Best New GPS Devices
A feature-filled GPS smartphone app for those who want to do more than just to get from here to there, Navigon’s MobileNavigator includes Facebook and Twitter integration, Google Local Search (for finding landmarks, shops and such) and real-time traffic for a dozen countries, including most of Europe. Available for iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android and Symbian.
$30–95, depending on region; navigon.com
iRail European Rail Timetables
An exhaust-belching car isn’t the only way to get around. If your travels take you to Europe, you’ll almost certainly catch the train at least once. iRail takes the headache of reading printed timetables out of the equation, offering simple lookups and route maps for nearly every rail station on the continent. For those who use the train closer to home, Amtrak (amtrak.com) offers a mobile website (with timetables) where travelers can buy tickets from a smartphone.
Garmin nüvi 295W
Garmin takes a standard GPS and adds both Wi-Fi and a three-megapixel camera to turn the staid navigator into a multimedia powerhouse. After you park, snap a geotagged photo so you won’t be left scratching your head in the lot a week later. The 4.8-ounce handheld features a 3.55-inch LCD and a web browser, so you hop online instantly to upload that perfect picture (along with where it was shot).
Want to turn travel into a video game? Install Foursquare on your phone (most major devices supported) and “check in” at the places you visit, from daily haunts to exotic hotspots. To-do lists let you create a checklist of places you’d like to go on your trip, and Twitter and Facebook hooks help you share your exploits with the world. You earn virtual badges and awards the more you use the app and the further you venture, and there are other perks: More and more companies are placing special offers via Foursquare.
Hertz NeverLost is a turn-by-turn GPS device that includes attractions and points of interest. But more important, you (or your staffer) can plug in your destinations online, so the GPS will be programmed and ready to go before you ever set foot in your rental. Save all your destinations on a thumb drive, then plug it in when you pick up the car.
$13 per day, hertz.com
Pioneer AVIC X920BT
Upgrade your car’s double-height stereo with Pioneer’s top-of-the-line navitainment system, which includes voice control of the integrated GPS and your iPhone’s music library and phone. Best of all: A custom app for the iPhone lets you play live Internet radio via Pandora through your car stereo.
CHRISTOPHER NULL is a technology writer for Yahoo! News.