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  1.    #1  
    I received my combo Mobile Crossint BT GPS and Mapopolis NavCard a few days ago (available here, and I thought I would share my observations:

    Installation

    All you do is drop in the SD card, and it installs Mapopolis and optionally PSpeak. Once you charge the GPS unit, you're set. Reading the issues with TomTom map installation was one of the things that led me down this road.

    Pairing

    While I created a trusted pair between the Mobile Crossing Unit and the Treo, Mapopolis doesn't remember the device from one run to the next so you have to select it when starting the GPS. This is mildly annoying, but not a big deal.

    The good thing is that Mobile Crossing did implement the "lookaway" feature so once it connects to the Treo, it stays connected.

    Location Search

    After pressing the Menu button on the Treo, "Find" is the first feature that you can select. You have to set the city and state properly before doing a search of any kind. Not a big deal as long as you remember it. I read issues with Mapopolis behaving differently if you type in "road" vs. "rd". So what I do is simply type in the street name and number and let it tell me what there is in the way of N/S/E/W, RD, etc. So far, I've only had 1 address outside of Phoenix out of 20 total addresses that Mapopolis couldn't find.

    One slight problem I've found is that there doesn't seem to be a way to delete locations that you have searched for previously. So now I have a growing list that I have to scroll through.

    GPS/Navagation

    First, under settings, you need to go to GPS and select "Use Bluetooth Connection". While in settings, you'll also want to select "Keep device power on for 1 hr" so that your Treo doesn't go into power save three minutes into your trip.

    There is a disclaimer that it can take up to 5 to 10 minutes for the GPS to get a lock the first time that it is used. I walked outside and got a lock in a couple of minutes. Using "current GPS" in navagation works with no issue. Routes and re-routes have both been quick to calculate. I didn't use a stop watch, but it happens within seconds - much less than a minute. I used routes around town and between home and work. Longer road trips may be another issue.

    I did notice a couple of things, though. If there are elevated streets near ground level streets, the GPS can get confused; however, I experienced the same thing with Hertz Neverlost. I also drive on a highway that splits, and I change highways by taking the right fork. However, the navigation did not tell me anything about changing from I 820 to HWY 183. The map was accurate, but I would have expected a voice prompt here as well.

    Also, when driving on the highway, the voice navagation has a bit of a lag. The voice can be a little hard to understand, but I found glancing at the directions on the screen help fill in the blanks. I also experience one "Max Headroom" moment where the voice stuttered. In most circumstances, it sounds like you are getting directions from some droid in Star Wars, but it is passible. Finally, I have changed the voice prompts from full to minimal, but I can't tell any difference.

    One last note on the GPS itself. I had it in my pocket yesterday, and the switch went from off to on without my knowing it. This resulted in a full drain of the battery which is advised against for batter life considerations.

    Maps

    I have used the maps in daylight and dark, and found that the default settings for the colors of these profiles is sufficient. I have gone into "Settings" from the menu and set "Scroll map to GPS location" and "Rotate map to GPS direction" options. I was impressed at how well the Treo was able to do the constant rerendering of the maps; however, this can drain the Treo's battery if done for very long. 1 hour of use took my battery down from almost 100% to 65% so be careful on long trips.

    The one downside to the maps is that you lose have of your realistate when using GPS navigation so you don't have a lot of preview. The upside of this is that your next turn is very easy to read.

    Bonus Add-ins

    The bundle comes with a couple of bonus items. I've been using the vent mount from Arkon that they throw in for my Treo. It rattles a bit on bumpy roads, but it sells from $14.95 separately.

    They also give you velcro (guaranteed not to melt) for securing the GPS unit on your dash. I haven't found this necessary. I've had the GPS in the passenger seat, and it has no problem keeping and maintaining a lock.

    Overall

    I'm convinced that there isn't going to be a perfect BT GPS solution based on my research. However, my experience with the Mobile Crossing BT GPS and Mapopolis NavCard has been very good. The cost of the bundle with the add-ins and the fact that you don't have to buy an SD card to boot make this a great option.

    LG VX9800
    Motorola HS-850
    Linksys USBBT100
    Mobile Crossing BT GPS

    (R.I.P.)
    VZW Treo 650
    Treo Side Case
  2. #2  
    Thanks for the review.

    I was leaning towards getting TomTom because of its quicker rerouting engine, avoid current road feature and a better UI. But its use of Teleatlas map data might be the deal-breaker for me as I've read in many places that their maps are just not very up-to-date for even 2-3 year old places.

    This might be ok in cities like NJ, NY, SF or LA where there isn't as much building out (as opposed to building up) areas. But in other areas where there's new development, a quicker rerouting engine is useless if it doesn't even have the data at all.

    After comparing locations using Google Earth (Teleatlas 2005) and Yahoo Maps (Navteq 2005), I have found that Yahoo is more updated. I just need to figure out how much of those areas will affect me.

    I would be interested to hear more about your experiences with the rerouting time.

    Btw, does the NavCard include Hawaii or Alaska? It doesn't look like it from their website. If not, can they be downloaded separately for free? That's one dataset (as well as Canada) that TomTom has that is better.
  3.    #3  
    Alaska and Hawaii are not included on the card, and it could be difficult to add. There is only 3.5 Meg free on the SD card that it ships on.

    LG VX9800
    Motorola HS-850
    Linksys USBBT100
    Mobile Crossing BT GPS

    (R.I.P.)
    VZW Treo 650
    Treo Side Case
  4. #4  
    I notice that you're in one of those cities that TomTom may have problems with.

    Why did you choose the NavCard over TomTom? Thanks.
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by kisstherain
    I notice that you're in one of those cities that TomTom may have problems with.

    Why did you choose the NavCard over TomTom? Thanks.
    Two main reasons:

    1. I read that the TomTom installation process was very difficult, and the documentation was not very good.

    2. I would have had to buy an SD card in addition to the maps and gps.

    LG VX9800
    Motorola HS-850
    Linksys USBBT100
    Mobile Crossing BT GPS

    (R.I.P.)
    VZW Treo 650
    Treo Side Case

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