Dash Express users will be getting a major software update today, delivered wirelessly of course. There are lots of changes, so we'll delve right in and start with the most important.
MyRoutes automatically learns your preferred routes
How long have we pined for a GPS smart enough to learn our favorite shortcuts? Well wait no longer boys and girls -- the Dash Express gets bragging rights as the first GPS to do this. The MyRoute shortcut is shown in pink in the image above. Some details...
"The next time that they drive between the same origin and destination, the first route choice will be a MyRoute, complete with traffic-based arrival time data. Drivers can compare their MyRoute to the computed Dash routes, including traffic detours, and decide which one is optimal."
The route will not work in reverse, you'll have to drive it once each way. This is due to the locations of on and off ramps, etc. It also sounds as if it will be fairly destination and point of origin specific, but Dash tells me that they will be gathering feedback and continue to evaluate, enhance and tune this feature.
Search Along Route with Yahoo! Local search
Another great new feature, this one allows you to search along your route, but remember -- we're not talking preloaded POIs here. This is a live Internet search via Yahoo! Local. Another nice touch is that you can sort results several ways, including distance from route.
And check out how nicely its implemented below. The left column displays your distance from and direction to the destination; the right column displays the distance and side of the road (left or right) the POI is from your current route.
More Dash Express firmware improvements
- Quicker map redraws - Dash says that performance improvements with this update include a 50% increase in map redraw speed
- FasterFind - This is SiRFInstantFix-based technology that speeds up satellite lock, which also translates into improvements in difficult environments such as urban canyons
Finding added value in a subscription-based GPS
It is refreshing to see a GPS company offering new features for free to existing users, rather than just putting them in their next high-end device, which leaves many people waiting years for cool features to trickle down to reasonably placed units. Dash is proving that their subscription-based GPS offers added value for consumers, beyond the initial features that brought Dash praise.