We've all had them: relationships where we know we should walk away, but just can't bring ourselves to let go. Garmin-Asus may no longer be pushing their co-branded smartphone vision, but they're not ready for a complete divorce. Instead, ASUS has exclusively licensed Garmin's PND software for its Android devices.
Garmin has outed the unusually-named chirp, a $22.99 geocaching dongle intended for those people whose idea of a good weekend is snuffling round clutching their PND and looking for treasure in Tupperware. Compatible with any of the company's wirelessly-enabled handhelds, the chirp can basically be programmed to give location hints for other geocachers, and then hidden - it's waterproof, usefully - so as to encourage them along the way whenever they pass.
Garmin-Asus has confirmed that, while the company expects to release smartphones running Windows Phone 7, there won't be any handsets from them using the Microsoft OS until 2011. Speaking at the Singapore launch of the nuvifone A50 and A10, ASUS business development manager for handheld sales Fei Yen told CNET Asia that while the company has engineers working on Microsoft's platform at the moment, there are "no plans to launch Windows Phone this year."
Garmin has outed its latest PND, and the Edge 800 is targeted at cyclists either prone to getting lost or wanting to track their performance. A compact unit with a 2.6-inch color touchscreen, the Edge 800 comes with a simple twist-on handlebar mount and can track not only position but speed, distance, time, elevation, calories burned, climb and descent. Pair it with an ANT+ compliant monitor, meanwhile, and you can also record heartrate and speed/cadence (sensor depending).
Using Garmin's Custom Maps software, owners can manage their own topographical data or load on preconfigured packages, such as City Navigator maps, stored on a microSD card. The Edge 800 also supports satellite imagery, and requires no calibration if moved between bikes: the company says you can simply twist it off the mount and snap it onto a different cycle.
Bad news for Garmin today, with the announcement that the PND company is recalling around 1.25m nuvi GPS systems over concerns that third-party batteries may overheat and, potentially, cause fires. Owners of Garmin nuvi 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxT (where xx is a two-digit number) PNDs should check out the company's special site, punch in the serial number and see if they're affected; if so, the unit will have to be sent back (at no cost, naturally) for battery replacement.
Are you someone that people may consider a professional driver? Do you need to know how many miles you've gone? Or how many hours you've been behind the wheel from location A to location B? And have you not found that perfect personal navigation unit yet? Well you're in luck, then, because Cobra Electronics has just pulled the curtain off their brand new 7750 Platinum Navigation Unit, and its specifically created for all you hard working drivers out there.
Magellan has outed its latest hand-held GPS navigators, the eXplorist outdoor series. The Magellan eXplorist 510, 610 and 710 all have a 3.0-inch color touchscreen, 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus, are waterproof and ruggedized. Photos are automatically geotagged and can be accompanied by voice notes.
Apple has quietly acquired a Canadian mapping company, Poly9, in a move that some are suggesting marks the next step in the Cupertino firms plans to replace Google Maps in products like the iPhone and iPad. Poly9's official site has been taken down and there's no official announcement from Apple or the company; their most notable product is a "cross-browser, cross-platform 3D globe" that can be manipulated without any installation and with minimal data downloads.
Microsoft's in-car entertainment and navigation systems might be cropping up in future Toyota and Lexus cars as well as Fords, Kias and others, with the news that the company has signed a cross-licensing agreement with DENSO Corp. Not a household name, certainly, but DENSO are responsible for much of the tech in Toyota cars (and their luxury Lexus cousins); thanks to this new agreement they'll get access to Microsoft's auto-drive and navigation technology.
Garmin's successor the cellular-enabled nuvi 1690 PND, the unimaginatively named Garmin nuvi 1695, has been spotted clearing the FCC. Official specifications are unknown, but the nuvi 1695 is expected to have a touchscreen UI, Bluetooth and GSM connectivity; the latter will likely be used for mobile access to Google Local search information.