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Latest GPS Product Review 2

Rand McNally Announces TruckPC Fleet Management Solution

Rand McNally TruckPC

Rand McNally and DiverTech have teamed up to offer TruckPC - a "complete fleet management solution to the long-haul trucking market."

According to the press release, the system will utilize Rand McNally's IntelliRoute TND truck navigation platform (Read's review of the TND 500 GPS).

So, you might be asking, "what's the difference between Rand McNally's existing TND GPS units and the new TruckPC?" Apparently, DriverTech, a company with extensive experience in developing in-vehicle hardware, will provide the hardware platform, and Rand will provide the navigation software.

Additionally, the system will support integration with various third-party dispatch and transportation management software systems, feature automatic vehicle location capabilities.

TruckPC will also allow fleets to wirelessly send documents and training videos directly to the device over the air. Demonstrations of the TruckPC are now available to interested fleets.  For more information, fleet managers should call 1-800-641-7263.

Is Your Cell Phone Secretly Tracking You?

"About 90% of all Americans are walking around with a portable tracking device all the time, and they have no idea." That, according to the American Civil Liberties Union's lawyer, Christopher Calabrese.

We've all come to lean pretty heavily on our smartphones for email, text messaging, web browsing, music, and, occasionally even phone calls. But could you trusty cell phone secretly be recording your every move? Time Magazine has published an interesting article that basically says smartphones are essentially 21st century spies, and that telephone companies are ready and waiting to hand the government detailed records of everywhere you've been.

When a cell phone is powered on, it is constantly checking in with the cellular network, and sending details about its location. Cell towers can then track the phone's position. GPS enabled smartphones can provide even more precise location data to the network.

Recently, a federal appeals court rules that authorities don't always require a search warrant to obtain such information. So whether you've been at church, or attending a tea party rally, you might want to turn off that electronic snitch in your pocket.

On the other hand, should you find yourself stuck in the woods and don't know where you are, you might be very grateful for the police's ability to pinpoint your phone's location so they can rescue you.

When GPS Attacks: Man Follows GPS Guidance...Into Lake

Car Driving Into Lake

Yet another instance of man blindly following machine: a 37-year old Spanish man apparently had so much faith in his trusty GPS, that he followed the instructions right into a river.

In this driver's defense, the El Mundo article says the driver was a tourist who didn't know the area, and was driving late at night on a rural road.

What You Need to Know About Garmin's Product Recall

Garmin recalls over 1.3 Million nuvi Units

As if Garmin wasn't having enough trouble selling GPS units in an increasingly smartphone-driven world, now it seems roughly 1.3 million nuvis are at risk of overheating -- possibly "lead[ing] to a fire hazard!"

Garmin is voluntarily recalling around 1.3 million nuvis, including some 200W, 250W, 260W and 700 series models. Not ALL units are affected, however. Only units manufactured within a certain date code range are impacted. You can use this form to enter your nuvi's serial number and see if it's part of the recall.

If your nuvi is part of the recall, Garmin will replace the battery, and insert a spacer between battery and the circuit board free of charge.

TomTom app for iPhone and iPod touch Review

Verdict: Yup, It's A TomTom GPS On Your iPhone or iPod Touch

TomTom app for iPhone and iPod touch
TomTom app for iPhone and iPod touch - Traffic TomTom app for iPhone and iPod touch - Traffic Map TomTom app for iPhone and iPod touch - Lane Guidance

TomTom's App brings standalone GPS device performance to your Apple iPhone or iPod Touch. Traffic costs extra, and routing logic isn't perfect, but this may just be the best GPS App to date.

Garmin's New Budget-Friendly 2200 and 2300 nuvis Will Have nuvi 3700-Esque Features

Garmin's new 2200 and 2300 series nuvi models

Last week I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Garmin upcoming 2200 and 2300 nuvi GPS units. These new models will attempt to bring the high-end features without the high-end price tags.

I'll be posting in-depth reviews of the new models soon, but in the mean time here's everything you need to know about the newest nuvis.

Continue reading "Garmin's New Budget-Friendly 2200 and 2300 nuvis Will Have nuvi 3700-Esque Features" »

TomTom Starts Shipping Free iPhone 4 Adapters

TomTom Adapter for iPhone 4

TomTom's iPhone Car Kit improves GPS performance, provides a windshield mount for your iPhone, a more powerful internal speaker, and a generally better GPS experience. However, the Car Kit doesn't accommodate the iPhone 4 out of the box. If you've got an iPhone 4 and want to use TomTom's Car Kit, you'll need to use this adapter to get a proper fit.

Completely GPS, GIS dan Remote Sensing tutorial -

Note that all new TomTom Car Kits sold after September 1st already include the iPhone 4 adapter in the box. Buyers who purchased before then can claim a free adapter from TomTom. Just insert the plastic adapter into the mount, and the iPhone 4 will fit properly.

TomTom Demos New Simplified "EasyMenu" User Interface

TomTom Shows Off new EasyMenu system on a giant TomTom demo screen

TomTom XXL 550 EasyMenu

I've complained for years that TomTom's interface was turning into a labyrinth of endlessly nested menus, and was getting unnecessarily complex. Apparently I'm not the only one, and TomTom has responded with EasyMenu -- a simplified menu system that provides one-button access to the most commonly used features.

TomTom demoed the new EasyMenu interface in New York last week, and overall I think most users will find EasyMenu an improvement over the previous menu system. Power users may complain that some features are now hidden, and actually require more taps to use, but there's no denying that the most commonly used functions are now easier to use.

EasyMenu is currently available on TomTom's new XL 350 and XXL 550 models.

Magellan RoadMate GPS App for iPhone Review

Verdict: Doesn't Take Full Advantage of the iPhone, But It'll Get You To Your Destination

Magellan RoadMate App for iPhone and iPod Touch

Magellan has been making standalone GPS devices for years. Now the company is hoping to stay competitive in an increasingly smartphone-driven world, and has released an iPhone and iPod compatible version of its popular RoadMate GPS navigation platform.


  • Works on the iPhone 4, 3GS, & 3G. iPod Touch (2nd Generation) with optional Premium Car Kit
  • $50 App that faithfully brings Magellan's popular RoadMate GPS turn-by-turn software to the iPhone
  • Overall sluggishness detracts from an otherwise solid GPS App

Continue reading "Magellan RoadMate GPS App for iPhone Review" »

Best Buy Insignia Little Buddy GPS Child Tracker Review

Verdict: Small, Affordable, Capable

Best Buy Insignia Little Buddy GPS Child Tracker
Little Buddy GPS Child Tracker Map Screen Safety Zone


  • Don't let the silly product name fool you - this is a very competent GPS tracking device
  • $49 for the device, $14.99 a month for unlimited usage, or pay as you go for $0.99 per locate request
  • First 30 days are free. No penalty to cancel at any time, or switch between plans
  • Strong GPS performance and rich feature set makes the Little Buddy a contender, holding its own against more expensive tracking devices