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A conversation was struck up at work about GPS — is a phone good enough? How about on-board nav?

I have to say that I’m partial to a dedicated GPS unit. On a motorcycle doubly-so. A device that doesn’t really try to do a whole lot more than provide a good navigation interface lets it concentrate on getting the navigation done right.

A phone’s core competency is accessing Facebook and email. Oddly, it’s likely not a phone for most people. If the map sucks, well, what ever. (See also: First generation Apple Maps) When I fire up Waze I’ve not had audio from it for the past month — it borders on useless. That’s not even to talk about generally needing a cell network to use it. (Sure, you can download a bit of the map, but once beyond, you’re screwed.)

My car’s use is to get me places. Subaru bundled a nav system. The nav system is, at best, an afterthought — and that’s being generous. Again, a system which isn’t going to stop someone from buying the device. A car in this case.

That brings me back to the GPS… if it doesn’t work I’ll return it.

Garmin, IMHO, does a great job at it. I keep buying them. They just seem to work.

For me at least.