At the beginning of 2019 we got a new car, a Subaru Forester with an in-dash TomTom GPS. We also have, a Nuvi650 that we have used for the past 11 years!!!!!
Anyway, we recently bought a new smartphone. Previously we only had a dumb phone. So we are now up-to-date.
We just installed Android Auto so I was wonder how well it works.
The Subaru's in-dash TomTom has a magnificent display that can be easily modified, but it is NOT as good as a navigation device as the 11 year old Garmin650. It is also more difficult to use.
The standalone Garmin650 works well and we still take it with us since we don't trust the in-dash TomTom. By today's standard the Nuvi650 has a too small a screen. I also don't know how much longer it will continue to work.
Since we just installed Android Auto, I don't yet know how well it will work. Looks like it would be superior to the in-dash TomTom.
What are your thoughts?
It works OK, but it does not measure up to my Garmin nuvi 3597 IMO. There is much more info available on the 3597 screen, better navigation prompts, easier to read map (better contrast and more detail), and it supports multipoint routes, custom POI's with alerts, favorites, etc. Maybe Android Auto supports multipoint routes and some of these other features, but I have never figured out how to do it. I have found Garmin's Smartphone Link traffic to be as good or better than Android Auto (using Google navigation, not Waze). I sometimes run Android Auto and Garmin 3597 side by side just to compare them. For me, I prefer the Garmin hands down for these and many other reasons.
Well, since you asked, here goes. You made it clear that you don't care for the Tom Tom in-dash all that much and like the Garmin Nuvi 650. Don't fight it, get a refurbished Garmin Nuvi 3597. It has a larger screen than the Nuvi 650 and the re-furbished units are very affordable.
I am also in the "camp" of using more than one device, particularly on longer trips. When you travel use BOTH your new Garmin Nuvi 3597 and Google Maps. If they agree on a route, you are good to go. When they don't, then it is time to look closer and find out why they don't agree.
I also have a Garmin DriveLuxe 51LMT. Both the Nuvi 3597 and Garmin DriveLuxe 51LMT are great units. There may have even been a post here recently on refurbished Garmin DriveLuxe 51LMT.
We also got a new car this year and it has both Android and that other auto program available. The built in nav is quite good at getting from A to B but is very poor at setting up a route over specific roads. My 3597 is my choice for routes and traffic info even though my car is supposed to show traffic.
I think the point A to point B is what the majority only need.
The route of multiple points is what I see lacking in the built-in devices. That and the fact they are almost always years out-of-date.
I think GM and it's OnStar system is the worst I have seen. You have to place an onboard "call" to OnStar and give them the destination you want to reach. Then the directions start. Whatever you do don't go off route more than 3-4 times or you will be disconnected. And to top it off you pay $350 a year for that.
I'll stick with my Garmin units.
And if you are going to use Android Auto, why not just hang a tablet on the dash and let that guide you. Why have a cell phone connected to the built-in nav using Google maps to guide you. Bigger screen?
Again, car makers don't want to provide the system and all it's problems. They are going to let Google and Apple do it for them and all they have to do is provide a link and display.
AA has its good points, but it also has its very bad points.
AA - good
1. convenient. it uses the built in screen, easy to see
2. 100% up to date on every POI you could want as well as new streets
3. does a very good job of continuously providing route alternatives
4. Waze - good information on road hazards, police, traffic
AA - bad / Garmin - good
1. no routing capability - cannot create, save, and reuse a route. It can only add a waypoint to an existing route, and that is not easy.
2. waypoints - it can store waypoints, but there is no organization to the storage. Very crude and very hard to use
I do use AA when going someplace simple or going someplace known as I like seeing if there is traffic or road hazards. I do use my Garmin for any trip where I want to plan out stops and specific routes as AA cannot do those things.
In dash, as you say, we love it, but it's hard to use
Garmin for bigger screen, live traffic, not as good as Waze but
ok on the long roads.
Waze for cities Hope this help
I had been a Garmin devotee for many years, continuously upgrading to better and bigger units, Then I bought a car with AA and a large screen. Loved it from day one. I use Google Maps and seldom use Waze. Google Maps allow you to custom maps to your phone for those times you may not have good cellular reception.
As for routing on long trips, I use Google Maps on a computer and layout a trip. You can have 8 destinations in the trip, so it gets quite easy to layout a route. You can choose destinations by name or choose points on the map. Once you have the route set, you can send it to your phone or email. I send to both, the email allows you to historically open on the computer to modify if necessary.
When you send to your phone, google maps will open with your route, before closing save to your Home screen and you can always open it up for later use.
Has anyone that owns a Subaru with navigation bought a subscription of SiriusXM's "NavTraffic" (about$3.99/month) which supposedly gives you "REal Time" traffic report markings on the navigation screen...ie incidents...accident. This NavTraffic feature is not the same thing as Sirius's "Travel Link" which basically only gives you nearby restaurants...gas stations...sports scores etc. Sometimes SiriusXM just calls the NavTraffic "Traffic" on their website pages......they're not very consistent. According to SiriusXM website, their NavTraffic feature is compatible only with Subaru's that
come with the built in integrated navigation unit.
