First Dash Wi-Fi update hits devices

One of the most compelling features of the Dash – Wi-Fi updates – is finally here. Dash users have to simply connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi and the Dash GPS unit will download and install the update automatically. Try doing that with your TomTom.

After the update the devices will have MyRoute, a system that maintains a list of your popular routes and adds your personal preferences to its routing suggestions.

Here’s a rundown of the latest goodies:

MyRoute™ – With the new MyRoute feature, as you travel from one point to another, Dash Express will automatically learn your preferred route in the background. The next time that you drive between the same origin and destination, the first route choice will be MyRoute, complete with traffic-based arrival time data. MyRoute can be compared to the computed Dash routes, including traffic detours, to decide which is optimal.

Search Along Route™ – Finding whatever you need on the road using Yahoo! Local search just got even easier. With the new Search Along Route feature, you can now search for anything you need along your selected route, shortening diversions on the way to your destination. Want to grab a latte on the way to a meeting? Simply do a Yahoo! Local search for “Starbucks” and select “along route” to be presented with the stores that are most conveniently located. Results are displayed with the distance from your current location, the distance off the route and the direction of the destination relative to the selected route.

FasterFind™ – With the new FasterFind feature, we have dramatically decreased the time it takes for Dash Express to find its position and start navigating. Powered by SiRFInstantFix technology, Dash Express uses additional over-the-air GPS satellite position information to get a fast GPS fix so you can be underway in seconds. FasterFind will even improve the device’s ability to get a GPS fix under difficult conditions such as beneath tree cover and near high-rise buildings.

Performance Enhancements – Continued system tuning has enabled significant progress in overall device performance. For instance, the June08 Update increases the speed in which Dash Express draws its maps by more than 50%. It also enables quicker toggling between 2D and 3D map views and smoother map zooming.

User Interface Improvements – The June08 Update also includes numerous customer-requested refinements to the Dash Express interface, making it even more intuitive for daily use. These improvements include tuning the route selection screen to make it easier to select among the multiple route choices, improving the readability of road labels on the map and expanding the night mode color scheme across more menus for glare reduction.