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 Mobile XT Vs. nüvi - You Decide
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TheOfficeMaven

USA
332 Posts

Posted - 14 août 2006 :  21:22:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi All,

I've put together a "work in progress" document comparing the user interface in the nüvi 350/360 with the one in Garmin's new Mobile XT Pocket PC/Smartphone application. The document focuses on the user interface elements in Mobile XT that are missing from the nüvi.

Currently the document has well over 100 full color screen shots taken from the Mobile XT application running on my VGA-based Dell Axim X51v Pocket PC (hence it's large size). Therefore, the document can also be somewhat viewed as a review for the new Mobile XT application as well.

I'll continue to update the document over the next few days (e.g. with the live traffic features, etc.) as my time permits.

I hope you enjoy it.

-- MIKE

Edit: Sorry guys... I've had to remove the document from my site as it's killing my bandwidth. If anyone else wants to host it, please feel free to do so.

Edited by - TheOfficeMaven on 22 août 2006 16:23:56

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Taz-Man

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 14 août 2006 :  22:33:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike,

Great info. I knew Garmin really blew it on the Nuvi in the UI area. This is more like what the Nuvi should have been! Thanks for all the effort you put into compiling this info. This is the level of detail I want and need in the Nuvi not the dumbed down interface they gave it! There are many things I've grown to like about the Nuvi but the lack of user control and info it gives me is truling hurting my user experience.

Now if Garmin would just get it and update the Nuvi. Heck I'd even be willing to pay a few $$$ to upgrade the UI. I don't want to go back to having a PDA and carrying a GPS receiver and all the clutter that entails and it is a PITA on a bicycle too.
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RedRover1

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 15 août 2006 :  01:47:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Agree I think the nuvi is way too dumbed down, but with record sales of the nuvi I don't think that Garmin feels they need to do anything. Our only hope is if existing owners keep bugging them on it.

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Taz-Man

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 15 août 2006 :  04:26:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sure it keeps selling because the idiot news media has no clue about GPS units. Most of the reviews gush about this or that yet it is seriously lacking some features or functions that should be enable in the user interface. I've read a lot of the Nuvi reports on mags like PC World and it almost makes me want to choke. So much of their focus seems to be on the OTHER things like the dictionary, MP3 player, etc. I am not buying an MP3 player but a GPS that does routing. So many of the features seem to have been gutted and it is really REALLY sad. I really hope Garmin wises up soon. I'd give it 6 out of 10 points. It could have been a 9 with some tweaking. The Mobile XT interface would have helped it alot. If they can put it on a cheap PPC handheld then they should easily be able to port it to the Nuvi. So Garmin, when are you going to wake up? I've bought probably 7 Garmin PCs in the last 5 years out of my last 10 GPS units. I was hoping the Nuvi would be at least up the level of my TomTom GO with respect to the interface and it isn't even the current model. I will think twice before I buy another Garmin product based on my experience with the Nuvi.

The Nuvi is becoming a love/hate relationship that is turning more sour as I see what they could have done. I know mostly Nuvi fans are here but if you get a chance go check out a TomTom product and see how they have a more streamlined interface than the Nuvi. I think they tried to make it too simple and way over did it. At the price they charge I want all the bells and whistles even if they set it up to have both a simple and advanced user interface. Then we all could be happpy. The clueless computer magazine writes could have the dumb interface and the rest of us could get what we can really use.

Again I wanted to thank Mike for his time in putting this all together. I know how much work it takes to do this kind of thing and it is often a thankless job. At least it gives me some hope for Garmin.

Edited by - Taz-Man on 15 août 2006 04:28:36
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RedRover1

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 15 août 2006 :  05:38:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
The Nuvi is becoming a love/hate relationship that is turning more sour as I see what they could have done.
This is right on except in my case I would say they should have done. Garmin is playing the size of the nuvi as if it's the only play in their playbook. Are they building a user community around Garmin that lets people share routes around, or post custom roadblocks for cities? Nope and I really think this will turn out to be a mistake in the long run.

What helps Garmin is that unless you have another brand of GPSr or read forums like this you have no idea what other capabilities are truly out there. There are too many features that the Zumo has that are missing from the nuvi which kind of leaves me feeling like a second-class customer.

It will be interesting as a lot of users get the V8 update DVD if it will have Mapsource, and if they see all the functionality intentionally left out to the nuvi because there you can see how roadblocks, surface street/highway preferences, routes and tracks can easily work.

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SergZak

USA
1805 Posts

Posted - 15 août 2006 :  16:46:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good info Mike! Thanks for spending the time putting that together. I've been using Garmins since the eMap & up to the Quest before the nuvi 350 and really found the feature set a letdown compared to all the other Garmin GPSs that I've used in the past. I really hope Garmin does something to improve on the nuvi's feature set but sadly, I have a feeling that the nuvi will continue to stay dumbed down for it's lifecycle.

