gps

6

Hidden programs on LG eXpo

  

For the few of those with the hard-to-find LG eXpo (more on that later), there are three interesting applications hidden within \Windows that may be of interest:

  • GPSViewer
  • wifiEngMenu
  • TascalRegEdit

GPSViewer/GPS Utility is a simple app that shows you the number of satellites found and their strength, all in a nice graph form. (Of note is excellent GPS reception and accuracy on the eXpo).  It also gives your current speed, albeit in km/h.  Still, not a bad diagnostic tool.

"WifiEngMenu" is an advanced WiFi diagnostic tool that gives a ton of information related to your current network, including transmission rate test, WWM PS test, signal strength, etc.

Finally there is Tascal Registry Editor, a common (and ancient) freeware registry application. While nothing special, it's nice to have it readily available.

To access these apps, the first two (GPS Viewer, WifiEngMenu) require you to find them under \Windows and create a shortcut to the Start Menu. To make that easier for folks, we'll include the shortcuts for you to download directly: just unzip to \Windows\Start Menu and you should be all set.  For the Registry editor, find "TascalRegEdit.cab" under \Windows and simply run and install. A shortcut will be created for you to use directly.

Download to your device here.

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For those who use Verizon's Navigator service, you'll be pleased to know v5.0 comes out today and features some nice updates.

The biggest is allowing you send your location to Facebook, which we suppose is all the rage these days with you social-network kids.

You also get roadside assistance, which seems perhaps more useful with a GPS navigator program.

Finally, you also get these updates, which aren't too shabby:

  • Improved Customer Experience – No need to wait for the entire route to download before starting their voyage because data will now be streamed, causing display screens to populate more quickly
  • Enhanced Points of Interest – Access to premium places of interest with detailed descriptions, clearly branded by Map Icons
  • Traffic Crowd Sourcing – Opt-in to anonymously send real-time location and speed to the VZ Navigator traffic reporting service, allowing quicker notifications and improved accuracy for all VZ Navigator users
  • Alerts for Other Road Attributes – Graphic notifications for tunnels, U-turns, traffic circles and toll plazas
  • “Say it Mode” – Select BlackBerry® smartphones and Windows Mobile® handsets allow customers to verbally search for and update destinations

Touch Pro 2 and Omnia users (no Omnia II?) can update today by downloading "...the service from Get It Now®/Media Center and VZ Start or can add the feature through My Verizon".  The service, like other carriers, is $9.99 a month or $2.99 a day.

Read more from the official Verizon press release here.

[Images via TechCrunch]

 

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One neat feature that often gets left out of discussion on the HD2 (see review) is the built in digital compass.

Although occasionally useful, one major downside is it can't be used by third-party apps e.g. iGO, Google Maps, etc.  Well, that is until XDA member Mach2003 decided to play with and alter the GPSModDriver.

Stressing that this is still beta, the .cab file will allow interaction of the compass with those GPS apps, though each one will vary in terms of action.

For instance, Google Maps won't rotate the map for you  (shame) but it will give you a constant blue arrow for direction status (sort of like when you a driving, but now it will work at all times and be more sensitive).  iGO8 in 3D mode will "...rotate with the entire screen according to your compass heading, as long as you have a GPS fix"

Of course this is the tip of the iceberg and we're sure digital compasses and GPS on Windows phones is just starting.

[thanks you know who for the tip!]

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We first introduced you to Waze back in September. Waze is a free, turn-by-turn GPS application that uses crowd sourcing to detect traffic conditions in real time. A social network for motorists of sorts.

Today Waze is releasing a holiday version of it's navigation application that includes holiday-themed "road goodies", a treasure hunt contest, bi-lingual support and integration with the location based, geo-game foursquare.

Ease on past the break to read more about Waze's holiday version.

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Looks like some of you are having problems with the 3.3 release of Google Maps in regards to the My Location feature and its accuracy with cell tower triangulation. The good news is that it's not everybody. On the left, above, is what I'm getting with AT&T. For me, it's more or less as accurate as it was before. Google Maps is showing me about a half-mile from where I actually am, and that's well within the 1,900 meters (or 1.1 miles) it's promising.

Our pal Malatesta, on Sprint, is shown as being in Washington, D.C., with an accuracy of 95,000 meters. OK, but Long Island, N.Y., is definitely more than 59 miles from the nation's capital. And Mal says a friend of his in New York City is showing 45,000-meter accuracy.

