The Kenu Airframe+ mounts phones to a vehicle's vent, placing it in plain sight of the driver without requiring dedicated hardware to occupy precious windshield real estate. It's a simple concept, even if it's not particularly groundbreaking. I first came across the concept at a department store selling a mount for cheap. But Kenu's product has a secret up its sleeve - it's hyper portable, and it's really good. Considering just how many complicated options there are out there, it's good to see someone reduce a mount down to the bare essentials and get it right.
Dedicated GPS units have taken a hit since people started cramming turn-by-turn navigation into their smartphones, but if you do happen to stumble across one in stores somewhere, there's a decent chance Garmin's name is on it. As one of the more ubiquitous brands in the field, the company carries some weight. So when it releases a new navigation app, it's worth taking notice. Víago is far from the first app Garmin has dropped into the Play Store, nor is it even the company's first navigation app, but upon first impressions, it looks like quite the improvement over its previous efforts.
Google Maps/Navigation is fantastic. It's easy to use, stays (mostly) up-to-date, and is built into Android's core. However, it has one major flaw: offline navigation simply doesn't exist within Google Maps. If you're heading into uncharted territory where cell service may be sketchy or non-existent, you're basically on your own. And getting lost is not a fun experience.
The solution? A third-party GPS application with offline support, like Sygic's Maps & GPS Navigation.
Many states, California included, have passed strict laws in recent years meant to reduce distracted driving caused by cell phones. However, the laws lag behind the technology, and that has led to some conflicting opinions on what the statutes mean. After some legal wrangling, a California court of appeals has ruled that it is not illegal to use mapping software while driving.
My football buddy lives on the east side of Dallas. I'm way out west of Fort Worth. Since there are more than fifty miles between us, neither of us know the area of the megacity that's directly in the middle very well. When football season rolls around again, I'll give Meet Me Halfway a try: it's a simple little app that locates the midpoint between two people and helps you find good places to meet in the area.
After Google purchased Waze lock, stock, and barrel back in June of last year, some of the more ardent supporters of the small mapping app thought that it might disappear. But here we are seven months later, and Waze and Google Maps are still separate, though the latter is getting a few perks out of the arrangement. In fact, it looks like Waze intends to expand its functionality, starting with a new beta program.
With the number of options that are out there, our smartphones have gradually become more useful for in-car navigation than dedicated GPS units. Unfortunately, holding a phone in your hand isn't the safest (or most legal) driving habit, and mounting your device to the dashboard doesn't work as gracefully as many accessories out there claim. Yet Scosche might be on to something with its latest products, the magicMOUNT magnetic mounts.
Scosche is offering magicMOUNT in multiple formats, so users can mount devices to dashboards, windshields, tabletops, or walls.
Get this - dedicated GPS units are still a thing. Not only do they still exist, people are still buying them. So with these two things being true, Magellan has announced a new line of RoadMate GPS units running Android. These products aim to address a key advantage smartphones have had over their more-focused counterparts, their highly responsive screens. The company is now bringing the finger-friendly capacitive screens they've reserved for high-end models down to a more affordable level.
If you should suddenly find yourself stranded in a tiny out-of-the-way country after a Nathan Drake-style adventure this holiday season (or maybe if you live there, I guess), take heart in the knowledge that at least your Android phone knows its way home. Google has added 25 new countries to Google Maps Navigation this week, from the landlocked European nation of Andorra all the way to Maldives in the Indian Ocean.