Scientists say Google Earth island in Pacific doesn't exist

If you thought Apple's Maps app might steer you wrong, just watch out if you're navigating the South Pacific with Google Maps.

It and Google Earth, as well as marine maps and charts, show a feature west of New Caledonia that Australian scientists say is a phantom island.

Sandy Island looks like a gaping hole in the Coral Sea. About 16 miles long, north to south, it could make the perfect beach nirvana.

But the University of Sydney scientists found only ocean 4,620 feet deep when they went to the site while on a research expedition. The depth would preclude the island sinking. … Read more

Leo GPS watch locates your child in an emergency

If you've ever lost track of your child or an elderly relative, it's hard to forget the panic of not knowing where he or she is. This GPS watch is designed to help prevent your loved ones from going missing.

Besides telling the time, the Leo wristwatch from Guardian Lion Wireless is also a phone, GPS locator, and 911 panic button. It can be used as a tracking device to find your wayward child or older relative with dementia.

As an option, the titanium strap can be locked. It has a tamper alert, so you'll know if anyone tries to take the watch off. A criminal would need bolt cutters to remove it. … Read more

GPS shoes give directions on top of your toes

GPS shoes already exist, but they've been more about tracking the wearer than giving directions. A project by U.K. artist Dominic Wilcox solves that oversight by putting directions right at the tips of your toes.

The prototype leather shoes were made by hand in old-world style by Stamp Shoes, but with some decidedly new-world technology tucked inside courtesy of interactive arts and technology expert Becky Stewart. … Read more

Google Maps for Android adds turn-by-turn navigation for bicyclists

Google Maps for Android has offered turn-by-turn directions for automotive use since 2009. It wasn't long until walking navigation was added in 2010. Finally, transit direction made the jump to turn-by-turn navigation back in June of this year. Today, with the version 6.11.1 update to the Google Maps app, cyclists can get in on the turn-by-turn fun with the addition of bicycle route navigation.

Cyclists will be able to view turn-by-turn directions on a live updating map after selecting a destination and affixing their phone onto the handle bars, or they can simply listen to the spoken … Read more

Scout takes iPhone navigation offline

With the likely release of Apple Maps as part of iOS 6 next month, independent navigation app makers will have a tough time competing against this free, preinstalled software. But Telenav seems poised for the fight, as it made an update to its Scout navigation app for iPhone today that includes the option to download maps, making the app useful even where there is no cell phone connection.

This new version of Scout also brings in voice commands, which will mean drivers can tell it to find destinations by business name, as one example.

When we reviewed the previous version of Scout, it stood out for its excellent route guidance, as long as the free app was upgraded with the $10-per-year voice prompts. Although we have not yet seen Apple Maps' route guidance capabilities, it would do well to emulate Scout. … Read more

Checkmark offers slick location-based reminders

Apple's Reminders app, introduced in iOS 5, works perfectly well at notifying you according to your time- or location-based criteria. But a new app called Checkmark (99 cents for a limited time) gives you location-based reminders using your GPS and important locations you enter, and with a great-looking interface that's easy to navigate.

You start by adding locations important to you such as Home, Work, the Gym, and a friend's house you often visit. You can locate yourself via GPS, but you also can search for an address on a map and add a location pin that way. The next step is creating reminders based on your locations.… Read more

Camaro leads the way for Chevy app, nav integration

When we saw demonstrations of Chevy's MyLink system last year, it looked like the company finally had a solid competitor to Ford Sync. MyLink not only offered advanced voice command over phones and MP3 players, but also integrated smartphone apps.

However, as we saw in the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, Chevy hadn't built a MyLink head unit that was compatible with a navigation system. The result: buyers had to choose between having advanced voice command or onboard navigation.

The 2013 Camaro seems to solve that little problem.… Read more

GPS rival Navsop navigates by Wi-Fi, TV signals

GPS could drop off the map as British boffins work on a new location technology that navigates by signals from mobile phones and Wi-Fi. Defense firm BAE Systems is testing Navsop, a navigation system that goes where others can't.

Navsop figures out where it is from a GPS signal, then learns about different signals including medium-wave radio frequencies, mobile phones, televisions, and Wi-Fi to find its way around.

Read more of "Navigate by Wi-Fi and TV signals with GPS rival Navsop" at Crave UK. … Read more

How to control your Xbox 360 with an iPhone

Microsoft's update to the My Xbox Live app 1.5 brought along support for controlling an Xbox 360 straight from an iPhone. (The update was rolled out across all iOS platforms, but for whatever reason, this feature only works with an iPhone.) Here's how to get it to work.… Read more

Google unveils full 3D Google Earth feature

Google unveiled a full 3D version of Google Earth today.

The service allows users to move around, rotate, and interact with 3D images of cities. Google said it expects the service to work for a few major cities for Android and iOS in the coming weeks.

"We're trying to create magic here," said Peter Birch, product manager for Google Earth. "It creates the illusion you're flying over the city.

The service is expected to cover the location of 300 million people by the end of the year, Birch said. The ultimate goal is to get … Read more