TomTom Debuts GPS Devices with Facebook, iPad and iPhone Apps Integration

LAS VEGAS -- TomTom announced the revamping of its North American line of personal GPS devices at this year's CES with the release of its Start, Via and GoLive units. Marketed as an entry unit for budget conscious consumers, the Start features lifetime traffic and map updates, spoken street names, lane guidance and IQ routes. The $119 Start system also includes maps of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as 7 million points of interest, and fuel prices when you sync your device.

The $169 Via is the middle-of-the-road option and features a slimmed down shell and Bluetooth connectivity. In addition to the capabilities included with the Start, the Via also offers instant routing and voice recognition and can be synced with users' phones via Bluetooth, allowing them to make hands-free calls from the device.

Topping off the line is the $249 GoLive, which includes the same features as the Via, as well as a capacitive touchscreen and TomTom's HD Traffic system. HD Traffic collects traffic data from other HD Traffic users and third-party companies in real-time, so if a user is stuck in traffic, HD Traffic will anonymously send your location and speed to TomTom's servers, where it is checked against reports of accidents or construction to determine if there is a traffic jam.

Unlike other traffic services, TomTom's HD Traffic uses AT&T's GSM network to send and receive the information. As a result, TomTom says HD Traffic is able to update traffic information every two minutes. HD Traffic is also capable of mapping six million miles of roads compared with the 500,000 miles of roads mapped by other services. The GoLive also includes mobile apps such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Search for address searching.

In addition to its three new units, TomTom has introduced version 1.10 of its iPhone and iPad app. The update, the company says, brings Facebook and Twitter integration to the app, so users can search and navigate via Facebook or share their destination via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Daniel P. Howley
LAPTOP Senior Writer
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.