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Google Maps 8.2 features voice action, biking elevation

Posted by wicked July - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

It was at the end of May this year when we saw that last significant update of Google Maps, bringing back Terrain View to the app – but today we’re seeing a bunch of new stuff being rolled out by the mothership to its primary maps software. Version 8.2 of Google Maps carries some nifty updates that should make outdoor ad biking enthusiasts happy, as well as some voice actions added into the app while in navigation.

The APK is available at the source link (bottom of the post) if you want to go ahead and install the new version. Don’t worry, the MD5 hash is digitally signed by Google and the APK will just update the Google Maps software in your device. The official rollout will most likely take days to get to you, so if you don’t want to endure the wait, go ahead and grab the APK.

The new elevation feature is pretty nice for bikers, especially if you’re the type (like me) who will want to avoid the higher elevations. If you’re a biking monster and eat up elevation like chocolate chip cookies, the feature will also be nice for you. You will basically see the elevation in a timeline view of your route, and even get comparisons of multiple routes. Nice, right?

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The voice actions is initiated by that familiar icon, and you can ask familiar questions like “how far to my destination?” and stuff like that. It also understands “what’s my next turn?”, very useful when driving in traffic and unfamiliar areas. So give it a whirl, you might enjoy Google Maps 8.2.

VIA: Android Police

VIDEO: First look at Android Auto (Android in the car) at Google I/O 2014

Posted by wicked June - 25 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

android auto

Android for your car has been a long-rumored concept, and now it’s finally here in all its glory at Google I/O.

Dubbed Android Auto, it isn’t a fully embedded OS for your car, but a connection between your car’s interface and your device. Each system is personalized just for you, because all you have to do is plug in and go. For more information about the platform, click here.

Be sure to check out the rest of our Google I/O 2014 coverage as well.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Come comment on this article: VIDEO: First look at Android Auto (Android in the car) at Google I/O 2014

Garmin launches new premium navigation app called víago

Posted by wicked June - 17 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

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Garmin finally decided that its $30 StreetPilot app might be a little overpriced, and has just released a new app called víago. With víago, pricing starts at $1.99 ($.99 until July 13), but you can also add additional features through in-app purchases.

Let’s start with what you get for $1.99. You will get off-board maps for many regions around the world along with lane assist, weather information, in-map traffic display, photo-realistic junction views, and the current speed (with speed limits). Premium add-ons include downloadable maps (“Maps to Go”) for when you don’t have a data connection, real-time traffic, urban navigation with public transportation, 3D terrain view, and more. In app purchases range from $4.99 to $19.99.

There’s one problem and that most of these features are available elsewhere at no cost. Not only that, it appears you can easily spend upwards of the old price of $30 for Street Pilot with these extras. I should also note that the public transportation feature is only on iOS for now, but will come to Android soon. Also, map data is updated 4 times per year.

Still, Garmin is one of the pioneers in navigation, and lot of people are comfortable with them. If that is you, we have download links below, as well as screenshots and a video.

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Click here to view the embedded video.

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Play Store Download Link

Garmin® Launches víago™, A Feature-Packed Navigation App Starting at $1.99

App Includes Leading Garmin Navigation, In App Purchases Offer Additional Premium Features

OLATHE, Kan./June 17, 2014/Business Wire — Garmin® International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced víago, a new premium navigation app for Android™ and iPhone® starting at $1.99. Garmin víago offers advanced navigation features not available from free apps, guiding drivers through the most challenging situations with ease. The app comes with off-board maps for many regions around the world and navigation features such as current speed and speed limit display, lane assist, weather information, in-map traffic display, and photo-realistic junction views. Plus, users can easily upgrade their experience with premium add-ons like downloadable maps (“Maps to Go”) that don’t require a data connection to navigate, real-time traffic with automatic rerouting, urban navigation with public transportation1, 3D terrain view, and much more. Víago is the first smartphone navigation app that features Garmin Real DirectionsTM (in app purchase), giving spoken turn-by-turn directions just like a friend would by using recognizable landmarks, buildings, stop signs and traffic lights.

