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June 29, 2006

Hate the sun? Pick up a GlareStomper!


Saw this neat sun glare hood for GPS' and other lcd devices on Gear Live today. When I first saw this I laughed at the fool who would waste $20 on such frivolity, but then thought long and hard about how many times I've had to use my hand as a makeshift hood to see my GPS when driving in bright sunlight. That's it -- i'm heading over to GlareStomper's homepage and picking up one of these bad boys right now! Specifically designed for TomTom, Garmin, and Magellan devices, these black cordura nylon GlareStompers can be had for a mere $19 bucks each via GlareStomper's homepage.

TomTom quietly releases firmware version 6.11 update for GO 510 and 910

TomTom GO 910

TomTom has released firmware version 6.11 for all GO 510 and 910 owners. However, the update is only available via the TomTom HOME desktop application. When you cradle a 510 or 910 and launch the HOME application, the update will automatically be downloaded and installed. My guess is TomTom doesn't want people putting 6.11 on older TomTom units and is therefore making it an automated process via HOME. However, this release method means there are no release notes for the new firmware, so it's anyone's guess what is fixed or added. Here is what we've been able to determine so far about version 6.11

  • Text-to-speech pronunciation has been improved.
  • When powered by the power cord in the car, unit will no longer switch itself off when the power is disconnected. Although this was a popular feature, the crummy 910 mount would sometimes loose the connection to the 910, causing the unit to switch itself in and off and the mount made/lost contact. TomTom has therefore decided to fix the crappy mount disable this convenient feature.
  • Fixes an issue when using the remote control on the TomTom traffic service screens (although that wouldn’t be anyone in the USA, since this service isn’t available here yet). The remote control can now be used to access the TRAFFIC menu.
  • The Microphone Preferences icon has been replaced with Bluetooth Preferences icon.
  • Fixes an issue where the GO 910 would suddenly lose the correct time (actually this was fixed in version 6.02, but was not made publically available until release version 6.04).
  • Several Bluetooth stability improvements
  • iPod(r) interaction has been improved.
  • USB device recognition has been improved.

I've installed 6.11 on my 910 and everything appears to be running smoothly. Nothing is different enough that I feel it warrants changing the TomTom GO 910 Review, so for now I'm leaving the review as-is.

Have you upgraded to 6.11? Let us know about your experience by posting in the comments section.

June 20, 2006

Feature Request to TomTom: Save My Current Location

Just got off the phone with TomTom Support. Surely there must be a way to save a current location as a favorite in my TomTom GO 910. I figured it must just be buried somewhere in a non-intuitive place. To my surprise, TomTom Support sez there’s no way view your current location and save it. You can only enter an address manually. Saving your current location is very useful for a number of reasons:

  1. Sometimes you do not know the exact street address of your location, but you want to save it so you can return.
  2. Sometimes places do not have an official street address, so you’d like to be able to just save the coordinates (e.g. a flee market, fruit stand on the side of the road, etc.)
  3. Sometimes the TeleAtlas maps are just wrong, and say you have arrived at your destination, even though the correct destination is a half a mile up the road. So you’d like to be able to save the corrected location.

TomTom – PLEASE, this is a very basic GPS function, and one that both your major competitors (Magellan and Garmin) support. How about some firmware update love and drop in this much needed feature (while you’re at it, can you also add the “Clear Route” button to the homepage, and add support for more cell phones? Oh, and let’s not forget about fixing that horrible windsield mount).

UPDATE: Apparrently you CAN in fact, save your current location, despite TomTom support saying it's not possible. Here's how you do it: Menu -> Add Favorite -> Next Page -> GPS Position

Thanks to one of our readers for submitting the tip. Hey TomTom -- *paleeze* do some customer support training - these guys are killing you.

June 17, 2006

Update: TomTom's Crappy Windshield Mount, Part Deux

TomTom 910 Mount

After waiting exactly 15 business days from the time I first called TomTom to report that the windshield mount included with the spanking new GO 910 had broken after only 4 days of use, I finally received my "replacement" mount this week. The new mount -- you guessed it, it's exactly the same as the original mount!

As I mentioned in the TomTom 910 Review, the 910 mount has a design flaw that prevents the mounting head from properly supporting the weight of the new GO 510 and 910 units, which causes the mount to droop down and eventually break altogether. TomTom is apparently aware of the problem, and that is the main reason for the delay in wider availability of the 910. Word on the street is we can expect an improved mount within the next 4-6 weeks.

My plan: once mounted, I'll be extra gentle with this mount until TomTom fixes the problem for good (then I'll break this one so they'll ship me a proper replacement)

June 7, 2006

Coming Soon: Magellan RoadMate 3000T Review!

Magellan Roadmate 3000T

We're putting the Magellan Roadmate 3000T through it's paces and will be posting another in-depth review of it soon.

TomTom Posts New Firmware for GO 510, 910

TomTom Home Firmware Updater

TomTom has posted firmware version 6.02 for the TomTom GO 510 and 910. According to the release notes, this firmware fixes the time synchronization bug i described in the 910 review. Grab the new firmware HERE

June 6, 2006

Update: TomTom's Lackluster Windshield Mount

TomTom GO 910 Windshield Mount

Well, after a few weeks of use, the included windshield mount finally broke completely on me and separated into 2 peices. As mentioned in the TomTom GO 910 Review, prior to breaking completely, the mount had been doing a rather poor job of keeping the 910 secure; when driving, the mount would droop down until the 910 was facing a 45% down-angle.

TomTom's support department has assured me a new mount is in the mail, and an improved mount is "in the works". In fact, the TomTom support rep told me that the mount is "a known issue that TomTom is working out, and the main reason why TomTom isn't selling the 910 directly yet." Hmmm... Doesn't really speak well for TomTom...