Put my Garmin in the glove box

 

I have been using a Garmin GPS on my dash since 2007. I got a DriveLuxe51 last year and love it but now I am keeping it mostly in my glove box.

Earlier this year I got a new VW with an 8-inch capacitive-resistance screen. It is bright, beautiful and has Apple CarPlay. Recently I have been able use Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Waze through it with the iOS update. I found myself looking at the Garmin less and less. The Waze app in particular has a good looking map and warns me better and faster about traffic conditions in my area around Philadelphia. I also get warned about police and accidents.

I hung on to my Garmin even though most of my friends and family moved to their phones for navigation. I didn't want to tie up the phone with navigation, and the DriveLuxe maps looked great and calculated routes faster and better than ever. But now I keep my Garmin for traveling to areas with poor cell reception or when traveling to a new city and need a rental car. I take the Garmin and preload it with my business or vacation destinations. It makes driving in a new city very easy. Last year when traveling in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado it was the only navigation tool that would work in the car.

I also am traveling to the UK in a few months and got the UK smart card. That way I will have the maps and won't need cell data.

Seeing the other thread on POI Factory that Garmin is likely getting out of the automotive business made me realize it was time to start moving on to a CarPlay navigator as my primary tool.

This is not "goodbye, Garmin" but rather "Stick around for when I need you, but I don't need you as much now".

--
Brent - DriveLuxe 51 LMT-S

This is exactly...

...why they are moving away from automotive GPS and investing in other tech like wearables. Navigation systems are so cheap now that you'll see it as a standard option on most vehicles soon. They can't make money in this part of the business anymore.

cell weak spots

Living in New Mexico, I'm more aware than people in more densely populated areas might be that one can drive for a dozen miles down a pretty major highway without a peep of cell phone reception.

Honest question: how well do the Android and Apple navigation solutions behave with half-hour no reception dropouts?

In principal, Android and Apple could build good enough reception maps (crowd-sourced from their own customers) to allow them preemptively to download maps in advance for the region one's current location suggests might be at reception risk within range of current location. Do any of them do that?

I personally have not yet joined the smart phone majority, so my dashtop Garmin is a good solution that does not have a reasonable alternative. But if I join the smart phone throng, I suspect my beloved 3790 will become a backup. The traffic data on it can't begin to compete with crowd-sourced traffic data provided down a high bandwidth connection. Also, at least eventually, I expect the smart phone maps routinely to be more up-to-date than even my thrice per year diligent download of latest maps gets on my dashtop GPS.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

Use offline maps by downloading first

archae86 wrote:

Android and Apple could build good enough reception maps (crowd-sourced from their own customers) to allow them preemptively to download maps in advance for the region one's current location suggests might be at reception risk within range of current location. Do any of them do that?

Downloading maps to the phone is possible in Google Maps by selecting Offline Areas option. With Apple Maps I believe you have to plan route, and then zoom in along the route to get it loaded into the phone.

Your situation is the reason why I think a standalone GPS will be necessary for a long time. Perhaps when satellite Wifi becomes a reality a phone would then be viable for navigation.

--
Brent - DriveLuxe 51 LMT-S

Offline Maps

I do that for areas nearby my regular stomping ground, just to conserve my meager 1GB/mon data and for international travel to minimize roaming charges.

However, some countries do not allow downloading map data for offline uses, Japan and China for example. Google Map is not even available in China. Even if it is, the Chinese government adds random offsets on the coordinates, up to about 05 KM, that makes the maps useless. Garmin GPSRs sold in Taiwan and China do work in China. They come with a file to compensate for the offsets.

There is still life for standalone GPSRs.

IMHO

My lowly Nuvi 50LM is always on in the car and has traveled with me for cross country vacation trips as well as local.

1. It is far easier to use than the in-car navigation app and certainly easier to program a route.

2. Maps are more up-to-date than the car.

3. We won't even mention the POIs I have loaded on the Garmin.

4. I can't even begin to think why I would want to give all that up and use Android Auto to connect maps thru my phone to the car system. I never worry about cell coverage and maps even in remote areas of the west.

I'm going to retire the 50LM soon and begin to use the brand new Drive 51LM I just picked up for less than $80 at a sale.

As long as Garmin continues to update the maps, even once a year, they will serve me well.

I have seen the Android Auto connected and working in a friends car and would not even bother trying it after seeing it perform.

Each to their own - and I know some of you are convinced the phone is a GREAT solution, but I think that if the car system you have is not up-to-par then keep the Garmin.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

Right on KenSny

I have a Nav unit built into my car, Garmin based BTW. I'll be dam**d to pay the outrageous money for map updates from VW.

My Garmin serves me well without needing an expensive data plan. Needing a data plan is like paying $ 15.00 a month for Sirius. I have a 16 GB SD card loaded with commercial free music.

