DeLorme inReach Demos and Details

We’re in the final weeks of development for the DeLorme inReach, the Earthmate application for Android, and the firmware update for the Earthmate PN-60w… there’s lots of activity here in the project team as we process feedback from the beta testers and start to hear from others in the company that are getting out with the system for the first time. I actually exchanged messages with one of our VPs while he climbed the Bigelow Range here in Maine with his family. Some of you might have seen my earlier posts sharing photos and message details from my training climbs on Tumbledown Mountain in Maine and Mt Washington in New Hampshire.

I’ve been getting ready to climb the Grand Teton in Wyoming with Big City Mountaineers and Backpacker Magazine. You might recall my posts from last year when I had an amazing opportunity to participate in one of their Summit For Someone climbs going up Mount Langley in California. As luck would have it, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive another invitation to participate in one of their climbs, this time tackling the tallest peak in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. We’ll begin our climb on Monday and summit on Wednesday with plenty of time for adventure in between.

The most exciting part of the Grand Teton climb is that I’ll be using the DeLorme inReach and Earthmate PN-60w to track my location during the hike and to check in with friends and family as well as any blog followers that want to see how things are going. You’ll be able to follow along on my MapShare Page to watch our progress on the climb. There’s a top secret password, the name of my wonder dog… “Beezy.”

MapShare Page: Grand Teton Climb
Password: Beezy

I’m going to be doing some pretty challenging climbing at times so please don’t be offended if you don’t hear back from me until I take a break or return to base camp. As those of you who sent me messages during my training climbs know, I try hard to reply to everyone so they can get a sense for how the messaging is going to work. I hope to hear from some of you while I’m on the climb!

Okay, now for the details I promised in the title…

The pricing has been finalized so I can share  that information here now. There will be three pricing plans for the DeLorme inReach, giving you options to accommodate all of the various uses we’ve heard people describing. If you’re just looking for an emergency notification system, sign up for the Safety Plan. If you’re out and about all the time, outside of cell phone range, and looking for the top tier messaging system look at the Expedition Plan.

Safety Plan Recreation Plan Expedition Plan
Price $9.95 Monthly $24.95 Monthly $49.95 Monthly
SOS Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Messages 10 per month 40 per month 120 per month
Tracking Not Included Unlimited Unlimited
Overage $1.50 message $0.50 message $0.25 message
$0.25 Track

Here are some additional points about the messaging plans…

  • SOS is included in all three plans and will be provided by GEOS Search and Rescue
  • Tracking is included in the Recreation and Expedition Plans and is Unlimited!
    • Note that the shortest tracking interval will be 10 minutes
  • There will be a one-time charge of $11.95 when you set up your device to cover activation
  • Users will be able to move up and down between the plans based on their seasonal activity
    • Note that moving up to a higher plan is free and there is a $24.95 charge for moving down
  • Overage refers to a per message charge for messages that go over the monthly allotment
  • Messages include both sent and received messages

As always, feel free to post any questions you might have about the pricing plans here and I’ll get back to you as soon as I return from my adventure on the Grand Teton. I am sure that those interested in using the DeLorme inReach two-way satellite communicator for their own adventures will be able to find a combination of plans that meet their needs. I know it won’t be long before people are sharing their own Grand Teton adventures with us… count on reading about some of those trips here!

Take care,

Chip Noble
Team DeLorme

77 Responses to DeLorme inReach Demos and Details

  1. canamsteve says:

    I think this is great and the pricing fair – except for the extra charge to “downgrade” service. That just seems excessive and punitive and if it truly reflects the cost to you, then I suspect systems need to be improved.

    For me (and I am really looking forward to the product) it will be a strong deterrent to using one of the higher-cost plans. One month of Safety is $9.95. Try one month of Recreation to see if you like it and it will cost you $49.90?

  2. RNCS says:

    I agree with the first comment. The downgrade charge is exorbitant. A small, single digit dollar amount to cover “administrative costs” would be more appropriate.

    Regarding the monthly messages — do unused messages rollover to the next month? Is there a maximum on the rollover?

  3. Dan says:

    Fantastic rates, can’t wait to hook one of these up to remote rovers and weather balloons!

  4. Dan says:

    I disagree completely – this is the first time single-user two-way satellite messaging has been anywhere near these prices! Totally reasonable, just deal with it.

  5. Jon2 says:

    Pricing seems high to me and there’s no mention of the pre-canned message. Does that count as a “message” subject to a charge?

    With SPOT, I get unlimited check-in messages, unlimited SOS, and unlimited tracking for $12.50/month ($150/yr). The Recreation Plan would seem to be the best for for me, but since I hike 3-4 times a week,and Check-In at the beginning and end of each hike, I am probably looking at at least $35/month ($420/yr).

