NavAtlas & the XGPS300

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by DualElectronics, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    Upfront disclosure: my name is Greg, and I work for Dual Electronics. Dual is the company selling the NavAtlas app and it's accompanying hardware, the XGPS300 GPS Navigation and Battery Cradle for the iPod touch. I am not here to advertise but I can answer questions about the app and it's hardware.

    There is a thread on NavAtlas/XGPS300 already, but the forum rules say that any kind of promotion of a product (which this could be considered) needs to be in the App Store forums, so I'll restrict my posts to this area.

    The biggest question at the moment seems to be: where is it? We're due a little heat for taking so long, but we have shipped the product to our retail partner and the launch should be imminent. Everybody has been very patiently waiting -- I certainly appreciate that -- and I can say with confidence that the wait is almost over.

    Other questions? Ask away...

  2. macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2009
    Thanks Greg, but no thanks...

    We're tired of waiting, as I'm sure you gathered from my email.

    Mr Lukins,

    Many people, myself included, are extremely disappointed at the way the release (or, more appropriately, the delay) of the XGPS300 is currently being handled. We have watched at least 5 different release windows come and go. But the latest is the most frustrating of all. Your website currently says it will be available by the end of February 2010. Of course, we are now in March. Which begs the question, what is going on at Dual that you can't get a firm release date? If Dual is having this much trouble with the simple release of the unit, I wonder how many issues there will be with the unit itself. In my opinion, a company's marketing skills, quite frankly, have a correlative relationship to the company's products and services. For this reason, I, and many others, will not be purchasing the XGPS300 when it becomes available.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    I was wondering if you can provide some hints as to who is your retail partner(s)? In the FAQ section, it used to say

    I'm looking for a GPS solution for my travels in Japan in April. I have been waiting for the launch of your product. The XGPS300 solves my "GPS receiver" portion of my problem. What about offline maps?
  4. macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2009
    Hi Greg,

    Just wondering if the GPS hardware will cost $180 USD? Any possibility it will be around $100?
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    ZeroGravity: Unfortunately, I can't mention the retailer's name before the product launches...sorry. As for offline maps in Japan, you should be able to use anything you find in the app store. The Cradle hardware will work with other apps beside NavAtlas -- in fact, every app we've tested so far has worked fine.

    Ronster22: The cost is higher (USD $199) because we've included the navigation app in the product price: the price includes the portable GPS receiver (w/ rechargeable battery), the navigation app with coverage of the US & Canada, and the car mount kit.

  6. macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2009
    I thought the navigation app is free? So shouldn't the GPS be cheaper than 199 USD?

    That said the price is a little high, considering I want to use it only a golf GPS. I have one (golf app)for my BB and it cost my 30 bucks...guess I'll continue to use that. I have a standalone Garmin already.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    The original price was $180, with Dual promoting the fact that it included a free navigation app as a selling point.

    Guess they decided they were being too generous here and raised the retail price to $200. :rolleyes: :p
  8. macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2010
    The original price was $179.95.

    Dual needs to remember that their GPS unit is quite expensive for the average iPod Touch user. I am sure there are some who will think the $199.00 price is OK, but for others the original $180.00 price was too high already.

    Dual needs to also remember that there are other gps units on the market for the iPod touch and they are less expensive. I am talking about Magellan and Tom Tom. I have used the Magellan and let me tell you it is a fine device. It has a great car mount and the speaker is quite loud and clear for turn by turn .

    A friend has the Tom Tom and he likes it but feels my Magellan is a nicer unit. It is going for $129.00 .

    Since I was interested in the Dual for use during the few times I would not be in a vehicle, I have been following any news about the xgps300 and was thinking that I would probably go the $180.00 for it, If after a few people got it and thought that it was working as advertised.

    I don't know now, with all of the endless delays, and rumored price increase, I may not get one.

    At this point it is up in the air.
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    I wouldn't disagree with the comments about the TomTom and Magellan kits: if you are looking for a good GPS receiver to use in your car with your iPod, the TomTom and Magellan models are both good choices.

    But both of those products are sold without a navigation app - the app is an additional purchase. So the total cost for a complete US+Canada navigation solution will be at least $170 - more if you don't catch the apps when they are on sale.

