Garmin Shows Off New In-Car K2 Infotainment Platform

January 7th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Users may no longer depend on Garmin’s dedicated GPS devices now that smartphones have built-in navigation software, but that doesn’t mean the company is abandoning the automotive space. In fact, Garmin is looking to make an even bigger impact on your dashboard with the debut of its new K2 infotainment platform at CES 2013.

Garmin drew influence for the new system from its existing marine and avionics system, and says that it is seeking to turn the standard auto dashboard into a digital cockpit. The platform includes a large 10-inch touch screen, a digital and reconfigurable 12-inch instrument cluster situated behind the steering wheel, voice control, infrared sensors similar to those found in Cadillac’s CUE system and smartphone integration. Read the rest of this entry »

Garmin’s Edge 510 and 810 Bring Waterproof GPS to Your Bike

January 7th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Want to track your biking performance but don’t want to risk dropping your smartphone? Garmin might have the answer. The company today announced its new dedicated biking devices, the Edge 510 ($329) and Edge 810 ($499), and we got to go hands-on with both at CES 2013.

Garmin says the waterproof devices are meant to be strapped to your bicycle’s handlebars and can track information ranging from elevation and speed to the number of calories you’ve burned during your ride and the exact route you took. Read the rest of this entry »

Garmin’s Nüvi 3597 GPS Tells You to “Turn Right After Starbucks”

January 7th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Garmin’s been on a roll at CES 2013. In addition to its Edge 810 and Edge 510 dedicated biking devices, the company is also showing off its new 2013 nüvi model dedicated GPS units. The systems, which we were fortunate enough to get hands-on time with prior to the show, include voice activated controls, Garmin Real Directions and the company’s new Active Lane Guidance feature.

The models range from the king-of-the-hill 5-inch nüvi 3597 Prestige series to the 4.3-inch Essential series. The nüvi 3597 is an exceptionally attractive device with its large display, thin profile and brushed-metal chassis. Read the rest of this entry »


New FTC Rules Protect Kids’ Privacy

December 20th, 2012 by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily

tween girl with cellphoneRegulations from the late ’90s designed to protect children’s privacy got an update today for the world of smartphones, apps and browser plugins.

After a two-year review, the Federal Trade Commission has released its updated regulations based on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which applies to kids under age 13. The FTC aimed to bring its rules for companies that cater to children online up to date with technology.

In 1998, Apple introduced its first iMac, Google launched its search engine and Congress passed COPPA to protect the privacy of the Internet’s youngest users by preventing websites from collecting their personal information without their parents’ consent. Since then, social media , smartphones and location-based data have become part of the grade-school lexicon. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Apple Maps Alternatives

September 20th, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Perhaps Apple dumped Google’s Maps app in favor of its own creation a little too soon. iOS 6 users are complaining about everything from Maps’ lack of transit directions and misplaced landmarks to misspelled towns and Dali-esque 3D images. The default app for the iPhone 5 has also given us directions to the wrong location.

Apple quickly responded to the outcry, saying “We’re just getting started,” but that’s not going to cut it for a lot of folks. To help make your navigation experience a little easier, we’ve put together this list of Maps alternatives. They should help get you by until Google’s rumored iOS 6-compatible Maps app comes through.

2012 Mercedes E350 Tech Drive: A Benz with Brains and Brawn

July 2nd, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

It’s no longer enough to have the best performance, sleekest lines, or most plush leather to stay on top of the luxury car world. You have to constantly innovate, and bring compelling new technology to each vehicle that rolls off of the assembly line. Nowhere is that line of thinking more evident than in Mercedes’ 2012 E350 luxury sports sedan.

From its Assist safety features to its Comand infotainment system, the E350 is one truly teched-out Benz. But with many of these features adding considerably to the E350’s $50,490 base price, are they really worth the extra expense? To find out, we spent a week gallivanting around the New York area in a loaded E350. So read on to see whether you should roll in this Benz. Read the rest of this entry »


Hands-On With Chevy’s GoGo Cloud-Based Navigation App

April 5th, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Chevrolet is working to make owning an in-car navigation system much more affordable with the introduction of its GoGo Navigation app. The app, which will be available for the Chevy Spark and Sonic RS when they hit dealerships later this year. We got some hands-on time with GoGo and came away impressed with both its speed and overall functionality. The app itself sits on your iPhone or Android smartphone and is accessible via Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system. Purchasing the app is as simple as downingloading it through the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store for $50.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hands-On with Bentley’s Continental GTC V-8

April 5th, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

You want opulence? Bentley’s got you covered. The British automaker stormed into the New York International Auto Show with its new Continental GTC V-8 complete with its new telematics system. The Continental draws its power from a 4.0-liter V8 and is capable of producing a massive 500 horsepower and asphalt obliterating 487 lb-ft of torque.

Bentley’smodus operandi has always been to build their vehicles with the best materials, and the Continental GTC V-8 is no different. The interior’s inlaid wood is made from a single piece, allowing for a seamless look to the wood’s grain. Anything that looks like metal in the interior is just that, metal. You won’t find any faux metal plastics inside this British beast. Read the rest of this entry »

Hands-On With Telenav’s Scout for Cars App

April 2nd, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Telenav’s Scout navigation app has been receiving significant buzz since its debut at CES in January and we got a chance to spend some hands-on time with it just in time for the New York Auto Show. The app, like most others in its class, is stored on a user’s smartphone and syncs up with her vehicle’s telematics system through a Bluetooth connection.

But what sets Scout for Cars apart is that it relies almost entirely on your smartphone. This not only helps insure that you always have access to a GPS signal, your phones, but also enables you to bring saved locations and directions with you where ever you go, whether on the road or walking around an unfamiliar city. Read the rest of this entry »

Garmin Bringing Smartphone Integration, Navigation to Suzuki’s 2013 U.S. Vehicles

April 2nd, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Just ahead of this week’s New York International Auto Show, Garmin has announced that it will begin providing factory-installed infotainment systems for most of Japanese automaker Suzuki’s 2013 U.S. vehicle lineup. The new system, which will be on display at the auto show, includes a 6.1-inch high resolution touch screen, complete with smartphone integration, multi-media playback and, of course, Garmin’s navigation system. Read the rest of this entry »

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