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT Retired now, Nuvi 2797LMT, SmartDrive 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

Yep

Got to agree. My wife's car has Android Auto and a lovely built in screen. Not a patch on my Garmin though unless all you want is to put in a destination and drive.

--
Where there's a will ... there's a way ... DriveSmart50LMT-D, Nuvi 2508LMT-D, 1490LMT, 1310, Montana 650T, Etrex 20

I Like To Keep As Many Bucks As Possible

Love the Garmin. There's no way to beat a very capable product that you buy and use free for a lifetime! Free is good.

Updating Auto GPS Maps

Melaqueman wrote:

I have a Nav unit built into my car, Garmin based BTW. I'll be dam**d to pay the outrageous money for map updates from VW.

My Garmin serves me well without needing an expensive data plan. Needing a data plan is like paying $ 15.00 a month for Sirius. I have a 16 GB SD card loaded with commercial free music.

It is ridiculous how much car maker charge to update their GPS maps. Most simply insert a DVD into the disc player and run the update in a matter of minutes. Then they charge you a high fee for doing something that is simple and only takes a short time.

Auto Android

I have a new car with Auto Android. I am always open to new technology as I was an early adopter of GPS systems. Auto Android is very convenient since I just plug my phone in and use the built in screen. It is also an extremely crude application.

It has zero, nil, nada route storage and retrieval capabilities. I have tricked AA into using a route stored in an email, and I lost the route when I needed to pay for fuel with my phone. Also, the app does not have basic information that Garmin has - no speed limit, no visual lane guidance, no ETA on the route destination, only the next stop, no configurable trip-meter information, no POI capability for red-light/speed cameras, can download off-line maps but they are impractical to use on a trip as the map sizes are limited and one has to have several map sections and try to juggle them. I also have seen no effort by Google to improve the product in any substantial way as car navigation is not something they are interested in - bike paths, bus routes, in-city travel yes, but normal car activities no.

It does provide better traffic, better route alternative guidance on an on-going basis, better standard POI.

Since I have AA, I have tended to use it around my local area for convenience, but not for any trips as it is simply inadequate for my use.

--
___________________ Garmin 2455, 855, Oregon 550t

OK, but

RayHff wrote:

Love the Garmin. There's no way to beat a very capable product that you buy and use free for a lifetime! Free is good.

As long as you realize "lifetime" means what Garmin considers to the the life of the product. If they decide the lifetime of any product is 5 years then that's what lifetime means. Don't assume it means as long as you have the unit and it works.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

But how about the smartphone versions?

Several people posting on this thread have given convincing testimony of points of inferiority of Auto Android to good Garmin dashtop models. But my impression is that most people I know navigate neither by dashtop GPS nor but builtin auto GPS, but rather by direct use of their Apple or Android smartphone.

I'd be really interested in hearing direct comparisons to those.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

lifetime map

KenSny wrote:
RayHff wrote:

Love the Garmin. There's no way to beat a very capable product that you buy and use free for a lifetime! Free is good.

As long as you realize "lifetime" means what Garmin considers to the the life of the product. If they decide the lifetime of any product is 5 years then that's what lifetime means. Don't assume it means as long as you have the unit and it works.

Garmin still allows me to update the life-time map subscription for my 260, even though the 260 has been declared end-of-life many many moons back.

In the case of map updates, I believe life-time really means as long as my device is functional, being kept up-to-date per Garmin requirement and Garmin is still in the relevant business and providing new maps.

Lifetime Maps

Still getting updates for my 1390T and it’s almost 10 years old.

AA versus GPS

rigel wrote:

I have a new car with Auto Android. I am always open to new technology as I was an early adopter of GPS systems. Auto Android is very convenient since I just plug my phone in and use the built in screen. It is also an extremely crude application.

It has zero, nil, nada route storage and retrieval capabilities. I have tricked AA into using a route stored in an email, and I lost the route when I needed to pay for fuel with my phone. Also, the app does not have basic information that Garmin has - no speed limit, no visual lane guidance, no ETA on the route destination, only the next stop, no configurable trip-meter information, no POI capability for red-light/speed cameras, can download off-line maps but they are impractical to use on a trip as the map sizes are limited and one has to have several map sections and try to juggle them. I also have seen no effort by Google to improve the product in any substantial way as car navigation is not something they are interested in - bike paths, bus routes, in-city travel yes, but normal car activities no.

It does provide better traffic, better route alternative guidance on an on-going basis, better standard POI.

Since I have AA, I have tended to use it around my local area for convenience, but not for any trips as it is simply inadequate for my use.

I have tried Android Auto and do not find it as convenient as my NUVi 3597, especially since it has to be plugged into the USB port and I cant use my Ipod to listen to podcasts. AA is also limited and does not include all the features of the GPS. I do like the traffic features on Waze, though.

Another reason the Garmin is put away

I forgot to add 2 other reasons why I broke down and put the Garmin in the glove box.

