Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Smartphone just got smarter - Paddling and a GPS!

Or maybe it is the smartphone "operator" who got smarter? ;-) I own a Blackberry Tour 9630... and absolutely love my first "smart" phone! Built in 3.2 MP camera, email, texting, alarm clock, word processing, spreadsheets, memos, games, etc. ... and oh yes, I can make phone calls with it too! :-O How in the world was I able to function without it?

But, during my 2010 paddling season, I was lamenting the fact that I did not have a GPS device with me when paddling - both for navigation and safety reasons. But that has all changed now!

Today, I was poking around Blackberry App World and discovered GPS Tool - a free GPS application! So, I downloaded and installed the app on my Blackberry... enabled my built-in phone GPS... fired up GPS Tool and in less than 45 seconds... GPS Tool was displaying my latitude, longitude, altitude, heading, and speed... accurate to within 4 meters! Wow! It can also display basic street maps!

Now, since I always carry my phone (in a water proof bag) when paddling... my "newly discovered" GPS will be with me too! The Durhamblogger just got a little more safer while paddling!

Post Update (2/17/2011)

Thanks to the BaffinPaddler and her recent comments, I was motivated to investigate more GPS apps for my Blackberry! ;-) So, I returned to Blackberry App World and discovered GPS Find... an app for marking and managing way points, and navigating to those locations with a compass. It is made by Tworoads Software, the same software company that made my GPS Tool app! GPS Find was not free, but at $4.99 ($5.23 with tax), I thought it was a good bargain.

GPS Find not only displays location, speed, heading, distance, and bearing... it also has a customizable main screen, a Wind Rose style compass and a way point manager. It even has a Night Vision setting (red lettering on a black back ground) and a back light option for low light environments!

I'm pretty pumped with my new navigation / safety gadget! Now I just have to watch my battery life and keep it from getting wet while paddling!

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2 comments:

  1. I'm so happy for you! Now I want one too! But can you also set way points/points of interest and mark them so you can navigate back to them? I'm still dreaming of a waterproof GPS.

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  2. Hey BaffinPaddler! Unfortunately, I cannot set way points. But Tworoads Software, the company that developed GPS Tool, also makes an app called GPS Find that does allow users to set way points. It's not free, but at $4.99, it looks like a good deal to me. I plan to download it, check it out, and update the post with my findings!

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