Garmin GPS v. iPhone Google Maps...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SFStateStudent, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #1
    it seemed like a "no-brainer" for me and my brother. We mapped out our Start & End on our devices as we started our trip. While my iPhone had the "more" direct route, my brother's Garmin had us making U-Turns on Interstate 5 on several occasions, (though we didn't take the Garmin advice). Garmin was adjustable as you are driving, but you really need to be properly trained on its use and quick adjustment functions. iPhone utilized the Toll Roads in Orange County, CA and provided a quicker route with ACTUAL "travel time" with Traffic. Also noted, the iPhone gave excellent TRAFFIC conditions just as the Garmin did with regards to GREEN, YELLOW, & RED driving conditions, and BOTH were very accurate. iPhone offered the website of Legoland and a phone number to call to check on our 2 for 1 coupons; not sure if Garmin offered this feature. On the ride home, we were hungry for In-N-Out Burgers, so I entered the eatery in my iPhone and the "thumbtacks" fell from the sky and I had six choices in the North San Diego County area and decided on the burger joint just off Hwy 76 and Frazee Road in Oceanside, CA, and "poof" we were eating double-doubles Animal Style in a matter of minutes. We both decided that the iPhone was the way to go! :cool:
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    Get lost somewhere and see which one gets you home.

    I'll take the GPS thanks.

    Google Maps on the iPhone is great, but at the end of the day it's nothing more than bits of information added to a map you could have printed off at home. It doesn't know where you are!*

    *yes, I know this is changing, but even then with the cell tower triangulation it's hardly going to be accurate.
     
  3. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Troy, MT
    #3
    Google Rocks!

    I totally agree with the OP. The iPhone Google Maps is a great tool and I have used it numerous times and just can not get lost. I always know where I am so do not need big brother to tell me my location.

    With the "rumored" update to Google Maps, I feel this will only make it more useful as a modified GPS. I think this is a super app and will not increase battery drain, does not require a hardware upgrade and allows me to keep my purchase longer without having to buy a new phone every year because it is now outdated with no software updates.

    Last, it always gets me where I need to be and supplies all kinds of info for my destination if I need it.
     
  4. pacohaas macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #4
    Anyone who has used a true GPS device will attest that it is better than the iPhone at instant directions. Not saying I don't love my iPhone, but go get a rental car in a city you've never been and try to find your way around for a week without a map. I'd take the in-car GPS over the iPhone in that case.
     
  5. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #5
    Same here. I will always use my Garmin Nuvi 680 over my iPhone any day. Last september I took my vacation. Decided to start by heading up to Reno. My GPS always had reliable info and it pairs up to my iPhone so I can use the handsfree to make and take calls. Even view my contacts list and make calls from it. When finding POIs, it was so easy to click dial and it would dial the number on my iPhone. I just left the iPhone packed in one of my bags and let the GPS do all the phone calls/navigating. Nothing better!
     
  6. pacohaas macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #6
    Not true, i think the point is that a true GPS in the iPhone would be better.
     
  7. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #7
    Oh I stand by my statement. Even when the iPhone has true GPS, it will never have all the features that a standalone GPS will have. When I got to Reno last September on my vacation, it was the first time I had been there. I had no idea where the Casinos were so I went to the entertainment feature on my GPS and looked up Casinos. Clicked on Circus Circus and was taken there. See, these things were already loaded in the GPS. Same with restaurants. I found a place to eat that same night just by searching through the restaurants feature in the GPS. After that, I wanted to wash my car, it guided my flawlessly to a carwash by clicking on the carwash feature.

    Also, my GPS has MSN Direct built in, which tells me the prices of gas at all the stations in the area. Click on the lowest and it will take me there. Will the iPhone be able to do that????

    Garmin GPS rules!
     
  8. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #8
    Only if Apple adds all the functionality of a Garmin GPS to the iPhone which I highly doubt they will.
     
  9. FunkyJunk macrumors regular

    FunkyJunk

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA, USA
    #9
    You could have done all that on the iPhone too, except the gas price thing. Just use the search field. Once third-party apps start appearing, updated gas prices might be available too.

    That said, I agree that at the moment a standalone GPS is a more complete solution to personal navigation.
     