1. Aesthetics. I got tired of the wire running over my steering wheel, down the console, and running past the shifter. My preferred mount was in the windshield to the left with a vertical orientation. It kept the GPS in my line of sight as needed. This is particularly helpful in complicated interchanges or hard to find locations.

2. Safety. While GPS units are probably not as hot an item for thieves nowadays I still felt I needed to stow the unit and wire whenever I parked in a city or sketchy place overnight. Plus, having an item on the dash in an accident can be a problem when airbags get deployed. And to top it all off, many states don't permit GPS on the windshield (although I have never been dinged for it).

--
Brent - DriveLuxe 51 LMT-S

I'm guessing you aren't interested in receiving the COW!

brentrn wrote:

I forgot to add 2 other reasons why I broke down and put the Garmin in the glove box.

1. Aesthetics. I got tired of the wire running over my steering wheel, down the console, and running past the shifter. My preferred mount was in the windshield to the left with a vertical orientation. It kept the GPS in my line of sight as needed. This is particularly helpful in complicated interchanges or hard to find locations.

2. Safety. While GPS units are probably not as hot an item for thieves nowadays I still felt I needed to stow the unit and wire whenever I parked in a city or sketchy place overnight. Plus, having an item on the dash in an accident can be a problem when airbags get deployed. And to top it all off, many states don't permit GPS on the windshield (although I have never been dinged for it).

Those are excellent reasons not to use the Garmin...

I'm guessing you aren't interested in being recognized and receiving the 'Contributors Of The Week' in the future!

--
According to the laws of aerodynamics, bumblebees cannot fly. But the bumblebees, not knowing the laws of aerodynamics, go ahead and fly anyway...

Thanks rigel!

rigel wrote:

I have a new car with Auto Android...

... I have tended to use it around my local area for convenience, but not for any trips as it is simply inadequate for my use.

Thanks for the detailed evaluation. I had been hoping that AA would be useful when I buy a new car, but the Garmin looks better all the time.

dobs108 smile

Rental Cars

I basically use my Garmin when I'm traveling with rental cars. Even if the rental car were to come with a built in GPS, it does me no good since it doesn't contain my POI's. I still have a use with the PND going forward.

--
Garmin: GPSIII / StreetPilot / StreetPilot Color Map / StreetPilot III / StreetPilot 2610 / GPSMAP60CSx / Nuvi 770 / Nuvi 765T / Nuvi 3490LMT * Pioneer: AVIC-80 / N3 / X950BH

Side by side

I often run my nuvi 3597 with Smartphone Link side by side with Android Auto Google navigation app. I was pleasantly surprised that Smartphone Link and Android Auto could run simultaneously on my cheapo smart phone without any problems. In most cases, they pick identical routes, but sometimes there are minor differences. In some cases the Garmin will pick the route I prefer and in other cases, the Google route seems slightly better. Really, nothing significant though as far as routing differences. And so far, I have not figured out a way to do multipoint routing with via points on Android Auto.

Even though the 3597 screen is much smaller than the 7" screen running Android auto, the Garmin is both easier to see (thanks in part to Narvick's custom theme file) and in the wealth of information it gives. The Google map shows mostly white roads on a light beige background and very little road detail and not enough color contrast. It is difficult for my old eyes to see without staring at it longer than is safe. A quick glance at the Garmin screen is all I need to get the info I need. And as others have pointed out, the Android Auto Google app doesn't allow the customization for the data fields you want to see (speed, speed limit, direction of travel, time/distance to destination, etc.)

I also find Garmin's "real directions" feature to be superior to the navigation prompts given on Android Auto. And with Garmin's speech recognition, I find fewer instances where I need to use the touch screen than I do with Google's voice recognition. One example is if you say "Go to McDonalds", both devices will give you a list of nearby McDonald restaurants. On the Garmin, you can voice in the line number for one you want, but on Android Auto, you have to select it with the touch screen.

It could be I just haven't figured out how to best use Android Auto so maybe there are workarounds for some of these weaknesses. I have yet to find them though.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

AA is google maps

just a point of clarification. Auto Android is simply a projection of the Android Smartphone Google Map or Google Waze onto the car's screen allowing display and control from the car screen without touching the phone. Auto Android is the smartphone's Google Map or Google Waze.

--
___________________ Garmin 2455, 855, Oregon 550t

Not leaving POI Factory

koot wrote:

Those are excellent reasons not to use the Garmin...

I'm guessing you aren't interested in being recognized and receiving the 'Contributors Of The Week' in the future!

I intend to keep my Garmin and use it as needed. I also intend to stick around the POI Factory. Since Garmin no longer makes an automotive PND of the quality of the DriveLuxe 51 I expect it will probably be the last one I own. Fortunately, it is built well and hope it gets software updates for some more years.

--
Brent - DriveLuxe 51 LMT-S