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The Nav740 GPS

Posted on May 11th, 2008

PC Magazine says that the Nav740 GPS was their editor’s choice for a reasonably priced GPS.  They should stick to reviewing computers. 

I had a Lowrance i350.  Big, heavy, clunky.  It took a long time to lock onto satellites.  It did not have the ablilty click on a button to avoid part of a route.  It did not say the names of streets.  So, I figured it was time for something new.  I followed PC Magazine’s advise, and bought the Nav740.

This GPS is a PocketPC running a flavor of the iGo software.  The UI stinks.  There is no “address book”, instead you get “Favorites”.  I had to find some software to add my list of Favorites, by typing the longitude and latitude from the old machine.  The address you put in is not remembered — instead you get the GPSs best guess of the address based on its database.

 You cannot type and address and add it to the address book.  The old GPS let you see it on the map, add it to the address book or go to the location.  Not the Nav740.  The Lowrance had a hard drive.  The Nav740 does not.  While traveling, the Lowarance would tell you whether a POI was ahead or behind you.  Not the Nav740.

The Lowrance was completely customizable with what went onto you screen.  The NAV740 requires you to hack it to get what you want.  Which brings me to the point of the rant.  Ed Greene has hacked together a huge improvement over the NaV740 native UI  based on the work of smafotu at GPSPassion.com.  

 It is all contained in the data.zip file.  Copy your old data.zip file out, replace it with this one, and cool things happen.   Explore, and find some nice things.   I don’t have time in this post to name all of the changes, but much is described inthe thread shown above.

The most recent addition is a save address button.  Per Ed: “So far, I have succeeded in making a button named “Save Address” that will save the current address or POI to Favorites. The only thing to be aware of however, is that after finding an address or POI, do not select a point on the map. If you do, the save address will save that point. You will have to go to history and select it again before being able to save it properly. Next, I will work on prompting you if you would like to save after finding an address.”

I will continue to post his work as it comes available.  With it, the NAV740 is a much more enjoyable unit.  Thanks, Ed!

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