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October 30, 2006

NY Times to Garmin: We Love You!

NY Times Loves Garmin c550

The New York Times ran an interesting article yesterday comparing carmakers’ in-dash navigation units with portable GPS and cell-phone based GPS navigation. They tested an Acura built-in satellite system that costs $3,500, a Garmin StreetPilot c550 (one of my favorite GPS units) that sells for around $800, and an LG cellular phone from Verizon running a navigation application that costs $9.95 a month (in addition to your calling plan).

Perhaps most interesting, all three systems use NAVTEQ mapping data, so the match-up is an extra-interesting test. The reviewer found faults with all three systems, but ended up liking the Garmin StreetPilot c550 best. Read the full article HERE.

October 28, 2006

Garmin Releases Version 4.0 Firmware for c550

A few days ago Garmin posted updated firmware (version 4.0) for the StreetPilot c550. I've downloaded and installed the update, and I encountered no issues.

Changes made from version 3.30 to 4.00:

  • Added SMS / Text Message Support for compatible phones
  • Added support for reading messages with TTS voices
  • Added support for importing M3U playlists. Place M3U playlist in the same directory as your music. From the MP3 player, touch Browse -> Import Playlist. Touch the playlist you want to import, and the songs are loaded in that order.
  • Changed the safety camera alarm rate
  • Enable filtering of the Daylight Saving list based on time zone
  • Fixed Switch to button on active call page to be active
  • Modified to power off the unit when disconnected by computer while exiting from mass storage mode and restart the unit if the USB cable is pulled
  • Added support for Russian, Turkish, Slovak, and Estonian pre-recorded voices
  • Added Arizona time zone

Garmin recommends installing the update via their WebUpdater software. If you like the old-school method better, you can grab the file manually HERE.

October 25, 2006

GPS Magazine Releases Official Fall 2006 Buyers Guide

You asked for it, and now you've got it! Which GPS should I buy? Check out the completely updated Buyers Guide.

October 20, 2006

Garmin posts nuvi 660 firmware v.2.40

A few days ago Garmin posted updated firmware for the nuvi 660 on their website. I've downloaded and installed the update, and everything went smoothly, so now I can recommend the update. What's new in version 2.40?

Changes made from version 2.00 to 2.40:

  • Select Language Page string corruption
  • FM Frequency page not in sync with Quick settings page
  • GPS starting location not being saved properly
  • Memory leak in bluetooth setup page
  • Changed saftey camera tone rate
  • Traffic receiver missing message error
  • Increased Backlight at power on
  • Increased touch size for Traffic icon on map page
  • Improved large phonebook sync
  • MP3 playlist support (m3u)
  • Added Estinonian and Romanian text languages
  • Added Greek, Croation, and Slovenian voices

OK, so Estinonian text and Croation voices may not be a big deal for most of us out there, but some of the other updates are actually useful... The update is available via Garmin's WebUpdater, or can be downloaded directly HERE.

October 17, 2006

Garmin nuvi 660 Review

Verdict: Editor's Choice 2006

Garmin nuvi 660

REVIEW UPDATE: This GPS model has been discontinued

I finally got my hands on the highly anticipated Garmin nuvi 660 and have completed my in-depth review. It's taken me longer than expected, but these in-depth reviews take a while to complete. Remember, the goal of GPS Magazine is to give you the same knowledge of a system as if you had actually purchased it. That way, there are no ugly surprises waiting for you when you get home from the store. The reviews take a little longer to complete, but the whole reason for starting GPS Magazine was that I couldn't find any truly in-depth reviews.

The nuvi 660 is Garmin's latest, and most expensive, consumer GPS, and builds on Garmin's highly popular Nuvi product line. The 660 sports a 4.3-inch wide-screen, SiRF, NAVTEQ maps, built-in FM transmitter, MP3 player, photo viewer, and much more -- it's got everything but the kitchen sink! But do all those features ultimately make for a better GPS, or just add clutter and confusion?

Read on for the full review.

Continue reading "Garmin nuvi 660 Review" »

October 16, 2006

Garmin nuvi 660 price drops to $749.99

Garmin nuvi 660

The Garmin nuvi 660 has a pretty steep retail price of $1,076. Well, it looks like Amazon.com is selling the Garmin nuvi 660 for $749.99 and they're in stock. Circuit City's charging $999, so this is a good deal, especially considering the less expensive StreetPilot c550 was $799 just a week ago. So if you've been waiting for the price to drop on the nuvi before picking one up, now's your chance. Here's a link to Amazon's listing.

Also worth mentioning: the Nuvi 360 is on sale for $579.99, and the 350 is $490. Good stuff. Just ordered my 660...

October 6, 2006

What Would You Ask Tele Atlas?

Next week I’ve got an interview scheduled with Tele Atlas. Got something you think I should ask? Post it in a comment and I’ll ask it in the interview. Currently I’m planning on asking about the GDT acquisition, how Tele Atlas stacks up against NAVTEQ, and future roadmap.

October 4, 2006

Magellan RoadMate 2000 Review

Verdict: Best Sub-$200 GPS

Magellan RoadMate 2000

REVIEW UPDATE: This GPS model has been discontinued

1. Introduction

What a quarter this has been for GPS devices! The "Big Three" (Garmin, TomTom, & Magellan) have been releasing new devices at a dizzying pace; it's enough to make a consumer's head explode. GPSmagazine is there to sort out the good from the bad, and this week I completed my in-depth review of the Magellan the RoadMate 2000.

Continue reading "Magellan RoadMate 2000 Review" »