  10. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    i think it depends on the situation and honestly, were you comparing apples to apples.

    did your garmin have the latest software update? the mapping programs and updates vary BIG TIME! As far as i know, the garmins don't automatically update with the latest mapping conditions so comparing it to something webbased (which can be updated all the time) is not right.

    Plus, did you have the Garmin set up properly? did you have set for the most direct route or the fastest time? that is a very important setting as it can completely change the trip.

    not sure what you mean by 'quick adjustment features' for the garmin when the routes change? i find the feature of recalculating routes is, hands down, one of the best features.

    Also, you should be more specific to talk about urban use. I would never, ever rely on an iphone in the forest. The garmin units can walk you out of almost any situation in the bush. they are simply amazing.

    but, in the end, i'm glad you got to where you were going and i think it's great you can find restaurants etc... - regardless of the unit type as Garmins offer this too.

    The other thing is cost i guess. The garmin is a one time unit purchase + optional mapping software (it does come with a basic map program) while the iphone is almost the same cost (depending on unit type of course), but you pay ongoing fees for data dload.

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  11. pacohaas macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #11
    yeah, that was my point. The iPhone map application is fun right now and useful, but not nearly as feature-full as a real GPS solution. You know if apple does ever put GPS hardware into an iPhone, they're going to do it right though and have all the useful features of the GPS handhelds and more.

    Right now though, like I said before, go to a new city with a GPS unit in your car and tell me it's not amazing. Compare that to my iPhone experience of trying to quickly type a street name that I just passed and the street that I'm on in the "From" field of Maps.app and punching in the destination each time I take a slight detour to get the optimal directions from "You Are Here".
     
  12. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Troy, MT
    #12
    I even have the gas price thing on iGoogle as one of my apps...so even that is accomplished with the iPhone using edge. It is programable for any zip or city/state. iGoogle is very easy to navigate and is pre-programmed in just like other posters are using on their "vehicle" GPS.

    So, no one has yet to convince me that GPS is an all fired number one overall requirement for the iPhone.:confused: Edge, Google Maps still has it covered.
     
  13. pacohaas macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #13
    yeah, but the beauty of the GPS is you don't have to program it, it knows where you are and can get the X closest Y shops, choose one and it tells you the next turn to make from where you are.

    To do this on the iphone, you have to search for Y on googlemaps, making sure to put in your current location(if you even know it)
    Then hit the "Get directions To" on the one you choose, then type in your current location AGAIN in the From field.
    Then every time you take a detour, reinput your current location and the destination address manually and hit Route.

    Sure it's do-able, but for anyone who has used a GPS device, you immediately see the shortcomings of the non-GPS map application.

    And we all know there's many many things the iPhone can do that the GPS can't, but touting it as "good enough" when comparing it to a true GPS solution is asinine. It's great having all the iPhone features in one device, it would be that much greater if the Maps app were GPS-enabled. As Keebler said, the hands-down best feature of an on-the-go mapping system is the ability to recalculate directions based on where you are now....no now.....NOW!

    Perhaps if they google + apple developers get creative, they can not only do psuedo GPS with cell towers, but do psuedo GPS recalculated/realtime directions. They could assume you're following the directions and if you don't seem to be straying too far, could tell you the next turn before you get there.
     
  14. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Troy, MT
    #14
    Totally agree with you...GPS is deffinetly a terrific gadget as it saved my life in Desert Storm when we were developing it. Nothing against that. What I am saying and have said in other posts, is that it is not needed on a cell phone. What is on the iPhone, is usable and does what it needs to do to get one to a location, never said anything in life was easy...so you have to do a little work, no problem for me. IMHO...GPS on any phone will just continue to shorten battery life, what good is GPS with a dead battery? It will also make phones more bulky with the added hardware and extra antennas. More software to slow down the system and the chance to increase software freezes/crashes. my fault lies in the the acronym....K.I.S.S....and currently that is what the iPhone is and it works perfect for me. With the purported 1.1.3, this could add function to Google Maps without degrading battery or operational life on the iPhone.

    Again...I agree with you on GPS....just not in phones-not needed as a end all necessity!
     
  15. pacohaas macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #15
    But the reason I really like the iPhone is the all-in-one-ness. It's hard to make an argument that GPS would possibly kill the battery life so they shouldn't even try. Better batteries and lower power components are constantly being developed. Same can be said for 3G. Personally I don't have 3G coverage in my area so it's unnecessary, but I'm not going to say Apple should avoid even the possibility of enhancing their already great product simply because the current technology would kill the phone's battery. It's just like apple says, they're looking into it, but the reason it's not there now is battery life.

