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Features you THOUGHT you needed!

Tim 1271 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Discussions
I'm curious to hear what features people looked for and thought they needed before purchasing their GPS, and then later discovered it wasn't very or at all important.

Comments

  • A GPS! :lol:

    OK - seriously, the FM Transmitter I thought was a 'must have.' until I discovered that they don't work very well at all.

    Cheers!
  • Spyder63 211 Points
    All these disappointments are with various Garmin models:

    I agree - the FM transmitter. Weak power, you cannot listen to your own CDs or FM radio when it is operating. Since I don't own 10,000 MP3s I get tired of hearing the same stuff over and over again.

    Similar feature - XM radio - not worth the $$ to subscribe as I am not in the car all that much.

    MSNDirect - I have to pay for two separate subscriptions - one for GPS and other for Smart watch and the watch gives me more info. I can put two watches on the same account, but can't mix and match watch and a gps. Traffic function pretty useless.

    Fodor's Travel Guide

    Language Guide (translation SD)

    External GPS antenna with new SIRF III or similar units.

    WAAS/EGNOS

    Bluetooth - only because I have been too lazy and cheap to upgrade to a BT phone.

    Picture Viewer

    Garmin TourGuides
  • Well when I bought my 3140 knowing nothing at all about these devices, and only seeing a garmin 250 in action, being the gadget lover I am, was about to buy the 250 when the salesman told me about the 3140 on sale for almost the same price as the 250. He listed off all the things it was capable of but, blue tooth capability was what he pushed. Thoughts of me driving around talking on my phone through the gps danced through my head neatoooo. Sold!!!!! Ya know what ? Bluetooth sucks at the best of times, never mind on a gps. It's a feature that works sporadically and I have no intention of using it again. Other than that, glad I did purchase that 3140 over the 250...and i have seen both in action, damm nice gadget, even in my small town where you could not get lost even if you were blind folded. Not what I thought they were capable of for my neck of the forest, but It is a toy, a gadget if you will, and they will only improve over time. Yes sir re....Bluetooth,
  • When I was looking to buy a GPS -my second - all I really wanted was a good navigator with good maps and support. I dropped TT on the basis of poor customer support and out of date maps. I finally chose the Garmin 760 as it seemed to have what I was looking for. They all seem to come with various "extras" like JPG viewers (absolutely useless and maybe illegal), MP3 players (also useless when you consider that you have a perfectly good sound system already in most cars - and who want to listen to music through a 1"speaker?), FM transmitter (useless - not powerful by law and always the need to change freqs), Blue tooth (good idea - poor implementation).
    What I didn't get, which I think is important, is a system that changes time setting as you cross time zones. I almost missed a ferry before I realised that my system was still on my home time zone.
    Apart from that, the Garmin does a good job of navigating but I would have preferred to have the cost of the "extras either deducted from the price or else put towards improving the navigation.
  • When I was looking to buy a GPS -my second - all I really wanted was a good navigator with good maps and support. I dropped TT on the basis of poor customer support and out of date maps. I finally chose the Garmin 760 as it seemed to have what I was looking for. They all seem to come with various "extras" like JPG viewers (absolutely useless and maybe illegal), MP3 players (also useless when you consider that you have a perfectly good sound system already in most cars - and who want to listen to music through a 1"speaker?), FM transmitter (useless - not powerful by law and always the need to change freqs), Blue tooth (good idea - poor implementation).
    What I didn't get, which I think is important, is a system that changes time setting as you cross time zones. I almost missed a ferry before I realised that my system was still on my home time zone.
    Apart from that, the Garmin does a good job of navigating but I would have preferred to have the cost of the "extras either deducted from the price or else put towards improving the navigation.
    Out of date maps??? In Europe??
  • Itinerary Feature.
    I could see where this feature would be useful for
    work related issues, i.e. Salesman with specific routes
    to run, but for Vacationing,which is what I thought I needed
    the Itinerary feature for, I have never used it.
    PS
    Tim,
    This is a great question.
    I think anyone looking for GPS recommendations
    will get a lot of Info from this topic.
  • Spyder63 211 Points
    May I offer a suggestion to All - when listing features you can live without please tell us which GPS - brand, model you are referring to.

