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Garmin Navigon sat nav apps to go off sale

Garmin’s Navigon sat nav apps are to be withdrawn from sale from 14 May, the company announced today. The move affects all of its vehicle navigation apps – the most relevant to UK users is Navigon Europe for Android[1] and iOS[2] devices. Garmin is citing ‘strategic reasons’ for the decision.

This will end a 25-year run for the German brand, which Garmin acquired in 2011. However, with a cost structure for the apps that included a hefty initial purchase price, as well as annual subscriptions for premium features such as live traffic services, it would appear to have struggled against a raft of free-to-download competition from the likes of Google[3] and Waze[4]. Top five sat nav apps for 2018[5] – find an easy-to-use alternative to Navigon for your smartphone.

Is my Garmin Navigon app affected?

Almost certainly – the only exception is a version of the software known as ‘Select’, which is only available in Germany.

If you’re currently using a Navigon app and have paid for ‘FreshMaps’, subscriptions or in-app features, these will continue to be available until the end of your current subscription, which are normally monthly or yearly. Users who took out the ‘Unlimited Navigation’ option will be able to use the service for a further two years. However, Navigon users will no longer be able to update subscriptions or make further in-app purchases after 14 May.

Android users beware

While iOS users won’t have to take any action at the end of their subscription, Garmin has warned that Android users will need to manually cancel it or risk being charged a renewal fee, despite support being dropped next month.

The brand has posted instructions on how to cancel subscriptions on its support site[6], which will continue to be available to app owners. Should you need to reset or change your phone, you’ll still be able to download and use the Navigon app from your app store library, provided you don’t change operating system (for instance from Apple to Android), as they are separate products. Can’t decide whether a smartphone app or dedicated sat nav unit would be the best solution for you?

Head to our guide to how to buy the best sat nav.[7]

References

  1. ^ Navigon Europe for Android (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ iOS (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Google (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Waze (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Top five sat nav apps for 2018 (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ support site (support-en.navigon.com)
  7. ^ how to buy the best sat nav. (www.which.co.uk)

How We Test Hard Drives

Reading and writing files to and from a hard drive[1] is one of the most crucial choke points in a PC. Buying a new internal hard drive[2] can make apps load faster and shorten system boot up times, while springing for a new external drive could shave minutes off your next routine backup or the transfer of your large collection of photos and videos. A hard drive’s speed can vary significantly based not only on its theoretical top transfer speeds, but also on your usage patterns.

So we’ve designed our drive-testing procedures at PC Labs to approximate the speeds you can expect while accomplishing a comprehensive array of common tasks. Our most wide-ranging benchmark is the PCMark 7 Secondary Storage test. It comes from FutureMark, a software firm whose benchmarking apps are used not only by publications like PCMag, but also by drive and PC manufacturers themselves.

The Secondary Storage test is trace-based, which means it measures how quickly software commands are performed during everyday workloads to which you might subject your PC. These simulated workloads include a Windows Defender virus scan, an image-import task, a video-editing session, operations in Windows Media Center, and application launches. The PCMark 7 Secondary Storage test results in a proprietary score that is usually in the thousands.

We mention this score in each review and compare it with the scores that other similar drives received. The score is completely different from our PCMark 8 test, which we use to measure similar tasks when we test desktops[3] and laptops[4]. Our next test, which we use only for external drives, measures a drive’s throughput in bits per second.

We use the macOS-only BlackMagic app from professional media software firm DaVinci to perform this test. BlackMagic offers both a read score and a write score, which we also compare with those of other similar drives. These scores are useful in discovering the theoretical maximum speed that a drive can achieve.

The final test for external drives is a drag and drop test. It uses the Windows Explorer or macOS[5] Finder to copy a 1.23GB test folder full of several different file types from the testbed’s internal drive to the external hard drive being tested. We hand-time the scores (in seconds and milliseconds).

We perform each of these tests using all of the interfaces that the drive supports. For most current drives, that means we almost always perform one round of tests using SM© USB 3.0 (either via Type A or Type C connectors). If the drive supports Thunderbolt 3, we rerun the tests using that interface.

Network Attached Storage and Internal Drives

The process for testing internal drives is slightly different.

We mount the drive in our testbed using its native interface and set it up as a secondary drive. We never install system files onto the internal drive we’re testing. We then run the PCMark7 Secondary Storage and drag-and-drop tests as mentioned above, but we use the Crystal DiskMark app (version 3.0.1) instead of BlackMagic to measure throughput.

Crystal DiskMark’s sequential-read tests measure read/write activity with data written in a large contiguous block on the drive, which we use for conventional platter-based hard drives. We also use DiskMark’s 4K tests to measure random reads/writes, which reflect data activity in which the drive is fetching and writing scattered files and pieces of files across the disk or solid-state drive[6]. Because a wide range of network conditions outside of our control can affect the performance of network attached storage[7] (NAS) devices, we only perform a folder transfer test on these devices.

It uses a different folder from our internal and external drive tests, comprised of 4.9GB worth of music, video, photo, and office document files.

We hand-time how long it takes to transfer the folder to the NAS via a wired connection, as well as how long it takes to transfer the file from the NAS back to our testbed.

References

  1. ^ hard drive (uk.pcmag.com)
  2. ^ internal hard drive (uk.pcmag.com)
  3. ^ desktops (uk.pcmag.com)
  4. ^ laptops (uk.pcmag.com)
  5. ^ macOS (uk.pcmag.com)
  6. ^ solid-state drive (uk.pcmag.com)
  7. ^ network attached storage (uk.pcmag.com)

Amazon made an efficient Android browser called Internet, and it’s now available in India

Amazon now has an Android web browser app that’s designed to use minimal storage and data. It’s called… Internet.

The app has been sitting unspotted in the Google Play app store since March. Amazon hasn’t publicly announced its launch, which was reported by TechCrunch. It’s currently only available to users located in India and runs on Android 5.0 and higher devices.

The app offers a web browser that supports private tabs that don’t save browser history and it has a homepage that shows cricket news and more general headlines for its users.

Internet is reminiscent of Facebook Lite, YouTube Go, or Gmail Go, all apps that companies launched as slimmer versions of the original mobile versions.

They provide the same basic features as the full apps but typically take up less space and are optimized for spotty network connections.

As US tech giants expand and see increasing adoption from users in developed countries, they also look for opportunities to reach emerging markets that may not yet have access to high-speed internet.

We’ve reached out to Amazon for more information.

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