    People still say, "I don't need a camera in my phone, I want one without" or music capabilities, or video, etc. But if you can do it elegantly(and apple has/will), why not up the capabilities of a single device? As far as the real effects of battery life, I have two comments:
    1. I would probably use it mostly in the car, where I could have it plugged into my car charger.
    2. I would hope it would have an option to disable(like bluetooth) to save the battery or only have the hardware be active when the Maps application needs it.

    If it's there, it won't kill the battery(see: past apple design decisions), and people will use it enthusiastically. Of course it's not an end-all necessity, neither is the iPhone or anything on it. A cell phone itself used to be a luxury, now look where we are!
     
  16. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #16
    Um...they're two different things. Google maps is just an interactive map. It doesn't know where you are, or when your next turn is coming up. It's up to you to know that and watch for it. If you miss a turn, its up to you to determine where you've ended up, what town you're in, and how to get back onto your route.

    With a GPS, the GPS figures all that out for you. And tells you when to turn, and with a nicer GPS, will tell you traffic, give exact road names, bluetooth with your phone as a handsfree, etc.

    So here's an example:

    -I am in a part of my state with which I am not familiar. I pull up trusty google maps on my iphone, input my starting location, and where I need to end up. I follow the maps along, but come to a point where there is a major detour. I now need to figure out where I am, and how I can get back on track. I stop at a gas station, figure out what town I have ended up in, what their address is, plug THAT into google maps and start all over. And as I am navigating I have to take my eyes off the wheel and control google maps to know the next step.

    OR

    -I am in a part of my state with which I am not familiar. I turn on the GPS. I punch in my ending location. The GPS gives me turn by turn directions as I go. I hit a major detour. The GPS detours on the fly, and gets me back on the road. Because the GPS talks, I don't have to take my eyes off the road at all, and can respond solely to the verbal cues. Both of my hands remain on the wheel, I am not lost, and I am not forced to research my location in order to get to my destination.

    I have tried Google Maps many times, and the biggest weaknesses are the lack of on the fly updating (as you make a turn, you need to input that you want the next step), the inability to detour effectively (if it's not a well designed detour, and you're frantically trying to figure out how to get to where you need beyond the detour, Google Maps is NOT your friend), and the fact that you need to actively interact with it, a VERY unsafe plan while driving, especially in an unfamiliar area.

    Google maps is great if you know basically where you are, and you've got a friend to navigate you. Otherwise, dropping the money on true GPS is the better choice, hands down.
     
  17. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #17
    Agree 100%.

    I had a client who was 5 hours away, and I had to make the drive. I'd never been to the part of the state where my client was. So, I printed the Google maps off, and hey, I had my iPhone Google maps as well.

    For the first time ever, Google let me down. I got so blisteringly lost halfway through my trip, I drove in circles for 2 hours before a local literally got in his car and led me to the proper exit and wrote down directions for me. Google maps, iPhone Google maps, and yahoo maps were both horrifically off. I still don't know why or how. Thankfully, my event was trhe next day, so I just got to my hotel a few hours late.

    So that night in my hotel room, still pissed off, I got on Amazon and ordered one of these.

    I got lost on the way home again, but not nearly as badly. I was only half an hour later than I should have been getting home.

    So two weeks later, when I had to return down to meet with my client again, I had my GPS unit with me. It took me exactly where I needed to be. And I was meeting my client in a different part of the city this time - again, somewhere I'd never been in my life.

    On the way back, I selected a restaurant from the points of interest, the GPS led me there, then home.

    I am so sold on GPS. The iPhone's Google Maps is cute, but I doubt I ever use it again.
     
  18. chr1s60 macrumors 68000

    chr1s60

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #18
    GPS is basically just a luxury. I have been lost many times without GPS and have been able to find my way using just a map. GPS simply tells you where you are and designs a route for you. This is something that a human with average intelligence can do with a normal map. When using Google Maps on the iPhone it is a little easier than using a paper map because of the option for a satellite view which gives you an idea of what you are looking for in the surrounding area. GPS is nice if you are not good with maps or do not have the patience or any time to spare in order to pull over for a minute and figure out how to get back to where you need to be. Other than that, I don't think GPS is that big of a deal and I think it is kind of ridiculous how many people are useless without some type of electronic device to do things for them.
     