    I really like the concept of two-way text messages if I need to communicate with GEOS or for the occasional, infrequent text, but the cost of the inReach ($250 MSRP), the need to have an Android phone (new phone, plus $120/yr smartphone surcharge), the $12 activation charge and a $25 charge to change plans, may have put this device outofReach for me.

    –Jon

  6. Juan says:

    Will it be possible to use one InReach device with a PN-60w and a Android smartphone with the same activation ?
    In some cases it would be useful to be able to pair the device with your smartphone like for instance when on a roadtrip and in other circumstances like on a fishing trip to connect via a PN-60w.

  7. korpijaakko says:

    “I think this is great and the pricing fair – except for the extra charge to “downgrade” service. That just seems excessive and punitive and if it truly reflects the cost to you, then I suspect systems need to be improved.”

    +1 on this one! A small cost for down grade would be reasonable but it should be somewhere along the $10 mark. For example if I have a Safety Plan for normal use (when I don’t actually need too much a sat messaging device) and I’d do one bigger expedition (say three weeks in the Arctic or so) a year then the real cost for that month would not be $49,95 but $74,90 + the extra messages needed which starts to compete with renting a sat phone…

  8. DeLorme says:

    Juan,

    Sorry but it is not possible. There are two different inReach models – one for the PN-60w and one for Android devices.

  9. Ed S says:

    I am a casual hiker that travels solo to remote areas once or twice a year for a week each. I was looking into PLBs for safety and was looking into a ACR ResQLink for about $325 with no annual fees unless I want to add a $50 a year plan to send canned “I’m OK” messages. I have rejected the SPOT since it is far less reliable than a 406 beacon. I haven’t found any info on how this systems reliability will compare to the other two.

    I was holding off on purchasing a PLB until I could find out more. The unit price is ok, but the plan pricing seems pretty steep for me and the extra charges seem wrong. There reason I would consider this over a 406 PLB is the ability to have two way communications and track progress. That would cost $500/yr. Or I could swap plans around and incur extra charges. How can it really cost $25 to change a plan?

  10. canamsteve says:

    @ Dan – this makes the InReach more expensive and less useful than a PLB (like a McMurdo) and an Imarsat sat phone. And since the user base for these has already invested in the hardware – Delorme has to convince us they have changed their old milk-the-customer ways. You probably weren’t around for the $80 cables they sold to connect an Earthlink to a Palm Pilot. I may be a Captive Market, but I don’t care for being exploited.

  11. DeLorme says:

    Thank you everyone for your thoughts so far. I’m glad to see everyone doing the math and thinking about how they might use the inReach.

    A major point of discussion here at DeLorme when creating these plans was to work in a way to change plans seasonally. Those of us who work here certainly have changing usage patterns of our own products throughout the year. We wanted monthly pricing AND a way to pay less during the slower times. This ability to change plans is not something commonly done but we wanted to make it work.

    There IS a cost to changing someone’s account. We could have split the fee over both the upgrade and the downgrade but anyone going up then down would pay it all anyway. And it just seemed wrong to charge someone a fee when they’re already choosing to pay more. $24.95 might seem like a lot but jumping down a plan for a slower season saves a lot of money over being locked into one plan year round.

    Like I said, we consider the plan change to be a seasonal choice. For someone who is really only in need of a larger plan for one or two big trips per year, consider the overage charges listed in the chart. While the thought of paying overages might be tough, calculate the cost of jumping up a level and then back down a month later. It may save you money to stick with your plan and just use some extra once and a while.

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  12. David says:

    I am currently a spot and sat phone user. I love the Ok messages on the spot and the tracking for 150.00 a year. The In reach doesn’t provide tracking or OK messages for this price. My phone is pay as you go so i staying with this until delorme smartens up and lowers the price.

  13. Chip / Mike,

    I work for an organisation in the South Pacific that has observers on fishing vessels way out in the ocean. They need to send regular (but small) updates on position, fishing activity, etc., and preferably do it real time. Are you going to be producing an API for the device? It would be fantastic if we could send some xml with it. This device could be a very economical way for handling our small but regular amounts of remote data.

  14. David says:

    How about a safety plan with tracking and 20 messages for 12.95 month?

  15. David says:

    Mike the spot unit does tracking in real time. You can then save the points as a XML file. A spot with tracking is $150.00 a year which is a far cry less than $24.95 month for the In reach. You can also send as many OK messages as you need.

  16. DeLorme says:

    David,

    If you are not interested in the two-way communication capabilities of the inReach, both for casual and emergency messages, then one-way systems may work best for you and save you money.

