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|8th January 2013, 07:57||#1|
Join Date: May 2010
Magellan's smartGPS navigator has built-in Yelp reviews, syncs with your phone
It's no secret that the GPS business has faced an uphill battle these past few years. Thanks to smartphones there's less of a reason to invest in a standalone navigator, and while GPS companies have been selling mapping apps of their own, that doesn't quite make up for plunging device sales, now does it? Well, Magellan has an interesting solution: the firm just announced the smartGPS, a dashboard navigation device that's designed to work in tandem with an iOS / Android app.
Naturally, both the smartGPS and the app have turn-by-turn navigation, so you can use either when you're in need of directions. But really, the device does so much more than that. Thanks to Magellan's new cloud service, all of your data -- recent destinations, etc. -- will get pushed across your various devices, including the navigator and mobile devices with the mobile app installed. (There's also a website where you can manage all of this.) By default, this syncing happens over your home WiFi network, but if you already left the house and are out of range, the smartGPS will instead use Bluetooth to talk to your phone. So what does this all mean? For starters, if you search for a restaurant on your phone, you can send it to your navigator so that you don't have to enter the address manually (and we all know how annoying that is). What's more, the navigator and app both have Yelp reviews and Foursquare offers built in, so if you wanted you could peruse reviews of cafes on your phone and then push the directions to the device.
As an aside, it's neat to see user reviews built into a personal navigator, which isn't exactly a typical feature. It also seems pretty well-implemented: there are big, yellow stars indicating the overall rating, so you needn't worry about having to drive and read a two-paragraph write-up at the same time. By default, the driving map takes up the whole screen, so you can keep those Foursquare offers hidden if you find them distracting. The smartGPS will be available in March (price TBA) with applications for both iOS and Android. (Note: these won't take the place of Magellan's existing apps.) Turn-by-turn navigation will be a premium feature -- an in-app upgrade. That's all she wrote for now, but if you want to see the whole setup in action, we've got a demo video embedded just after the break.
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