MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: GPS

Feb. 12, 2009
Feb. 13, 2009
Feb. 14, 2009
Feb. 16, 2009
Feb. 18, 2009
Feb. 19, 2009
Feb. 20, 2009
Feb. 21, 2009
Feb. 23, 2009
Mar. 16, 2009
Mar. 23, 2009
Jun. 8, 2009
Jun. 16, 2009
Jun. 17, 2009
Jun. 18, 2009
Jun. 19, 2009
Jun. 22, 2009
Oct. 14, 2009
Jan. 28, 2010
Mar. 15, 2010
Feb. 12, 2009

item.87062

Terrell Smith

The TomTom GPS is a great GPS, however, the TomTom HOME software which comes with it does not allow the unit to be operated in the "Operate My Go" mode on the Mac. This prevents the user from installing a security code, from downloading locations from Google maps, and from planning trips with the computer.

When used, HOME gives an error message:

"This function is not yet supported for your navigation device or operating system."

Dec 27, 2008, contacted TomTom - their reply:

"At this time, the program that will allow you to operate your device through your computer (known as the online emulator) is undergoing updates. Once completed, you will again be able to set a security code on your device. Although we do not have an estimated date for the completion of these updates, please rest assured that TomTom is doing everything possible to expedite them. We appreciate your patience while we continue to improve your customer experience."

Wrote again, asking if it was a problem specific to the 730 or the computer platform - their reply:

"Please rest assured that the inaccessibility of our online emulator is not a problem with the GO 730 nor with our programming. We are simply performing routine maintenance and upgrades for this online feature. We anticipate that the emulator will be available again soon, although we do not yet have an estimated timeframe."

Called TomTom product support Dec. 29. Agent agreed that this feature did not work, that TomTom is aware of the problem, that it's a problem with their software, they are working on a fix, but he had no idea when the fix would be.

When I asked if it was platform dependent, he assured me it was not, the problem is in their software.

However, when HOME is installed on Windows, the version is two versions higher than the Mac version (2.5.2.60 vs 2.5.2.58), and "Operate My GO" works just fine on Windows.

Contacted their on-line support again, pointing out that it does work on my friend's Windows machine, they replied:

"Due to our online upgrades, the emulator in our new HOME program is not accessible from either a Windows or Mac system at this time. If your friend is able to access our online emulator, they may not have updated to our most recent version of HOME."

Not true. It works on Windows, not on Mac.

Feb. 13, 2009

item.87072

Bob Ball

TomTom has been saying the same thing about Mac software being able to operate my 910 since I bought it in the fall of 2006. In fact, in the first contact I had with TomTom I was assured that its Mac software could indeed control the device. It took a couple of exchanges before customer support acknowledged that it could not, but would in the future.
I like the TomTom. I can work around its lack of Mac support. But I wish customer support was more honest about its lack of ability/intent to support us.

item.87077

William Bunton

In response to Terrell Smith and TomTom, that's been their line for the last two years. Well, actually I could only verify it was their line for the first of the last two years, I got fed up and and bought a Garmin.

item.87085

Simon Gould

Tomtom HOME only partly works on any platform! The programme is not well written and has many flaws.

Apart from the fewer options available to Mac users, there is a universal danger with TT HOME when using it to backup the contents of the Tomtom device. TT HOME only keeps one backup on your computer. If you make changes to the software or data on the Tomtom and make a second backup, TT HOME will overwrite the first backup while making the second backup. If something goes wrong during the backup, you end up with no backup at all!!

The recommendation from all experienced Tomtom users is to do the backup via Finder. Open the Tomtom icon on the desktop and select all the contents and drag them to a backup folder of your own making. Just as you would do to make any other backup.

Then when anything goes wrong, the restore is to copy and paste (drag and drop) the entire backup to the Tomtom.

You can keep as many backups as you like.

You can also add a lot of downloaded Points of interest/voices etc. this way. The only thing you really have to use TT HOME for is to buy and install new maps. This feature works on the Mac.

