01-01-10 10:53 AM
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  1. eyalkattan's Avatar
    It's been for quite some time that I've been using VZ Navigator (about 4 years) and often was wondering if I could get another app for one-time payment rather than the monthly $10 subscription.

    I've read plenty on the Garmin mobile and finally decided to test drive the full version ($99) on my Blackberry Storm2. Obviously, my experience is limited to the storm, but I assume that the app works pretty much the same on other devices.

    Both applications were installed very easy and it was easy to configure. I loved the slick and cool looking user interface of the Garmin. It was easy to navigate and the buttons seem to be in the correct size.
    However compared to the VZN, the Garmin app is very limited with the options for settings. Here are some differences that I thought are very important:
    1. The VZN lets you choose between 5 different voice types where the Garmin is limited to one.
    2. The VZN let you select whether you want to use GPS or traffic data to determine your best route. The Garmin is using the GPS only.
    3. The VZN let you select one of 3 ways to display maps. The Garmin is limited to one.

    Both apps offers additional services such as Movie Locator, Business Locator, Weather, Maps etc. Over the 4 years I've been using the VZN, I followed outdated data several times. I want to think that the data used by Garmin is more accurate. Beyond that, there are a couple of features, that I found important as well:

    • Bluetooth - While the VZN integrates with any hands-free bluetooth device, the Garmin doesn't support bluetooth for handsfree operation. This means that while you are driving, you need to rely on the BB's speaker which we all know - is not great. The VZN sounds great through the powered speaker of my bluetooth device in the car.
    • The Garmin integrates with the BB's address book, however the integration is only half way. With the Garmin app, you can only navigate to your contacts from within the app itself. However with the VZN, you can just go to your address book, find the contact you want and select "Get Directions To" from the menu. The BB will launch the VZN for you and start navigation.
    • The VZN integrates with the Calendar in a similar way to the integration with the Address book. When you have an apointment with address, you can navigate to your meeting right from the calendar. the Garmin app doesn't integrate with the calendar at all.

    In my opinion, when you design such application for navigation during driving a car, the user interface has to be extremely clear and provide the driver with all of the essential information in advance so the driver can modify his/her driving safely and without stress.
    Unfortunately, in this area I found the Garmin app falling too short behind VZN in the following points:

    • The map on the Garmin app kept changing it's scale and presented the route inconsistently. I often had to look at the map several times in order to understand the route ahead of me. The VZN, shows smaller segments of the route, however it maintain the same ratio of the map so your eyes gets used to the same image.
    • During navigation, the VZN shows you the current street you are on as well as the name of the next turn and colored direction of the upcoming turn. The Garmin only shows you the name of the current street and will announce the turn but will not show it on the screen. The direction of the next turn is presented in white.
    • The VZN prompt you for the next turn every 300 ft. or so. The Garmin has fewer prompts
    • The VZN switches between 3D map and zoomed turn-by-turn maps automatically, based on the distance from the next turn. The Garmin just moves the map and changes the zoom level slightly.
    • To see the turn-by-turn list, you need to exit the navigation map on the Garmin. With the VZN, you just scroll to the right to see the next step(s)
    • VZN calculates your estimated arrival to destination (both in distance and time), based on your speed, traffic etc. the Garmin app only shows your speed.
    • VZN let you select a detour if traffic is congested. Garmin did not offer this option

    I could go on and on with additional comparisons. however at this point I felt that the Garmin app did not meet my expectations and the limitations I mentioned above are sufficient to rollback to VZN. As much as I hate to continue paying the monthly $10, I felt that the VZN is much superior and safer than the Garmin app.... just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by eyalkattan; 11-29-09 at 09:34 PM.
    11-29-09 09:22 PM
  2. Xopher's Avatar
    First, you could have gone through the Owners Lounge and got Garmin for $79 rather than paying the full $99.

    I think VZW Navigator has some great features. I just have to consider the value of $79 vs. $10/mo. If you keep your BB for 18 months, the difference becomes $180 vs. $80.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    11-29-09 09:41 PM
  3. eyalkattan's Avatar
    Thanks for the tip about the price. I wasn't aware of this path...

