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Treo GPS | My Favourite Accessory of the Year

It’s funny how quickly one can get used to something new and equally quickly forget what things were like before the new thing arrived.  Naturally, the ‘thing’ I’m talking about is my Treo and after nearly two years as a Treonaut it continues to regularly amaze me.

I’ve been thinking about this throughout my holidays in Switzerland as I repeatedly had the opportunity to marvel with fresh eyes at some of the things that I was able to do with my Treo such as using my TomTom Navigator 5 GPS – now an indispensable tool that I take on all my trips but which I only discovered a few months ago.

I have to admit that I find that there is something truly eerie about arriving in a city I don’t know, renting a car, powering my small handheld TomTom Bluetooth GPS unit, starting the Navigator application on my Treo and then after a minute or so waiting for the GPS to acquire a satellite signal to instantly see my exact location overlaid on a map in the palm of my hand.  No matter how often I use it I am still completely and utterly AMAZED by this and as I’ve stated before if I had to pick a single ‘Accessory of the Year’ my vote would undoubtedly go to a Bluetooth GPS unit.

However, I’ve also discovered that my TomTom Navigator software is not only useful once I’ve arrived at my destination but also for planning a car journey in advance.  In this particular case, I will be travelling to San Francisco and then need to drive about three hours north to meet some friends for the New Year but I have absolutely no idea how to get there…

No problem.  Without even needing to have my GPS unit turned on, I start the Navigator software (see images below): 1) select “Advanced Planning” in the main menu; 2) input my “Depart from:“ address followed by 3) my “Pick a destination:“ address then 4) “Please select a route type” (I always choose “Fastest Route”).

After a few seconds I have my route summary fully mapped out with estimated trip duration and distance!  But this is not all, I can then view my route as 1) text direction; 2) still images; 3) a detailed map of the route; 4) a full interactive and animated route demo and 5) return to the route summary again.

Having now saved both my departure and destination addresses as “Favorites” all that I’ll need to do when I get into my car rental at San Francisco Airport is select “Navigate To” then select the favorite from the list and I’ll be all set and ready to drive assisted by the rather nice British woman’s voice which will guide me turn by turn to my ultimate destination…

For additional information about GPS navigation with your Treo you can read about my first experience “Traveling with a Treo 650 GPS In My Pocket” and also my comparative review of “Five Treo 650 GPS Solutions Under the Microscope”.  My two favourite Bluetooth GPS units are the TomTom Navigator 5 Bundle and the Palm GPS Navigator.

Treonauts are always amazed by their Treo

Posted by Andrew on December 29, 2005 at 09:13 AM

Treo Accessories , Treo GPS

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Tracked on Jan 6, 2006 2:24:41 AM


by Robert | Apr 28, 2006 11:32:29 AM

Rob's post of Dec 30 may answer my question, but I want to be sure. I have a 650. I bought the Tom Tom Navigator thanks to Treonauts and I give it the highest marks.
I just got a new car that has bluetooth capability. I set it up so that my Treo is connected via bluetooth to the Phone feature of the car as soon as the car is started. At that point, I can't connect the Treo to the Tom Tom. Is that for the simple reason that the Treo cannot be simultaneously connected to 2 bluetooth devices, or is there some solution I'm not seeing.

by Peter | Apr 28, 2006 8:33:06 PM

Anyone have a line on Just the LCD screens for the 650. I am a REALTOR in Victoria BC
Canada, and as far as I know ALL of North American REALTORS just got equipped with the TREO or a Blackberry, because these are compatible with our MLS system, so we can get info on the fly, if a buyer has a inquiry while we're driving etc.

I broke my screen first week in, and several other REALTORS I know did this same trick!! With only 1000 REALTORS in town out of which at least 9 other REALTORS had this happen, all while putting the unit back in the holster amazingly! There are over 100000
REALTORS in North America, with probably
65% using the TREO 650.
You do the math on the screens.
They are amazingly easy to change IF ONLY a
person could get the replacement lcd touchscreen. As it ended up I bought a new phone for about 500 canadian dollars OUCH!
And it WILL happen again. I think the engineers thought long and hard on how to shape the phone so it could slip out of ones hand easily. Peter

by Ted | May 6, 2006 3:33:14 AM

Have a Palm GPS for Treo 650 and have been using it for my work. I love it but having issues wherein my phone is turning off by itself. I have tried soft and hard resets and nothing seems to work. Anybody out there experiencing the same problem. Called Palm tech support and they said that it is the GPS causing it since some corrupted data was downloaded which causes the auto shut off of my phone. Anybody???? Help???

by Mark J. | May 13, 2006 3:14:10 PM

Question: I understand how excellent the TomTom products are for navigating cities, but does it have any functionality if I were to toss it in my back pack and head out on the trail? I do a lot of hiking, and I've been considering GPS for a while, but don't really want to have to get one for the car and one for the trail, if one thing will do it all... Especially since I take my Treo 650 hiking anyway.

