Project GPS


Dalibor Lanik



    VisualGPS is a shell and unlock for Mio devices. Normaly, on MioMoov, you only have your GPS software (MioMap 2008). With unlock, you can benefit from the fact that most nav devices use Windows CE (a version of Windows Mobile that doesn't have all applications, desktop and today screen) and that they can run other software as well. With unlock, you can use almost all other navigational (GPS) programs, such as Garmin, TomTom, iGO or Destinator.

    The latest version has been downloaded more than 35.000 times! Download now and see why this shell is so popular!


    One part of the Shell is on the Flash Disk (internal GPS memory), while the installation scripts and unlocks that are not needed once the system boots, can be either on Flash Disk or on SD card (to save space on Flash Disk). The card can also be used as a trigger to start the boot process so you don't have to modify anything on your GPS' Flash Disk.

    VisualGPS should run on all Mio Moov devices, Mio Spirit and on some Mio DigiWalker (C) devices. It might even run on certain non-Mio brands. What is required is that you have device with Windows CE and 480x272 resolution screen. TomTom and Garmin devices are Linux-based and, therefore, can't run VisualGPS. But in reality, VisualGPS was tested only on European Mio Moov 360, European Mio Moov 330 and European Mio DigiWalker C520. If you get it to run on another device (mio or non mio) feedback would be appreciated. You will need approx. 130Mb free space on your device for Visual GPS, plus additional 30Mb (either on SD card or flash disk) if you want to install additional wallpapers.

    VisualGPS comes with several freeware programs, not as much as other unlocks, because we are running this on nav device, and most of these programs are hard to use without buttons or stylus. I tried to include only essential software and utilities; i.e. audio and video media players, picture viewers, word, excel, powerpoint and pdf viewers, book reader, etc. Also included are several GPS utilities. You can set paths to nav programs direcly from the shell and you can also set wallpapers and volume. The buttons are big on purpose so you can press them while driving ;-)

    Now, the cool thing about Visual Shell is that it is very customizable. As you can see from the screenshots below, you can completely change it's appearance in a couple of seconds! All without the need to know complex skinning. Just select the combination of button design and wallpaper you like the most. But that's not where it ends. You can make it as big or as small as you like. If you are GPS nerd, you can install up to 60 different GPS navigation programs! If you need office apps or multimedia apps, you can have those screens. If you like to play games, you can have games screens. But what if all you want to do is run one GPS program? No problem! Visual Shell can be as big or as small as you wish:

    From full blown shell with 10 screens:

    to the simple one-screen shell with all necessary functions on one screen:

    Even that is too much for you? Well, then just set your favorite GPS app (i.e. iGo Primo or TomTom) to be run immediately on turning on the GPS and you will never see the shell at all (unless you exit the GPS program).

    Maybee the best way to understand how visual shell works is to see it in action:

    But let's see all the screens of Visual Shell and see what they do.

    When the boot is finished, this is the Info
screen. From Here you can access two favorite GPS programs or go to the other screens to lounch office programs, multimedia apps, games or other GPS software.

      Visual icon runs your default navigation software
    This version includes application CountryInfo which displays info on speed limits and such for all european countries.

Sat icon displays satellite info:

    Second Info screen (by pressing the tab):

    "SD Card" button rescans GPS apps in case you are using multiple SD cards with different GPS apps on each. This button also rescans wallpapers on SD card.

    Chip icon let's you set RAM used for storage. By default it is set to 1Mb (of 64),  By increasing storage memory, you make more space for applications to store their temporary data, but they have less RAM in which to execute. In my experience, 1Mb (minimum) is just enough for storage, so more RAM is available for programs.

    This is the Navigation screen. There are actually 2 screens for each program category. Category is selected by moving left-right, and you jump to 2nd or 1st screen by moving up-down (by pressing the tab).

    VisualGPS does not come with MioMap, iGo, TomTom or any other commercial navigation software. Icons and scripts are included for them, but not the programs themselves (because they are not free). If you want to use these programs, you have do find and download them yourself or buy them. 

    Visual GPS has built in icons and can be set to work with following navigation programs: MioMap (internal), MioMap (on card), iGo8, Amigo, NDrive, Sygic McGuider, Mireo, AutoMapa, TomTom, PolNav, Garmin, Destinator, Ozi Explorer, Navigon, Route 66 and Becker.