OT:
BTW, I noticed in your screenshots some very familiar places. Looks like you're in Foothill Ranch...I'm in Whittier/Claremont/Baldwin Park (depending on the time of the week). I vacation on the Balboa Peninsula twice a year.

nüvi 3490LMT, nüvi 3790LMT, nüvi 765T, nüvi 855, nüvi 760, nüvi 750

Edited by - SergZak on 15 août 2006 17:06:44
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dsegel

USA
224 Posts

Posted - 15 août 2006 :  17:47:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RedRover1

Garmin is playing the size of the nuvi as if it's the only play in their playbook. Are they building a user community around Garmin that lets people share routes around, or post custom roadblocks for cities? Nope and I really think this will turn out to be a mistake in the long run.


I'm sure that's coming, but maybe not in time for the Nuvi generation of GPS units.

My thoughts on the matter:
The GPS industry is still in generation 2 - the first generation of GPS units just showed you where you were by giving Lat/Lon coordinates. The second generation added maps. The third generation will integrate some social network functions, like letting locals post corrections or "best routes" somewhere so that other users could download them and use them in their own GPS.

The Nuvi is a G2+ model in that it has maps and routing and a bunch of other functions, but nothing clearly different from any other G2 GPS units.
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SergZak

USA
1805 Posts

Posted - 15 août 2006 :  19:04:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:

Originally posted by dsegel

quote:
Originally posted by RedRover1

Garmin is playing the size of the nuvi as if it's the only play in their playbook. Are they building a user community around Garmin that lets people share routes around, or post custom roadblocks for cities? Nope and I really think this will turn out to be a mistake in the long run.


I'm sure that's coming, but maybe not in time for the Nuvi generation of GPS units.

<snip>



The Street Pilot 27xx series, the Quest, Quest 2 and other Garmin units already allow you to create custom avoidances (or "roadblocks"), either by street or by area as well as let you lay down a simple, savable tracklog (even the lowly Garmin eTrex yellow lets you do this). These are features already available and in use in many other Garmin units, just carefully omitted from the nuvi to keep it dumbed-down & crippled and not exploited to it's full potential. It also reminds me of the fact that the nuvi initially shipped with no satellite status display page and no way to tell your current GPS location in latitude/longitude. If someone broke down in the middle of the desert with the nuvi in their car, how could they tell the authorities/rescuers where they were (aside from "we are on highway xx, about 20 miles from highway yy") without this simple ability? Now that's what I call dumbed-down. I'm glad Garmin smartened up the nuvi to include this in later firmware versions.

nüvi 3490LMT, nüvi 3790LMT, nüvi 765T, nüvi 855, nüvi 760, nüvi 750

Edited by - SergZak on 15 août 2006 19:21:58
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Taz-Man

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 15 août 2006 :  22:06:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not to get off on a rant as each time I think about what Garmin did to the Nuvi, but the best word to describe the Nuvi is it is "crippled" as another forum member put it! For the money I have invested into this, it is fast approaching the cost of the Nav system in my Acura and no where near as good. I wish Garmin would remove their craniums from their rectums and "heal" their crippled Nuvi. Perhaps that is a bit harsh but my frustration is growing daily.

As RedRover1 put it, the small size is its only real play in its playbook and this is very frustrating as other less expnsive Garmin units do more. I have sent a few emails to Garmin linking them to this site and relevant threads. There seems to be a growing backlash against the dumbed down interface and not just on this site.

I took the time to read through ALL the feature enhancement requests on this forum regarding the Nuvi. It appears that a huge majority of them are already available on many Garmin or TomTom nav units costing much less than the Nuvi.

Edited by - Taz-Man on 16 août 2006 01:18:58
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RedRover1

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 16 août 2006 :  00:48:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SergZak,

After you mentioned the Garmin Quest I looked at its features:
  • insert and sort multiple vias
  • plan and save routes
  • track log/breadcrumb feature
  • customizable road segment and area avoidances.
All for a list price of $495.

Why is Garmin screwing their nuvi customers? I could kinda understand the added features with the Zumo but in a unit half the price of the nuvi.

I'm going to try to call Garmin tomorrow and see what they have to say. The more people Garmin hears from about this the better.

http://www.garmin.com/products/quest/

http://www.garmin.com/support/
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Taz-Man

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 16 août 2006 :  01:21:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike- any more updates on the XT? It sure would be nice if they would port it to the Nuvi (that is an understatement).
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TheOfficeMaven

USA
332 Posts

Posted - 16 août 2006 :  01:54:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Guys,

I'm glad to see that folks are enjoying my document. At the same time, I am a bit sorry to see that it has stirred up such an uproar here. I just thought that folks should know what's up with the nüvi from a user interface perspective is all (and to see what's waiting for them in Garmin's other products).

Anyway...

Taz,

I too would like to see Garmin update the nüvi's user interface with at least some of the options available on their other units. At a minimum, I'd like to see it get the routing, tracking, and better avoidance and detour options. I guess that we'll just have to wait and see what happens (although I'm not holding my breath on this one). Unlike you... I absolutely hate TomTom and wouldn't buy one of their products even if the stinking thing did my dishes for me. I'm a Garmin fan to the end! Always have been and probably always will be.

