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Dash Express June Update


With about one quarter of a year under its belt, the Dash Express has made quite a splash in the industry. As with any product new to the market, there are bound to be a few bugs, and room for enhancements. Today, Dash is releasing their first software application update to users. So what new goodies do you get and how do you get them?

Updated via WiFi

Dash GPS Update AvailableDash is calling this the first GPS update available via WiFi. Sure enough, power up your Dash express in your garage and if it can find your WiFi network, the update will be downloaded in the background to your Express and will kindly ask if now is a good time to perform the installation.

Dash GPS Software Update VersionThere are actually two updates– There is an update to the underlying Linux Operating System as well as the Dash Software (version 2.1). After you have run the updates, you can go to Menu -> Settings -> System to double check that everything has installed properly. Look for the line that starts with “Software Version:”. You should now be running something like versus something like

So now that you have updated, what’s new?


Dash GPS Update MyRouteOne of the most common questions– or perhaps complaints, GPS users have is that the GPS doesn’t know “their” favorite way to get from point A to B. And there is no way to “teach” the GPS. Instead you just wait for that stern “Recalculating!” voice. Dash hopes to solve this with the concept of “MyRoute”. Simply create a route to your destination, and then drive your preferred way to get to that destination, ignoring the GPS instructions. The next time you select that destination, starting at the same point, your custom route will be shown as one of the route options, labeled “My Route”.

Find POIs Along Route

Dash GPS Update Find POIs Along RouteThis is a feature I use very often when driving with GPS. Often I just need to find a bank or an ATM and I don’t really care when I stop so long as it is along my route and I don’t need to detour far to get to it. So searching for POIs that are nearby your route is a very useful tool that has now been added to the Dash Express. Previously, Yahoo searches allowed you to look nearby, near your destination, or in another city. Now you can search “along route”. Dash does trump the competition a little bit here and adds not only the distance away from your current location, but also how far off your route that POI is as well as which side of your route (left or right) that POI is. This will be very handy!

Gas Price Update Date

Dash GPS Update Fuel Prices DatePreviously when searching for gas you were presented with a list of stations, the address, the price, the direction, and the distance. Now, one more element has been added to the list– the date the price was recorded. With gas prices changing rapidly, it is more important than ever to know what level of trust you can put into the data. You might find a great price… but see that it is more than a couple of days old and therefore you might not trust that same great deal is still there. Now you can clearly see just how recent that price was.

Dash FasterFind

What SiRF calls “InstantFix“, TomTom calls “QuickFix”, etc. This is basically a geeky way of helping your GPS find the satellites more quickly, so it can in turn find your position more quickly. This works amazingly well for the TomTom devices, but it does have one flaw… Unless you happen to have a with a compatible data plan you need to connect your GPS to your computer periodically to download the updates. With the Dash these updates are downloaded automatically, periodically, in the background so you will never see it running– yet you will still get the benefits.

Other Enhancements

Dash has also increased the map refresh/draw rate by more than 50%, resulting in smoother map zooming and faster toggling between 2D and 3D modes. Road labels are more readable on the map, and the night mode appears on more of the menu system. Dash says that there were “hundreds” of improvements in this software update, and we hope to uncover more as we take further driving tests with the new software. If you find something else new, certainly let us know about them in the comments below. Of course, we’ll be looking hard for some routing algorithm updates. 😉


Dash GPS Update EveryBlockAlso new today is an application not previously released built from the existing API System for developers:

EveryBlock collects and publishes neighborhood and block-level news in cities including Chicago, New York and San Francisco. With the EveryBlock DashApp, launched today, drivers in those cities can access a “neighborhood feed,” including public records (e.g., crimes, restaurant inspections, building permits), and user-contributed knowledge (e.g., local photos posted to Flickr) — all filtered geographically according to the vehicle’s current location.

And More to Come

“Unlike existing GPS devices, the Internet-connected Dash Express, is the first system designed to keep learning and getting smarter over time,” said Paul Lego, CEO of Dash Navigation. “Today’s software update is just the beginning. We’re interacting with our customers on a daily basis, gathering their input and incorporating it into the product. With our newest features, we’re ableneed during their daily commutes.”

Looks like a pretty full update and again, if you see something else new that hasn’t yet been mentioned here, drop a line in the comments below.

11 Responses

  1. Doesn’t seem any better at createing routes still wants to go out of the routes instead of a more obvious direct route. Also was hoping for and auto zoom feature.

    Cary - June 30th, 2008
  2. So far I have the same two issues– the same significant routing issues and not enough auto zoom.

    Tim - June 30th, 2008
  3. What is the point? Just US maps and only a miserable 1 million POI’s. This is the most important thing in a GPS and the factories keep ignoring.

    A very good GPS that really gives me the best rout and the best POI data base possible. I don’t want MP3, or any thing else. When I buy a GPS, what I really looking for is for a device that is smart, fast and has a great POI data base, at least 12 million of them.

    We talking about 2 great countries, 6 million is nothing, think about a only miserable million.

    Carlos Rosa - July 3rd, 2008
  4. Carlos – Since the device is connected to the Internet for Yahoo business searches I personally don’t care how many POIs are stored on the device itself— It has an unlimited amount of POIs with its connected search, so it has live access to more POIs than any other GPS on the market today.

    Tim - July 4th, 2008
  5. Will the auto zoom feature be added soon?

    Wil - September 3rd, 2008
  6. I am a charter bus driver and I frequently travel out of state in unfamiliar areas. From what I am reading from users the Dash Express may not be a good choice for me. The Garmin still seems to be more reliable for route selections than the Dash.

    Wil - September 3rd, 2008
  7. I think you would need to ask Dash that question. :)

    Tim - September 3rd, 2008
  8. Yeah I would stick with Garmin for now. The Dash is well known to give some strange routes and a few people say it tells them to take u-turns alot, not something you want to do on a bus I suppose. Also nothing about adding auto-zoom yet.

    Cary - September 3rd, 2008
  9. Just a quick note that the Dash Express is $199 today only at Amazon. Good chance to get in on the deal if you have been on the fence.

    Tim - October 28th, 2008
  10. Dash is no longer selling new Dash Express units. the following was posted on their web site:

    \A New Direction
    Posted by Dash Navigation on November, 3 in Dash Express
    We’ve made the difficult, yet exciting, decision to shift gears to focus our company on extending the Dash experience to a variety of devices and platforms. Rather than continue to ship our own hardware, we’ll be licensing our application and service to a diverse group of device manufacturers.

    This path offers us great opportunities as navigation and location-based services have exploded across the industry landscape. Not to mention that by delivering the Dash service through multiple platforms, we’ll be able to accelerate the growth of the Dash Driver Network – benefiting both our existing and future customers.

    We thank our current customers for their support and remain committed to continuing delivery of an unprecedented experience.\

    My view is that the concept is great if it could be incorporated on a mass scale in mainstreem GPS units of the future. I wish them good fortune.

    Bill Angell - November 12th, 2009
    • Note that was November 8 of 2008, just over one year ago. The company has since been sold.

      Tim - November 12th, 2009

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