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Old 07-29-2014, 08:33 AM   #41
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Google maps operates just fine with no cell coverage, just download the maps in advance.

By the way, am I the only one here who would pay extra *not* to have a screen in the car? I realize I'm a bit of an outlier, but I detest the proliferation of TV and screens in our world. Remember when you could go to an airport or a barber or a waiting room and not listen to the drivel of the day?
Right up until the time you forget, or you miss a turn despite the directions and google can't recalculate the route for you, or you have to detour for traffic or construction, or you decide to make a side trip, or you start your trip from somewhere without coverage, or... I'm just saying a smartphone isn't a total replacement because there's going to be a time where you didn't totally prepare in advance and if you don't have cell coverage then, it doesn't work fine after all.

I don't like the extra screen either, because it usually takes away from an extra storage cubby. But with backup cameras becoming mandatory, get used to having at least one display. I like the backup camera more than I thought I would, plus it gives a display for the trip computer and an index to my music on my USB stub drive I have buried so it's not all bad.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:38 AM   #42
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By the way, am I the only one here who would pay extra *not* to have a screen in the car? I realize I'm a bit of an outlier, but I detest the proliferation of TV and screens in our world. Remember when you could go to an airport or a barber or a waiting room and not listen to the drivel of the day?


Now get off my lawn....
+1

You are not alone but I fear we are a fairly small group.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:43 AM   #43
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I'm not so sure. Unlike home broadband service, cellular broadband service is metered for most folks. ....
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The problem with relying on a smart phone is if you are in an area with no coverage. ....
There are GPS apps that allow you to download the maps while on wifi and store them. The directions are calculated by the device just like the portable GPS units.

No cell connection required, no data charges.

OSMand is one open source one, there are others paid apps as well.

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Old 07-29-2014, 08:52 AM   #44
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Tesla uses Google maps in their cars and I believe Audi does as well. Someone mentioned to me that a few of the Cadillacs have a mount dock for iPads (don't know this for sure). I'm sure in the future, your going to see this more and more often.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:59 AM   #45
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My newest car is a 2000 and I've lost my electronic tachometer already. Since it's an automatic, a tach is just a toy, but I do miss it. I rarely hear or feel the car shift, so it's nice to watch it happen on the tach. I checked to see if the unit could be fixed and my mechanic started rubbing his whiskered chin. When he does that, I know it's going to be expensive. Needless to say, my tach is still broken.

I just can't imagine paying money for a built in ANYTHING these days. I'm sure a GPS system would be a fun toy, but I still use maps or print out directions before I go on a trip. Certainly, there are advantages to these units, but I'd never pay extra to have one built in. And I made that decision before I began hearing about all the problems folks have been having the past 2 or 3 years with the built-ins.

Electronics are amazing - in all their forms. No car built today is free of computers and other electronics. Unfortunately, these improvements come at the cost of making the car an expensive paper weight when something goes wrong. Back in the day, I could keep a an old Chevy or Ford running, long after the mechanic had recommended last rights. Now, a new car may "break" and the only thing wrong is some burned out micro transistor on an obscure chip someplace. Only specialized equipment can even determine which chip and where it is. If replacing the chip doesn't work, you still pay for the switched out chip and start looking for another. So, why would I complicate my life by intentionally adding more electronics when a map will do 95+% of the time? End of rant and YMMV>
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:02 AM   #46
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paraphrasing....

1) Even though they're less capable and ...

2) as an option cost 3-4 times as much as the best Garmin GPS,

I'll probably think twice about getting an in car nav system ever again,



Sounds like you should think thrice - you already have two good reasons to avoid them.

Seems most people here keep their cars a long time, I wouldn't think a GPS working/non-working would have much effect on the value of a car that's near EOL anyhow. But that also means the built in GPS is old tech for much of the life of the car, and a new $100 unit probably runs circles around it (hmmm, maybe not a good phrase to use for a GPS unit? ). That was the case in my brother's Honda, the GPS was so bad, they used their hand-held. Probably paid $3,000 for that clunker GPS.

Though being built in and integrated (if done well) is nice. Just too many negatives, in most people's opinions.

