I’ve found something different and wonderful in a connected portable GPS, ideal for the business user that I can’t wait to share with you. It’s from a company I know well, TeleNav and the device is called Shotgun, retailing for $300.
Shotgun is almost everything you ever would want in a portable GPS product and a whole lot more. The key is its built-in GPRS Internet connectivity, like having a cell phone connected to your Shotgun all the time when it is in use. Service, by the way, is unlimited and costs either $12 per month, $129 per year or, to realize the greatest savings, a two-year plan is only $239. Costs are chump change for all that is included in this like-no-other portable GPS device. Oh, and, by the way, three months of service is free when the device is purchased.
The unique connectivity affords what the company calls the “three Cs of value for Internet-connected GPS.” They are:
• Get to meetings on time and stress-free with real-time traffic alerts and intelligent rerouting.
• Find what you need from Internet-connected search of over 11 million businesses—and growing.
• Plan your trips with a few easy clicks online before you head out the door.
• Access the latest maps and business listings automatically without manual updates.
• Get new features and a better user experience as we continuously innovate.
• Save money on gas with fuel prices that are updated regularly.
I’ve tried it and it works as advertised, which is remarkable for all it can do. It’s a given that it provides accurate text-to-speech, turn-by-turn voice guidance along with a dynamically changing maps on its bright, 4.3-inch widescreen display. Maps are moving and in 3D with arrows and street names. The device quickly recalculates and reroutes if the driver misses a turn.
Rather than list all it can do, I will leave it to you to read about it on their Website – HERE. Then, come back to see more.
Using the connectivity of GPRS technology, TeleNav is able to send updates to the maps, more points of interest, even including restaurant ratings to Shotgun as requested or required.
As you have seen from the link above, the service included traffic monitoring that is checked every five minutes for accuracy and refresh of info. The intelligent rerouting is something I’ve tried and this, too, is unlike other devices with traffic that I have used. A tap of the screen when the traffic icon indicates traffic along the way intelligently reroutes the driver taking into consideration real-time data to get you to your destination along a better route. Even the details of the traffic incident are reported in greater detail than on most other units that include traffic info.
Business users will appreciate the Shotgun’s ability to capture the actual mileage driven along a route, even if not in nav mode. Since this is a connected device, connected in two-way communication, users can receive a mileage report about the miles driven, even exporting the info into a Microsoft Excel or PDF document.
Again, because of its connectivity, searching for even a little known business is likely to meet with success.
I like the ability to search along the way, on a chosen route to a destination. I use this feature to find gas stations AND their prices along the way. I can find loads of other businesses ahead and actually along my route instead of just within a perimeter that is likely quite inconvenient rendering the info from others as virtually useless. With Shotgun, I know I am getting useful information.
What’s missing? I would like to see two features that instantly came to mind. First, I want speed sensitive volume that becomes automatically louder as speed increases. Second, I would like to see lane guidance on the screen as well as in voice directions to make it that much easier when approaching a freeway split, for example. Because Shotgun is “connected” and updated on the fly by TeleNav, I know these features can be sent to every connected user if the company so chooses.
Here is one additional consideration to ponder. Even if the user does not need constant connectivity every month, with a month-to-month subscription, get updates and occasional use of the added features for special trips and vacations, even if just a time or two per year! Food for thought, isn’t it?? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a never-out-of-date GPS unit?
Sure, not everyone needs such a robust feature set on his or her portable GPS device. Not everyone can justify the added monthly or annual charge. However, for anyone on the road who relies on accuracy and the features offered, Shotgun can’t be beat. I’d rather have all these connected features in a portable nav device with a nice screen than to have these same features through a phone. That’s just me. TeleNav offers much of the same through their original services, which are available through selected phones from selected carriers. That choice is yours! Check out their $10 per month TeleNav GPS Navigator for mobile phones HERE.
My conclusion is that Shotgun works as advertised and better than imagined. Shotgun is the easiest to use, most robust and fun to use GPS portable I’ve ever tried! It is highly recommended. Even without subscribing to the extra services, it is still a best-in-class portable GPS.