  19. pacohaas macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #19
    Spoken again like someone who has never used a GPS. Sure it's a luxury, nobody is debating that. I felt the same way as you until I got my first rental car with one. Spent a weekend in Florida and never got lost(incidentally the thing was called a NeverLost), even when I was purposely detouring to try to mess with the GPS. It calmly told me to make a U-Turn at my earliest convenience :)
     
  20. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #20
    Thats awesome until you are in the boonies at 10pm, and there is nowhere within 30 miles to buy a map. Still, I bought an atlas when I got to where I was going. Helped me get home easier.

    I don't mind luxury.
     
  21. chr1s60 macrumors 68000

    chr1s60

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #21
    Actually, I have used my father's Garmin Nuvi 660 multiple times. Yes, a GPS is nice and makes things much, much easier, but that is the point of GPS. I just think it is bad that so many people depend solely on their GPS, yet if they needed to use a map they wouldn't know where to buy one, let alone figure out how to read it. It seems like more of the people really complaining and wanting GPS on iPhone want it because they aren't able to figure out the maps without it.
     
  22. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #22
    You seem to have completely missed the point of GPS/Sat Nav. Sat Nav units can be got very cheap these days, my budget TomTom is fantastic. Sat Nav isn't a luxury, it's a time saving, labour saving and useful tool.

    If I need to go somewhere I don't know all I need is the post code and to hop in the car. I don't need to plan a route or even so much as look at a map. Turn on the TomTom and it knows where I am, pop in my destination and off I go. The crowning glory of this being that if you hit traffic or whatever you can just pull off the road you're on and within seconds it will have recalculated your route.

    Google Maps on an iPhone doesn't even come close to competing with even a cheap Sat Nav system. If you don't like Sat Nav that's fine, but I simply cannot fathom how you can possibly say that a static map that has no idea where you are beats it.
     
  23. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #23
    Which Garmin model are you referring to? They offer quite a number, with a wide variety of feature sets.
     
  24. chr1s60 macrumors 68000

    chr1s60

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #24
    I never said that a static map beats GPS. In fact I said that GPS makes everything much easier. I just find it funny that so many people freak out if they don't have GPS and don't know what to do without it. It is like they don't realize that if they are without GPS, the Google maps app on iPhone can still be useful in finding your way. Many people think the Google maps app is a waste of an app on the iPhone without GPS, when in reality it isn't.
     
  25. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Troy, MT
    #25
    Ok...i can see you don't read all threads...I know the diff between google maps and GPS...My use of GPS in the Army and testing/using it during Desert Storm is why you have one in your vehicle today. I always know where I am, because if I am going somewhere I have never been...I research and look at maps PRIOR to departing, I already know what route and detours are already there. I also understand the address system and the way it is used in cities, thus a map is not needed...just an address and the knowledge of how the numbering system works. The Army teaches you to navigate without a computer and my sense of direction is always accurate. The only time in my life I have ever used and/or needed a GPS was in Desert Storm because there are no terrain features to relate too. With the iPhone I can pull up the Google Earth/Satellite view and immedietly know where I am by terrain association. I also will never take a GPS unit to hunt/camp/fish because of needing battery power. I use a map and compass and have never, ever been lost in my life and that was growing up in Montana.

    I think I answered this above but to insure you understand...I plan my route prior to departure so would not end up in this situation...even if I did...If my travel was north and the detour was in an easterly direction, then I would go north on that detour and then proceed west until I got back to the road I was using...I don't need to punch any buttons or even use the iPhone to figure that one out. It is also answered by Chr1s below.

    Too many people are reliant on the digital world and are slowly forgetting how to do it the "other" way. I have never forgotten the right way and only use the digital world to have fun with navigation and just to see it in use. I have been traveling this country for over 24 years and used the outdoors for 35 and never, ever been lost. I didnt need GPS, iPhone or any other gadget other then a compass to get there.

    So I still stand by my opinion that GPS is a great gadget, not needed and deffinetly not needed on a cell phone that has maps and internet connectivity.

    This is all my opinion and I am not knocking your opinion down in anyway.

    Chr1s...you must read my mind...because you state exactly what I was thinking. Agree 101%
     

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