Using TT HOME to do a restore is also risky. If you buy a new map you will probably need to buy a bigger SD memory card. Sometimes TT HOME will only "restore" a backup to the original card. So you can't rely on it to copy everything across to a new card. Using Finder is, again, a quick and simple work around to this problem.

item.87096

Terrell Smith

Update 2/12/09 from TomTom support:

"We do apologize that the On-Line Emulator is not up and running with our Mac customers. As mentioned before our programmers have been working diligently to get this up and fully going."

item.87103

Steven J.

re TomTom Home on Mac

I've had a similar experience with the TomTom Go 930T I purchased this past December. In the end:

- as above, control of the gps features from the Home app does not work.

- updating the TomTom application kills the gps (red x, can't boot), using Home on a G5 Quad, OS 10.4.11. Updating the map makes the map unreadable to the old application. Updating anything else seems to work okay (extra voices, etc).

- tech support eventually told me that using Home on a Mac to install updates would not work unless I turned off Spotlight indexing for the gps. They said that Spotlight indexing interferes with Home downloading to the gps and corrupts the downloaded file.

- I tried to get Spotlight to ignore the gps (it is a USB storage device from the Mac's point of view) but could not (could not get the gps to show up in the excluded list).

I finally used a WinXP machine. Home installed properly. All updates went smoothly, there was no corruption of files, and I could remote control the gps from the Home app.

I do finder-copy backups of the gps's contents on the Mac, but I do not trust the Mac version of Home to work properly. Although the TomTom itself is good, the Mac version of Home is not ready for prime-time. Also, it would have been nice for the TomTom people to be more forthcoming and less party-line about troubleshooting.

item.87117

Steve Clark

I am using TomTom Home (ver. 2.5.2.58) on my iMac (OS 10.5.6) connected to a TomTom One 3rd Edition and the "Operate My Device" feature is working just fine. I just downloaded a map from Google Maps and saved it as a favorite.

Feb. 14, 2009

item.87142

Terrell Smith

Thanks everyone, for mentioning how long it's been since TomTom has been saying they are working hard on the Mac version of HOME, yet it doesn't work completely. Here I thought it was only a few months!

To Steve Clark: I also have HOME 2.5.2.58 (the most recent version) and OS 10.5.6, but my TomTom is the GO 730. So maybe TomTom got the software working for the TomTom One?

To Simon Gould: Thanks for the tip about making backups from Finder. So far, HOME has made backups, although I've not tried to do a restore.

Spotlight has not messed up my GO, and I don't think it's tried to index my GO.

I have never had any trouble using HOME to load map changes, voices, or updates, that part seems to work fine. I do have a problem playing MP3 music, since the resource fork dot files don't play (any good way of removing the resource fork dot files?)

I will keep hounding TomTom about not fully supporting the Mac. They need to disclose this, which they do not.

item.87145

Jose Badia

I'm working with Garmin units for years. In the past I used VirtualPC and Windows 2000 and XP and was OK. Now with Boot Camp or Parallels, nRoute and MapSource do the job only if the Garmins are cable connected to the USB port but is impossible to get the connection with any Bluetooth unit. Windows finds and pairs the unit but the bluetooth GPS data transmission is impossible. Garmin maps are the best for my location in Chile, South America and would be nice to have less cables in my car and truck.

Feb. 16, 2009

item.87151

Eric Hanauer

I sold my Garmin because the map update not only wouldn't load through my Mac, it didn't load on through my friend's PC. I wound up having to send it back to the factory for loading.

Since buying my TomTom One, I've had absolutely no problems loading updates, map additions, and personalized images through my Mac.


item.87162

MacInTouch Reader

I did not read all of this thread, but saw a link from tomtomforums. In any case I have had no problem using tomtom home to perform any function it was intended to do. I can operate my TT, install programs, update and back-up. In addition I have been quite successful installing third party apps, editing files using text edit, copying mps files to my installed sdhc. I have installed my own startup image, chime, downloaded my address book via bluetooth. Not sure what else you need to do. I have a GO730 running 8.300, v805.1801 maps. Mac Pro 10.5.6, Home v2.5.2.58.

