Hands on with the Garmin HUD+ at CES 2014

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At CES 2014, Garmin decided to announce its HUD+ device to make driving safer. Like the original HUD did, information is projected onto the driver’s windshield. The difference is on the software side. Before, the HUD only worked with select Garmin apps that users had to purchase from the Play Store. The HUD+, however, allows drivers to use its own companion app. The original HUD will stick around for $149 while the new HUD+ will retail for just $179. Not bad for people that want a heads-up display.

Hit the break to watch our hands on video.
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Latest Nexus 7 update, JSS15Q, now available on AOSP, additional details emerge

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Yesterday, an update started rolling out to new Nexus 7 devices to address the multi-touch and GPS issues the new device has been subject to in its first few weeks in the hands of early adopters. Several other Nexus devices also started to receive an OTA update earlier this week to address some security issues. The factory images for all of these updates have now been posted over to AOSP, including the JSS15Q image for the Nexus 7 2013 version.

According to sources, the updates not only address the issues already mentioned, they also took care of some crashing issues involving the devices’ clipboard, tweaked App Opps permissions and some other miscellaneous bits. If you are still running your device on the stock Android install, you can continue to wait for the OTA to hit your device. If you are not afraid to tinker with loading a factory image or your device is rooted and not able to get the OTA update, you may want to head over to the Google Developers site to grab the files.

source: Google Developers
via: Engadget

Google Nexus 7 2013 update also fixes GPS issues

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Earlier today Google started rolling out update JSS15Q for their Nexus 7 devices that included a fix for the 2013 model to address problems with touchscreens. We now have confirmation from Google that this latest update also corrects GPS problems that some users were having.

The GPS problem would cause the Nexus 7 to lose the GPS lock after prolonged use of the GPS capability, especially in cases where a users was switching between several apps that use GPS. Considering all of the apps that are interested in a device’s location, it was quite easy to overwhelm the GPS code.

The update is still slowly rolling out to Nexus 7 owners. Other than the information gleaned from the support forums, Google has not released any official word on just what JSS15Q includes. We also continue to wait for Google to make the update available for download for those users who have moved on from stock and may not get it through the regular OTA method.

source: Google Product Forum

Garmin announces Monterra, an Android-powered handheld GPS

garmin_monterraGarmin announced the Monterra today, a handheld, Android powered GPS. We only know basic specs right now – 4 inch touchscreen display, 8-megapixel camera with flash and geotag support, 6GB internal storage, and microSD support.  The Monterra, being an outdoor device, has an IPX7 waterproof rating, is transflective (meaning the LED backlight is optional), and runs on either a rechargable battery pack or AA batteries.

In lines of GPS features, the Monterra comes with dual-band GPS and GLONASS, a three-axis compass, an accelerometer and gyroscope, barometric altimeter and a built-in UV sensor. Also, Garmin’s useful 3D MapMerge, which combines multiple kinds of maps, like TOPO, basemap or BirdsEye imagery is going to be part of the Monterra.

See the full press release from Garmin after the break.


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New Google patent application could produce better photos using weather info

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A new Google patent application demonstrates a method for connecting weather information with a device’s camera application. Besides the camera app and a connected weather app, the method makes use of GPS coordinates. Grabbing location data using the GPS of a device, coordinates are transmitted to a server to retrieve local weather information. When the weather data is returned to the device, ambient light info is fed into the camera to adjust the settings to optimize the picture. Some of the settings that may be adjusted include white balance, hue, saturation, sharpness, or contrast.

It is not clear how this may be better than the sensors already present in a camera, though many photographers find those to be inadequate and resort to manual settings or process their photos through software to make corrections. We also don’t know whether this concept will ever find its way into an actual product. If it does, Android users may enjoy an edge in the photography department compared to other platforms.

source: USPTO
via: Engadget

TrakDot Luggage tracking device will tell you where your luggage is at all times, now available for preorder

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Greetings frequent travelers!  If you like to travel as much as I do, you have probably fallen victim to the missing luggage bandit at some point. Bummer when you are attending a week long business seminar and everything you brought to wear is MIA. Low cost tracking solution guru’s, GlobaTrac, LLC., has a solution. They have just announced the release of their latest innovation, the GPS TrakDot Luggage  for preorder.

Just purchase the low cost TrackDot for $49.99, activate it for $8.99, and subscribe to the service for a nominal $12.99 annual subscription fee and the TrakDot will do the rest. Just drop the GPS enabled TrakDot into your luggage and it will report what city/airport it’s at in real time to your cell phone. It will even automatically turn itself off just before takeoff and turn back on upon landing.  By the time you get off the plane, you will receive a text message telling you what city it’s in.


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TomTom finding its way onto Android in October

The last time we heard news of TomTom’s arrival on Android, it was simply described as releasing “fairly soon.” Well, today the news is a little clearer. TomTom will be previewing their long awaited Android version today at IFA which will hit the Play Store in October. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out since Google’s prepackaged navigation is both very familiar and functional to most Android users – as well as the small fact that it’s free. There are no specifics as far as pricing for the TomTom application, however with an October release, we will most likely find out more today from their official preview.
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Samsung Galaxy Nexus Users Reporting GPS Bug After Jelly Bean Update, Easy Fix Possibly Remedies The Problem

 

It looks like all is not rosy for some Galaxy Nexus owners. After receiving some of that buttery goodness in the latest update, some Galaxy Nexus owners are reporting what is a significant GPS problem. Apparently, certain Galaxy Nexus owners are unable to get a precise GPS fix that doesn’t allow those users to track their location. What’s worse is the fact this can possibly happen even with satellites in plain view.

This bug doesn’t seem to be affecting everyone, but it’s probably a good idea to check if you’ve recently received the update. To check if you’re affected, you’ll want to open an app that constantly tracks where your whereabouts such as Google Maps, then check the notification shade for a GPS message. If the text says “Searching for GPS…” and you’re not seeing a flashing icon, that means you’re not getting a GPS lock. If that is the case, then you’ll want to confirm you’re affected by then downloading an app such as GPS Test which allows you to see if there are satellites within range.

Thankfully— where there’s a problem, there’s always a solution. Galaxy Nexus users will need to go to Settings > Location services, uncheck and re-check “Google’s location service,” voila!— everything should be cleared up by then. There are added reports that the simple remedy seems to correct the bug, which indicates there’s some type of glitches perhaps on Google’s side.

source: Android Central

 

Google Files Patent On Peer-to-Peer Location Finding

A new Google patent application has been filed for a peer-to-peer location service. This patent talks about obtaining “high-resolution physical locations for a wireless device by leveraging the high-resolution physical location capabilities of wireless peers of the wireless device to provide a peer-to-peer location service and facilitate location targeting.” In other words, physical distances between your phone and nearby peers can be used to get a more accurate position on your phone should your GPS crap out on you.

A data connection is still required, however, so if you’re lost in the deep woods of a rural area with no cell towers or Wi-Fi nearby, you may be up that proverbial creek, paddles nowhere to be found, banjo music getting louder.

Of course, a patent filing is not a product roadmap and Google may not ever introduce this concept to market. We’re hopeful it will make it in a future Android build to increase the accuracy of location finding in situations where Wi-Fi and GPS are unavailable or unreliable.

source: uspto