some thoughts on Garmin, TomTom, and Apple

A short and sweet article on InvestorPlace about Garmin, TomTom, and Apple.

Prior to the advent of smartphones in 2007 with the debut of the first iPhone, Garmin was the name in portable global positioning systems (you know, GPS) and satellite-guided driving directions. However, once consumers started to realize smartphones could do the same — as well as play music, be a flashlight and even test the ripeness of a watermelon — the choice became something of a no-brainer: Smartphones win, and Garmin devices lose. The sales numbers and Garmin’s stock price since then have somewhat — though not radically — reflected that opinion.

Apple licences maps with TomTom, Garmin stock lower

Apple just unveiled iOS6 couple of days ago. One of the things we were looking forward to was the new Maps feature in iOS6. The new feature in iOS will stop using Google Maps and will apparently use maps data from TomTom along with map related data. We’re not sure what Apple will be using to generate turn by turn directions when the OS will be released in fall though.

TomTom shares rose 25% within the last 5 days where as Garmin shares lost 5%.

Bad Elf GPS dongle for iPod, iPad

Some of you may have already heard about them but we just found out about Bad Elf GPS accessories for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. If you can’t really afford the 3G devices Apple offers you’re probably stuck with a WiFi only iPad or iPod Touch. Bad Elf GPS is here to fill the gap with their portable and compact GPS add-on.

A nice feature here is of course the micro USB port. Since the device takes up the 30-pin connector port micro USB port gives you a way to charge your device and sync your device.

It costs $130 but now it is on sale $100. If any of your readers already have this we’d like to know what you think.

Cyclemeter 5.0 GPS powered workout tracking app

If you’re looking for a GPS workout logging app for your iPhone give the latest Cyclemeter 5.0 app a try.

There are many improvements with this version which include a new built-in voice, a new text-to-speech engine, new importing features such as the ability to import a workout as a virtual competitor so you can hear how far you are ahead (behind), dailymile integration (dailymile is a website where users share their workouts) and much more.

It costs $5 and you can get it here.

giveaway: 60beat heart rate monitor for iPhone

Hi again everyone. Yet another giveaway. We continue to giveaway items we mentioned here and this time a lucky reader gets the 60beat Receiver (RX) which also comes with chest strap.

You can read all about it at 60beat site but are some highlights:

  • turns your iPhone into a heart rate monitor
  • works with iPhone 3GS and 4G, iPad and newer
  • works with 60beat, Polar, and other 5Khz chest straps
  • standard 3.5mm audio connector
  • compatible with many apps

How to enter? Really easy. 1) Follow our RSS feed and then 2) leave a comment below. That is all. Do make sure you enter a valid email so we can contact you back.

We will ship this out to a U.S. address only. Sorry rest of the world. Also duplicate entries, emails, IP addresses will be disqualified.

One week from now we’ll announce the winner.

60beat iPhone heart rate monitor

And you thought it didn’t exist! Well there’s now an app that logs your heart rate and combine it with GPS data. It is called 60beat. For $30 60beat can turn your iPhone into a GPS and heart rate personal training device.

This is a little device that attaches to the audio jack side of your iPhone and picks up signals from any 5Khz or Polar compatible heart rate monitor chest strap (no worries you can still listen to music with pass through design of audio jack).

Of course this is not very useful without the right applications. The most basic app is the free 60beat heart rate monitor that continuously shows your heart rate, in target zones such as fat burning, aerobic, or anaerobic. You can set your zones based age, max rate, etc.

There are other apps to such as LogYourRun, LogYourRide, which combine your heart rate with GPS information for the ultimate workout stats. These apps are $2 each.

Telenav’s AT&T Navigator gets update

AT&T Navigator just got an update from TeleNav, to version 1.7i. The new features include integration of multitasking on the new iPhone OS.

The next highlight is of course speech recognition where you can just say an address or search for something using just your voice. Other upgrades are traffic camera alerts, lane assistance, smoother 3D navigation, and the background battery saver mode.

You get the app for free but the monthly fee will appear on your AT&T bill :{

using Motion X GPS Drive on your iPad

This dude has done it. It is not the most elegant way of using your iPad as a GPS navigation system but may serves as a proof of concept.

Like we said he’s using Motion X GPS drive as the GPS navigation software which only costs $3 to buy but you’ll have to pay $25/year to activate voice guided turn by turn directions.

Bad thing is there’s no built in map data, meaning all the maps have to be loaded over the air. Also it looks like there’s no text-to-speech to pronounce street names.

What’s your GPS navigation solution for your iPad? Let us know.

GPS navigation on iPad from CoPilot

Our friends at CoPilot just announced their GPS navigation system on the new Apple iPad 3G. But you know Apple is - you’ll have to wait for the new app to get approved by the App Nazis. What’s cool with the new app is that maps stored on the device, so no need for a data connection. Called CoPilot Live HD, this GPS navigation software takes full advantage of the large screen offered by the iPad and can show split screen; combining 2D with 3D instructions, and auto rotate the as you turn the device.

They hope to make the app available for the release of iPad 3G which is coming up soon and maps for additional regions will be launched as the iPad 3G becomes available worldwide in coming months.

CoPilot Live HD North America like we said has been submitted to the App Store for approval, and it is expected to be available early May for $30. One time fee, no monthly fees.

GPS cradle for iPod Touch: XGPS-300

XGPS-300 - the GPS enabled iPod Touch cradle is finally available, direct from the Apple Store. What’s cool is that with this cradle is that any location aware app that works with iPhone can now work on iPod Touch. It costs a whopping $200 and here are its features:

It has included battery pack that last up to 10 hours, a 3.5mm audio out, volume control, and landscape mode.

Here are some more:

  • Amplified speaker for voice prompts
  • NavAtlas US and Canada navigation app* included with purchase (which is already free iTunes)
  • Built-in GPS receiver with adjustable windshield mount
  • Rechargeable battery to power the GPS or recharge your iPod touch