I know, finally, right?! We realize there are a lot of Apple customers out there who have been waiting very patiently for DeLorme to reveal the details of our plans for an inReach with support for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android. We’ve been wanting to share the news with you too but needed to wait for all the pieces to fall in place within the company before we could take the information to the public.
Well, everything is in order now and we’ve been given the nod to share details about the new inReach from DeLorme that offers two-way satellite communications from your iOS or Android device. You can find the inReach on our website and at retail stores now; the Earthmate app is in the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store as well.
I realize some of you may have heard about this from those crafty tech bloggers that follow the FCC approval website… it’s so hard to keep things secret these days. Since I didn’t score the first post about the new release I’m going to try to dump all the remaining information I have about the inReach and our Earthmate app, including some exciting plans for the near future, into this update. Hopefully that will make up for the long silence while we got all of the pieces for this project together.
Thank you all for your patience during the long gap in blog posts and replies to comments, we know you wanted answers to your questions a lot earlier than we were able to share them. Now that we’re cleared to talk let’s get started with the new features in the inReach and the Earthmate app! Actually, as part of the information dump I’m going to describe some features that will be included in our first update scheduled for early June. That’s coming right up and it will bring some new map functionality along with improved battery life, all very exciting! I’ve marked the features that are releasing in June below.
New Data Plan Features
- We will be offering a new Seasonal option with the Recreation and Expedition plans. For a little more money each month owners can run for a four month season and then suspend their inReach for the remainder of the year. Back country skiers, sailors, hunters and anglers can now use the inReach for their season, suspend when they don’t need it, and turn it back on the next year.
- Owners will now be able to send an unlimited number of predefined inReach Messages and not impact their monthly allotment of custom text messages. This means that owners can send as many “checking in, everything is okay” or “stopping here for the night” messages with the physical message button on the inReach as they like.
New inReach Features
- Support for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 3rd generation, iPod touch 4th generation, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
- Support for Android smartphones and Android tablets. Requires Android 2.1 or up.
- The inReach GPS is used for all location information with messages, tracks, and map views now. The phone’s GPS is not used, improving location accuracy and saving the phone’s battery.
- Since the inReach GPS is used for location information all 3rd party iOS applications will also be able to use this location information for increased accuracy and reduced phone battery use.
- Our new Bluetooth component has made for smooth pairing with iOS and Android devices.
- Support for Lithium, Alkaline, and Nickel Metal Hydride batteries allows flexibility when traveling. I personally am using NiMH rechargeable batteries with a GoalZero solar charger.
- Our developers have extended the inReach battery life to exceed 120 hours of use when in standalone mode, sending a tracking point every 10 minutes! This will double the battery life of the inReach when compared with past battery tests. The best news is that when the firmware update comes out in June it will deliver the same battery improvements to the Android inReach previously released! (Coming in June)
New Earthmate Features
- While not a new feature, the Earthmate app for iOS will deliver all of the same Mapping, Messaging, Tracking, and SOS features we released with the first inReach.
- DeLorme’s 1:100K Topographic maps for North America have been expanded to include the DeLorme World Topographic maps bringing 1:125K maps for the world with seamless major roads, placenames, points of interest, contours and land cover. This new map content is included with the purchase of an inReach and the download of the Earthmate app. (Coming in June)
- NOAA Nautical Charts will be included in the Map Library for use in the Earthmate app as the first of the Map Pack map types to be released. Additional map types will follow including aerial imagery, USGS Quads, and Canadian 1:50K Topo Sheets. These will also be included with the purchase of an inReach and the download of the Earthmate app. (Coming in June)
- The Earthmate app has been improved to manage new and future map types made available through the Map Library. (Coming in June)
- Owners will be able to select from the millions of Points of Interest and view details about locations throughout North America and the world.
New RAM Mount
Last but not least, RAM has released a new cradle for the inReach that will tie in with all of their mounting options. I’ve been using RAM mounts since the PN-series started and I’m very impressed with how rugged they are. If you want to secure your inReach and keep it from sliding around on your dash you need to check out the DeLorme inReach mount from RAM.
Since this post is being written after the fact, the release of this product has already happened… you can get your inReach with support for iOS and Android now, just follow the links at the top of this message. The firmware update that I described with some of the new functionality will be available in early June. This update will include firmware for new inReach devices as well as existing Android only inReach devices. The Earthmate app for iOS and Android will also be updated.
Existing and new inReach owners will all have the same functionality in standalone mode and when paired with their iOS or Android devices. They will all benefit from the battery improvements made by our team. I know that existing customers get nervous when new products are released. The first inReach for Android will provide all the same features as the new inReach for iOS. The new inReach just brings that functionality to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad while also working with Android.
I expect there will be a lot of questions about the new inReach and the updates that will be coming out in June. We’ll be answering questions in the comments and I’ll put together blog updates as we move through the schedule. We’re very excited about the new inReach and our ability to finally satisfy the requests for iOS support. I look forward to talking more about the projects we’ve been working on now that we’ve released and the communication channel has been opened up again!
Follow the links, read the details, and let us know what you think!
Product & Design Manager