I got the 5.10.1 update yesterday. Apparently, it just fixed some bugs in the previous version, I have not noticed any new features.
Not much new since the original 5.0 update was released.
Question: I'm thinking of getting a android phone and using this as my primary guidance instead of my Garmin 3790. How much better or different is the Google app vs. using a Garmin 3790?
i would stay with the garmin. bigger screen and more friendly user for guidance. large battery drain when using android.
I have the Droid X and it makes a good backup GPS unit for occasional use, has some nice trick features with Google Maps but not as easy to use as the Garmin is.
I would rate the Droid X in 3rd place behind my GM built in system in first and my Garmin unit I would place second for everyday nav use.
The google app does not provide a lot of the features in the 3790 such as lane assist, traffic trends, route avoidance, etc. But if you just need a basic navigation program it definitely does the job well. The biggest downside to the google app is that you need a data connection, so if you drive in a remote area you may lose navigation.
If you plan to use your phone as a dedicated gps device I would recommend purchasing a backup nav app which stores the maps on your phone. Then if you lose data connection you can always switch to the backup nav app.
I personally use the google app for 95% of my driving. The other 5% I use ALK CoPilot.
Google Maps is a good basic navigation tool. They keep adding features that make it better, but it is not a dedicated PND. Even with the larger android devices, it is going to be a smaller screen than most PNDs. You also need a good data plan (I have unlimited data with Sprint).
As with a PND, you will want a power cord if you plan on using it for long periods and a stand/bean bag/etc. to set it on. I've found that with most cars, I can rest it on its side in front of the speedometer.
Supposedly, you can download map segments so you still have maps when you lose connectivity. I have not tried that personally.
For me, I use it on business trips when I don't feel like taking my GO930, power cord & stand. If I am driving from home on a long trip, I generally just use my android/Google Maps to check traffic and either use my built-in or GO930 (depending upon which car I'm driving) for route navigation.
If you travel overseas, I've found that sometimes Google Maps can be very slow to download the map. You can see the symbol that indicates where you are "Accurate to 3 meters," but it is on a blank screen! I suspect the time it takes to build the map is based on the capability of the cell phone service provider you use.
I have also found that in some countries, while I can find my POI, I get an error message saying something to the effect of no route available. In those cases, I use Google Maps as just that, an electronic street map. As an electronic map, it is a wonderful tool for walking tours of foriegn cities (as long as you don't have a blank screen ).
Personally, while I find Google Maps very helpful, I'm not ready to give up my PND just yet.
I have a few different apps that I use
Ndrive USA - self contained
Navigon USA/Canada - self contained
CoPilot USA - self contained
Google Maps/Navigator - Data dependent
My favorite Is Navigon, I have always been partial to Navigon.
I leave my Garmin in the trunk, just in case i lose my phone. Although I have never lost a cell phone.
I always use my dedicated GPS. If I didn't already have one, though, I might risk going with just my smartphone, but the self-contained feature of the GPS is priceless if you lose your cell signal.
There is an old saying about "get the right horse for a given course". At this time, this reflects my attitude about using the nav software available on my Android phone versus using my TomTom GPS.
At home, or driving somewhere from home in my own car, I feel that the TomTom is still a much better choice than using the phone's GPS, for a variety of reasons. If I fly somewhere, I normally do not want to have the weight and space impact of carrying the GPS in my luggage or briefcase. If I then need to navigate around a strange area to which I have flown, the GPS in my Droid Incredible 2 is a very nice tool to have with me. It is actually fairly capable, but it is still not as nice to use as my TomTom.
As already mentioned, whether you could switch totally to an Android phone with Google app depends on what you need. I am using the Google app more than my Nuvi these days, but if driving in a remote area, would definitely bring the Garmin along. I still often have both running, or at least both available.
One area where the Google app performance has impressed me more than the Garmin is traffic detection - as long as you have a reliable data connection. My Garmin traffic subscription does not pick up a signal as quickly as needed near my home - a location based issue.
Try them both and see what works best for you.
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