E-mail replies appreciated!

by Joe | May 13, 2006 8:09:24 PM

I'm aware that only one bluetooth device at a time can be used. My question: I have a bluetooth equipped car (Acura TL) would I still be able to receive phone calls on it while using the GPS at the same time?

by Franz Gruswitz | May 30, 2006 9:18:56 PM

I just found out about the Telenav service http://www.telenav.com/. Has anyone tried this? It appears to use the internal GPSone receiver only. How does this compare to the option of buying an external GPS receiver?

by Steve | Jun 11, 2006 9:15:42 PM

Re: Robert and the Phone Drop... I've found that a very simple accessory can dramatically reduce the probablity of drop. Get eGrips for the Treo. They are terrific.

by gruswitz | Jun 12, 2006 8:51:05 PM

Has anyone tried the Seidio RBT-2010 with the TomTom software? Has anyone compared the TomTom receiver with the Seidio RBT-2010 and the GlobalSat BT-338? Has anyone worked with the 700p and these receivers yet?

by GoldJay | Aug 1, 2006 4:53:38 PM

I just bought TomTom for my Treo650. Can anyone help to tell me how to enter addresses to the GPS via Contact (in Treo) w/o retyping. Thanks!

by Barney van der Merwe | Aug 4, 2006 3:38:25 AM

Hi I am from South Africa and I enjoy all the accessories for Treo 650 just as much. This is the first time I have a Smartphone with OS and I find that it is a great allrounder and that you can find software that really works great with excellant back-up. Its also much faster than any thing I have tried so far.
The Palm Treo Smartphones arent that popular here in RSA but then it is a third world country where the standard status symbol is a cell phone - if you know how to use it or not.
Only thing that bothers is network reception which is not as good as most Nokia devices I have already tried. Is there any enhancement like external attenna - adaptors etc. I have shopped and cannot find any in RSA. It cannot be the network here because the Nokia devices work great. Well thanks sofar for all the comments and news.

by Gregory Pokrywka MD | Aug 6, 2006 11:28:16 PM

Ok but what GPS works with the Treo 700P ??

by laura | Aug 8, 2006 12:58:17 PM

My Treo 700p freezes up when I get a text message. It doesn't allow me to unlock it ... I have to remove the battery to have it work. Any suggestions??? Any help willbe highly appreciated! Thanks

by Sandy | Aug 17, 2006 10:43:25 AM

I am struggling to find a case I like and with which blue tooth headset to purchase.

For a case I need something with a study metal clip (two plastic clips have broken already) and I would like it to rotate or be horizontal on my hip. It needs to have a good closure and study. If it had a pocket for the headset too that would be wonderful.

I have two small children I am picking up and putting down all the time and they tend to tug on the case accidently or on purpose.

As for the blue tooth headset, I have tried headsets for various items such a older cell phones and my ipod and the ear pieces are always too big and they hurt. I guess I have small ears? I would like one that vibrates since I cannot see the light flashing if I am wearing it.

Does anyone have any suggestions??
Please post or email me
[email protected]

by Dirk Spiers | Aug 20, 2006 7:23:31 AM

I have the TT Nav 5 set up with my Treo for some time now. No real problems. But what I can't seem to work out, is how can I pick a destination from my Treo address book?

I am sure that the two must be integrated but for the life of me I can only enter a (new) address by hand and not pick it from my contacts.

Anyone who can point me in the right direction?

by Roger McD | Aug 27, 2006 4:27:16 PM

I agree with everyone about the Tom Tom GPS. I have a 700p and it works perfectly. Have been using since I bought my 700p. I have walked all around Boston on vacation and found all my sites. It is gareat. You can go to the Tom Tom homepage and down load individual city mapes for just a few dollars. I down loaded Paris but when I got there I could not get the GPS unit to pick up a signal. I was very disappointed. When I got back I called to complain to Tom Tom and they said that it is a Dutch company and they have offices or 800 type numbers all over the world and have an office in Paris and I should have called and they would have solved my problem. Also, they all speak English at the Tom Tom help centers.

by GREYWETHR | Oct 7, 2006 12:20:31 AM

I like the Mark's post about the internal GPS on the Treo 650. If it can work with E911, why can't some other software take advantage of this? It may not be as accurate as a separate GPS unit, but for those of us who don't travel enough to warrant a $300-500 purchase, it may be a great alternative. Anyone have any info about this? I have to assume that if phone carriers can find your phone, Treo software should be able to find itself, right?

