CoPilot Live free edition: Maps included

Navigation apps for iPhone and Android are becoming a dime a dozen, and most people find Android's own Google Maps navigation more than adequate. But these apps rely on a data connection, downloading map data as you go. ALK Technologies will be offering a new, free edition of its CoPilot Live navigation app with maps downloaded to the phone.

Although most people use navigation in urban areas where there is a data connection, the advantage of maps stored on the phone is less wait time for your current location to show up on the screen. And if you do … Read more

CNET readers' favorite GPS devices (roundup)

Let's get one thing straight: this is not a dictatorship. You may have noticed that just below every bright red CNET editors' rating is a cool blue user rating. And just below every review is a place where you, dear user, can make yourself heard by writing a short, sweet user review! Sometimes the editors and the users agree, sometimes we butt heads, but both views are important to the big picture.

Nowhere are user reviews more important than in the GPS category. The core function of the device and the accuracy of its map data relies heavily on the geography and topography of the area where it's operated. A GPS navigator that performs perfectly near the CNET offices in San Francisco may not be as accurate in another city with more tall buildings blocking the sky. On the other hand, maps that aren't 100 percent accurate for our testing area may be perfect near you. That's why it's so important that we hear from our readers.

With that in mind, I've rounded up a selection of the portable navigation devices with the highest average user ratings. If you've got a favorite GPS navigator, pop over to our GPS reviews list and leave a rating! … Read more

Beat the traffic with these GPS devices (roundup)

Getting from points alpha to bravo is cool. Getting there without going through a mind-numbing traffic jam is just the cat's pajamas!

These days, any old portable navigation device can accomplish the former, but the best differentiate themselves with their almost omniscient awareness of the roads between where you are and where you're going. A good traffic monitoring system can not only save you time, but can also help save you money at the pump and reduce your environmental impact by reducing the amount of fuel wasted idling.

With that in mind, I've rounded up a selection of the portable navigation devices with the best implementation of traffic data and avoidance technology, and even a few quirkier implementations of the tech below for your perusal. … Read more

GPS shoe makes its way to market

A growing number of devices aim to track Alzheimer's and other patients who have a tendency to wander. Of course, many of these devices must be remembered to be worn to be of any use.

GPS-fitted shoes, then, seem like one of the most obvious accessories given shoes are generally required for, well, wandering.

Shoemaker Aetrex, with the help of GPS device makers GTX, is now selling its GPS Shoe after it received FCC clearance in September 2011.

The shoes themselves, available for men and women with either straps or shoelaces, go for $299.99 a pair, while the monthly service plan runs $30 to $40.… Read more

Escort Live's social radar detection to help drivers spot 'ticket threats'

LAS VEGAS--I had my first encounter with Escort here at CES this week, and I'm not talking about looking for a date or an inexpensive sedan from the 1990s.

Escort is an Ohio-based company that's been making radar and laser detectors for decades now. This week, its "ticket protection social network for drivers," Escort Live, won a 2012 Innovation Design and Engineering award at CES.

The system is made up of the same kind of radar detector with which you're probably familiar, along with a Bluetooth-embedded "SmartCord Live" cord that connects to your … Read more

Magellan switches it up with GPS watches

Magellan isn't afraid to get a little sweaty, as the GPS manufacturer is getting into the fitness tech game.

Known for its in-car navigation systems, today Magellan introduced its first pair of GPS fitness watches for runners, cyclers, swimmers, and triathletes. The Switch and Switch Up will be on display at CES 2012, with expected availability for spring 2012.

The Switch is designed primarily for runners, according to Magellan, and offers a 1.26-inch monochrome display, a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, and embedded ANT+ technology, so you can connect to third-party heart-rate monitors, foot pods, bike sensors, and so forth. … Read more

Asus announces Transformer Prime ICS date, addresses GPS and bootloader issues

When Asus unveiled its Honeycomb-powered Transformer Prime tablet last November, it stated that Ice Cream Sandwich would be on the tablet by year's end. As owners of the tablet can tell you, that didn't pan out. However, according to its Facebook page, the company will begin pushing the update to Prime owners worldwide, starting January 12.

That's the boring part though, since Asus made no secret of the fact that ICS was coming. More intriguing however, are the other parts of Asus's Facebook post.

Since the release of the Transformer Prime, two potential issues have come … Read more

Hacking confab conjures visions of space-borne 'SOPA Wars'

A scrappy rebel alliance launches jury-rigged space weapons in the hope of defeating a monolithic empire that's put the choke hold on freedom.

Sound like a space opera you might've seen a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?

Actually, it's the latest imagined scenario to arise from one of Europe's major hacking conferences, which just wrapped up its 2011 edition in Berlin.

As the BBC's David Meyer reports, SOPA-hating hackers at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress (or 28C3) are hatching a plan to develop a DIY satellite-communications network that could keep the Internet alive and unfettered in the face of any government effort to pull the plug.

"The first goal is an uncensorable Internet in space," Meyer quotes hacktivist Nick Farr as saying. "Let's take the Internet out of the control of terrestrial entities."

Farr and others dream of a Hackerspace Global Grid made up of homemade satellites, along with ground stations for tracking and communicating with the self-made Sputniks.… Read more

iPhone's GPS lets music morph as you meander

Imagine popping in your earbuds, queuing up some tunes, going for a stroll, and then listening to the music morph in response to your surroundings.

Thanks to electronic-music duo Bluebrain--along with a clutch of willing musician friends, the expertise of a software developer, and the iPhone's built-in GPS system--that Brian Eno-esque fantasy is, in fact, a reality.

Washington D.C.-based brothers Ryan and Hays Holladay are continuing their push--perhaps the better word is "meander"--into a new musical realm with their recent album/iPhone app "Central Park (Listen to the Light)." The piece uses GPS to monitor a listener's movements through New York's famous green oasis and play different tracks keyed to specific locales--or "zones" and "pockets"--within the park.… Read more

Garmin Nuvi Essentials series: Simple, yet effective

Sometimes, you don't want a ton of bells and whistles on your GPS device. Sometimes, you just want to reliably and cheaply get from point Alpha to Bravo.

Enter Garmin's Essentials series of Nuvi GPS navigators. Specifically, we're taking a look at the largest model in the entry-level Essentials series: the 5-inch Garmin Nuvi 50.

There aren't many surprises here where design is concerned. If you've handled a Garmin Nuvi in the last half decade, you'll know exactly what to expect from the 50. The icons are all where you'd expect them to … Read more