I agree. AA is good but it is difficult to use. If I want to change routes I have to go to my phone, input the information and then plug in the phone to the car connection. It is easier to change routs on the Garmin. Also, the AA voice prompts are too frequent and interfere with listening to the car radio.
To a degree, there's always a learning curve when it comes to something new. The big thing is that I've yet to figure out how to incorporate my POI files into either the in-dash GPS or the smartphone based maps such as Google, Apple or Waze. Yes Google Maps can probably take me to any place I have a POI for, but as alandb mentions, Garmin makes it easy to incorporate several stops en route.and offers on the fly route changes for traffic delays if the info is available.
There are some GPS specific apps for smartphones, even one from Garmin, but while it provides the Garmin type interface, I haven't found out if POI files can be ported to it.
We travel a lot, often to remote areas in the western US, Canada and Alaska. I've found that Garmin ALWAYS works in places where nothing else does. I know that I can download map segments for Google maps so that the phone GPS will continue to function should I enter a cell coverage twilight zone, but I still don't have the POI access. I do use the phone as a handheld GPS.
Using Android Auto or Apple Car-play puts a lot of eggs in one basket. I'm unfamiliar with Android, but I know if I'm listening to something, the map directions will temporarily preempt the audio which is good, but I don't know what preempts what if I get into hands free phone conversation. Does my conversation preempt that I should turn left here???
Maybe I'm old school, but as long as my 3597 works and hopefully I can replace it with another down the road if needed, I'm on this path for the foreseeable future.
Being blessed with a couple of late model cars, I like some of the new features, but I frequently wonder "what were they thinking?" Some makes and models have kept knobs, while others have gone to the touch screen route. One of mine doesn't have a volume control knob. It has on onscreen slider and + and - touch points that disappear when the smart phone gets connected. They are still accessible, but I have to "switch screens" to go between car functions and Car-play functions. That seems to be distracting! Fortunately the climate controls have real buttons but I've seen some cars where that is part of the touch screen. On one car, the car radio and Car-play are mutually exclusive. On the one I have that has Ford Sync 3, some of the onboard apps are inaccessible if the phone is plugged in and Car-play is enabled. I'm hopeful the car makers will get this sorted out in the years to come.
I do use NavTraffic. It works okay for traffic in some areas. Note that I said ‘some areas’. In Ohio, it works fine around metropolitan areas, but not so much in rural areas. Now, for whatever reason, it works on all interstate highways in Georgia. So, my opinion; it is good in some respects, not so good in others.
You raise an interesting associated issue. In two years our new car subscription to TomTom runs out. That means the maps will become "obsolete". (Actually I have the impression that these supposedly "current" maps are actually "old", not current.) Based on my negative beliefs concerning TomTom, it appears that Android Auto will become our navigation feature for the in-dash display after our new car subscription to TomTom runs out.
We still have and still continue to use our Nuvi650.
Just my thoughts, but having owned one in-car GPS, if I can get a car without it, I will. The Honda system, at time of delivery did not have one of the Pennsylvania Turnpike slip ramps that had been open for at least 5 years. When I asked about the update, I was told it would be about $200 and then probably not fix the issue.
The Honda system is also difficult to use. By default if you "search by distance" say for Italian restaurants, locations in California are listed first (I live in Pennsylvania). To list those furthest away by default is simply a brain fart! Neither the dealer nor I can figure out how to reverse the order of the list. Again, I was told to do the $200 update, but no guarantees. Truthfully, it is less expensive (and more reliable) to just carry my 2689LMT when I travel into unfamiliar areas.
If I was buying a car that included a GPS I would insist the system be upgraded prior to delivery, or simply no sale. The sales department will almost always "comp" such requests.
When I bought my 2013 Jeep Wrangler one of the must haves was in dash GPS.
The Jeep's is Garmin based from uConnect. It took a while to learn but I can update it with POI's. It's a very basic GPS that's always ready.
That is why I wanted an in dash unit. I travel through a lot of areas that I know my way through, weekly, but if I had to detour I'd only have a vague idea of how to do it so having the GPS ready at the push of a button is great. I don't have to set up and put away a GPS for every day runs where I might need to detour. I don't live in an area where I could just leave a stand alone setup all the time in plain view.
That said, it is featureless, and the maps from uConnect are at least two years old by the time you get them, PLUS they're $150 for an outdated update, unlike the free lifetime updates my Garmin SmartDrive 61 came with.
As for Android Auto, I've never used it, not sure if data usage is involved, and my Galaxy S10 screen is too small for my old eyes.
I still do like Garmin a lot compared to Tomtom system in the car, but gps in dash having 12 inches, that's a lot of favors
in terms of easy look for every day.
Just wish any Garmin devices can have video out to connect to the car. That's my wish
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