Garminfones Repurposed


Given the current COVID-2019 restrictions in place and a chilly weekend here in Minnesota, I found myself digging through my old electronic devices and was brainstorming on how to get some more use out of things that I already own. Almost ten years ago I ended up with three Garminfones. The reviews on them were not good at the time. Despite that, I always thought it was an interesting concept. The version of Android, 2.1, is pretty old by today's standards.

As I continued to dig, I ran across several old Android smartphones that nobody in my family uses any longer. We have changed smartphones a few times as we changed carriers or certain features were added. For example, 3G to 4G, etc.

I went out on a horseback ride to continue to brainstorm and then a quirky idea hit me. Why not used the old Garminfones as a makeshift mount for the old Android smartphones and repurpose them as dedicated automobile navigators! As crazy as it sounds, I thought, "What the heck, try it." Some of my old smartphones already had Velcro on them since they have been used as makeshift digital clocks in the barn or garage. So, I added Velcro to the screen of the Garminfone, installed a Garmin suction cup mount on the windshield of one of my cars, found a spare micro USB cord and 12 volt charger and I gave it a try.

So far, I have just used Google maps for Android. While I certainly have used Google maps in the past, I have still typically used my Garmins for in-vehicle navigation. I have to hand it to Google, Google Maps work very well for automobile navigation. While I am not ready to replace my Garmins with Google Maps, I do think there is great value having the ability to use BOTH Garmin and Google Maps, particularly for longer road trips. I also really like Garmin mounts. So, being able to repurpose some old Garminfones and Android smartphones has been kind of a fun project that really didn't cost me anything! (I may just try HERE maps next.)

Sounds Intriguing.....

Thanks for the idea.

RKF (Bethesda, MD) Garmin Nuvi 660, 360 & Street Pilot