“Garmin víago offers the best navigation technology available from Garmin, helping drivers to reduce stress and save time on the road,” said Joern Watzke, vice president world-wide mobile business at Garmin Wuerzburg GmbH. ”The comprehensive feature set goes far beyond simple turn-by-turn directions and assists drivers like no other navigation app. Premium in app purchase options allow users to fully customize their navigation experience and only choose the features they want.“

Leading Navigation from Garmin

Garmin víago is the perfect starting point for any journey with accurate turn-by-turn directions, high-quality off-board maps from HERE, and premium features. The intuitive and clean interface keeps the map at the center of the user experience at all times. Planning trips is easy with the convenient multi-stop route planner that lets users add multiple destinations to a trip. The app even provides information on the weather conditions at the destination, including a 3-day forecast. Additional features of the app include lane assist and photo-realistic junction views, letting drivers know in advance which lane they should be in to make a turn. Speed Limit Display provides information on speed limits, conveniently displayed next to current speed.

Víago also is a perfect companion in urban or metropolitan areas with pedestrian navigation and information on public transportation1. Users can easily switch from one mode to another, for example from car to pedestrian navigation to continue by foot after parking the car.

Upgrade with Premium Features

Garmin víago offers a whole array of additional premium features through in app purchase packages. Users can purchase high-quality onboard maps (Maps to Go)2 that are stored locally on the smartphone, providing navigation capabilities even in areas where cell phone coverage is spotty, such as when traveling in the backcountry. Maps to Go are available for different regions around the world to avoid roaming fees when navigating abroad. The maps can conveniently be purchased within the víago app and there’s no need to download separate apps. Other premium in app purchases include Garmin Real DirectionsTM, a feature only available from Garmin that gives more natural and intuitive directions, using landmarks, stop signs and traffic lights, rather than hard-to-read street names. The Safety Kit package includes, among other features, Active Lane Guidance, displaying an animated graphic next to the map view that uses brightly colored arrows to indicate the proper lane needed to make a turn. With Traffic Live users automatically get routed around gridlock, utilizing historic and real-time data from other drivers. Panorama View offers 3D views obtained from NASA’s height and terrain data for intuitive visual orientation. Urban Guidance1 integrates public transportation, complete with detailed itineraries of transit stops. To learn more about the in app purchase packages, go to garmin.com/viago.

Useful Accessories

Garmin víago is compatible with Garmin HUD, an innovative new way of viewing navigation information in the car. HUD projects crisp and bright directions onto a transparent film on the windshield or an attached reflector lens. By providing comprehensive road guidance at a glance and right within the driver’s line of sight, HUD can help increase safety and reduce driver distraction. Garmin also offers a variety of mounts to safely secure the smartphone in the car while navigating.

Pricing and Availability

Garmin víago is available now on Google PlayTM and the App Store at an introductory price of $.99 (normally $1.99) until July 13, 2014. The in app purchase packages range from $4.99 to $19.99. Maps to Go and Traffic Live are 50 percent off during the promotional period.

Garmin víago is the latest from the consumer automotive segment at Garmin, the leading provider of mobile navigation solutions for automobiles, motorcycles and trucks. The user-friendly personal navigation devices and apps from Garmin have innovative features that provide time- and fuel-saving benefits to meet the demands of everyday driving.

About Garmin International Inc.

Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation. Since 1989, this group of companies has designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications – most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin’s products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, marine, aviation, and OEM applications. A component of the S&P 500 index, Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at www.garmin.com/pressroom or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200.

Garmin is a registered trademark of Garmin Ltd. Apple and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Notice on Forward-Looking Statements:

This release includes forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations.  The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Garmin, including, but not limited to, the risk factors listed in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 28, 2013, filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983).  A copy of such Form 10-K is available at http://www.garmin.com/aboutGarmin/invRelations/finReports.html.  No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Garmin undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

1 Only available for iPhone at launch, Android will follow shortly after.

2 Map updates are provided up to four times a year, depending on the region.

Come comment on this article: Garmin launches new premium navigation app called víago

Garmin Viago navigation app lands in the Play Store

Posted by wicked June - 17 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android users now have another option to consider when it comes to navigation. This latest app is called Viago and from a company that will be familiar to many — Garmin. The Garmin Viago app is available from today, priced from $0.99 and touted as being one that allows you to “navigate with features you won’t find in free apps.”

Some of the highlight features include turn-by-turn navigation and lane assist. The Viago app also offers something called photoReal junction views which provide a “realistic look at interchanges ahead.” The Viago app also shows information to include the current street, as well as your current speed and the speed limit.

