Originally Posted by Diver4242
I have several Garmin GPS's and was about to dump a lot of money on a new one for my 2012 R1200RT, but then I got so sick of the problems, i.e. rebooting when i'm driving (car), not being able to update the damn firmware without deleting a bunch of crap, having them tell me i need to update, then updating, then being told i need to update (endless cycle when trying to update the GPS firmware on my computer), just a big huge hassle and mess and expense. I found that using google maps/navigation on my smartphone (andriod) is fantastic, seamlessly integrates over bluetooth with the gps turn by turn voice commands, my phone, music, intercom (sena smh10), etc. i'm so happy i saved the expense and hassle of buying a dedicated GPS unit! their days are numbered, folks. the phones and tablets (especially apple) are taking over for all these useless 'specialized' gadgets and i love only having to use/maintain 'one' device as opposed to many (for xm, gps, phone, music, etc).
I think you're right for the general market, but I think there will always (long?) be at least a niche market for GPS units that are tailored for specific activities.
I use GPS Drive on my iPhone, and in the past used the TomTom app, and in terms of usability they run rings around my Garmin. But I have gone the route of trying to use my phone on my bike, and it works but there are some gotchas:
- it overheats after a while if it's in the sun, so I would have to turn it off every time I checked something
- the battery would gradually discharge, even if plugged in, if I left the display on (i.e. the drain rate was higher than the charge rate)
- no way to do custom routes and share with fellow riders
So the phone works for the casual user, but there are some missing features and robustness for the "power" user, or for someone needing a more specialized piece of hardware for their activity. The custom routes thing could be addressed by a phone app, but the physical issues will probably be there for mainstream phones for the foreseeable future.