    Keep in mind that two-way doesn’t just mean that someone can reply, it’s also used for send confirmation. The system can tell you when messages made it to the satellites because the system replies to the inReach, very helpful again for both casual and emergency messages. You can even see that those tracking points are actually getting through. And the inReach is smart about looking for satellite signal and re-sending messages if not initially successful.

    Knowing for sure that your family received your message about the change of plans or that rescue is on the way can make a huge difference when you need it.

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  17. Jon2 says:

    Mike McKenney says:

    “The system can tell you when messages made it to the satellites because the system replies to the inReach”

    Obviously the send confirmation is a major selling point, but I hadn’t realized that is was confirmation from the satellite, and not the actual recipient.

    –Jon

  18. David says:

    Mike, I understand what you are saying. I agree Spot is not 2 way but it does unlimited tracking, sends unlimited OK messages. If you want In Reach 2 way and limited texting, and tracking it is $300.00 year vs spot Ok messaging and tracking for $150.00. I was looking so forward to the In Reach coming out but the cost is unreasonable. If you were to go with say 12.95 month for tracking plus 10 text messages a month it would be reasonable and I know I would buy in. I think I will keep my spot for now. I understand it is typical economics and the supply and demand curve and prices are high right now. Once global star gets all their birds back in the air the end of this year and coverage is 100%, and give Iridium a run for the money and In Reach, market prices will drop. Competition is good.

  19. Are there any plans to offer a discount price to Scouting groups and other outdoor oriented nonprofits (SAR groups etc)? Our of my Scout troop’s budget, the 24.95/mo would be a way tougher sell than to the $150/yr for unlimited spot we’re currently using. If DeLorme could offer some sort of “community organization” plan it would make inReach a viable option for us.

  20. DeLorme says:

    Jon,

    Just so we’re clear, confirmation can come from both sources. First, you know the message reached the satellites. Then, when the recipient replies, you get that as well. The SOS feature also sends confirmation that your emergency has been received by the system, even before a human replies.

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  21. Jon2 says:

    Mike McKenney said:

    “Just so we’re clear, confirmation can come from both sources. First, you know the message reached the satellites. Then, when the recipient replies, you get that as well. The SOS feature also sends confirmation that your emergency has been received by the system, even before a human replies.”

    Your working assumption is that the end user has a working PN-60w or Android device. If the bluetooth device fails (battery issue) or the inReach is used in standalone mode, then the confirmation will only indicate a satellite response, not an end-user response.

    I suggest you clarify in your advertising material what the inReach confirmation really means.

    –Jon

  22. DeLorme says:

    Jon,

    We will be sure to update with the latest information and try to post full specs where we can. The product manuals will also be available online for anyone interested in the full details of how the system behaves.

    And I apologize. I try to be brief with my responses here and I didn’t define the process well. When used with a handheld device (PN-60w or Android), there is both confirmation that your message reached the satellite and any responses from people at the other end. In standalone mode, there is confirmation that your message reached the satellites as the LED blinks until the message reaches the satellites. While this doesn’t confirm that the recipient read and replied, the trip to the satellite is the riskiest leg of the trip and you’ll know that worked. For SOS, there’s an additional confirmation where the LED behavior changes to confirm that emergency services has received your SOS- an end-user response. Note that all of the standalone features operate even when connected to a handheld, so if something happens to the handheld during use, you’re covered.

    I hope that clarifies things.

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  23. Since you mentioned earlier that a yearly contract is required seem that the minimum someone is looking to pay for service alone is $9.95 * 12 + $11.95 = $131.35 for basically same service SPOT charges $100 (Am I correct in thinking that OK/Check-IN, Help and other predefined messages are included UNLIMITED in your SAFETY plan?) (But you do get 10 free 2 way messages which SPOT can’t do). Now on the other hand you can pay $18.65 more to SPOT (also they don’t have a plan change fee for adding or removing tracking you just have to pay the $49.99 yearly fee) and get UNLIMITED tracking, I am more interested in that then 2 SMS. Plus you have NO control if someone decides to SPAM you via SMS and now your are bleeding $$$ and can’t spot it since you are in the backcountry. (you are charging for received message too right?)

    Your plan change fee IS the highest in wireless business as far as I know (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Tmobile, Boost Mobile etc… all charge less or even let you do it for free), you didn’t mention anything about early termination fee if you decided to cancel service all together. You don’t mention anything about rollover of SMS so I am assuming there is none.