The maps are searchable by address and point-of-interest, and the maps are online. In other words, you’ll need to make sure you are connected to get the most out of the Viago app. On the flip side, having the maps online means you are using less on-device storage, and that you should always have up to date maps.

Aside from Viago being a $0.99 purchase — there are in-app purchases available. Garmin lists this as allowing the user to customize their experience with optional upgrades. One of those upgrades will put the maps on your device — for times when you are not sure you will have a proper internet connection.

Having said all that, more options for navigation sounds good, however in the case of Garmin Viago — many of the reviews seem to suggest the in-app purchases are not all that inexpensive. The Garmin Viago app is priced at $0.99 and available from the Google Play Store.

VIA: Engadget

GoogleMaps

One of the greatest features of a modern smartphone is its ability to completely replace your GPS. There are tons of navigation apps, from Google Maps for your location searching and turn-by-turn directions, to Waze for crowd-sourced road data, to apps like Foursquare that help you find interesting places in your area. The apps are fantastic, but there’s always a risk of distracted driving (and accidents) if a user plays with the app instead of paying attention to the road. Because of those accidents, the US Transportation Department may be looking into ways to impose stricter rules on the use of those apps.

Rumors say that the USTD wants to institute rules for in-car navigation that will only allow them to be accessed for a brief period of time. That “brief period” may be something like two-seconds per interaction, and twelve seconds for each total action. While that would certainly remove most distracted driving, it would also make it pretty difficult to use any device at all on the road.

It’s tough to say if this would have much of a substantial effect on distracted driving, if any of this turned into a law. Many apps explicitly prohibit the use of their services while driving, but that’s a tough rule to enforce. There’s grey area to deal with, like stop lights, dealing with situations where a passenger is handling the app instead of the driver, and things like that. It may not ever make it past the speculation stage, but expect to hear more about regulations like these in the future as smartphones get more and more popular.

source: New York Times

Come comment on this article: US Transportation Department investigating ways of regulating navigation apps on your smartphone

Google Now public transportation gets an alarm

Posted by wicked June - 9 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Google Now seems to get new features on a regular basis. These new additions aren’t always huge additions, however they do seems like items that will be perks for some users. Having said that, this latest addition seems like it will benefit those who regularly use public transportation.

Google has added an alarm. The alarm will sound at the end of your journey — the time when you need to make your exit. Seems like this could be helpful at times when you happen to be in a large crowd and cannot easily see the route and stops, or for times when you are feeling extra sleepy and fall asleep on the trip. There is few things more annoying than falling asleep and waking up after you pass your stop.

Anyway, the alarm isn’t automatically set, and it does’t appear to be tied in to the regular Android alarm clock setup. The former means you’ll have to pull up Google Now after you begin traveling and tap to active the alarm. The latter means you will not end up having dozens of alarms listed in the regular Clock app.

Of course, this alarm functionality has been added in along with the regular public transportation information. Basically, that is to say you’ll still be seeing details such as how many minutes you have left, the number of stops and the current location (during that journey). Bottom line here, Google Now has gotten another perk dealing with public transportation.

VIA: Android Police

Google Maps transit improved in Chicago, Vancouver, and the UK

Posted by wicked May - 14 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google seems to update Maps on a near continuous basis. And once again another update has been detailed by the Google team. This time around the update deals with transit — specifically for those in the UK as well as Vancouver and Chicago. Google also provided some general stats in regards to transit.

First things first though, Google Maps in Great Britain now offers details on “every single transit route.” This means details on everything from trains and tubes, to trams, buses and ferries. All in all those in the UK will now have details on 17,000 different routes across the country. Those in Vancouver and Chicago should be able to make educated decisions thanks to the addition of real-time status updates.

Shifting over to those general stats and we find how Google Maps now has transit data for 64 countries on six continents and serves more than 15,000 towns and cities. The data also includes 5,000 transportation authorities and more than 2,300,000 train stations, bus stops, ferry terminals and more.

Google has been adding public transportation data since 2007 and as of the present — the routes they have included travel more than 200 million kilometers on a daily basis. According to Google that is “the equivalent of driving every single road in the world three times.”

Other recent updates for Google Maps included improvements around offline maps and Uber.

SOURCE: Google Lat long Blog

Garmin Xperia Edition is your one-stop navigation app for Sony devices

Posted by wicked February - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

As hinted last week, Garmin has announced a new navigation app that will exclusively cater to Sony Xperia device owners. But going beyond that, the app will also have an extension that will transform Sony’s SmartWatch 2 into its own small navigation apparatus.

