Magellan GPS Receiver for m500 Series Coming Soon

A GPS receiver and software combination from Thales Navigation capable of giving turn-by-turn directions will soon be available for Palm's m500 series. The Magellan GPS Companion, which will ship with Rand McNally's StreetFinder Deluxe, was announced late yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show. It won't be available until sometime this Spring and a price wasn't announced.

StreetFinder Deluxe connects to the Internet to let users create custom maps and driving routes on their PC that can then be exported to their Palm.

It has street-level maps of the United States (excluding Alaska), address lookup and route calculation. StreetFinder Deluxe also has more than one million business listings and points of interest, including dry cleaners, banks and museums, and Mobil Travel Guide rated hotels and restaurants.

Maps are matched with satellite navigation information from the GPS receiver to show the user's position on a map that shows the real-time movement of the user. The users gets in-route audio alerts to signal the next step in the directions, as well as a text version of the complete list of directions.

The Magellan GPS Companion features a 12-parallel-channel GPS receiver that attaches to the back of the Palm handheld for fast position acquisition and satellite tracking, even in urban canyons or under trees. The additional use of Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) satellite correction signals helps ensure the most accurate position fixes possible so users can know their location within as little as 3 meters.

It connects with the handheld through the HotSync port, leaving the expansion card slot available for map downloads. For extended travel, an optional 12V power cable features a built-in battery charger.

Magellan's own NAV Companion software provides comprehensive navigation information so Palm users can turn their handheld into a traditional GPS receiver for finding their way in off-road areas. It provides an analog speedometer, a digital compass, and waypoint and route management capabilities so users can store location information and find their way to and from a destination that doesn't appear on conventional maps.

When it debuts, this won't be the first GPS receiver for the m500 series. Rand McNally's software will also be shipping with the Navman GPS, which should be available February 15 for $200.

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New display on the M505?

TDS @ 1/8/2002 8:58:28 AM #
Gosh, look at that bright, crisp display on that picture of the M505 above! Does the GPS have special circuitry to enhance the backlight? :)

Actually, how do owners of GPS's for your palm devices use them? Do you find that they have a practical application? I have often thought of getting one for my Prism, but I can't imagine getting a lot of real use out of it.

My first thought about this unit was that it should have come as an SD card, but on the other hand, it would be nice to be able to keep maps on an external memory card.


RE: New display on the M505?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 9:20:29 AM #
Must be one of the new m525's.

RE: New display on the M505?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 9:24:44 AM #
The 505's screen looks better as you shine more light on it. They might have used a real bright flash on the second picture. Take a look at the first one again. It looks more typical of the 505. They also could have just pieced these pictures together with PhotoShop.

I'm surprised how big the hardware is. Compared to the Sony memorystick GPS, this looks the size of Connecticut. Does anyone know how good the Sony one is? Its great that its really small but if it doesn't work so good, that's no advantage. If this is how big a GPS has to be to work well, I can live with that.

RE: New display on the M505?
sub_tex @ 1/8/2002 9:47:11 AM #
I was actually about to post how i thought the first picture is the first honest pic of the display i've seen so far.

It's not paper white, but a little gray.

RE: New display on the M505?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 10:03:23 AM #
There are quite a few practical uses, but here's a real fun one that all GPS owners should try:

As far as unit size, the WAAS capability adds significant circuitry such that MMC slot capability is impractical. Worth the size IMO, and frees the slot for maps and related software.

RE: New display on the M505?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 6:59:21 PM #
Looks like they cut the screen image from the POSE emulator and pasted in with a foto editor.

On the serious side, this would have been great for a work project I had a few months ago. They wanted me to find the remote locations where we were paying for data circuits, and all I had was a spreadsheet of addresses! This would have saved me considerable time as opposed to doing countless maps on the internet. I did not have my 505 at the time, so I could not fit more than one Mapopolis map in the device I had at the time.

BTW: Mapopolis 3.0 also supports GPS as long as the GPS provides standard NMEA 0183 data.