by doctorP | Oct 21, 2006 2:38:04 AM

Has anyone here upgraded from tomtom 5 to tomtom 6? Any big advantages?

by Barry Oppenheim | Nov 3, 2006 12:33:25 AM

Love this sight - use it all the time. Purchased Tom Tom 5 for my 650. As many fans know, the 650's are prone to problems - especially the 'speaker going dead' issue. While my carrier has replaced my 650 (now the 3rd time), my problem is with Tom Tom - as I need a new activation code. First off, dealing with them is worse than any other software vendor imaginable. Secondly, once they finally get back to you (it takes days...), they require you to transfer documentation of your proof-of-purchase. Great. Except their site doesn't work properly.
I've been without navigation for 2 weeks now - I would have been better flushing my money down the toilet.
Finally - should you think my experience is unusual for Tom Tom, check the web -- there are tons of people with similar nightmares about Tom Tom support.
I'll NEVER purchase from them again.

by John Blacklaws | Dec 3, 2006 9:32:06 AM

I recently bought a Palm Treo 650, and have been particularly disappointed with the way it drops calls and loses reception here in South Africa. The phone went in for a software upgrade (not sure why this was necessary, as it was brand new ...?) but came back 3 weeks later, no better. Has anyone else in South Africa had the same experience? Is it maybe that our networks here are just not up to the international standard? All my other brand phones have performed much better.

by Ari | Dec 6, 2006 11:37:14 AM

Hi. First time poster- sorry if I'm missing anything on protocol but could use some advice. I have a treo 650 and am trying to figure out how to use my bluetooth headset while still navigating with gps. As far as I can tell from reading and trying it you can't use two bluetooth devices at once, so I was thinking a wired GPS might make more sense but I can't seem to find one. The Holux GPslim SOUNDS like it has a wired option but I can't figure out if it will work (or any other wired receiver for that matter). Can anyone help?

I'm quite fond of the TomTom navigator six software I've been trying so something that works with that would be great. Err... speaking of which, does anyone know if I there a way to move the SD card based stuff to a bigger card so I don't need to keep swapping it out every time I want to use the gps? (or is it hardcoded to the card it came with?).

Thanks a lot!

by robin | Mar 21, 2007 3:30:21 PM

Help! I just bought the Palm GPS Navigator Tomtom 6 program. when I put the program expansion card in the slot in my palm the unit just shuts off and starts up again. I see the tomtom icon and when I try and lauch the program it just goes into shut off & automatic turn on mode without ever doing the program.
Any ideas???

by newtreouser | Apr 17, 2007 7:18:34 AM

I just bought a 700w as a business solution, but I second the question about outdoor use with a Treo. If standalone (handheld) gps units can find their way without a separate reflector, then, imho, these 3rd party products could do the same. It would be very cumbersome to be carrying Treo and tiny dish around in the woods. My use for gps is less for driving, more for cycling and hiking. Packing light, it would be cool to keep gadgets to a minimum.

So has anyone seen a Treo solution for outdoor folks?
Thank you

by newtreouser | Apr 26, 2007 11:45:58 PM

just found the answer to my question.

The Global Sat BT388 is small, powerful, and fast on the track. The price is right too, at $125.

Software: Euro-product GPS Tuner ($35 US dollars, depending on exchange rate), is an off-road navigation that starts where the pavement ends. You can import a jpg capture from Google Earth, or scan in your own topo map, and copy it into GPS Tuner folder. Once you get to your favorite campground, take a couple of gps readings at fixed reference points on your picture, press 'calibrate', then your map is scaled and ready for your hiking/outdoor pleasure.

I took 4 readings at a 150-acre ranch, calibrated it to a low-res google earth map, and enjoyed watching the Treo display my position exactly around every turn and cow trail. The Global Sat receiver is the size of a small cellphone, and got signal sitting on the seat of my jeep.

I've had less luck with finding decent road mapping software, but for hiking, the combination of Global Sat with off-road nav software is an impressive tool.

by Molly | Jun 19, 2007 1:35:20 AM

I second MarkJ's question (#29)... how does TomTom do with off road GPS? I primarily want to use my 700p as a GPS that will let me save the current position as a waypoint. I use an old Magellen for sailing and hiking and am looking for something similar.

by Peter | Jul 11, 2007 5:30:15 PM

I just purchased the Palm GPS Smartphone Navigator 3, and I have a problem where my phone decides to poweroff or go on standby after a couple minutes.

I've changed the power settings, and to no avail the screen stills decides to go dark.

I was wondering if anyone has experienced this, and gotten around it.


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