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Old 07-29-2014, 09:16 AM   #47
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I bought my unit after riding with friends who had a built-in one. My car doesn't and I figure if I get three years out of it (the GPS), it's fine. I mostly don't use it because I know where I'm going near my home town but I like the portability, which is also there with a smart phone.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:59 AM   #48
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There are places where a phone app such as Google Maps on an IPhone/Android won't work as well as a Garmin, or at all. In the oil field, we routinely use Garmin devices for finding wells, gas test points, etc. Phones won't have service where much of this equipment is located.

Plus, many well service people will set up a list of Lat/Long coordinates for their equipment and then use a memory stick via USB to the Garmin to run their routes. In addition, it's easy to send a contractor GPS locations and have them find the equipment they may need to service. It's too risky to use a phone based device to do this as there may be no cell service. Generally, all the locations are coordinate based as many do not have physical addresses.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:10 AM   #49
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When I rent cars (frequently due to w*rk) I find that I do like the TV screen for backing up (though I can't seem to not use my mirrors and turn my head to double check - out of habit). As for navigation, I still bring along my Garmin and use that because I can place it on the dash at the right angle to make it easy to glance at while driving. My most recent car rental last week was a brand new Ford Taurus with the full nav system, entertainment system, etc. There were two sets of up/down arrows and "ok"/selection buttons on each side of the steering wheel to make selections on both the entertainment/nav systems as well as other systems (e.g., fuel and mileage calculators). I'm pretty sure if I had to honk the horn in a hurry I would have also turned on/off a bunch of other features at the same time.

Maybe I'm just old school. My own car is now almost 14 yo. I recently bought an updated stereo (got rid of the cassette deck and now can plug in my old ipod to play music) through Crutchfield. You can find lots of youtube videos for installing by yourself for almost all vehicle types. Not hard at all.

At some point, I'll need to replace my old car (hoping to keep for at least 5 more years). I will definitely rethink getting a built-in NAV system.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:34 AM   #50
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When I got my used car, I was rationalizing that I could get the built-in NAV is telling myself I got a LCD stereo system with a buit-in NAV thrown in free. The LCD should make selecting music easier than my current system. But I opted to get one without and just use my trusty portable Garmin instead.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:39 AM   #51
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I like the backup camera more than I thought I would, plus it gives a display for the trip computer and an index to my music on my USB stub drive I have buried so it's not all bad.
+1
I sometimes use on-street parking where you have to back in to the space, diagonal to the curb. That rear-facing camera makes it a snap, and I get it perfectly the first time.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:51 AM   #52
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+1
I sometimes use on-street parking where you have to back in to the space, diagonal to the curb. That rear-facing camera makes it a snap, and I get it perfectly the first time.
I had a rental with one(backup camera) and loved it. Think I'm going to add an after market to my 2005 Silverado.

Factory GPS not for me.

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Old 07-29-2014, 12:12 PM   #53
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I find it bothersome and alarming that modern consumer electronics have a lot shorter life, i.e. working hours before failure, than they used to do. Why is it so? Solid state devices should last a lot more than a few years, if not forever. For a while, there was a rash of computer and TV failures due to bad electrolytic capacitors made by a "low-cost" Taiwanese maker. But I think there are now more failures of the semiconductor devices or chips.

I suspect that the chip manufacturing process has been slipping in quality. We tend to treat electronic devices now as disposable. People upgrade and throw away cell phones every two or three years, so manufacturers may just ask themselves why bother to make something last 10 or 20 years. But when the same short-life devices get into something that should last a long time like a big fancy TV or a car, that disposable mentality causes a lot of aggravation and waste.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:51 PM   #54
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The larger issue is that electronic devices have a useful life of a few years due to constant technology advances and cars have a useful life of decades due to quality and durability improvements. So, permanent installation of electronics is problematic if it can't be swapped out cleanly.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:52 PM   #55
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Another problem with GPS (this being a Garmin) is that there can be some major errors with the map...

I have had 3 times where I put in an address correctly... and when I get to my destination.... I am NOT where I need to be...