As for Mobile XT, I'm currently working on getting a set of NT maps working with it so that I can test out the live traffic feature. As soon as I get a chance, I'll update my document with the traffic info and let folks here know when I've done so.

BTW, I'm really loving Mobile XT, but the nüvi sure did spoiled me with its Text-To-Speech (TTS) feature. Thus, I'm somewhat torn between the nüvi and Mobile XT at the moment. Mobile XT looks totally awesome running on a VGA quality Pocket PC screen and so it's really hard to think of ever going back to the nüvi. However, TTS is worth its weight in gold when your driving around in real life and don't have time to stare at the screen.

What I'm really hoping is that Garmin gets it right with the Zumo 550 when it comes out in October. If so, then that unit will probably be a really good "middle ground" between the nüvi and Mobile XT (although it will be the most expensive option for sure).

RedRover1,

As for the Quest... That's EXACTLY the point I was trying to make in my document. I've had a Quest since the day it came out and so I was really looking forward to getting my nüvi. I about fell out of my chair when I saw how limited the nüvi's UI feature set was when compared to the much older Quest.

All-in-all, I still love the nüvi. I'm really hoping that Garmin can make some improvements to its feature set though.

-- MIKE
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RedRover1

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 16 août 2006 :  05:18:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

quote:
I'm a Garmin fan to the end!


I would like to be a Garmin fan also. I've had a yellow etrex for years and am very happy with it and Garmin definitely seems to have the best support out there (at least in North America). But there is the ever so slight stench that seems to be wafting over from Kansas:

  • I'm no expert but Garmin's lawsuit against TomTom seems very weak to me and seems like and attempt to derail the #2 competitor who came out from nowhere.
    http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=48922


  • A lot of the newer Garmin handheld GPSr no longer support NMEA output and while I understand there are some technical issues with USB interfaces but you shouldn't have to buy the most expensive units to get a non-proprietary output protocol.


  • And finally what they are not providing to their nuvi customers. Why do I have to try to build/save a custom route using a bunch favorites as a work around when the Quest/Mobile XT, at half the cost of the nuvi can do it no problem? I think slowly word will get out that while the nuvi is the top seller, in the functionality area the nuvi is the bastard child. Put the features in and the nuvi is a slam dunk 10/10 winner.
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Taz-Man

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 16 août 2006 :  07:03:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I HAD been a diehard Garmin fan until my last 2 units were lacking in some major areas and I felt ripped off on the prices of some of their stuff. So I did look elsewhere. The Mobile XT interface on the Nuvi with the TTS and a better speaker would make me a very ecstatic owner. Officemaven- you didn't cause the reaction to the pluses of Mobile XT vs. the Nuvi. Your post is very illustrative of what Garmin could have done with the Nuvi but to the dismay of some, didn't.

I did finally receive an email back from Garmin regarding some of my not to subtle suggestions. It seemed like a typical form letter. Typical thank you for contacting us, yada, yada, yada. I did find the next line somewhat interesting:

"The highest complement a customer can give a company is to be concerned enough to offer suggestions for improvement of a product. We appreciate you comments & opinions regarding our products."

We'll see what happens.

As for the Mobile XT, I love a VGA screen on my PDA as well. Problem is got tired of using a BT GPS with it. I do have a CF and SD slot though so I went with a CF GPS for my PDA based mapping program. If Garmin would port the Mobile XT to the Nuvi I would GLADLY pay for the upgrade if it was reasonably priced.

Lastly for being a fan of any company to the end, I gladly support a competitive marketplace. Bad products die a quick death and good ones are supported. I am not a TT lover or Garmin lover. I buy whatever is the best product regardless of firm. I found that if I have blind loyalty to any one company, almost assures that there products will not advance as quickly as if there are competitve market pressures. I can't help but remember had badly the US auto companies screwed up in the late 70's and 80's and Japan just killed them in the market place with innovation and responsive changes to customer needs.

I highly suggest that if you want to see the Nuvi improve as I do, then write Garmin and voice your opinion. If more of us voice both the pleasure and dismay of using the Nuvi then maybe the shortcomings will be corrected in future versions.
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TheOfficeMaven

USA
332 Posts

Posted - 16 août 2006 :  17:22:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RedRover1
... But there is the ever so slight stench that seems to be wafting over from Kansas: ...



Ha! That's a great one.

And yes, I too feel that all of your points are indeed valid ones.

BTW, I'm just the messenger of the bad news and not the author so please don't shoot me.
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TheOfficeMaven

USA
332 Posts

Posted - 16 août 2006 :  17:24:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SergZak
BTW, I noticed in your screenshots some very familiar places. Looks like you're in Foothill Ranch...I'm in Whittier/Claremont/Baldwin Park (depending on the time of the week). I vacation on the Balboa Peninsula twice a year.



Yes, FR is indeed my stomping ground. It's good to see another So Cal native here.
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