    For example in Cards1 post above the Itinerary Feature may mean different things to different gps's even as simple as the nomenclature used for the feature and also its intended purpose.

    FWIW -
  • You are right spyder,
    I have the TT720.
    I didn't think other brands
    had the Itinerary Feature
  • rav 0 Points
    TT720
    FM Transmitter and BlueTooth.
    Before buying, it I thought the FM trans will sound similar to the local FM stations (I was wrong).
    For bluetooth, I thought I would get a lot of phone calls while I was driving (I haven't gotten a phone call yet). :(
    Love my TTS though. :)
  • I haven't been disappointed, but I thought that I would have been. I really felt that having a multi-stop routing feature would have been a necessity, but not having any desire or use for all the other junk you had to buy to get it, I settled for a GPSr (Nüvi 260) that had the TTS that I really wanted, but not much else. It turns out that I got a GPS which is good for nothing but navigation.... and it's near perfect.

    I am disappointed in not being able to upload specific routes (although I knew before hand that it didn't have this feature), something that I would have expected to be standard equipment. It seems like such a basic necessity to be able to tell the unit "No, I don't want that way, I want to use this road.", but I am surviving so far without that luxury.
  • Maestro 3100

    What features could I live without? None! It doesn't have any!!!! :lol:

    Actually, I got exactly what I was looking for. A simple unit to get me to my destination with reasonable accuracy that was easy to use. If that is all you need, there is really nothing not to like.

    What would I like next time? A larger screen, more map options (Europe), maybe text to speech, the ability to easily add a larger POI file and update it, and maybe Bluetooth calling. I don't need an mp3 player or a video player or any subscriptions to anything. I would also like a feature like TomTom's that allows users to update maps and share the info.
  • Tim 1271 Points
    What about navigation features? Itinerary Planning was one thing mentioned that someone thought they wanted but haven't needed, but what about other navigation type features? Items in the status bar, certain things on the maps, types of routes, etc.
  • Spyder63 211 Points
    Unfortunately it's a LOT easier to live with what you got than what you don't got, but that road has been beaten to death on lots of forums.

    :roll:
  • B-Dog 0 Points
    Since I travel by car a bunch (approx. 35K-40K miles per year), I thought that I was going to need voice recognition and multiple stops/itinerary features. I ended up getting a Garmin nuvi 370 with neither of those things (after exhaustive research helped me choose that unit). I've been fine without them. Since a typical day involves driving from home or a hotel to a store or two to do training, I thought it'd be important to enter the whole day in one fell swoop when I left for the day. My way around this is to program my next day's stops the night before and save them as favorites. So far, it's worked beautifully. And since I have a finite number of stores (64) at which I train, I can enter them all and still have plenty of "slots" left over for new-found restaurants and the like.

    However, I do wish that it was possible to enter more than one via point (or way point) on any given trip. Also, when you search by spelling, and you just want to have it look for names that start with a particular letter, it finds EVERY entry that has that letter in it - beginning, middle or end. That's just annoying!

    Overall, I love my nuvi 370, and appreciate the Bluetooth and traffic capabilities. In my area, we have a multi-year shut-down of a major interstate (I-64 in STL), so it's good to know when other roads get jammed up. I've been impressed with it's accuracy so far, and I may even keep it after the 3-month trial period ends.
  • Tim 1271 Points
    In my area, we have a multi-year shut-down of a major interstate (I-64 in STL)
    I just wrote about that a couple of days ago. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
  • I originally thought that 'text-to-speech' would be a need-to-have...until I listened to my sister's high-end Nuvi botch 'Muscatanipus Road.' It was then that I decided the Nuvi 200W would be just fine for my needs, and so far no buyer's remorse.

    Thus far I haven't been whining about not having Bluetooth or the MP3 player :roll:
  • Spyder63 211 Points
    Shoot, I can't pronounce Muscatanipus Road, especially with a New England accent!! :lol: :lol: Unfortunately I don't think anyone has been able to tweak the pronunciations in a Garmin to keep everyone happy. With the Mio GPS line you can go into the phonemes and tweak and probably with any other gps that operates on WindowsCE. We've come a long way though since the Kurzweil Reader so there is hope.
  • wing 0 Points
    I'm still sitting on the fence on high quality sensitive receiver: sirf star III vs even the Bravo chip.


