So you thought standalone GPS devices were on their way out the door? Smartphone GPS apps have largely replaced the need for separate navigation systems, but Magellan has one more trick up its sleeve with the release of its new smartGPS which can complement the capabilities your current smartphone. The new smartGPS, slated to be released this spring with a $249 price tag combines live travel information with a social twist. Not only can you map your route from point A to B, smartGPS will help you find the best gas prices, a great little place to eat or a hot spot hangout with Yelp reviews, or to take advantage of a Foursquare offer.
This neat little piece of hardware provides real-time info by using Magellan’s Ecosystem cloud-based synchronization. Though you might plan your trip using your home computer, the route is beamed to the SmartGPS in the car in your driveway via the home’s WiFi connection. (You can also transfer the same information with a micro-USB). Likewise, information can be transferred between the GPS and your iOS or Android smartphone (with a free app) using Bluetooth. Say you want to find an address your friend just texted you on your phone? Just send it over to the Smart GPS and it will map a route for you. Or maybe your passenger selects a venue from a Yelp review on the phone; it can then be transferred to the navigation device.
Magellan’s new dashboard navigation tool hopes to provide a little something for everyone, so it has eight tiles on its 5 inch LCD screen that can be swiped from the right to provide live info such as weather, traffic alerts, red light camera warnings, nearby gas stations and fuel prices, and, of course, Yelp and Foursquare data. Just touch one of the tiles to maximize its size and receive more info. Don’t want to clutter your screen? Select only the tiles you wish to be visible, or hide them all.
All The Bells and Whistles
With 4 GB of memory, the smartGPS can store your favorite apps and maps. There is also a memory slot for other map data. For the person who has to have all the features, Magellan also offers a compatible wireless back-up camera for its smartGPS ($150) which allows the driver to see who or what is behind the vehicle.
Will Magellan be able to pull the dashboard navigational device back through the door? We’ll only have to wait until April to see.