Feb. 18, 2009

item.87310

Terrell Smith

MacInTouch Reader says

...I have had no problem using tomtom home to perform any function it was intended to do. I can operate my TT... I have a GO730 running 8.300, v805.1801 maps. Mac Pro 10.5.6, Home v2.5.2.58.

I am jealous, and wish mine worked! If I click on the button "Operate My Go," it does not work at all, but gives an error message. Is it possible that something is happening with a firewall? My ISP? How do you have your firewall settings in Security in System Preferences?

Some things work, like MapShare, Show Contents, Back up, download new voices.

I have a GO 730 running 8.301, v815.2019 North America_2GB map, MacBook Pro OS X 10.5.6, HOME v2.5.2.58.

item.87315

Matt McCaffrey

We have been having a discussion about the TomTom Home software on our MacMap email group -- with some users saying it works fine and others not at all. I'd like to invite MacInTouch readers interested in sharing their experiences to check out our long-standing moderated group, which is Mac-centric and focused on mapping and GPS apps. Thanks!

The subscribe link is:

<macmap-subscribe@yahoogroups.com>

Feb. 19, 2009

item.87318

Norman Palardy

I gave my daughter a TomTom for Christmas. She was thrilled with it right up til she used the software on her Mac to try and update the TomTom.

This promptly bricked it.

The TomTom would not restart and there' apparently no way to restore the TomTom to factory. She returned it and got another. Shortly after this she tried to update it and the same thing happened.

She returned it and is now happy with her Garmin.

item.87351

Rob Currie

I have a Mac, and a TomTom GPS, and use the 'TomTom Home' application. I like the GPS. 'TomTom Home' works just fine, backs up fine, downloads map updates, new voices, new POI etc. Yes the 'Operate my device' button does not work, but this does not impact the GPS functionality for me. The help menu for 'Operate my device' shows it is not essential:

You can operate your TomTom device using TomTom HOME when it is connected to your computer. You see your device on your computer screen and then click on the buttons using your mouse instead of tapping the screen. You can enter addresses using the keyboard. This enables you to do things like:
- Prepare a route in advance.
- Create Itineraries (if available on your device).
- Check the current traffic situation, if you have a subscription to TomTom Traffic.
- Change your settings.
- Set a password for your device, so that only you can use it.

If it's any consolation, Windows users are having the same problem: see Application 8.301 Update - can not operate my go

Feb. 20, 2009

item.87366

Tom C

Norman Palardy wrote that running updates from TomTom Home bricked his daughter's GPS repeatedly. I ran into this issue as well when I purchased my TomTom, but after troubleshooting 2 of them, I started to think it was the USB connection. It turns out it was my USB hub that was the issue. I don't get the impression that the USB 1.0 implementation is very good in this (cheap) GPS, and my test to be sure I wouldn't brick my TomTom was to simply try to back it up first. If the backup or Finder file copy from the unit failed, I knew I had to fix that before running TTHome updates.

item.87367

Gordon Sande

The version of Tom Tom HOME that was current when I bought my Tom Tom did not operate my model. A later version (2.5) did operate it so some things have changed.

My model has a reset button on the bottom. It looks more like the emergency eject on a floppy as it is just a pinhole. The manual seems to say it is a hard reset and is sometimes needed on first starts.

Mine came with a 1GB memory that was so full that loading a second text-to-speech voice was not possible. A 2GB SD memory card cured that problem.

Getting the map up-to-date coupon honored seemed to be more fuss than I expected but the newer Tom Tom HOME has a menu option for it. I wanted to delete some map corrections I made but could not find the capability. Tech support suggested the factory reset software option. The new Tom Tom HOME has a menu option to delete user corrections.

My One XL S (cheapest model with wide screen and text-to-speech so may be a good seller) was discontinued and replaced by a new model number that appears to have the same functional specifications but may be easier to manufacture. With so many models and software changes arriving the capabilities may be there but not obvious. The manual is an OK description of each option in isolation but there is no overall description of how it works. Once I figured out that it had a "working trip" that was being modified many things made much more sense.