    The price tag on the VZW Nav is definitely a pain. however since I use the navigation on a daily basis, I felt that the price difference just doesn't worth the lack of features - for me. Imagine paying for the past 48 months...
    11-29-09 09:45 PM
  4. fallenangel808's Avatar
    This is an awesome post, great job. I have been debating lately whether or not to go w/ Garmin or stick w/ VZNav. I like the idea of paying just the one time fee that Garmin charges but VZNav sounds like a better option to stick w/.
    11-29-09 09:47 PM
  5. Xopher's Avatar
    Some of the things Garmin does is automatic, like zooming in when getting to turns, zooming out when travelling a long distance on the same road, rerouting for traffic (yes, it does take traffic into condiseration, you can even choose the distance it checks for traffic).

    It does dislay the destination time on the screen, as well as speed. At least the version I have does.

    I wish it did have a way to manually reroute, if needed, as well as better bluetooth support (apparently, sone people have bluetooth working with Garmin - I haven't). It seems they have over-simplified it in some areas.
    11-30-09 07:19 AM
  6. weg220's Avatar
    How do you guys get Garmin on your storm...When i install the trail I get "trial is not available for this device" I am on Verizon.
    11-30-09 12:48 PM
  7. Chrisy's Avatar
    Thank you for the comparison of the two GPS apps. i also use GPS a lot. i've had VZ Nav for about 4 years and it works great.

    The other options missing from Garmin is the "Plan Trip" option. i use this often to view the route between two points as well as distance and time.

    VZ Nav offers a trip summary screen as well. While the first step in navigation is on the screen, if you use the trackball and scroll left a screen with trip time, distance will appear. The trackball increases the volume in the Garmin Mobile App.

    Vegetarian restaurant search not included with Garmin.

    The ability to send a place message to another phone or email is only included with VZ Nav.

    While i also hate paying a 10 dollar monthly fee, i'll be keeping VZ Nav and deleting Garmin.

    i think the Garmin menu is more visually appealing and easier to navigate. Colors more vibrant, and going through the menus is quicker. VZ Nav has a horribly long splash screen at start up.

    Overall though, based on function, VZ Nav is a better app for me.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-03-09 02:29 PM
  8. drphil1's Avatar
    This a nice article. My view is, if you are looking for Nav only then a Tom Tom costs only $59 and can do much bettter job than both VZ Nav and Garmin.

    But if yiou are looking for online GPS features such as cheap gas fineder, local search/reviews, .. with nav integrated then you can get better apps for free.
    12-10-09 04:27 PM
  9. drphil1's Avatar
    Garmin has just dropped their navigation computer price to $69.
    12-10-09 04:28 PM
  10. drphil1's Avatar
    You might be able to find something nice free nav app here [url=http://brentmeganowen.tripod.com/blackberry.htm Among free ones, Gokivo and Amaze are no longer free. Nav4All will no longer be free by the end of this month.
    12-10-09 07:48 PM
  11. camjsm92's Avatar
    Where did you find Garmin for $69.00? I have only been able to find it for $99.00.
    12-15-09 04:37 PM
  12. artwiggins's Avatar
    Nice article.... Im trying to understand or maybe Im missng something but., why isnt google maps viable? I sold navi system during their infancy... and I am shocked by how cheap they are now compared to just 4 years ago ( but that is another story) to me google maps is sufficient. I even have a windows trips and street program it showed up to 90 routes and gave a gps dashboard, thats the only thingI miss by using my phonen as a navi unit... is the vocal prompts actually that important you guys?
    12-15-09 04:50 PM
  13. artwiggins's Avatar
    real traffic info and gps were missing also... still not worth $120 a year
    12-15-09 04:51 PM
  14. FF22's Avatar
    Where did you find Garmin for $69.00? I have only been able to find it for $99.00.
    Blackberry Lounge which is a Rim site. I don't have the link at the moment.
    12-15-09 07:18 PM
  15. FF22's Avatar
    Nice article.... Im trying to understand or maybe Im missng something but., why isnt google maps viable? I sold navi system during their infancy... and I am shocked by how cheap they are now compared to just 4 years ago ( but that is another story) to me google maps is sufficient. I even have a windows trips and street program it showed up to 90 routes and gave a gps dashboard, thats the only thingI miss by using my phonen as a navi unit... is the vocal prompts actually that important you guys?
    Attempting to navigate a complex route by looking at the smallish screen can be a hazard. Having vocal prompts allows one to concentrate on the road. That is why I was disappointed I could not trigger the Garmin app to REPEAT an instruction I did not hear clearly.
    12-15-09 07:21 PM
  16. Chrisy's Avatar
    Agree with above post. It doesn't even have to be that complex. Searching on your BlackBerry screen for your next turn doing 75mph is not safe.

    i also like knowing how far until next turn at a glance. How far (and time) until reach destination.