And, so, we put it to you. How's My Location holding up? Is it just the big-city folk having issues?

Is Google Maps' My Location service better or worse in version 3.3?(poll)
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37

Review: Copilot Live 8

There are some pretty cool technologies involved in the hardware that is being crammed into our Windows Phones these days. WiFi, various cellular technologies, GPS, et al. My vote for the coolest of these is GPS. The fact that some very intelligent person somewhere came up with the idea of putting machines into orbit around the globe and then using these to navigate is extremely impressive to me.

Harnessing the full power of the GPS on a Windows Phone can be a difficult proposition. Free tools such as Google Maps and Bing/Live Search are capable of utilizing a GPS receiver, but they don’t give you all of the benefits that we have come to expect from a full featured GPS.

Copilot Live is one of the premier GPS applications for Windows Phones. Now in version 8, ALK Solutions has re-worked their pricing to make this amazing software accessible to just about anyone with a Windows Phone. (See my review of Copilot 7 here.)

To see the new features that Copilot Live 8 offers, check out the review after the jump.

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8

Review Glympse (GPS Tracking) Freeware

I discovered Glympse by using the new Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which goes to show you just how powerful that piece of software is going to be.

In short, Glympse is a free, easy to use, no strings attached application that allows certain contacts you select to track your location/travels in timed increments.  Think of it this way: say you are taking a road trip to visit some friends and you think you'll be there by 4:30pm.  Well, with Glympse your friends can see exactly where you are on that trip without bothering you (i.e.getting that call while driving "How much longer do you think?").

I gave this app a quick spin and came away impressed.  It's both visually appealing, simple, effective and kind of fun to use. Best part is there is no signing up, enrolling or hoops to jump through.  All the other person needs is an email/sms account and access to the internet to click a hyperlink.

Take a look after the jump to see it in action and how it works.

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Summer's finally gone, but we're not done with the giveaways just yet. In conjunction with TeleNav, two lucky readers will win one-year subscriptions to TeleNav GPS Navigator. That's one year of turn-by-turn directions with voice support and on-screen instructions. Route previews. Moving maps in 2D and 3D. Automatic rerouting if you miss a turn. Business finder. Fuel finder. WiFi finder. In the city? There are walking directions. Need more? Check it out here.

Read on after the break for details on how to win.

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Waze Inc. has officially launched Waze, a free turn-by-turn GPS application, for Windows Mobile. Waze is a social network for motorists to not only provide driving directions but also offer information collected from the users to identify traffic congestion, road hazards and other conditions that affect travel.

The application also has an online component to allow users a live view of maps and conditions. In the coming days we'll take Waze out for a test drive but in the meantime, if curiosity gets the best of you, Waze can be downloaded here.

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1

Waze headed to Windows Mobile

Waze is a free turn-by-turn GPS application that uses crowd sourcing to detect real time traffic conditions and has been available for the iPhone and in Beta form for Android phones. We have learn that a Windows Mobile version of this application is entering the Alpha stage.

In looking at the Guided Tour of the application, it does look promising. Waze is a social network of sorts for motorists, relying on users to report traffic conditions.  Most information is reported passively by the user's driving habits. But users also have the option to report conditions, upload photos of the conditions and report mapping errors.

To expand the potential of this application, a live map can be found at Waze's site to allow anyone to check out the reported conditions nation wide. The live map gives you a decent feel for what the application is capable of.

If you're interested in registering to be an Alpha tester, just head on over to the Waze download page. Once released for public use, we'll take it for a test drive and give you a full review.

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Back a few weeks ago our very own George wrote up a nice review for the freeware GPS Weather Radar, which has become quite popular as of late.

Well, it just got bumped recently to v2.1.01 from the previously reviewed v1.5. 

The biggest change is now in the maps, which look much nicer especially with the transparency effect, a new source and more location support ( USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Brazil, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean). 

It takes a bit to load and no doubt .NET 3.5 is not the fastest, but hey...it works and works well.

See full change-log here as well as .cab to download.
 

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11

Review: GlobalSat BT-368i Bluetooth GPS

We’re quite spoiled you and I. Can you imagine if twenty years ago someone had shown you the very device you currently carry and use on a daily basis? Being able to instantly communicate using all manner of methods provided by the most mundane of Windows Mobile Phones is simply an amazing example of technology. As generations of Windows Mobile devices pass by there are new and improved hardware toys that become fairly standard in each generation. GPS receivers are an example of a feature that many of us take for granted that is one of the more amazing pieces of consumer technology.