A nice third party manual would be a big help.

item.87380

Bob Ball

I recall "bricking" my TomTom910 the day I opened it up, then finding out where the reset button was and finding the obligatory paper clip. I think I locked it up a few times before I was done with the setup.

A few days ago, I commented that "operate my Go" never worked for me. It appears that the combination of hardware, the 910, and software, maxed at v7.xx, is the problem. Many TomTom users with newer models running v.8xx are able to use that function.

But the "Operate my Go" function in any case is limited to letting you push virtual buttons on the computer screen to operate the GPS. You can, for example, create a new route from the screen, but the TomTom, as far as I know, can't communicate back to the computer to save and print out the route.

item.87400

Terrell Smith

Rob Currie writes:

"...Yes the 'Operate my device' button does not work, but this does not impact the GPS functionality for me. The help menu for 'Operate my device' shows it is not essential..."

I think this is essential:
- Set a password for your device, so that only you can use it.

And it would be nice to be able to plan itineraries with the keyboard, instead of on the GO. And be able to download from Google maps.

item.87404

Art Demers

Rob Currie writes:

You can operate your TomTom device using TomTom HOME when it is connected to your computer. You see your device on your computer screen and then click on the buttons using your mouse instead of tapping the screen. You can enter addresses using the keyboard. This enables you to do things like:

Rob, how do you do this? I thought you needed to get past the operate my TomTom button to make the device active.

Since I get an error message clicking the Operate button, I'd love to find out how to make the device work through my Mac.

Thanks

Feb. 21, 2009

item.87453

Rob Currie

Terrell Smith and Art Demers,
I don't have 'Operate my device' button working in Leopard. I was trying to make the point I do not need it.

Now consumed with self-doubt (maybe I do need 'Operate my device' really badly), i loaded TomTom Home in VMWare Fusion, Win XP, connected to my GPS, updated maps successfully, then clicked 'Operate my device' and got a message:

This function is yet not supported for your navigation device or operating system.

So I quit VMWare, open TomTom Home on Leopard again, connected to my GPS, updated maps successfully, then clicked 'Operate my device' and got a message:

This function is yet not supported for your navigation device or operating system.

I have a TomTom One 130. It works very well. It is a simple one, so perhaps this is not in fact a Mac Marginalization issue but a limitation of Tomtom Home with my wee GPS.

item.87455

Simon Gould

Just to repeat to those of you using TT HOME for backup and think it's working "fine". You still only have the one backup copy. If you make another backup it will start overwriting your first backup. If the second backup hits a problem part way through, you will have NO backup.

Make a copy of the TomTom now, using Finder. It's the only way to get peace of mind!

item.87457

Terrell Smith

Art Demers write [in response to Rob Currie's note:]:

You can operate your TomTom device using TomTom HOME when it is connected to your computer. You see your device on your computer screen and then click on the buttons using your mouse instead of tapping the screen. You can enter addresses using the keyboard. This enables you to do things like:

Rob, how do you do this?

I thought that was what Rob was saying at first too, but he is not. He is simply quoting the TomTom instructions about what you are supposed to be able to do.

item.87467

Denis Hill

Fixing a TomTom One New Edition for a friend. Won't do much of anything (bricked). The original version of Home on the CD (Win) works but fails to update the unit without crashing the software.

Tried using the latest Home and it doesn't see the device. Read a bunch of stuff about recognition files and a lot of stuff that needs to go through the Support folks at TomTom.

That was on a WindowXP platform. I saw there was a version of home for the Mac. Loaded the latest on my laptop running OS 10.5.5 and plugged the TomTom in and it recognized it and asked if I wanted to update the software. What a concept! Did the updates that failed in XP and now its got the current software/firmware. The maps are not current, but now at least the unit works, which was my original intention anyway.

Feb. 23, 2009

item.87502

Phil Benware

I also have a Tom Tom GPS, model One XL. I'm able to operate my device without issue with Tom Tom Home. The version of Tom Tome Home is 2.5.2.58 (recently updated from 2.5.xx). The *original* version of software that I got when I got the One XL did not support operating the device, and other features where available, but seemingly unstable. Many time the unit would freeze while uploading updates. I am using an Intel Mac Mini with Mac OS X 10.5.6.