    IF I was in charge of planning service for inReach I would do the following:
    Tier 1:
    Price: $119.99 / annually
    SOS / Check-IN/Ok/Predefined – Unlimited
    Messages – 10 free annually
    Tracking – none
    Overage $1.25 message
    Addon 1:
    Price: $49.99 / annually
    Tracking – unlimited
    Addon 2:
    Price: $25 per package
    Messages – 80
    Overage per message drops to $0.50/message
    Addon 3:
    Price: $50 per package
    Messages – 300
    Overage drops to $0.15/message

    Oh and once you buy a message package its good until used. My guess is that more people would be in line to buy your product with the above pricing (which is competitive with SPOT’s service). Yes I did take into consideration that this is a 2 way SMS device.

    P.S. you might want to edit the REI ad here on the 2 min tracking interval. I understand that for cost reasons you have to dial it back to 10 mins but we wouldn’t want any false advertizing out there you know. http://www.rei.com/product/828146/delorme-inreach-2-way-satellite-communicator-for-android

  24. qcpidoc says:

    Any update on the exact release date?? I going on trip leaving Oct 7th. I suspect that is too soon.

  25. thebes42 says:

    Do you have a release date yet?

    Your site says October, but the end of the month puts it kind of close to our leaving date for a moped expedition across Mexico. I know sometimes a new tech gadget will sell out or have delivery problems when first available, we’d really like to have two-way satellite messaging for the trip. Can we definitely anticipate being able to have a unit in hand by the end of Oct?

    Also, do you know of any secure mounting solutions for handlebars?

  26. DeLorme says:

    Dmitriy,

    I’ll try to clarify a few things for you.

    1. We don’t differentiate between message types. SOS is included in all plans. Unlimited tracking is included in two of the plans. All other messages count towards your total (QuickText or typed out).

    2. When you create an account you set up an inReach address. So while someone could potentially still ‘spam’ you, they would have to do so through the system to that address. Anyone concerned about someone sending them a lot of messages should protect the address and explain to family, friends, etc. why they shouldn’t send a lot of messages.

    3. We appreciate the feedback on the pricing and your recommendations. One thing I can comment on is that we heard a lot of disagreement with annual pricing. With the up front cost of the hardware, a monthly payment plan helps spread the remaining cost out. There are certainly pros and cons to either method and we chose to go with monthly.

    4. Thanks for the heads-up on the REI page. We’ll try to get that changed asap.

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  27. Don C says:

    Well, I have a few comments here:

    - Chip have a good hike in the Grand Tetons – looks like fun.

    - Everyone – remember SPOT and INREACH are different in some very important ways:

    (1) INREACH uses the Iridium network, SPOT uses GlobalStar. Make sure you read up on why Iridium network is far superior to Globalstar and you will understand why SPOT is “spotty” at best.

    (2) INREACH has message confirmation, SPOT does not. As a user, you have NO IDEA if your message or tracking has made it to the end user. If in trouble you could sit around a long time waiting – and not knowing. Then you might make the bad mistake of moving. Or worse, you could just have a mechanical problem, send and I’M OK message, but if it is not received, and your wife might send out help to your last known position – which could be way off from your current position. All beacuse there is no confirmation. SPOT might be OK for a “fun” tracking tool, but I would never use it for keeping my wife up to date with my location. I would *definitly not* use it for emergency help.

    - I will still have a PLB. I would have one regaurdless of SPOT or INREACH. Why? It goes DIRECTLY to military satelites (not commercial) and then directly to military command (not commercial) – then the military responds directly. $250 for a McMurdo Fastfind is cheap insurance, especially if you are high risk or soloist.

    - So for me to have the INREACH, it will initially cost me $150 more initially and then $150 more a year for tracking and 40 txt msgs/month than the SPOT. For RELIABLE tracking and two way text messaging.

    I’ll take the INREACH.

  28. Anthony says:

    I don’t need a fixed number of messages in a plan – I would only use if i need it to call for help or provide an update(sos is for worst case only – not a flat tire). But I do want tracking. It looks like you are catering to the “social scene” and not to the practical. I have zero need to text someone in the middle of nowhere unless i need help.

    So why not offer a plan that provides tracking with per message cost?

  29. Bruce says:

    I concur with Anthony. I have little to no interest in texting, but a lot of interest in tracking. I currently have a SPoT with tracking enabled that I use on long-distance motorcycle trips. My family is able to track my progress with SPoT, and I have once used the SPoT 911 feature to summon help at an accident scene. SPoT’s pricing is affordable, but the drawback of that system is its reliability; in my experience, it tracks only about 70% of the time. I’ve been excited about perhaps replacing SPoT with the inReach, but DeLorme’s pricing for what seems to be turning out to be essentially a social media device is excessive. I think that an inexpensive plan that focuses on tracking will suit a lot of user’s needs. With the current pricing structure, I will probably stay with SPoT, as unreliable as it is.