    New version supports running four versions of each nav (GPS) applications. I.e. you can have 1 miomap on Flash Disk and another on card, or more versions of iGo (i.e. standard iGo + Becker and/or Alpine) etc. This is the screen that is displayed when both versions are installed. It waits 6 seconds for you to press GPS App button, and if you don't do anything, it runs first (default) app. If you press other button(s), it runs other (alternate 1-3) version:

    Application menu. Here you can run media players and picture viewers. On second screen you can lounch word, excel, powerpoint, pdf viewers, clock, calc etc.

    And it wouldn't be complete without a couple of games! The Games screen:

    On the second games screen, 6 additional commercial games are included. If you don't have them installed, these icons won't work. If you do have them, copy them to \My Flash Disk\Visual\Programs\Games\

    System menu is ofcourse for settings.

    By clicking the 1st icon you get wallpaper setup screen with which you can set wallpaper to be used in whole visual. Use up and down arrows to move in wallpapers, OK to select.

    Notice: in order to keep archive smaller, most of the wallpapers were removed from the distribution archive. Please google around for Visual unlock / shell on various GPS forums to find link to separate Wallpaper archive.

    Second screen allows you to change the look of buttons - choose from 11 different styles!

    Second button from the system screen allows you to run visual commands:
  •     "Rescan Wallpapers" rebuilds wallpaper database in case you add some more wallpapers to your flash disk or SD card.
  •     "Rescan SD Card" is usefull if you use more than one SD card with different GPS applications. This command updates buttons according to the installed GPS applications on your SD card.
  •     Save (day) and Save (night) save schemes for day and night respectivly. Scheme is combination of wallpaper and button design, so you can change to two custom setups for day/night with just 1 button press.
  •     "Wallpapers 2nd Location" lets you specify the alternate location for wallpapers, for example on SD card.
  • Fav 1 / Fav 2 options set favorite GPS programs that will not appear on normal GPS page but on 1st "welcome" page and "info" page.
  • Set Default GPS app option selects default GPS program that will be available on welcome/info screens under visual icon and that will be automaticaly run if "Autorun Default App" option is checked.

    On 2nd screen there are options to:
  •         "GPS App Exit button" selects whether to display exit button on the left or right hand side. 
  •         "Restore Brightness" sets screen brightness level after returning from GPS program - as you may know, each GPS program can set it's own level of brightness which is (with this command) reset to original setting when returning to Visual.
  •     "Autorun Default App" means run default GPS program after Visual boots
  •     "Hide Missing Apps" hides all GPS programs icons that are not installed
  •     "Exit Shell on GPS Run" frees some additional memory when running GPS programs by quitting Visual when you run GPS apps. 
  • Fast Boot option. With this option ticked, the unlock will boot from previouse 52 seconds (with initialization of GPS) to 12 seconds. Recommended settings for Fast Boot is not to have "Skip explorer at Boot" checked, and to have "Skip GPS init on Boot" checked. Word of advice, though: even though this works just fine on my moov 360, I can't guarantee it will on every moov. It is just a try, so if it dowesn't work for you, just use the classic unlock. Also, please boot al least once regulary (classic unlock) before switching on fast boot!


    Another feature is Louncher, so you can add own programs which don't have icons in Visual. There are 8 slots. List of apps is in visual.ini file in [Louncher] section, as app1 to 8 values, i.e. app5=\Storage Card\iGO8\iGO8.exe. for the time being, you have to edit those manualy in Visual.ini file.

    By pressing the USB icon, you can now connect to USB. Just be sure to press USB button first and only then connect the cable to Mio!

    Bluetooth icon runs (if your Mio supports it) Contacts application to call via Bluetooth connected GSM mobile phone. How it works: Run MioMap. Connect your phone in a standard way. Exit MioMap. From now on, if somebody calls you, you will receive calls on your GPS, call status will display over currently running app. If you want to call someone, use bluetooth button in Visual to run Contacts app.