Mar. 16, 2009

item.89027

Terrell Smith

TomTom has recently updated things, so that now "Operate My GO" actually works on the Mac! If you try to access this feature in TomTom HOME, it will now state that you need to "download a needed file." After doing this and restarting, "Operate My GO" works on the Mac now.

Mar. 23, 2009

item.89372

Michael P. Stupinski

A week ago, Terrell Smith reported:

TomTom has recently updated things, so that now "Operate My GO" actually works on the Mac! If you try to access this feature in TomTom HOME, it will now state that you need to "download a needed file." After doing this and restarting, "Operate My GO" works on the Mac now.

However, when I tried that today I got the following message:

"This functionality is not yet supported for your combination of navigation device [I have a Go 910], your device's application version [I just updated it before trying this], and your computer's operating system [I'm running 10.5.6]."

So, success apparently depends on your particular device

Jun. 8, 2009

item.93433

Bill DeFelice

Today I attempted to email Garmin Support regarding an operating issue with my GPS. I was rather annoyed to discover that their support submission web page displays a notification that I am using an "unsupported browser". I am operating with Safari 3.2.3. I attempted to submit my query with Firefox 3.0.10 and while I don't get the unsupported browser indication I get no confirmation that my query was actually submitted. Why must webmasters write code that doesn't work well across multiple browsers? Is everybody married to Microsoft?

Jun. 16, 2009

item.94139

John Maynard

Re. TomTom Home and the 910: I haven't gotten Home to work since they went to 2.0 and above. I have tried multiple macs around the house- all have failed. Home crashes as soon as you try to interact with the device. The device disk is mounted. TomTom always seems to tell me that they haven't updated it to the latest OS version so I never seem to be behind enough. Does anyone really know what is going on? Maybe something that needs to be uninstalled before installing the new software? My maps and music are getting really old!

Jun. 17, 2009

item.94210

Eddie Williams

Same thing with me. I gave up trying. Their tech support gave me the whole "we have trouble with Macs" routine.

I would really like to update my maps as well. I've had it since Christmas and still on the original (outdated) maps.

item.94230

Michael P. Stupinski

John Maynard said:

"Re. TomTom Home and the 910: I haven't gotten Home to work since they went to 2.0 and above. I have tried multiple macs around the house- all have failed. Home crashes as soon as you try to interact with the device."

I'm running Home v2.6.2.264 with my 910 and OS 10.5.7, and I have never experienced crashes. True, if I try the selection "Operate my GO" I get a notice that this function isn't yet available for my combo of device, version and OS, but I can update the 910 with GPS updates, new maps, etc.

item.94233

Bob Ball

I can do everything I need to with TomTom Home and my 910 except to operate it from the MacBook Pro, now with OS 10.5.7. With every new release of Home, I check out that bit of vaporware.

TomTom told me when my 910 was new in late summer 2006 that indeed that feature worked from a Mac. It seemed like weeks before it acknowledged that it didn't, but that it would at some point.

TT Mac support seems to have been half-hearted. And it's disconcerting to check out some feature, through the website or Home, I forget which, to find that it only works in the UK and Europe, as happened to me for at least the first two years I owned the 910.

Jun. 18, 2009

item.94310

MacInTouch Reader

A friend brought me his 'new' TomTom One personal and auto GPS touchscreen to update. It was a couple years old right out of the box, and he wanted it made current. He's not computer literate and doesn't own one, so I agreed to help him using my Mac G4 Tiger setup.

Bottom Line: The software solution left him with less than he brought me! I downloaded TomTom Home and installed it on my Mac. Hooking up the Tom Tom, the device was recognized right off. but it didn;t take me long to realize it was a USB 1.1 device...S-L-O-W!

It took nearly an HOUR to get the files into the TomTom.

Two days later he calls me and says he and his wife found out that the unit had less capability and maps/data than before. All I could tell him was he needed to find someone with a Windows computer and start over....

This experieince and the ridiculous hassle of navigating the TomTom web site to find Mac support and downloads has taught me not even consider going with the Tom Tom brand of GPS if you are a Mac user.

