In The Market For A GPS Receiver?

We have a TomTom, which Patricia is pretty happy with, but this Garmin looks like a great deal, today only.

I wonder how long a dedicated GPS receiver will survive the era of smartphones and tablets? I guess it’s still handy to just leave in a car.

13 thoughts on “In The Market For A GPS Receiver?

  1. bfwebster

    I’ve got a Tom Tom GPS — and I still prefer it over trying to use my iPhone or iPad as a GPS. I find it works better, is more reliable, and already has the right setup (i.e., windshield mount). ..bruce..

    1. McGehee

      Just checked. There are, and the name brand ones ain’t cheap and have a lot of poor reviews probably because of the price and because of comparison to the dedicated units.

      I’ve just downloaded a free one called Waze to try out — good reviews and if it sucks I’m not out any money.

      1. Rand Simberg Post author

        Waze is actually more interactive, gathering data from users to indicate traffic congestion levels. On KABC-TV in LA, the traffic reporters issue reports from it.

        1. McGehee

          Yeah, its graphics are kind of cartoony and the emphasis on social could get on my nerves after a while, but I’ll wait and see how it does as a navigator before I pass judgment.

          1. McGehee

            Well, Waze’s social features did get on my nerves. Besides, I discovered Google Maps for iPhone has voice-guided turn-by-turn, which Apple Maps won’t do.

            However, I’m impressed so far with Scout, which seems to be a TomTom app. It’s free, though downloaded maps cost $25 a year. But Scout also has voice command, which is convenient while driving.

            Downside of using an iPhone for navigation while driving is, I have to leave it out loose. If it’s in my shirt pocket where I might hear the prompts, the phone apparently mutes both Google Maps and Scout.

  2. Larry J

    I’ve used Garmin GPS units for years with generally good results. I received a new one last Christmas and used it on a trip last week. Overall, it’s a good unit but I wish it would let me review and edit the route before leaving. Sometimes, I don’t want to go with the unit’s recommended route for any number of reasons such as avoiding bad weather. I can’t even see ahead of time where its routing me unless I spend a lot of time backing out the map.

    I once knew a young woman who referred to her Tom-Tom GPS as Jane-Jane “because we all know that men can’t give directions.”

    1. Daver

      That’s a problem I have with my Garmin–I haven’t found out how to check the route before leaving. It will play the route in projected real time–I can watch turn by turn for six hours for what it thinks is a six hour trip. I can’t think of any reason I’d want to do that.

  3. Eric Weder

    They will be around for a while yet – as you mention, handy to leave in the car, cheap enough to have one in every car, 12V power cords, easier to manipulate while driving, and if you don’t have a Bluetooth headset / handsfree, you can’t see the map while you’re talking.

  4. Barbara Skolaut

    I got a Tom-Tom a few years ago, and am fine with it. (I do conceal it in my car, though, when I’m not using it – no point inviting break-ins.)

    I did buy a Garmin a year or so ago when it was on sale, but ended up sending it back – it was just too complicated. Since I have a very cheap cell phone (no “smart” or fancy stuff), I don’t have GPS on that, so this is the only GPS I have.

    I still like to look at a map on the internet before going someplace new, particularly out of town – GPS isn’t infallible.

  5. John Ahrens

    I use GOS Motion X-Drive on my iPad. I think it’s iPhone capable, too. Works really well, by subscription, like $2.95 per month. I like it better than the Tom-Tom we used to use.

  6. Arizona CJ

    Does anyone know if the smartphone apps work when there’s no cellular service available? From what I hear, they don’t, but I don’t have a smartphone.

    I highly doubt I’d give up my Garmins, even if smartphones worked as GPS navigators in non-cell-coverage areas.

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