    I would have never bought a 250 originally, but it was given to me as a gift after I had bought my 650. My 650 took a few weeks to arrive so I got the time to test out the 250 thoroughly and compare. And while driving, the 250 is great.

    But for now I like the fact that I can turn on the unit in my house and find a 4 bar signal within seconds after being off for a few days and start have it track me within 5 meters. It's nuts.

    But really its not necessarily any better for in car use. I actually like that the 250 is smaller - fits on my window better, and the maps are more detailed.


  • Hi Tim,

    I am a Proud owner of a TT920. After thinking and comparing so many GPS , this time I bought the TT920 (I previously had Garmin).

    1 - I think a nice feature would be to navigate on a route and then save it so that I can use that at a later time. This is because sometimes if I am driving on my local road , the roads and places I know more. I might be used to take roads which avoids red lights, or some inner lanes which avoid traffic or so. I should be able to save that and everytime I go to that address/POI , i can choose that.

    I have done some research and I think something similar to this Garmin Nuvi 5000 is planning to have , But i am not so sure...(a feature that tracks you way and put dotted trails or something..).

    2- On my TT920, I use the bluetooth to the most what it has to offer, But I think it would be nice to have that we can speak numbers to be dialed by the GPS or maybe names from the phonebook and the GPS can dial them for me.( I am saying this bcoz TT920 has speach to text facility already bulit it. why can't they have this also ??). This feature is included in few othe GPS (Garmin has it).

    3- The addresses that we key in should also have a place to enter phone numbers attached to them & the address should be a searchable by phone numbers as well (Sometimes ph # are easy to remember rather than full address). Or even if we can select the area code to find a address rather than have the city to be entered.

    Thanks

    WizKid :lol: - Proud Owner of a TT920 :roll:
  • Spyder63 211 Points
    edited February 2008
    Welcome WizKid and congrats on the new TT920. In keeping with the original topic - "what can you live without" once you get a few miles under your belt with the TT let us know what features you don't find yourself using and can live without.

    Jim


  • Hi Tim,

    I am a Proud owner of a TT920. After thinking and comparing so many GPS , this time I bought the TT920 (I previously had Garmin).

    1 - I think a nice feature would be to navigate on a route and then save it so that I can use that at a later time. This is because sometimes if I am driving on my local road , the roads and places I know more. I might be used to take roads which avoids red lights, or some inner lanes which avoid traffic or so. I should be able to save that and everytime I go to that address/POI , i can choose that.

    I have done some research and I think something similar to this Garmin Nuvi 5000 is planning to have , But i am not so sure...(a feature that tracks you way and put dotted trails or something..).

    2- On my TT920, I use the bluetooth to the most what it has to offer, But I think it would be nice to have that we can speak numbers to be dialed by the GPS or maybe names from the phonebook and the GPS can dial them for me.( I am saying this bcoz TT920 has speach to text facility already bulit it. why can't they have this also ??). This feature is included in few othe GPS (Garmin has it).

    3- The addresses that we key in should also have a place to enter phone numbers attached to them & the address should be a searchable by phone numbers as well (Sometimes ph # are easy to remember rather than full address). Or even if we can select the area code to find a address rather than have the city to be entered.

    Thanks

    WizKid :lol: - Proud Owner of a TT920 :roll:
  • Spyder63,

    I have been now using the TT920 for about 7 weeks now. I was a bit confused on the first week, a little bit OK the second week, third week I thought it was a good move to have TT920 and now in my 7th week, It's Just WOW....I never thought after using the Garmin I would be happy with TT. It took me sometime to figure out things they work on the new interface (coming from Garmin world, which actually as a matter of fact can be used by Mom & POP) but once I know how to find things and navigate the navigator.. I am just happy to have the TT.

