with a 30-day trial of the Premium mode.
Apps include Yelp, Twitter, Expedia
TomTom has introduced its latest navigation device, the Go Live 1535M. The standalone GPS unit is claimed to be the first to offer a full app platform, enabling users to take advantage of travel apps and social networking features that have been available on various smartphone platforms. The Live connected services will include Twitter, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Expedia.
Running history now synced to phone
Nike has updated its Nike+ GPS application for the iOS devices to version 3.2, adding a sync-able history of a user's last 30 runs (including cumulative stats and records). It also makes minor improvements to the "Last to Run Tag" game setup, adds new maps that enable runners to track elevation and pace as well as save favorite routes, and adds a "check-in" type feature and leaderboards on the NikePlus web site.
Devices track and collect performance data
Garmin has brought out two new tracking devices aimed at cyclists. The Edge 200 Cycling GPS tracks basic information including tracks time, distance, speed, location and calories burned. The Vector captures more sophisticated information about the cyclist's performance in real time.
Collar add-on alerts owner if pet leaves home
Tagg the Pet Tracker is the first product from Snaptracs, a new Qualcomm subsidiary devoted to using advanced GPS and wireless technology to keep pet owners abreast of where their pets are, with automatic notification if they leave a pre-defined zone. Powered by a rechargeable battery intended to last 30 days, the durable device attaches to a pet's collar and features a "trip" button so that pets can go on walks or rides without sending an alert.