Gadgets 644

Published on October 13th, 2009 | by Greg


Quick Hit: Griffin Navigate

Sure, you can carry around a ton of songs on your iPod and iPhone- but what happens when you want something beyond your own tracks? Music apps can fill the gap, but for local coverage, breaking news, and variety, it's hard to beat radio. And despite the inclusion of radio service on some other portable music devices, Apple has stuck to their successful formula and avoided it so far.

That's where the Griffin Navigate comes in. We'll get the primary downside out of the way- it's FM only, but who really listens to AM anyway? Beyond that, it serves as a handy in-lin controller, giving you easy access to volume functions that aren't included on many headphones, and play/pause/next/previous functions that often are (even if they require tapping out Morse code on your microphone button). We especially liked the Artist and Track information being nicely displayed on the OLED screen, even if it wasn't quite bright enough for us always.

The unit is surprisingly light, at a bit over two ounces, and the buttons are easy to determine by feel alone so you aren't wondering if you actually did skip to the next song or paused your music accidentally. It can clip easily to your pocket or bag, even if the clip isn't perfect. And the Navigate is the first accessory that connects to an iPhone or iPod Touch App, iFM, available in the store for free. It helps find radio stations in your area, provided that you are in the United States. Overall, we liked it quite a bit better than some other Griffin items that we've used in the past. And at $40 or so from Amazon, it's an easy way to add a few nice features to your iPhone or iPod.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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