In the world of GPS, over the past few years there has been an ongoing struggle between smartphone software producers, like Google with their Maps product, and dedicated GPS unit manufacturers like Garmin, TomTom and Magellan, to incorporate the best of both worlds into one platform. The software available on mobile devices increasingly has matched dedicated GPS features, notably the ability to access satellite signals when cell coverage is lost, while GPS units keep adding features from smartphones like live traffic and weather updates. At CES 2015, Magellan is announcing a new device targeted at professional drivers that takes the best of their platform and puts it on a 7-inch tablet powered by Android.
RunKeeper has released an update to their app that brings a pretty cool feature to users that have a GPS-enabled Android Wear smartwatch. The newest version of the app will let you launch RunKeeper on your smartwatch, then take a jog without having to keep your phone on you thanks to the built-in GPS. You obviously won’t be able to keep up with a data connection, but once you get back home and reconnect with your phone, the app will pick back up and sync on its own.
There aren’t a ton of Android Wear devices with a GPS to take advantage of the new feature, but if you own Sony’s latest Smartwatch 3, you’re in luck. We’ll also very likely see more smartwatches pick up GPS in the next few months, so just think of this update as preparing for future devices.
Google has today published details of a major update it’s currently pushing out to all International variants of the LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live and Moto 360 located in the US.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.