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As satellite technology improves, so does the shelf life and the power of the once-humble sat nav system. The sat navs that we use for everyday journeys and once in a lifetime adventures are almost unrecognisable from the very first generation of this exceptional piece of technology.
So, with 2014 right around the corner, what are the latest changes and improvements that have been made to integrated, dedicated and smartphone sat navs to make them easier to use, better to understand and much more user-friendly?
Screen Size and Quality
One of the latest updates to both integrated and dedicated sat navs is the new widescreen sat nav, which has a 16:9 ratio (the ratio on standard sat navs is 4:3) and it allows users to view much clearer graphics and even view two different images on the screen at once using a split-screen option.
This allows for users to view very detailed images of their route, so for example, they could view a roundabout that they are approaching on one side of the screen, and their overall route on the other side of the screen.
Of course, you don’t have to buy a fill sat nav system for your car if you don’t want to, and to help users, many sat nav companies, such as TomTom, have created apps for smartphones and tablets that are easily accessible and can be downloaded for free or for a small cost, depending on the type of phone and time of year.
Before downloading a smartphone app, make sure that it has an offline mode, which means that it uses maps that have already been downloaded, saving vital phone data and battery life. Some ‘clever’ apps like Skobbler ForeverMap also allow you to correct any mistakes you spot in the suggested route and still others come with roadside points of interest to liven up your journey.
Sat nav evolution
Although multi-function devices threaten to overtake sat navs, the original gismo still represents a dedicated device and as such, offers more focussed technology as well as things like the Garmin Nuvi’s fuel-efficiency routing. And with ever-improving construction and mounting capabilities that bypass fiddling about with your phone on the dashboard, it seems the sat nav continues to offer the consumer more each year.