Why is the entire GPS manufacturing world so antagonistic towards OS X?

item.94331

Simon Gould

I have an old Tomtom GO 700. I've just updated Tomtom HOME to version 2.6.4.356. It still doesn't "Operate my GO". Does it work on any newer models yet? Have you upgraded the Tomtom software and firmware on the device as well? It may make a difference.

And one tip to those of you who rely on TT HOME for backups. Don't!

TT HOME only keeps one backup which it overwrites each time. If the backup fails halfway through, you won't have any backup at all. I always backup using copy and paste via the Finder. Then I can keep as many backup copies as I like.

item.94363

Thomas Casselman

I just upgraded to TomTom 930 and have the latest TomTom Home 2.6.3.313. Everything now works as advertised. I can operate my GO from Home, load new maps, and upgrade software. I suspect TomTom is upgrading to a full featire set only for their newest deices such as the 930 and the 940.

As far as trouble with loading TomTom Home, I would backup using TT Backup and then backup to your Maac, separately. Use your current working TomTom setup. Then erase everything in your device and start again. Mae sure you have. all the appropriate numbers. Now try to upgrade to the latest TomTom Map and back that up. Following this, try to upgrade to the latest TomTom Home

item.94367

Rob Dunford

Let me comment on TomTom and their map updates.....I've had TT for several years, I used to buy their map updates and found that they contained errors that should have been corrected several editions back. Things like airport road configurations, 'new motorways' that are 3 years old still not updated etc. I travel extensively I the EU and have discovered that their updates are very patchy.

item.94371

MacInTouch Reader

I have never had problems with Tomtom Home and my tomtom 710 (and more recently the new XL IQ routes). Has been running fine on 10.4 and 10.5 (including all upates). In order to make sure it's not a conflict on your account, you could try creating a new test account, install Home and try again?

Jun. 19, 2009

item.94380

Steven MacDonald

Re:

"TT Mac support seems to have been half-hearted"

Since TomTom has announced a GPS guide app (by the end of June) for the iPhone I'll bet the Mac support will improve for their other models.

item.94459

Robert Mohns

I've been relatively pleased with Garmin's work on the Mac in the past year. Full compatibility with all GPS's they've made in the past few years, full feature parity as the windows version. The mapping software has some weird user interface conventions that require some getting used to, but the Windows version is worse.

If you're looking for a new, Mac-friendly GPS, I suggest checking out Garmin's offerings. (As usual, Amazon has good prices, useful reviews, and if you click through a MacInTouch link, your purchase helps support the MacInTouch site! I've bought my last several GPS's all this way.)

I think the Garmin Nuvi 360, at just $152, is a great deal -- in addition to the usual navigation functions, it supports Bluetooth and can act as a handsfree set in the car. We bought one for my wife's car in February, and we really like it. It even paired with an iPhone just fine for handset use!

(I am less fond of the Garmin 200 series, which have lower quality screens that seem to wash out easily in sunlight.)

I recently found a discontinued Garmin StreetPilot 2820 for $240 via an Amazon Marketplace vendor; it makes a dandy weatherproof motorcycle GPS, though it's a bit big. Price has since gone up to $375, but patience is what got me one at the low price! (The Garmin Zumo 550 is a better motorcycle GPS, but it's pricier. I had a Zumo 450 but it was stolen. Sad.)

All of the units I've linked here work with Macs -- I've tested them all. Over the past couple years, Garmin has gone from being one of the worst GPS companies for Mac support to being one of the best. Good hardware, good device interfaces, good value. Others are cheaper, but I prefer "better". :-)

item.94478

Richard Wagoner

TomTom maps are TomTom maps, whether downloaded on a Mac or on Windows. BUT they often have multiple versions of maps, including a smaller version that doesn't include as much info as the full version, for their GPS units with smaller memory amounts. So I bet it wasn;'t the Mac that was the problem, it was probably the wrong map.

Jun. 22, 2009

item.94631

Harris Upham

Just thought I'd weigh in on this one. I bought a Tomtom 730 a few months ago after a lot of studying and research.

