The FCC has made it known they are about to step up efforts to counter the use of cellular and GPS jamming equipement. The FCC is reminding people in the nicest possible way that these devices are illegal before they start increased enforcement. Some businesses and schools have taken to using these inexpensive devices to cut down on disruptive cell phone use. No more says the FCC.
Google has announced today that Android owners that use their devices as GPS units will have another reason to smile. The free Google navigation service will now be able to route you around traffic jams in real time. No need to adjust any settings, the Google cloud servers will just spit out the fastest route automagically.
If we asked 10 Android smartphone users what they like most about Google's mobile platform, we'd probably get 10 different answers. But try asking Sahas Katta of Skattertech.com and he'll tell you he loves his Android device because it got him out of a speeding ticket in traffic court. The guy was pulled over and cited for driving 40MPH in a 25MPH zone, the only problem with that is Katta claims he wasn't speeding. So how did he prove it?
Apparently all it takes to assess the security of the data traffic from an Android phone is an inquisitive undergraduate security class. Princeton's Freedom to Tinker blog has the rundown of what the class learned after using a sniffer to inspect Wi-Fi traffic on one Android phone. The verdict? It was a bit hit and miss for security on this day. Google's own technology mostly behaved, but the class did find some troubling data being transmitted by third-party apps.
Calling in sick to school and then heading to the arcade is getting to be more difficult than ever. First, there aren't many arcades left to begin to with. But even more tricky is the use of GPS tracking. According to an OC Register report, the Anaheim Union High School District is the first in California to pilot the use of GPS to track students who have a history of skipping class.
Google has dropped the newest update to Google Maps into the Android Market today. This update contains some interesting new features, but as usual, not all phones will be feeling the love. The most obvious change is that instead of downloading rasterized tile images, Google Maps now uses vector graphics. The result is s much smoother zooming experience, and faster filling in of detail after zooming. This bit is available on any device running Android 1.6 and higher.
The new update is also making better use of multitouch. Users can tilt their view by swiping down with two fingers. Zooming in to street level also reveals a new feature. 3D skylines are available in over 100 cities. These are solid outlines, not actual images, but it is still very impressive. The last feature is potentially huge for the platform. Offline caching of map data will allow users to see areas of the map they often use without a data connection. This will be applied to Google Navigation to do offline rerouting and directions, but that specific part is being rolled out over the coming weeks. All this is only available on Android 2.0+.
It is also worth noting that some of the multitouch gestures are not fully supported by some fairly new devices. This includes the Nexus One, LG Ally, SE X10, and HTC Desire. Thank flaky touch sensors for that one. Have you tried the new Maps app? Let us know how you like it.
Lo-Jack schmojack. You don't need some spendy GPS unit and to keep tabs on that new Escalade. Uplinking your wheels to the great eye in the sky without breaking the bank is easier than you think.
Standalone GPS units can cost hundreds. And that's not counting the installation and (frequently hefty) activation and monthly fees associated with whatever service you do choose. For most of us, it's overkill. The good news is that if you happen to have a GPS-equipped phone lying around, you can rig your own vehicle tracking system for virtually nothing. Here's how it's done...
TomTom on Monday announced a couple of new GPS devices, the Go 2405 TM and Go 2505 TM. According to TomTom, both of these offer faster routing than previous versions and feature an enhanced software platform, as well as a new physical design.
"At TomTom, we are continuously working to deliver innovative navigation solutions for our consumers," said Tom Murray, senior vice president of market development, TomTom. "The Go Series combines new software architecture and enhanced routing to provide our consumers with superior driving intelligence."
A new UI combined with more intuitive software purportedly make the new devices easier than ever to use, taking just a few taps for routed directions. Other features include voice recognition, pinch-to-zoom, Bluetooth support, and lifetime traffic and map updates.
Happy Gilmore's game wouldn't have improved any with Garmin's new Approach S1, but maybe yours can, or so Garmin hopes. As the GPS maker tells it, the Approach S1 is the world's first GPS wristwatch designed specifically for the links.
"With the Approach S1 golf GPS watch, Garmin has once again created an entirely new category for fitness and outdoor recreation," said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. "Golfers who want their data and their device as streamlined as possible will find Approach S1 to be a sleek and simple hands-free solution to taking the guesswork out of their game."
The Approach S1 comes pre-programmed with over 14,000 U.S. and Canadian golf courses. All you have to do is select "Start Round" and you're off and running with "precise yardages to the front, back, and middle of greens."
It weights just 1.8 ounces, has an ultra-thin backlit display, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery good for up to eight hours in GPS mode and up to three weeks in watch mode.
So what if Asus and Garmin recently broke up, at least it was amicable and the two sides can still remain friends, right? Apparently so, as Asus managed to sweet talk Garmin into giving it sole rights to distribute Garmin navigation software on Android handsets. All Asus has do in return is slap the Garmin Navigation trademark on the back of said handsets.
These devices will be bear Asus' own branding and will launch sometime in January of next year. And while Garmin has agreed not to cooperate with other Android smartphone makers, it does plan to launch free software on Apple's Appe Store and RIM's BlackBerry App World, Asus said.