One time it was off almost 3 miles... another time we were looking for a hotel... drove up and down the street looking for it.. finally drove next to a McDonalds and looked it up on Google... it was just over 2 miles off... we just had not driven down the road far enough to find it...

The last one is our house... not as bad, but it thinks we live about 6 or so houses down the road...
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:06 PM   #56
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I find it bothersome and alarming that modern consumer electronics have a lot shorter life, i.e. working hours before failure, than they used to do. Why is it so? Solid state devices should last a lot more than a few years, if not forever. For a while, there was a rash of computer and TV failures due to bad electrolytic capacitors made by a "low-cost" Taiwanese maker. But I think there are now more failures of the semiconductor devices or chips.

I suspect that the chip manufacturing process has been slipping in quality. We tend to treat electronic devices now as disposable. People upgrade and throw away cell phones every two or three years, so manufacturers may just ask themselves why bother to make something last 10 or 20 years. But when the same short-life devices get into something that should last a long time like a big fancy TV or a car, that disposable mentality causes a lot of aggravation and waste.
Agree that many things don't last as long as they should. I'm not sure it is the chips, I suspect buttons and connections, etc. And the fact that many electronics are upgraded faster than in the past, does lead to manufacturers not needing to build them to last either.

But I'd like to see at least some electronics be made more modular than they are. An on-board navigation system should just pop in/out with a single USB connection for power and data. You should be able to upgrade it in an 8 YO car for $150 or so.

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Old 07-29-2014, 01:43 PM   #57
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We just got back from a road trip to Canada. No cell service while in the country, so we used google maps with downloaded map sets of the areas we visited. The data is surprisingly compact. 5 to 15 MB for the metro area of an entire city like Montreal or Quebec City. This was my back up for US cities as well in case I exceeded my data limit, had to turn of 3G data due to battery issues (this happened a lot!), or skyscrapers blocked the cell signal. It came in very handy.

I also used Sygic GPS which allows you to download map backs for anywhere in the world (although file sizes on some international map packs looked small, therefore I assume only major roads were included ??). The free version of Sygic is so-so as a navigation tool, but better than a paper map due to real time dynamic rerouting (if you miss a turn or detour due to construction which happened often in Montreal).
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:07 PM   #58
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"My newest car is a 2000 and I've lost my electronic tachometer already. Since it's an automatic, a tach is just a toy, but I do miss it. I rarely hear or feel the car shift, so it's nice to watch it happen on the tach. I checked to see if the unit could be fixed and my mechanic started rubbing his whiskered chin. When he does that, I know it's going to be expensive. Needless to say, my tach is still broken."

Buy yourself an elm327 obd reader, about 20$, then download the app; "obd car doctor" [free] and dock the phone or tablet in view and you have a tach plus fuel consumption, battery voltage, yada yada.
Auto ecus are capable of reporting all kinds of data, not all of it displayed in vehicles.

What year will the average smartphone exceed the first Cray computer in power?
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:20 PM   #59
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We had the built in nav on our 2012 but ditched it when we bought a 2014. We much prefer Google maps and very seldom have run into coverage problems with Verizon. I wish we could "host" our phone display on the vehicle screen, though.
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:44 PM   #60
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What year will the average smartphone exceed the first Cray computer in power?
Already has it appears
A modern smartphone or a vintage supercomputer: which is more powerful?
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Several years later, in 1975, a supercomputer named Cray-1 came around. It was a capable and awesome-looking piece of machinery that "flew" at a rate of 80MHz. While generally used for scientific projects, such as simulating the interaction of fluids, one of these bad boys helped render the CGI for the first Tron movie, released in 1982. But a Cray-1's raw computational power of 80 million floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) is laughable by today's standards; the graphics unit inside the iPhone 5s produces about 76.8 GFLOPS – nearly a thousand times more. And surely, the iPhone can render 3D graphics looking better than Tron's Lightcycle scene. On a related note, the Cray-2 supercomputer was released 10 years after the Cray-1 and was the world's fastest supercomputer until 1990. But even with a performance of up to 1.9 GFLOPS, the liquid-cooled, 200-kilowatt machine still ranks behind the Apple iPhone, at least when it comes to GFLOPS ratings.
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