I was specifically drawn to it by the prominent mention of Mac support, a "technological team player" attitude by the designers, and a couple of specific features relating to the maps themselves.

The Tomtom Home software is a useful utility, but I wouldn't call it a great Mac app. Other readers have noted some limitations in the device backup feature. The "operate my device" feature sometimes has video glitches but otherwise works normally.

I particularly like how the tomtom was designed to work with other technology I might own, with what appears to be a genuine attempt at interoperability. This is what I mean by technology team player. It can connect to the internet through my mobile phone to collect traffic and weather reports, using the data plan I'm already paying for anyway. It allows for direct control of a connected ipod via the touchscreen. It talks to my mobile phone, becoming a speakerphone as needed. Touchscreen call control and SMS text-to-speech (sadly no speech-to-SMS text) are other fantastic features. Obviously there are compatibility limits, but frankly I'm amazed at how well the thing just works with the other gadgets (and associated services) I already had.

TT seems to be giving some quiet, unofficial developer support to programmers working on 3rd party applications for the devices. I've only tried a few, but my point is that I love knowing that there is a 3rd party development effort.

Regarding the actual mapping itself, two particular features stood out to me. One was a guarantee that I could download the very latest maps available for 30 days after purchase. This made it a very easy decision to take a discount buying last year's model and get the latest map anyway.

The big one is tomtom's mapshare system - when I find something out of date or just plain wrong in a tomtom route, I can mark it for distribution to other users as well as official review. More importantly, I can establish an override for my own future usage in that area. This includes drawing in new roads where the map shows none. I haven't seen anything like this in competing systems, and it is consistently useful to me as I often work in places accessible only by new or temporary roads.

It isn't perfect - already once I ran into a problem which required me to wipe & restore the main mapping app on the device. TT's tech support was a bit rushed, and I got some conflicting instructions, but to be fair one of the responses had a clear step-by-step list of corrective instructions, and it all worked.

Moving forward, the only thing I'm actually worried about is whether TT's support for this generation of gear will wane now that they've gone in a new direction with a new line of gear. I'm not at all worried about their Mac support.

Oct. 14, 2009

item.102347

Scott R.

Found a neat product that maps red light cameras around the country:
http://www.gpsangel.com

They update their database, and the product can be updated... except if you have a Mac.
http://www.gpsangel.com/index.php?page_id=8&sid=

"Your purchase includes free lifetime weekly updates to the database, which you can download over the Internet using your PC and the free GPS Angel Manager software (does not work on a Mac)."

Jan. 28, 2010

item.108301

Scott R.

In line with an email I sent some time ago about speed camera GPS devices, here's yet another one that doesn't support Macs:
http://www.speedcheetah.com/

The issue is the application that loads location updates. I'd have thought it was a pretty simple bit of programming, but it's Windows only. When I asked if a Mac version was forthcoming, they replied: "You can use a Mac to update if you are runnings a Windows OS on there," which is rather a "well, duh" reply. More specifically, they went on to say: "we don't have any plans for Mac specific software at this time."

Mar. 15, 2010

item.110965

Scott R.

I've been looking at geotagging devices, and the Gisteq PhotoTrackr Mini seemed to be getting good reviews.

But Gisteq's Mac software, which seems to simply be a rebranded version of JetPhoto, leaves something to be desired.

In the PhotoTrackr FAQ
  http://www.gisteq.com/PhotoTrackr/faq.php
it says:

Do I have to synchronize my camera time with PhotoTrackr before using the photo tracking function?

- Yes. This step is very important. Make sure your camera time is synchronized with GPS unit before using the PhotoTrackr. You can do this by either using the sync-time function in the PhotoTrackr software or just simply sync your camera as close to the accurate local time as possible.

What they don't mention is that this very important syncing feature was omitted from the OS X software. Gisteq's answer for Mac users is here:
  http://www.gisteq.com/Mac/
There's a Sync Time button. Is this some brilliant browser hack that'll share time between the PhotoTrackr and the Mac (you know, actually Sync the Time)?

No. It's a link to Google to tell you what time it is, so that you can manually set the Mac's and the camera's clocks.


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