    Folder icon  lets you specify paths to nav programs that you're using. There are four tabs at the top. Normally, if you don't have multiple versions of a program, you should use the 1st "Default" tab. Alt1-3 tabs are for alternative versions i.e. you want to use iGo 8.0 and iGo 8.3/

    Second part of that screen are hidden settings for MioMap. Get rid of the "EULA/Warning" screen (device boots or program starts directly into the map screen - no need to tap "I agree")! Display extra POI icons in main menu! Hide existing ones not used. Enable speedcams for Austria, Deutchland and Swiss (disabled by default on european Mio Moovs). Show Exit button. And are you tired of gestures over screen in order to scroll lists in MioMap? no problem - enable up/down arrows in all lists by selecting this option! Display 3D buildings - this option only enables this feature - you have to google around and find building files yourself (make "Buildings" folder in \My Flash Disk\Program Files\MioMap folder and copy building file(s) there).

    Quit/Reset icon  lets you exit the shell or reset the device. Reset Visual resets visual settings and lets you specify again basic parameters during boot (paths to navi programs are not reset!):

and on the second tab, you can set which screens are to be displayed or hidden:

    Continuing with System screen - select one of two favorite schemes (buttons/wallpaper) as day/night schemes and set them later with just one button press. You can also set display brightness, or set both scheme/brightness with just one button-press.

    Change master Volume...

    ...change buttons "click" sound, directly from shell. Just select the one you like the most:

    ...or mute volume

    Set screen brightness to bright or dim

    Set scheme (wallpaper/buttons) to day or night scheme

    Set both brightness and scheme to day/night

Preparing for instalation

    First of all - if you're upgrading from previous version - delete it completely. Delete "Visual" folder on Flash Disk, "Visual.ins" on SD card and "Cobia..." on SD card and install new version. You might want to backup your visual.ini file - inside Visual folder on your device. That is where your preferences are stored.

    Then, you need to choose which installation will you do. There are 3 possibilities and each has it's advantages. But before we get into that, let me just briefly explain how Visual works, and why it has 3 parts.

    I hope you understand what is SD card and what is Flash Disk? SD card is the card you put in your device, Flash is Mio Moov's internal memory.

Now, as you probably noticed, there are 3 Visual folders:
    This one contains init script which triggers installation. It is very small and is needed in order to register script engine. It can run from SD card or Flash.

    This is installation folder. All files that are used during installation are here, but are no longer needed once Visual starts. Since you can buy another (bigger) SD card, but you can't expand Moov's memory, there is a choice for this to remain on SD card, to save space on Mio's Flash.

    This is shell itself. It is run from Flash, because of stability (SD cards take time to initialize after standby) and speed.

OK, now let's get back to installation types.

Trigger from card, install from card, run from flash
    Installation is triggered from SD card (, installs from SD card (Visual.ins) but runs from Flash (Visual). You just add extra files to device's Flash Disk (in separate folder) and that can't harm your device in any way.

Trigger from card, install from flash, run from flash
    This is also completely  safe, since you are just adding files to Flash. SD card is used only to trigger the installation from Flash (when inserted).

Completely from Flash
    Everything is on the flash (all 3 folders) . More stable, and everything works after return from standby. You must make small change (one config file on flash) to your system. If you mess up, it won't start MioMap - but it is really easy to make this change, and even if you mess up, you can still always connect your device via USB to PC and correct the change. With this method, you can just keep your SD card inside the device all the time, you don't need to insert it every time you want to install.

    So, which method to choose? I strongly recommend C) Completely from Flash. It is simpler to install and works better.


* Unpack visual_GPS_vXXX.XX.rar archive to your computer.

* Copy folder Visual to the root of your Flash Disk

Select A, B or C method (one only):

A) Trigger from card, install from card, run from flash

B) Trigger from card, install from flash, run from flash

C) Completely from Flash


    Now, you're ready to download Visual from the following links (password is visual):





     You will notice that 6 games are missing from this release. This is because I can't include commercial games in freeware app ;-) Also, the version of GPS skinner (a commercial application) included is trial version. You can either purchase these or google around, but that is up to you.

Buy me a beer

    I already spent many days and nights to develop this software and am offering it for free. So, if you like it and feel it is usefull to you, buy me a beer or two! Donate 5 or 5$ or whatever you think appropriate. Cheers!


    For all questions, comments and support requests, please visit the gpsunderground or ppcwarez forums at the "VisualGPS - unlock/shell for Mio Moov" topic. Do not post e-mails or IM, please. Before posting any questions, try to find out by yourself!

The GPS ProjectMireo viaGPS 3.0 Black Edition