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GPS With Android And Wifi – The Dawning Of A New Age?

The All Sports GPS with Android and Wifi

Spotted in Waypoints at GPSTracklog is this article at Gizmag about a new GPS that runs on Android and has wifi.

The world’s first handheld GPS to use the Android mobile operating system is gearing up for release. The All Sports GPS from Holux is also the first handheld unit with WiFi capability. The idea is to fuse smartphone capability into a handheld GPS, allowing users to download GPS apps directly without having to hookup to a computer.

That last line is the bit that grabbed me. It would seem that we’ll soon be able to use our favourite Android apps on a dedicated GPS unit. As a recent Android convert and current CacheSense for Android beta tester this concept has me jumping up and down like a giggly school girl.

I own a Garmin Oregon 450 and I still prefer the CacheSense software, for either Blackberry or Android, as my caching tool. It’s just that good.

Add to that the ability to add numerous Android apps to assist with your caching endeavours, such as Geocache Calculator (check out the earlier version review at Android Caching), and you’ll be a fully mobile geocaching machine.

The All Sports GPS is a cooperative effort between Taiwan’s Holux, which manufactures GPS products, and Satski, a Canadian company best known for itswinter sports apps. So, it’s not surprising that the GPS will come pre-loaded with the SatSki app and a companion suite that includes other sports apps for golf, biking, running and geo-caching, among other activities.

The apps provide all sorts of speed, distance, real-time location and navigation information. For winter sports fans, the Satski app uses resort trail maps. There’s also Facebook and Twitter integration and on online community at luvthesnow.comto share and boast about your greatest runs.

Sounds like they are trying to cover all the bases and doing a good job!

Another app included in the package is All Sports Maps, which allows users to download live maps, including Google, Nokia OVI, Open Street and Open Cycle, for later offline use, all for free. Similar apps in the Android Market can run you as much as ten US dollars for something well-suited to backcountry use, out of the range of a data connection.

Exactly what we want to hear – downloading maps for offline use for free. Perfect.

SatSki promises that the All Sports GPS will be a “rugged, highly sensitive IPX 6-rated unit” that also supports Bluetooth health monitor accessories. No word on an exact release date or pricing for the device, but the company promises it is “coming soon.”

Any guesses what’s going to the top of my wishlist?

Rich at GPSTracklog labelled it as ugly. My first thought when I saw it was that it looked like a Magellan. But I’m not sure I’d call it ugly. Bland is the word I’d use. But in this case it’s what’s on the inside that counts…and what’s on the inside is pretty damn cool.

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  1. rediguana

    I suggested to Garmin via their ideas feedback form earlier in the year, that they should consider using Android for their handhelds – I would love to see the variety of tools and apps that could be developed for geocaching, as well as the level of customisation it could provide. The success of smartphone platforms in recent years certainly suggests a shift away from a locked-down platform such as Garmin currently provides.

  2. Lone R

    I should have waited on the purchase of a Garmin 62s (although paperless, I find I still need my cachesense app at all times). Just purchased it less then a year ago so can’t justify a new GPS in the next year. But I’m really really looking forward to GPS/app/web hybrids.

  3. Zalgariath

    Garmin HAVE already done this… sort of 🙂

    They just marketed it terribly and it was more on the “Phone” side of things, and they dropped support for it very quickly. It only got a release in Australia and North America I think.

    It is called the Garmin-Asus A50 …. which is nearly 2 years old now and has been my primary device for over 12 months. It is an Android phone… with the chip from a CS60. In otherwords, the most powerful GPS in a phone money can buy… and why wouldnt you, when outright it was about $200.

    Pros were all the things you could think having an Android smartphone/GPS combo with wifi… negs are…( and what makes the above device so exciting!) the battery and durability. Still, they just found a few more, and Im getting another for my friend hehe. Cant wait to see how this new project fares. Will be awesome!

  4. TeamElliottFamily

    I could go for some of that! Although I think it would be hard to pry me away from my Oregon 450. It’s the only GPS I’ve ever used, so I can’t really imagine using anything else, but being able to get at apps and log finds at the cache site would be big plusses for me =)

  5. wandering guy

    See what I have found here :
    https://picasaweb.google.com/110395571834053752376/FuntrekGM138

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    […] GPS With Android And Wifi – The Dawning Of A New Age? (notaboutthenumbers.com) […]

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