    The XGPS300 price includes both the app and the GPS receiver, as well as an auxiliary battery. It's also a portable GPS: the receiver goes with you when you leave the car.

    So it boils down to what your needs are: a GPS receiver just for the car, or a portable receiver with an extra battery. But regardless of your choice, remember to factor in the cost of the app.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2010
    Yes I understand that they both require a navigation app. But They give you the option of selecting which app you want and buying what you want.

    The one supplied by Dual will not work for some applications where off road use is where it will be used the most.

    Dual is bundling their app and requiring you to pay that price whether you use their app or not.

    A youtube video shows your interview at the trade show and you state that the app is free. and that any other navigation app should work with the Dual xgps300.

    At that time I was thinking of possibly buying the magellan app to use with the Dual unit and considering not using your app at all.

    You are now stating that the App is not free and is the justification for the $199.00 price.

    Realizing you can buy the other units without their navigation app is a plus for me and I may decide to get another magellan unit.

    Other complete magellan units for handheld use are an option that one could consider.

    I guess their is shipping costs to consider also.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2009
    Should we be shocked?

    It's like a train wreck. I want to turn away, but I am amazed at the destruction that is before me. The sad thing is this is all self destruction.

    It's been 2 weeks to the day since the last update on the release of the XGPS300. The last statement (posted March 4th) said that it would be available "within a week or two." Not surprisingly, it's still not available. Are any of you really shocked? Based on the handling of its release, this product is likely to tank. Hey Dual, maybe you should wait until everyone has forgotten how bad you've screwed up this release and try again.

    It's really a shame. This product could have taken off and done quite well. Instead it's more likely that those that were once interested have either gone another route or are waiting for a similar product from a company that can deliver.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    Yeah, I'm done with them too. This is like their fifth time where they've missed a release date? That's when you start calling it what it is: Vaporware.

    I'm getting this module instead, it requires a jailbroken iPod but it's much cheaper, and guess what, it actually EXISTS too! :D

    Sorry guys, you lost my business. I would and will never purchase a product from such a dysfunctional company.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    I received an update email from Dual... and it's now available from the Apple Store for 199.99 USD. Although it seems it is currently only available from the US store. Nothing in Canada yet :(
  14. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
  15. macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2008
  16. macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2008
    xgps300 and 3rd party apps

    i've tested the xgps300 with a few 3rd party apps, specifically google maps, motion x gps, and myCoordinates. they all seem to work, but i've found that in order for the app to begin receiving GPS positions i have to go through a procedure where i first launch NavAtlas, wait for it to get a GPS fix, then launch the 3rd party app. if i close the 3rd party app and toggle the gps cradle switch between 'off'/'battery' and 'gps', or just leave the ipod turned off for an hour or so, i won't receive a GPS signal when i relauch the 3rd party app, unless i go through the 'NavAtlas/wait for a fix/reopen the 3rd party app' procedure again. is any one else noticing this, or do some apps work successfully from a 'cold' start?
  17. macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2010
    Yes I have the same problem, I can't get any of the nav programs to work unless i open the NavAtlas first. After waiting until it gets a lock, then I can open other apps and they will get a lock also. If I turn my ipod touch off or turn the switch on the back of the cradle to off then back to gps I have no gps signal when I use Motion X Gps or other apps until I open the NavAtlas app.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2010
    who's maps?


    Who is supplying the digital mapping data? Navteq or Google? Hopefully one of those 2, otherwise the data will be garbage...
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    OoogaBooga74/NatureBoy12: NavAtlas actually doesn't "trigger" the GPS to start - any app that uses GPS will activate the GPS Cradle in the same amount of time. So MotionX or any other app can be used without having to launch NavAtlas first.

    From a cold start, the Cradle can take as much as 45-60 seconds to get a lock on your location (a little longer if you're moving). If you find that your Cradle is taking longer than this, temporarily turn off WiFi on the iPod until you get a GPS signal lock - then you can turn WiFi back on again. Turning off WiFi makes the iPod skip it's normal process of first using WiFi to try and determine your location.

  20. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    The NavAtlas map data is from Navteq.

  21. macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2010
    FInally available in Canada

    Well I finally got email that XGPS 300 is available to Canadians.... BUT
    at a higher price than before

    Checked Amazon (199.00 + free shipping) GREAT - but they won't ship to Canada even though they were shown in email that they could??
    Other distributor listed charges 249 + 24 for shipping .... guess I'll do without.