RE: New display on the M505?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 7:44:39 PM #
>I was actually about to post how i thought the first picture is the first honest pic of the display i've seen so far.

>It's not paper white, but a little gray.

You're right, I think the 3 or 4 bright ones got away from Palm, so everyone else has to fake it now!

You are right though, an accurate photo will look a little gray because the actual screen is silver/gray to begin with. The "whiteness" is the reflected color of the frontlight.

RE: Geocaching
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 7:58:03 PM #
Thanks for the link on Geocaching. Sounds like fun!

Battery life

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 11:06:05 AM #
This new GPS unit uses the battery on the Palm. I don't know if this is such a great idea because the battery life is so limited already. I would love a GPS unit for my 505 but I would rather it have it's own battery.

RE: Battery life
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 12:48:39 PM #
I can't seem to find anything wrong with my m505. I bought it only a few weeks after it was released. I use it every day, with the light ALWAYS on (I've hacked it to stay on cause' I like the bright white screen when it's on), use my SD Card slot on a regular bases, HotSync via USB once day, with no problems (I never had that USB HotSync problem), and I'm always installing 3rd party apps and games; I get major usage out of my m505. With all that use, after 12 days without ever putting it in the charger, my battery is left with 19% power left. Palm Inc. has superior technology on the shelves, the company may need to regroup things a bit, but what company doesn't after being around for so long.

RE: Battery life
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 7:09:29 PM #
I've had some problems with my own 505 (which Palm is promptly correcting), but my wife's 505 sounds like yours. Her screen is as bright as my laptop, she frequently uses the data on her 64Mb sd card (references, books, videos), the frontlight is constantly on, and she charges the thing once or twice a MONTH.

I am hoping that the GPS power adaptor will provide pass-through power to the Palm. Otherwise, you would have to interrupt your trip to recharge your Palm on long trips (Yes officer, I watched him unplug a vending machine in the rest stop, he said something about forgeting his auto charger). I wrote Navman about this feature, but received no response.


I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 1:03:28 PM #
I thought I may want a GPS for my Palm but I elected to buy a Garmin GPS V.
It has exceeded all of my expectations and no I don't work for them.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/17/2002 8:21:38 AM #
The problems with that: it uses yet another proprietary way of loading data into the device, and there is no good input method available for it. And, of course, if you want to write custom applications, forget it.

Hooking up GPS receivers to programmable handhelds makes a lot of sense, and special-purpose devices are no substitute.

Gotta get the maps in memory!

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 5:06:38 PM #
OK... I'm tempted.

This device will need maps onboard the GPS receiver in a flash RAM that can be upgraded with device sync. Kind of like what Xircom has done with their Wireless LAN module.

OR... find a really functional way to download all the requisite data on an accompanying MMC/SD card. I have tha Atlas and it really bogs down the processor... street level detail in the most geographic areas is what we should be getting.. this product, the Atlas, does this not.

If we are relegated to downloading custom maps from Rand McNally when we need them, rather than accessing them on the fly from the device memory or MMC storage... what good is this? USB connecting during cradle placment to the device could actuate a geographic selection. Load the appropriate region map and everyone would be happy.

Having to selectively go after a different map from the web site or an included CD is annoying.

Let's use that SD card that comes with the GPS receiver that already has the maps loaded!!!

RE: Gotta get the maps in memory!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 7:12:42 PM #
Sounds to me like any GPS-enabled mapping, like Mapopolis, should work. If I recall, Rand McNally just left you flat when you got out of the city, and when I get a GPS, I'll be using out the boondocks and in State Parks as well as the cities, and if this puppy can't do both then I'll just keep waiting.

Having the unit using the device's battery is a good thing, in my opinion. I've got a AA battery charger for my 505, and I'd rather have only one unit to charge up at the end of the day than two.

RE: Gotta get the maps in memory!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 7:35:42 PM #
To which atlas are you referring, is it the one on the PalmPak Travel Card? I was considering buying this, but will skip it if not effective.



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