    And regarding the $25 charge to downsize a plan, that seems excessive, too; changing plans could be handled through a user’s account page where they simply “flip a switch” on the settings that would then automatically adjust service and billing, without the need for a costly human to be involved.

  30. Canamsteve says:

    Yes, as I mentioned previously, if $25 reflects the real cost to Delorme of downgrading (I assume upgrading costs as well, but has been made free to encourage it) then it indicates a kludged-together system that may need a few kinks ironed out. I’m very interested, but and iPhone user with a sat phone and 404PLB, so I can wait.

  31. Jack Ingram says:

    You just lost me with making two different devices… one for Android and one for the PN-60. This is what Spot did in effect and it really sucks.

    I’m OK spending the capital to purchase a great device like this, but it should be flexible and work with my technology platform of choice. If I am doing vehicle based expeditions I want to use my Android or iOS device. If I am in the back country I want to use my PN-60w.

    Why you guys felt the need to partition these off into two seperate products is beyond me. A real shame.

  32. DeLorme says:

    Jack,

    We appreciate the feedback. We would like to have made a single device that supports everything as well but there are several factors which stopped us. The reasons may not make you any happier about the situation but I hope you’ll understand.

    The PN and Android use different wireless technologies, so an ‘all-in-one’ inReach would need both antennas. This makes the device cost more and more difficult to design and produce, which when weighed against potential dual-use customers, led us to make two models. For people like you it’s not the perfect solution but you’re still left with two very good options.

    My recommendation is the PN-60w model. Backcountry use, away from the safety of a vehicle, is where the inReach (and PN-60w) really shines. Besides, you can still use the PN60w in a vehicle or use the inReach by itself for vehicle tracking and SOS.

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  33. Alfons says:

    Great stuff!
    I still hope the iPhone will be supported soon.
    A question in the meantime: will the Android app support Amazon Kindle Fire and if so, will DeLorme maps get the GPS position from the inReach device? That mightbe a great hiking map solution!!!
    Thanks, Alfons

  34. DeLorme says:

    Alfons,

    I doubt we know yet if it will be supported but I’m sure it might be a fun reason to get one in here in November and try it out! I’ll pass your question along to some other folks here that might know more sooner. Thanks!

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  35. Paul Geurts says:

    Mike Mckenney, I am new to this technology, I am looking for a device that I can stay in touch with family and friends when away on hunting and fishing trips that are out of cell phone reach. I have read most of the posts, pros and cons, but would appreciate a live person to talk to. Thankyou . [Phone number removed]

  36. Alfons says:

    Thanks! The related interesting question is: with existing Android phones, is the map position retrieved from the phone’s GPS or from the inReach device’s GPS?

  37. Alfons says:

    btw, checking Amazon’s Fire information it appears that the Kindle Fire doesn’t have Bluetooth. That probably answers my initial question whether it will work with InReach (=no).

  38. DeLorme says:

    Paul,

    Please call our sales and service (800-511-2459) team here in Maine. M-F, 9-5 eastern. They’ll be able to answer any additional questions you have as well as discuss your specific intended use. Thanks!

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  39. Is the above pricing also valid for Canada? I’m seeing an entirely different set of plans listed on http://www.gpscentral.ca/products/delorme/inreach-satellite-communicator.html and on the DeLorme activate page, nothing is listed for Canada.

  40. canamsteve says:

    I hope DeLorme didn’t forget Canada again. In the bad old days, DeLorme maps would just go blank at the US/Canada border (despite Maine having a longer border with Canada than the rest of the USA). I always expected to see “There be dragons here” :-)

  41. DeLorme says:

    The same topo maps for Canada found in Topo North America are available for use on the PN-60w and Android phones with the inReach. No dragons!

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  42. Alan Smithee says:

    I’ve followed the development of the PN-60 with great interest, and the mating with Spot, and now InReach. But until DeLorme finally begins to provide support to Mac users, I won’t be buying any of these products. The ‘workaround’ is not acceptable.

    A good number of my peers who are involved in backcountry/wilderness travel and trip leadership are also Mac users, and we would love to use DeLorme’s products, but it’s just not worth the hassle of being a second class user.

    In this age of the iPhone, iPad and all things Apple consumer, it seems nearly unforgivable at this point to not devote some resources to this. In the end, DeLorme’s losing customers more than we’re losing capability.

  43. Here is another similar service price for comparison:
    http://www.roadpost.com/geopro_pricing.aspx

    Interesting how owning a sat phone enables better price plans.

  44. So does this mean Canada and the US are sharing the same pricing plans / launch date? I know the mapping data is Canada friendly :)

  45. Jon says:

    406 MHz PLB alerts do not go to military satellites. They use the civil Cospas-Sarsat system (www.cospas-sarsat.org) which use SAR processors/repeaters on US weather satellites and a few foreign satellites. If the PLB is a US coded beacon then the alert message will go to the USMCC in Suitland, MD and then to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndal AFB, FL. But remember the AFRCC in this role is supporting civil SAR not acting as a military operations center. The assests that are used in the recovery could be military or they could be civil.