All of this being true, GPS receivers are not included in all of the Windows Mobile devices that we carry around. Even if it is included, getting a radio signal to and from those satellites drains a battery like few other things can. For those of you facing these dilemmas, I present the GlobalSat BT-368i Bluetooth GPS receiver.

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6

Review: GPS Weather Radar

We ran across a nifty weather application called GPS Weather Radar that's been developed by XDA Developer's Forum member avs777. It may very well be one of the most useful weather radar applications I've run across.  If you travel and need access to the weather, this is one application you may not want to leave home without.

Follow the break for all the details on GPS Weather Radar.

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So after a bit of a false start yesterday, the ROM update that will unlock the GPS on the Verizon Samsung Omnia is finally live. Head on over and get it, and let us know in the comments how it works. (And if any of you brave Windows 7 users want to try out the Vista version of the update tool and let us know how it works, that would be cool, too.)

Thanks again, cplush!

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We're gonna pat ourselves on the back here a little bit and pretend that it was our open letter and persistent persistence that finally got Verizon to open up the GPS on the HTC Touch Pro and Samsung Saga – and, finally, the Samsung Omnia.

Note that the update page is up, but the download link isn't yet live. But here's what's getting updated:

  • The latest Microsoft AKU Update 1.5.1.
  • Enhanced zoom for Internet Explorer.
  • Slight UI Modifications.
  • Various additional improvements to improve handset function.
  • Open Standalone LBS Supported and Performance Enhanced (This may Support 3rd Party Applications).
  • VZ Access Manager Supports Bluetooth Connection (SPP).
  • Correction of memory shortage issues.

OK, so it probably had nothing to do with us. That's cool. And it's the Saga, Touch Pro and Omnia owners who are the real winners here. Thanks for finally getting it done, Verizon. (And thanks, cplush, for the tip!)

Now, Verizon, about that Marketplace thing ...

Update: Rut-ro. Sure enough, the link got pulled. Keep an eye out folks.

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Dear Verizon,

So here we are, halfway through the year and many moons removed from our open letter imploring you to unlock the GPS on your Windows Mobile phones. And in December 2008, you promised to do so in the first half of the year for the Samsung Omnia and Saga, and the HTC Touch Pro. And we rejoiced.

We're now a little past the midpoint of 2009, and indeed the Saga and Touch Pro have had their GPS chips released from the shackles of VZ Navigator, free to get turn-by-turn directions from the likes of Google Maps and Bing, among others. And for that, you have our thanks. While we're not quite ready to overlook you locking customers into (and having to pay for) VZ Navigator in the first place, it still means a lot in this crazy smartphone game when a company promises to do something and then follows through. So, thanks.

But while two out of three ain't bad, the job's not done. We can talk all night, but that ain't getting us nowhere. It's time to get the Omnia unlocked.  No more hacks. No more unofficial ROMs. Let's get that done so we can all turn our focus to some of the great new phones you have coming down the pike and go back to being one big, happy smartphone family.

We're still watching.

Love,

The WMExperts Team

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A ROM update has been released for the Samsung Saga on Verizon, and it might just have a little gem in it for which we've been waiting quite a while. First, the fine points of the upgrade:

  • The Latest Microsoft AKU Update 1.5.1.
  • Enhanced zoom for Internet Explorer
  • Slight UI Modifications.
  • Various additional improvements to improve handset function.
  • Open Standalone LBS Supported & Performance Enhanced. (This may Support 3rd Party Applications)
  • MMS Over GPRS Supported. (GSM Mode)
  • Softswitch For GSM (Allows handset to select correct network overseas)
  • Multiple Qualcomm Patches Applied To Improve Phone Performance.
  • VZ Access Manager Supports Bluetooth Connection (SPP).

Notice the fifth item there? LBS, of course, is location-based services. That could be cell-tower triangulation, or, GPS! So, that'd unlock two of the three phones that Verizon promised to unshackle in the first half of the year, with the other being the HTC Touch Pro. We've got a week left. Will we see the Omnia get an official update soon?

Go here to get the upgrade, and make sure you follow Samsung's overly complicated upgrade process.

Thanks, again, to cplush for the tip!

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