The new Garmin Xperia Edition app boasts of a cornucopia of navigation features, no matter what your mode of travel is. Drivers will love the routing information from Live Traffic, lane-switching prompts from Active Lane Guidance, and parking spot reminders from Last Mile. Those on more adventurous journeys can set up their destinations on the Travel Editor and share their milestones with family and friends via Glympse. A Reality Scanner lets you discover interesting spots through your camera viewer. Best of all, the onboard maps that the Garmin Xperia Edition uses are stored on the device itself so that you don’t have to get lost even when your Internet connection does. When connected to the Internet, however, Garmin pools location information from online sources like Wikipedia and Foursquare.

Those who own a SmartWatch 2 don’t need to own a car to benefit from this new Garmin Xperia Edition app. With an app extension, the smartwatch can receive navigation information via Bluetooth, displaying your location and your destination on a map, zooomable at the touch of a button on the watch. As a bonus, the app extension will also work with Garmin’s NAVIGON Android app, so you don’t even need to own an Xperia device to take advantage of Garmin’s pedestrian navigation features.

The Garmin Xperia Edition app is compatible only with Sony Xperia smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0.4 and later. All the features mentioned earlier and more will be available for free to new users for 30 days. A monthly subscription of $2.95 or one-time in-app purchases of individual features is required after the trial period, except for the map viewer and pedestrian navigation, which can still be accessed for free. The app and the SmartWatch 2 extension will go live around March this year.

SOURCE: Garmin

Sony SmartWatch 2 tipped to come with new Garmin navigation app

Posted by wicked February - 21 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Trying to keep up with the growing competition in the smartwatch market, Sony is now rumored to have partnered with Garmin to give its own smartwatch an edge. According to sources, all new Sony SmartWatch 2 devices moving forward will be equipped with a brand new app from the navigation expert.

Although some might consider that the smartwatch movement has picked up only recently, Sony has been one of the few to have first offered such a wearable device, launching the first Sony Smartwatch in 2012. Unfortunately, it was a bit too ahead of its time and the execution of the smartwatch left some wanting for more. Sony hasn’t hinted at any new smartwatch in the works and is instead banking on its already existing SmartWatch 2 to keep it afloat in that category.

Garmin is also another company that is facing growing competition. A household name in navigation devices and software, the company has seen its market share little by little being eaten by other comparable services, particularly Google Maps. Now Garmin is trying to re-establish itself by offering the added value of its services and expertise on top of the Android platform.

This latest partnership between Sony and Garmin might be seen as a way to counter their rivals. While Pebble offers navigation features via Google Maps, Sony’s SmartWatch 2 is advertised to offer higher quality images. It is also rumored that Sony will be putting the Garmin Navigation app into its upcoming Xperia Z2 “Sirius” smartphone as well.

VIA: Pocket-lint

Google now pushing “new” Google Maps to all desktops

Posted by wicked February - 19 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google has announced they are beginning to push the latest Google Maps refresh. This was originally shown during Google I/O 2013, and has been available in preview mode since shortly after. With that in mind, while some have already been using the preview release, Google has said thanks for the feedback, and announced they are “ready to make the new Maps even more widely available.”

Details about this release mention how it should make it “even easier to plan you next trip, check live traffic conditions, discover what’s happening around town, and learn about a new area.” This all boils down to a few areas including making smarter decisions, finding the most efficient route, and rich images.

Users will be able to begin searching with nothing more than a simple term. In the Google provided example they use “coffee” but perhaps key here is what you get in return, not so much the term you are searching. Anyway, you will see place suggestions with options to pick from top reviewers, or people in your circles. Clicking any of the search results will then give some additional detail — embedded right on the map.

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The next bit is the piece about being more efficient. Here you have Google providing more details on various route options. This includes being shown various route options, whether it be for driving, public transportation, or walking. Users will see the time and distance for each route offered, and once in route, users can expect real-time traffic and Street View previews.

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And last up with this newest version of Maps — the new “carousel” which will be found at the bottom of the maps. This will offer what Google refers to as “rich imagery.” More to the point here, Google will be allowing users to see what popular landmarks, and businesses will look like. These are all available with a click and will have you seeing the world in 3D, almost as if you were actually in the real-world.

SOURCE: Google Maps