Initially those who wants to navigate using Garmin maps have to buy Garmin GPSr. Later Garmin came up with a PalmOS version of the GPSr known as Que. But it is still a Garmin device. The Que software cannot be used on other PalmOS device. Once PalmOS began to decline, Garmin came up with a PPC version of Que, but it is still a Garmin device. The Que software cannot be used on other PPC device.

Later Garmin came up with Que software which could be used on PPC & PalmOS devices. However you could only use Que with Garmin Bluetooth (BT) devices such as Garmin GPS 10 & Garmin GPS 10x. Savvy PPC/WM users overcome this by using GPSProxy, which enables them to use Que with any BT GPS device or built-in GPS. Unfortunately no such application is available for PalmOS.

To overcome competition from other navigation software such as MapKing, Garmin came up with a pseudo-3D (2.5D?) navigation software known as Mobile XT for WM, PalmOS and Symbian. It’s use is still tied to the Garmin BT devices.

Trouble arises when Symbian/WM devices with built-in GPS became popular. There is no reason for these users to buy Garmin BT GPS since they already have the GPS built-in. So Garmin came up with a Mobile XT version which is tied to the SD card that it is sold with for USD99. So the users just buy the Mobile XT (which previously can be downloaded for free) instead of buying the Garmin BT GPS device.

Packed with preloaded maps, millions of destinations and full GPS navigation capabilities, Garmin Mobile XT turns your phone into a powerful street navigator. Its intuitive interface greets you with two simple questions “Where to?” and “View Maps.” Easily look up addresses and services and get voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions to your destination. Enjoy 3-D mapping and advanced features such as saved routes and tracks, custom avoidances and visible trip logs. With Garmin Mobile XT, you can also upload custom points of interest, such as school zones and safety cameras and conveniently navigate to contacts in your address book.

With no network coverage required, Garmin Mobile XT works anywhere. Simply plug the microSD card (with miniSD and standard SD card converters) into your compatible phone with built-in GPS and go. Since Garmin Mobile XT works outside your phone’s coverage area, you’ll get directions when you need them most.

Unfortunately this opens up an avenue for hackers who want to use the new Mobile XT for free. Initially they came up with a keygen, which generates the unlock code based on the card id. It also generates unlock codes for Garmin maps such as City Navigator North America NT 2008, City Navigator Europe NT v9, City Navigator Australia NT v7, City Navigator Middle East v4, Taiwan City Navigator v8.01, Thailand Street Map v8.

The keygen later evolved into a more comprehensive version, which generates key even for Garmin Mobile PC and a wider range of Garmin maps.

Some of the Garmin maps are locked. Russian hackers came up with a DOS application to unlock them. I’m not so sure what sort of map could be unlocked by it. I do know that Garmin BlueChart maps are impervious to the application.

To avoid unscrupulous people from profitting from MalSingMaps (MSM) and to motivate people into submitting tracks & POIs, the latest MSM map is locked, which can be unlocked by track contributors. Instead an earlier version (Jan 08) is made freely available. Therefore it saddens me that some unscrupulous users are using the DOS application to unlock the latest MSM maps.

I myself uses Garmin GPSr and Garmin BT GPS 10, so I don’t need to resort to using the above crack tools. I’m also a regular track contributor so I have access to the latest MSM maps. I myself learnt about the crack and keygen yesterday when one of the moderator posted screenshots of the tools at the MSM forum. He himself got the images from another local PDA forum.

The above post is meant to educate PalmX users about what is going on in the Garmin world. Not a guide on cracking. That is why I post neither the names of the applications nor the links 😉

Author: Dr Azmi Mohd Tamil

I am a lecturer in Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia since 1996, teaching in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. My main interests are gadgets and cycling. You can connect with me at Facebook.