  46. Eric says:

    As a long-distance hiker I am definitely buying the InReach. The two-way capability is priceless, both in terms of message delivery reliability and also communicating with family while days from civilization. For the past year, I’ve been assuming I would be buying a Spot, but I’ve seen too much evidence of non-delivery and overall device unreliability. The InReach seems like the alternative that many dissatisfied Spot users have been complaining didn’t exist.

    There is another aspect which no one seems to be mentioning: emergency communication for ordinary people in terms of civil or natural disaster when the telephone and internet go out. The InReach is a foolproof form of emergency communication to outside of the disaster area to let family know your situation or to express immediate needs for outside assistance, and then receive information that could be critical for decisions you might have to make during the disaster. That insurance alone is worth $120/year. And having the InReach on hand at all times, perhaps even when traveling overseas, gives peace of mind that one is not entirely cut-off if caught in a disaster situation.

    The only question for me is whether to buy the PN60w or the Android version. For long-distance hiking, I presently need to buy a new phone and also acquire some GPS capability. So if I go with the PN60w, I would bring just a basic non-smart phone with me on the trail in addition to the in-reach/PN60w combo, with better battery life than a smart phone. If I go with the Android, then I can use the Android device as a phone although then I have to come up with another GPS solution, or try using the Android’s GPS. The real advantage of the PN60w is that I get an AA-battery ruggedized solution as opposed to a vulnerable rechargeable Android device that then requires extra smart-phone batteries or a solar charger. The decision finally came down to the fact that, being a Mac user, I can’t use the PN60w software so then its pretty useless unless I borrow a friend’s PC whenever I want to update maps. (Boot Camp is too much trouble for just this one purpose.) So I guess I’ll buy an Android phone or even just a small 4-5″ Android tablet.

    It would be helpful to know if there are any requirements for the Android phone/tablet, such as a specific bluetooth protocol supported or anything else, since I will be buying the Android device specifically to work with the InReach. Seems straightforward, but I worry if there will be some basic element of incompatibility lurking somewhere.

    Thank you for finally making 2-way satellite messaging practical for the ordinary person!

  47. DeLorme says:

    Eric,

    Thanks for the comment. You make some great points about the inReach.

    To answer/clarify some things:

    1. You can update maps on the PN-60w with a Mac. The included map data discs work on the Mac and the data.delorme.com web site is available for the supplemental map types. It’s the Topo North America software that is Windows-only. The other features of the PN-60w might outweigh the lack of companion desktop software for you.

    2. While any Android device with GPS and Bluetooth will work with the inReach and we’re supporting OS 2.1 and newer, we’re finding that OS 2.3 has the best results, especially for Bluetooth. Screen quality and battery life are other important factors. Processor speed isn’t really a factor with our app but if you want to use the phone for other things, it may be.

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  48. Eric says:

    DeLorme,

    Thanks for the clarifications. The point you make about being able to update/upload maps onto the PN-60w using a Mac is very good to hear — that allows me to buy a PN-60w because I don’t care about the desktop mapping functions.

    But this point is not at all obvious from your web site. The PN-60w specs page has a “system requirements” section that only says PC, but now I see you could interpret that section as applying only to the Topo USA Software description — when I first read it, it seemed to be saying “system requirements” applied to the PN-60w device as a whole. Also, the MapPack “software requirements” section and “About Imagery and Maps” tab both imply that you can *only* access MapPack via the Topo USA NetLink tab. The one statement that seems to confirm being able to update/upload maps without Topo USA is the last line of the MapPack page under the heading “How do I use my subscription?” in which you say “They can also be sent to the PN-series device or SD card via fast and easy USB transfer.” I assume that last sentence means that “fast and easy USB transfer” can be done with a Mac, but that is only implied, not stated. The implication everywhere else is that you must use Topo USA to do anything. Nowhere else do I see anything that implies I can use the PN-60w with a Mac. So you might want to change something on your web site, as it seems you are needlessly alienating Mac users. I thought the PN-60w was completely unusable in any way to a Mac user from reading your site. (Maybe part of the problem is that my last GPS purchase was 8 years ago, before the advent of built-in displayable maps, so I gather now that a simple USB file transfer is enough to upload/update maps.)

  49. Mike Hedman says:

    Hi,
    I’m an iPhone guy, but am considering getting an inReach to use as a stand alone device, for SOS while trail running. Would it make sense to get the Android version, with the hope that someday it will also work with the iPhone?

