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January 14, 2011

Get OnStar Without Having to Buy A GM Vehicle

UpGrade your car's safety with OnStar's Mirror

OnStar Telematics, a division of General Motors, is currently installed in over 6 million GM vehicles, and offers drivers a variety of connected services, including turn-by-turn navigation, automatic crash response, stolen vehicle location, and more.

Until now, the only way to get OnStar services was to buy a GM vehicle. Well, no more. OnStar unveiled a $299 standalone mirror at the Consumer Electronics Show last week that will bring OnStar's connected services to any vehicle.

OnStar Standalone Mirror

Since the mirror is powered, and has integrated Bluetooth for hands-free calling, you'll need to have the mirror professionally installed. Installation is estimated to cost around $75, and subscription to OnStar's services will cost $18.95 per month, or $199 / year.

OnStar's mirror will be available exclusively at Best Buy in the Spring 2011.

January 13, 2011

TomTom's GO 2505 M LIVE is the first HD Traffic Enabled GPS Unit

TomTom GO 2505 M LIVE

TomTom is starting to release HD Traffic enabled GPS devices in North America, and the GO 2505 M LIVE is the company's first such device.

So what exactly is HD Traffic, and should you care? Read on.

Continue reading "TomTom's GO 2505 M LIVE is the first HD Traffic Enabled GPS Unit" »

January 6, 2011

Garmin Releases Real-Time GPS Tracking Device

Garmin GTU 10

Garmin just announced the GTU 10, Garmin's first real-time GPS tracking device.

According to reps here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the GTU 10 will be available in the spring, will retail for $199.99, which will include a full year of service. After the first year you'll have to pay $49.95 a year to continue service.

The device itself measures 3”x1.3”x.8”, weighs just 1.7 oz, is waterproof, and includes a carry pouch and carabiner clip. Once activated, the device can be tracked via a web browser or smartphone, and you'll be able to access up to 7 days of historical tracking data. You'll be able to set Geofences, and the device will also integrate with Garmin's nuLink services so that nuLink enabled GPS navigators can automatically route to the GTU 10's location.

The GTU 10 will operate on AT&T's data network, and will be available for purchase in the Spring.

Here at GPSmagazine, I've done extensive testing of real-time GPS tracking devices, and publish an annual GPS Tracker Buyer's Guide. I expect to have a test unit from Garmin soon, and will be publishing the review as soon as possible. It'll be interesting to see how Garmin's device stacks up against the competition. Hopefully Garmin's entrance into this growing market will also signal a lowering average purchase price as GPS tracking devices become more common.

Garmin GTU 10

Garmin GTU 10

Garmin Finally Releases iPhone Navigation App

Garmin Finally Releases iPhone Navigation App

Garmin StreetPilot for iPhone

Well, as I predicted back in October when Garmin killed off the ill-fated nuvifone, the company has finally accepted the inevitable and released an iPhone version of its popular StreetPilot turn-by-turn navigation software.

Garmin StreetPilot for iPhone

I played around with it for a few minutes here at CES, and it looks like a faithful version of the company's standalone PNDs, complete with 3D junction view, real-time traffic, and other connected services like weather.

The StreetPilot App also integrates with your iTunes music library so you can access and control music while driving, as well as your address book. The maps are stored in the cloud, so you'll always be getting Garmin's most current maps.

The App is available now in the iTunes App store for $39.99. That includes lifetime map updates, and realtime traffic. Not bad.