    As far as extra charges for the APP which was orginally free ..I already downloaded to my Itouch when it was first offered in US so really not interested in paying for something I already and others have downloaded for free

    Once again Canadian buyers geting the shaft.:(
  22. macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2009
    XGPS 251 and inter-op with Golf GPS apps

    Greg, couple of questions...

    1. I see now there is a XGPS251 model with a cheaper price ($139 USD or $150 CDN)...what's the difference between it and the XGPS300?

    2. Inter-op between Golf apps...has Dual done any testing on some of the golf GPS apps out there, like Golfshot GPS?
  23. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010

    There are 3 differences between the XGPS300 and the newly introduced XGPS251:
    1. The XGPS251 has a non-slip paint finish.
    2. The XGPS251 is less expensive.
    3. The XGPS251 does not work with the NavAtlas navigation app. (NavAtlas only works with the XGPS300). However, that’s the only app restriction. Pretty much any app on the App Store will work with the XGPS251, just like the XGPS300.
    Otherwise, the products are very similar. Both models include the same GPS Cradle hardware, so they have the same features, same performance, same operation and run the same apps (with that one exception). Both models also include the same accessories: a car mount kit, sync cable, car charging cable and audio-out cable.

    The golf apps we've looked at have all worked with the GPS info from the Cradle. However only some of the apps will cache the images of the holes on the course, while others require an active network connection to download the imagery.

    AirVue Golf and GolfCardPro will cache image data, and I'm 99% sure Executive Caddie does too.

    GolfShot GPS, however, needs an active network link in order to display aerial views of the hole. But it does work without the image: it will display the distances to the various bunkers, water traps, etc. based on your GPS location.

    It may go without saying that, for all of these apps, you'll need to download the course data over WiFi before heading out. But check a couple days ahead of time if the course you want to play is in the database or not. Notes on the websites for the apps say they can add new courses, but it will take them a day or two to get it done.

  24. macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2009
    Thanks for your reply....

    I like the fact the cradle has nonslip paint (i've heard the finish on the XGPS300 has been flaking off).

    Mostly I want to use either Golfshot GPS (i currently use the non GPS free one) or Freecaddie. I really don't care about the aerial images and Golfshot is pretty good with the course data (almost all of the courses I play are in their DB).

    I sent an email to Golfshot asking if they tested your cradle with their app...they came back with "it may not work as the app knows it's installed on a ipod touch ergo it doesn't have a GPS chip". But i thought with IOS 4.1, that designation was removed.

    So does the cradle just fool the app to think there is hardware to interface with the Core Location API?

    I just don't want to outlay almost $200 bucks ($139 + $30 for the app) to find out it doesn't work.

  25. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    It's a much better paint. It's very similar to the "soft" matte rubber finishes that some of the iPhone/iPod cases have.

    I'm really glad you made that remark about iOS 4.1. I didn't realize that change had been made, so to see what would happen I tested v2.1 of GolfShot GPS on a touch running iOS 4.0.2 and also on a touch running iOS 4.1 (both with the GPS Cradle). As you predicted, there was a difference.

    Under 4.0.2, GolfShot Pro does not track GPS position just as you had been told. However, under 4.1, the app does track. I put screenshots up here. The first two images are from the 4.1 touch showing the app tracking. The second two images are from the 4.0.2 touch, showing the app not tracking.

    I was also wrong earlier about GolfShot GPS not cacheing imagery. It does. I downloaded the imagery of the holes in a WiFi hotspot. Then I quit the app (also removing it from the multitasking menu) and turned off WiFi. I relaunched the app out on the course with the GPS Cradle attached, and the course imagery was still available. That's what you see in the screenshots. (Just for the sake of illustration, I also posted a screenshot of what the app displays when there is no imagery available for a hole.)

    Also, I tested FreeCaddie and it worked with the Cradle.

    No, the Cradle simply provides GPS location information through the Core Location API. Any app which simply instantiates a location manager will get GPS data from the Cradle. Interestingly, GolfShot is the first app we've come across that confirms the hardware is present before enabling GPS functionality.

    I don't blame you.


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