Recall Alert: 796,000 Garmin Navigation Systems

Garmin International has issued a recall for about 796,000 GPS units in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The affected units are both aftermarket systems and factory-installed units placed in some Volvo, Volkswagen, Suzuki, Smart, Land Rover, Mazda, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. One of the units is labeled Mopar as well, which is the replacement and accessory part maker for the Chrysler Group. A full list of the affected units is provided below.

A potential overheating issue triggered the recall. The batteries, in combination with a specific circuit board layout, can overheat, possibly causing a fire in the car. No reported failures have caused significant property damage or injuries yet, according to Garmin.

Garmin will notify owners of the affected systems, and technicians will repair the GPS units for free by replacing the battery and inserting a spacer on top of the battery. Owners can contact Garmin at 913-397-8200 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hot line at 888-327-4236.

By Colin Bird | August 26, 2010 | Comments (0)

AT&T Navigator for iPhone: Review

I've always wondered why turn-by-turn, voice-guided GPS wasn't on the first iPhone, but now I think I know. Having used AT&T's Navigator and many of its competitors, I can only conclude that a full-function consumer GPS is harder to pull off than a 20-year-old tattoo.

Each portable GPS app, service and device has its share of glaring omissions and malfunctions to go along with their inherent utility.

AT&T's new Navigator is a solid product with a couple of promising features, including one that lets you verbally tell the app your destination and one that lists gas stations by price. On the downside, the Navigator (made by TeleNav) is overly ambitious. It depends on a lot of little and big technological pieces to perform the way AT&T says it will. Not all of those pieces reliably do their part, making the Navigator experience a mixed bag.
By Jim Nash | July 23, 2010 | Comments (3)

As a GPS Device, Motorola Droid Shines

The Motorola Droid promises a lot of features that aren’t available on Apple’s iPhone, but the one that stands out is Google Maps Navigation, a free mobile application that runs on Google’s Android operating system.

Unlike the maps on the iPhone, Google Maps Navigation has the same bells and whistles you’d find on standalone GPS units and expensive iPhone apps, plus a few surprises the others don’t have. It’s in an interesting package.  
By David Thomas | April 22, 2010 | Comments (3)

Magellan RoadMate Navigation: iPhone Review

The world of personal navigation devices is rapidly changing, and the big players are adding full-featured software applications for devices that don’t bear their names. Magellan is the latest to offer a serious navigation app for the iPhone. It’s not cheap, but it’ll make you shun those clunky nav units.

What We Like
Rapid auto-fill keypad, Points-of-interests lists are clear and customizable, Uses iPhone contacts, Screen clarity

What We Don’t

Huge file size, Slow-moving between screens, No traffic reports, Long loading time

Price: $79.99 for a limited time
By David Thomas | November 23, 2009 | Comments (0)

TomTom Navigation for iPhone Coming Soon

Tomtomiphone3Alongside today’s announcement of the new iPhone 3G S (the new, faster, more feature-rich iPhone) comes the June 17 release of the iPhone 3.0 software, which allows application developers to create apps that take full advantage of the device’s features.

At the same time, TomTom announced the creation of a navigation app for the iPhone. Company officials said iPhone users will be able to download TomTom’s new full-featured navigation app from the iTunes App Store some time after the new iPhone operating system launches. Also, TomTom will sell a mounting kit that includes a dock connector for power (using a 12-volt outlet) and audio connectivity for the iPhone (using a standard MP3 jack).

How much will it cost? We don’t know yet, but we’ll keep our ears open.

TomTom for iPhone Video (TomTom via YouTube)

By Matthew Raskin | June 8, 2009 | Comments (1)

Telenav GPS Navigator for Android Review


Everyone knows Google, if only as the omnipresent internet search engine. Last year, the company took a huge step into the mobile arena with the release of its open-source mobile platform, Android. Last October, HTC, Google and T-Mobile teamed up to create the G1, the first Android-based mobile phone. Quickly after its release, thousands of applications were available for the G1. We at got word of Telenav GPS creating a G1 application for turn-by-turn real-time navigation and right away looked to get our hands on it. We took plenty of time testing the G1 and Telenav GPS Navigator, and came away very impressed with the software but convinced that the G1 and Android have lots of room to grow. Later this summer, more Android-based smart phones from other manufacturers and mobile carriers will hit the market. Telenav’s GPS Navigator will be available for all of them. 

Ease of Use: 14 of 15 pts
In most cases, I’d have to say that ease of use and safety go hand-in-hand. The easier a device is to use, the safer it is to use while driving. Once the Telenav application is launched on the G1, navigating to your destination could not be much easier to do. Large on-screen buttons, easy-to-read text and voice commands make navigating the application a breeze. Entering points of interest and addresses is just as easy thanks to the built-in voice recognition software. I was truly impressed with how easy it was to use the application while driving.

By Matthew Raskin | May 14, 2009 | Comments (3)

The Best GPS Tech From CES 2009's Matt Raskin is in Las Vegas at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, and here is his list of the best GPS technology that's debuted there.

Mio Moov
Mio has revamped its entire GPS lineup with the introduction of four new models. These new systems use an astonishingly nice new interface designed by Mio. With iPhone-like menu navigation, the easy flick and tap motions make using the systems a breeze. Screen sizes range from 3.5 inches to 7 inches, and prices go from $199.99 to $299.99. With these new systems, we're guessing Mio is set to Moov up the food chain in the portable navigation market (sorry, couldn’t resist).

By David Thomas | January 10, 2009 | Comments (1)

Motorola TN20, TN30 GPS Reviewed


Even though the company is known mostly for its cell phones, Motorola has explored nearly every segment of the electronics spectrum. Now it’s jumping into navigation systems with the introduction of the TN20 and TN30, costing $199.99 and $299.99, respectively. The only noticeable differences between the two models are screen size, Bluetooth connectivity and the number of points of interest available. The systems are a small start for Motorola, which still has lots of room to grow compared to the heavy hitters in the industry.

By Matthew Raskin | December 17, 2008 | Comments (1)

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