    Auto re-routing is useful. If you miss a turn, you will get re-routed also.

    VZ Nav repeats directions which is nice. i wish i had audible turn by turn back in my day!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-15-09 08:04 PM
  17. FF22's Avatar
    Hey, Chrisy, if you are doing 75 (not age, speed), this is still your day now with turn by turn available. I have to say, while navigation on the BB is a nice add-on, my Tomtom with larger screen and more nav features bests the BB. Also, with maps on the unit, recalc is much, much faster than big brother BB calling home (garmin) getting the info from Mom and then relaying it back to the BB via a data uplink. But I don't take the Tomtom daily whereas the BB is always there.
    12-15-09 09:36 PM
  18. Chrisy's Avatar
    Ha, yes, it is still my day. But i really could have used GPS when i was 17-22 and driving all around the country!

    As to your last point- that is why i prefer GPS on my BlackBerry. i always have it and it's compact. i wouldn't carry around a separate GPS unit when i'm flying or even when i'm going from car to car. It's a hassle.

    When i was in PA last September my friend had a nice Tom Tom GPS. But it was lacking in features such as speaking the road name, updating total distance. Sure, you could add funny voices to it and change the car icon...but that's just bling. i'm into function. i didn't find any features that the TomTom had that my VZ Nav lacked (that were useful).

    My VZ Navigator updated directions just as quickly as her Tom Tom did. i had added features of sending routes and locations to other phones and email addresses. Plus, she said she has to pay for map updates and get those updates via a PC. i get free updates maps OTA. Much easier.

    The portability was the biggest difference though. We were visiting friends and hopping car to car and to their houses. We were in bars, the woods, 6 Flags... i *always* had my GPS with me. The Tom Tom pretty much stayed in her car. So i had mine to get directions and look up restaurants and gas stations. TomTom is a nice unit, but GPS on BlackBerry is the best!

    It's my favorite app!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-19-09 03:22 PM
  19. Chrisy's Avatar
    i guess we've gone off topic comparing GPS stand-alone and on BlackBerry! Sorry.

    i will be trying Garmin Mobile on my BlackBerry and i'm excited to see what it can do! The one time fee versus paying monthly is *very* appealing to me.

    i've had, and loved, VZ Nav a long time...but i may ditch it over the price and stay with Garmin.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-19-09 03:30 PM
  20. FF22's Avatar
    Awaiting your Garmin review. I think it is fine - not great. It definitely got me to a number of places adequately. It has some quirks or I do! (g)
    12-20-09 10:41 PM
  21. travelingfool's Avatar
    My 4.3" widescreen Garmin stand alone unit blows the doors off of attempting to use a BB to navigate. For under $200, it has spoken turn by turn, thousands of points of interest, extremely quick recalculation, real-time traffic (available), and it is very easy to see the screen and understand complex directions while doing highway speeds. I use mine 11 hours a day, 6 days a week, and I couldn't live without it. Man, IMO, let a BB be a BB and get a stand alone GPS unit.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-29-09 04:50 AM
  22. halw's Avatar
    Will Garmin app work on vzw 8330?
    12-30-09 08:42 PM
  23. drphil1's Avatar
    Will Garmin app work on vzw 8330?
    It won't! VZW blocked 8330 GPS but Tour and Bold are not blocked.
    12-30-09 09:47 PM
  24. halw's Avatar
    It won't! VZW blocked 8330 GPS but Tour and Bold are not blocked.
    Thanks. Just as I suspected but wanted verification.
    12-31-09 09:16 AM
  25. davidnc's Avatar
    I just recently purchased an puck to use with an app and since GPS is locked on my vzw 8330 except for vzw navigator an BB maps.
    So far the app ,8330 ,d puck all work great and thinking about dropping the pricey vzw navigator and using google maps in its place the puck just cost 40 dollars and would pay for itself in 4 months alone . I have not yet dropped navigator but its on the bubble now since its not used daily anyhoo ,

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-31-09 05:55 PM
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