    Second question, could I use an android phone with no sim card? I figure if need be, I could pick up an android phone on eBay.

    Thanks

  50. DeLorme says:

    Mike,

    I can verify that an Android phone with no SIM card will work with the inReach just fine as some of the phones we use for testing and development do not have SIM cards. I would just be sure that the phone can operate otherwise without one. Some carriers lock them down tightly.

    Mike McKenney
    Team DeLorme

  51. Anne Rivard says:

    Any actual release date yet?

  52. Jon2 says:

    I received an e-mail from REI stating that the units are expected to arrive in their warehouse on Nov. 4th.

    DeLorme: can you confirm?

    –Jon

  53. dff says:

    Sometime in November they are saying now.

  54. M Smith says:

    I also have followed the InReach with great interest since it’s announcement. But until DeLorme has an iPad/iPhone version and associated app, I can’t buy.

    With Apple position in the market, not to do so is a poor business decision. DeLorme’s is losing customers.

  55. Jeffrey Chia says:

    Mike:
    We are interested to introduce the InReach for our personnels travelling overseas working in jungle and rugged terrains. Can we contact you through your business email to discuss details. We know the InReach currently do not accept non US service activation but let work out some model that works for both of us.

    Best Regards,
    Jeffrey Chia

  56. Jeffrey, I’ll put you in touch with our professional sales department. They’ll be able to help you with your questions. Thank you for contacting us! Chip Noble – DeLorme

  57. Anne Rivard says:

    Got my In Reach last Saturday and love it. Will give it a workout after Thanksgiving.

    Question: How is the billing done? Is it for a month from the day of subscription or will the first month be prorated and billing for full months after that?

  58. Jeffrey Chia says:

    Chip:
    Thank you, could you get the professional sales department to contact me asap. We have a urgent sale to close.

    Best Regards,
    Jeffrey Chia

  59. I passed your comment along to the sales group. I’ll follow-up on Monday too. Thanks, Chip

  60. canamsteve says:

    Just got my inReach and while it won’t connect to my (latest Gingerbread OS) Android phone, it does work like a charm otherwise.

    I’m a Mainer working in the UK, and I did notice there is a provision for a non-US activation.

    What I don’t see is any way to get detailed maps of the UK or Africa (etc.) onto the phone – is this possible? Is there some provision to use the inReach with another app or do we just rely on the phone’s GPS – meaning the inReach has minimal usefulness paired (providing I can make that work eventually) with a phone outside North America?

  61. Canamsteve, try using the system settings for your phone to connect with Bluetooth. If you press Power until the LED flashes green you’ll be in pairing mode. Search for discoverable devices in Settings and look for “Paired but not connected” as a status. From there you can open the Earthmate application and check to see if it connects. Our support department has more detail if you provide them with the model phone you’re using.

    Regarding maps, unfortunately we do not have any international coverage available. While your inReach will still work very well as a satellite communicator with world base map content, I appreciate your desire for maps for the UK. There is currently no timeline for international content so please consider if this is a deal breaker for you and contact our customer service department.

    Thanks,
    Chip Noble
    DeLorme

  62. canamsteve says:

    Thanks for the reply Chip – unfortunately my inReach arrived just in time for Thanksgiving, so we’ll have to wait for Tech Support to finish their turkey :-)

    I have tried the steps you suggest for pairing without success. On the forum I have had a suggestion to start tracking as that may help. The phone is a brand-new Acer Liquid Metal running the latest “Gingerbread” Android V2.3.6. I bought it specifically to pair with the inReach. Maybe someone has suggestions for “approved” devices, as the support notes identify known issues with some phones, but there are so many Android variations it makes more sense to ID which ones have been known to work.

    I wouldn’t say a lack of “foreign” maps is a “deal-breaker” but it is odd that a device advertised as being usable globally overlooked that usage :-) I have other GPS units and where there is usually some provision to “layer on” 3rd party maps – is there no provision for this? I mean, it just seems weird to both not offer and not allow maps for areas not covered. There is a global basemap (downloadable), which is probably good enough as I will be using another GPS with detailed local maps.

  63. canamsteve says:

    Just to report I wiped the phone and reinstalled the DeLorme app, then followed the suggestion to turn on tracking on the inReach and activate Tracking in the app… and it worked!

    It does keep asking to activate Bluetooth, so there is some setting/timeout function there I don’t understand (the app should only need “permission” once, not repetitively).

    Everything seems to work fine here in the UK. Sending a tracking link provides the viewer with a nice, detailed map online, so paired with another GPS for actual local navigation, the inReach should make a useful alternative to a satellite phone.

