TechBits: Smart GPS (08.21.13) - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

TechBits: Smart GPS (08.21.13)

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Any car GPS can get you to your destination- but a new one from Magellan can tell you what to expect when you get there.

The SmartGPS works in conjunction with your smart phone.  It uses Bluetooth to receive data that drives Yelp reviews, Foursquare tips, gas prices, and more.  But that's not all that's smart about this unit.

The device can be connected to your computer by USB, so you can use a web interface to edit your address book and build trips online.  That makes it much easier than building trips and addresses on the unit itself- but the interface is well designed for editing your trips on the fly.

The unit can even give you weather forecasts for cities you pre-select.  However, it does not show you radar images, so you can see storm systems.  This feature would make the weather section of the software much more appealing.

Also, when you look for gas stations on your route, the unit does not display prices.  This data is available in other sections of the software.  No word on why Magellan did not port it into this section of the interface.

Despite some shortcomings, the Smart GPS is a very solid unit.  It may only get better when Magellan releases updated versions of the firmware.

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