TechBits: Smart GPS (08.21.13)

Any car GPS can get you to your destination- but a new one from Magellan can tell you what to expect when you get there.

The SmartGPS works in conjunction with your smart phone. {}It uses Bluetooth to receive data that drives Yelp reviews, Foursquare tips, gas prices, and more. {}But that's not all that's smart about this unit.

The device can be connected to your computer by USB, so you can use a web interface to edit your address book and build trips online. {}That makes it much easier than building trips and addresses on the unit itself- but the interface is well designed for editing your trips on the fly.

The unit can even give you weather forecasts for cities you pre-select. {}However, it does not show you radar images, so you can see storm systems. {}This feature would make the weather section of the software much more appealing.

Also, when you look for gas stations on your route, the unit does not display prices. {}This data is available in other sections of the software. {}No word on why Magellan did not port it into this section of the interface.

Despite some shortcomings, the Smart GPS is a very solid unit. {}It may only get better when Magellan releases updated versions of the firmware.