    Coming back to the point, I think a lot of features there are which I can live wihtout like
    1.If I do not have a speed displyed on the TT screen
    2.Changing the screen color scheme (If they have one which is good enough to show all features I am ok)
    3.The custom Car icon upload feature.
    4.The addition of new sounds ( not the narrator voice, but the jingles)
    5.MP3 Player ( I do not think many people will use that as most of us have a MP3 player these days)
    6.FM transmitter (Bcoz it's nice to have , but you need to change the frequency every mile or so.. may be earlier)
    7.Photo viewer (I do not thing anyone will use it while in the car)
    8.The Speach to text is nice to have but should be better performing(In TT the accuracy is good, but when you have to speak out the whole address to search something it's challenging, bcoz while driving it's tough to concentrate, look towards the TT and speak to it so that it recognizes the spoken word correctly. Also it depends on your personal accent as well)

    Thanks

    WizKid :lol:
  • Tabs 0 Points
    They all seem to come with various "extras" like JPG viewers (absolutely useless and maybe illegal)
    How would that be illegal?
  • Spyder63 211 Points
    My guess would be he meant from a motor vehicle law standpoint - as WizKid just alluded to. There are plenty of laws to protect us from ourselves. We're lucky (as far as I know) all the 50 states in the US allow us to mount a GPS anywhere in the driver's view. We're all aware a few prohibit windshield mounting. You have to admit they can be distracting.
  • They all seem to come with various "extras" like JPG viewers (absolutely useless and maybe illegal)


    How would that be illegal?
    Peeps24 was voicing an opinion, noting more. That a GPS device has the functionality of playving videos and picture slideshows does NOT meant that one will do so while driving - common sense would dictate otherwise. While I do agree that all the bells and whistles on new GPS devices are not for everyone, I see the merit in having them for some. When I reach a destination and I get into my hotel room, there will be occasion where I will turn to the GPS for look at pictures or view a couple of videos. So, I wound certainly not generalize and lable all these features as useless - maybe for some, but many want those features.

    Cheers!

    HappyTrails! Drive Safe!
  • I thought I wanted TTS. My TT ONE does not have this, and I don't think I miss it, though that could change once I use a device which has TTS.

    I have no interest in any device which has MP3 player, picture viewer, currency converter, or other bells and whistles. These 'features' just add to the cost of the device while not enhancing or improving its primary purpose in any way.

    So let's consider: when travelling, I have my laptop with its obvious multi-functionality, my cell phone, my iPod, my digital camera, and my GPS. Why would I want to pay additional $ to have functionality that I already have -- in much superior form -- added to the GPS? The bells and whistles are obviously a profit center for the GPS manufacturers.

    If I didn't live in Seattle, I could see the value of real-time traffic info. In Seattle, that's worthless because traffic always sucks and there are no ways to route around it. The only 'value' in this is knowing that one's commute home at the end of the day will take two hours instead of one hour. For that I have no use.

    Realistically, all I want is a device that will accurately route me from Point A to Point D, with stops in between to Points B and C, or variations of that scenario.
  • Tim 1271 Points
    Related to this thread, I just posted about an interesting experiment about The Features You REALLY Need in your GPS.
  • TT720
    FM Transmitter and BlueTooth.
    Before buying, it I thought the FM trans will sound similar to the local FM stations (I was wrong).
    For bluetooth, I thought I would get a lot of phone calls while I was driving (I haven't gotten a phone call yet). :(
    Love my TTS though. :)
    I love my TT720's Bluetooth! Hands free calling ROCKS when pulling a large horse trailer!

    Regarding the FM transmitter issues... my Sirius radio had trouble so I bought a box from Sirius that plugs directly into the vehicle's antenna system. I bet I could find a 2-to-1 dongle so that I could also plug the Tom Tom into the vehicles radio antenna directly, thereby eliminating the need to change stations since I'd always have a strong signal.


    Mike
  • 1. TTS
    2. Bluetooth
    3. FM Transmitter
    4. Widescreen

    1. It's neat and all, but I prefer just a simple beep to get my attention. The repeating instructions get annoying.

    2. Although I enjoy it on the nüvi, I prefer my Parrot bluetooth kit because of it working through my factory deck. Doesn't even have to be on to work, and it mutes the audio when a call comes in.

    3. Works great, but only if you're on that station. I'd prefer something that would interrupt the audio, like my Parrot kit.

    4. Nice, but not a must have. If I had a choice I'd opt for 'Tall Screen' instead of 'Wide Screen' when it comes to navigation.
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