    Not sure how many people use a sat phone regularly, but they are either very expensive to run (Iridium) or limited in function (Inmarsat). There are other usage issues as well, such as having to train anyone who might want to call you.

    Compared to a PLB (I have a McMurdo FastFind), the functionality of the inReach is much greater. In fact, with the inReach, you probably don’t really need the PLB or sat phone for land travel.

    Thanks again

  64. Annel Rivard says:

    As stated above I took my new In Reach and HTC Android phone on a 268 mile road trip to find the Rhode Island Delorme geocaching challenge. Began tracking at 7:12 a.m. and ended at 4:42 p.m. We found 21 caches and the In Reach performed flawlessly. My wife was able to follow us on our home PC and the Android did not miss one transmission. The countdown feature to the next transmission is very nice. I am very pleased with the performance, price and size of the unit. Although most of the trip was in a vehicle I cannot wait to use it in the backcountry. I am not sure of the battery life claimed. I will need more time to verify it, but it now looks like it is below expectations. All in all this is a winner!!

    Mike Rivard

  65. canamsteve says:

    I’ve just pitched up in southern Africa with my inReach, and tracking is working great. However, when checking the tracking online, there is NO mapping visible at all to make the points relevant geographically. I have to copy the coordinates and paste them into Google maps in order to see my position on a map.

    I can’t see why DeLorme can’t provide some level of worldwide map data behind the inReach tracking? I just get “No map data at this zoom level” for even the most zoomed-out level.

  66. Thanks for the report Canamsteve. Please check to see that you are using the latest version of your web browser. We definitely provide a world base map for viewing international detail, down to a major road level. The only time I’ve heard a similar situation we resolved it for the user by updating their browser to the latest version. If this does not work for you we can have someone from our support department get in touch with you.

    Thank you,
    Chip Noble
    Design Manager
    DeLorme

  67. canamsteve says:

    Thanks – that did the trick. I was checking on a rather elderly PC as well. In addition, the view had defaulted to Topo and it seems this view has less “zoom” detail available than the others.

    I’m a bit surprised by the amount of tracking drift when the inReach is stationary. Tracking at ten minute intervals but not moving, I got points over 200 ft. apart from a wide-open location. A regular GPS operating in the same spot was displaying a 16 ft. accuracy level.

  68. That’s interesting Canamsteve, the system is designed to pause tracking when you are stationary for more than 10 minutes so I’m curious how you were able to see multiple readings. If you turned the device on and started tracking right away it’s possible the first point was a lower quality 3-D fix and subsequent points improved as the GPS gathered more satellite data. I have only seen this kind of behavior from the first point, not subsequent points. Take a look at your data and see if that’s what you’re experiencing.

    I’ve done a lot of tracking with the system and have been very pleased with the horizontal accuracy of my track points. I would expect the same performance from your device.

    Thanks,
    Chip Noble
    Design Manager
    DeLorme

  69. canamsteve says:

    Hi – Tracking was running on the paired Android phone. Perhaps the tracking app on he phone is using the phone’s GPS and not the inReach when it sends?

  70. greg rudowsky says:

    what about the geos insurance?? that spot give u for 12.95???
    http://findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=104
    i have a delorme and spot

  71. David says:

    The inreach is too expensive. Going with the spot connect for 100.00/yr. (includes unlimited OK messages, SOS, Help) plus unlimited tracking for 50.00/yr. I will also get a bundle of 500 messages for 50.00. I have had a spot for sometime and have been very happy with it. Spot will transfer my old plan to the connect and then I will add a bundle of messages. Cheaper then the in reach.

  72. @owensdf says:

    I am convinced that inReach is the way to go. Now I have to decide which version. One question comes to mind that I didn’t see here in the blog: If for some reason I wind up with both types (android and PN-60) can they both be on the same account/subscription?

  73. NOYB says:

    Yup, figured something was amiss when the prices couldn’t be found easily. Idea is a hit with this prospect – price is way out of line. It’s a deal breaker.

  74. G-Tex says:

    Lots of trolls here. I’ll be happy in Bolivia that I have something that will actually work if needed to save my butt unlike the P.O.S. Spot Connect that came with my PN-60W. Go inReach!

  75. Kris B says:

    Excellent service, excited about signing up soon!
    Quick question: does anyone know if the serial protocol used between the device and the smartphone on BlueTooth is open? I can think of some very interesting ways of using this device if I could write my own software for a bluetooth-enabled computer.

  76. David Clarke says:

    Is there any API available that would allow us to access the tracking data that is received from a deLorme device?

  77. Keong says:

    Hi…have you tested the unit in the thick rainforest jungle like Malaysia? I need a unit for an expedition but would very much like some feedback if they have been used in such terrain.
    Please get someone to reply me asap.

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