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Sunday, March 18, 2012

An Android-based Garmin nuvi

The Android-based Garmin nuvi 3592LMThe Android-based Garmin nuvi 3592LM

The Android-based Garmin nuvi 3592LM

It turns out that there’s an Android-based Garmin nuvi available right now — if you live in Singapore or Malaysia. But this may be a hint of things to come for other markets too, so let’s take a look.

The nuvi 3592LM is a pretty robust device, running Android 4.0 (which is considerably newer than the Gingerbread/Android 2.3 GPS-PAD we looked at yesterday). It includes access to the Google Play app store, WiFi connectivity, a video and music player, and a slew of options including a driving recorder with companion VIRB-like software, rear-view camera, and a split-screen view for those front and rear cameras. Here’s an interesting note — since this thing has access to Google Play, it can run Google Maps.

Coming to the US?

I’d be shocked to see the entire nuvi line switch to Android in 2014, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it come to next year’s top-of-the-line nuvi, which should be announced at CES come January. As far as features for a US device go, access to the Google Play market, an audio player and optional backup camera seem more likely than a driving recorder and video player. Only time will tell.

Here’s a Garmin promo video for the 3592LM…

http://youtu.be/gEqz9sHJH0g

Thanks Sanadi!

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. Boyd Ostroff says:

    Cool. And there is actually another Asian Android model, the 3595r. We discussed it here: http://forums.gpsreview.net/viewtopic.php?t=27865

  2. What’s the point?

    I don’t need yet another choice of Android device… I want the nuvi interface to be available via an Android app, in the Play Store, so I can choose whatever device I want, on which to run it.

  3. Boyd Ostroff says:

    Well then how about this? https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.garmin.android.obn.client&hl=en

    I have never used an Android device and don’t really understand how the app store works. But I think Garmin has only made this available in certain select countries.

    • yes, thanks Boyd. That would be ideal!

      but sadly it’s restricted to Telstar customers, with specific devices, in Australia (as far as I believe).

      Certainly, the Play Store tells me that it is not compatible with any of my devices (which includes various phones, and tablets).

      My point was, that rather than produce a lacklustre Android device, with a fixed screen size, running an Android version of the nuvi UI, many of us might prefer to buy the Android app outright, and/or buy the map pkgs, and then install that on the existing Android device of our choice, which might e.g. be a 7″ tablet in a special car cradle…

      Having various Android devices already, there’s little advantage to me in an Android-based nuvi; i.e. I don’t really care what OS my nuvi runs. But in fact, I’d rather not buy a new device at all, just buy the app/maps.

      Of course, that won’t make much money for Garmin, which presumably is why we don’t see them doing that. They have bought Navigon, and so in effect already sell Android nav apps; but from what I read, they aren’t necessarily as good as having a nuvi :(

  4. Having been able to investigate an android based Monterra for a while at an event I’m at a HUGE loss to figure out where Garmin is actually going with Android in a handheld or Nuvi device. I wasn’t that impressed. Time will tell when the first Android Monterra/Nuvi reviews start coming in. Right now, at this point, I’m not overly excited at the prospect. Garmin really has to crank up the innovation volume to compete with the lightening fast evolution of Android and Android apps. It will be interesting to watch but I’m not selling my Oregon 650 anytime soon.

  5. Offthegrid says:

    This makes no sense for Garmin to roll out a low res android tablet.

  6. Boyd Ostroff says:

    LOL – a nuvi with an 800×480 screen is like an HDTV when compared to the Android based Monterra with its 480×272 screen. ;)

  7. Offthegrid says:

    My Nexus 7 which probably costs less than this Garmin has a res of 1280 x 800.

    There are plenty of junk android tablets made in China with low res screens that cost under $100.

  8. The display resolution on the Nuvi must have something to do with the processor. HD displays demand more from the devices processor. With all that flashy 3D rendering it might be slower to draw at if the screen was higher resolution. Honestly, even the Monterra’s screen resolution didn’t bother me at all.

  9. Boyd Ostroff says:

    I would be surprised is a “junk android tablet” had the brightness that you need for automotive navigation on a sunny day. Garmin uses very bright panels on the Nuvi, and I suspect that might have something to do with the resolution (bigger pixels pass more light). I have used an 8″ HP tablet running Windows 7 in the car, and it is nowhere near the brightness of any of my Nuvi’s – it was a problem

    Also the extra pixels on an HD screen would be wasted on a device that’s two or three feet from your eyes in the car and is only glanced at quickly as you drive. This is very different from general purpose tablet that you might curl up with in bed.

    You might think that Garmin learned a lesson from the Nuvifone. GPS is their speciality, and while we all have our gripes, I think they are clearly the leader. Tablets and phones are a tough market and trying to break into this just drains resources that they could use to make better dedicated GPS devices.

    But really, I’d be surprised to see Garmin bring this Android Nuvi to the US. The Asian markets are completely different and their devices have always run different firmware with features they don’t offer here in the US.

    And good luck with the $650 Monterra, I’m certainly not interested at that price point. If it had a cellular radio it would be more interesting – would be great to see weather radar overlaid on the map for example. For a handheld, I do think that pixels matter since you view it more closely than a Nuvi in the car. But I understand there are probably some big technical hurdles making a high res transreflective touchscreen that looks good.

  10. I, too, would still love to see a Garmin StreetPilot OnBoard For Android app. I can only imagine why they don’t offer that. I assume it means they don’t think they will make money of it and I suppose that must be true, then. At some point, I might just jump ship from Android to an iPhone 5C or S just to get Garmin StreetPilot OnBoard for it!

    Jim

  11. Boyd Ostroff says:

    I’ve had an iPhone for about 5 years now and love it. Never had any interest in the StreetPilot app however, I prefer dedicated devices. If you have other reasons for wanting an iPhone, go for it. But choosing it solely for the StreetPilot app requires a leap of faith IMO. Instead of offering StreetPilot for Android, Garmin might stop developing it for iOS and standardize on the Navigon app for both platforms. ;)

  12. Offthegrid says:

    I paid $280 for my Nexus 7 and its bright as hell. Its TOO big at 7 inches plus a huge bezel.

    One thing I’ve found out is that this has saved ‘favorite searches’ which means one of two touches and you pop up rite aid or burger king or Hess etc as opposed to typing in on a virtual keyboard which is a pain.

    I can’t post here using Chrome – it says I am a spambot. I deleted cookies from gps tracklog and wordpress and cleared the cache but I can only post with Firefox.

  13. I am considering buying this. Does anybody know where would be the best place or way to buy this? Should I just e-mail random Singapore dealers listed on Garmin and see if they would export this?

  14. Boyd Ostroff says:

    I also think you would need to send the device back to Asia for any warranty service, not to mention whatever issues you might have resolving shipping problems, etc. with a “random Singapore dealer”. :)

    • Good point Boyd. Garmin, for me, was tough enough to deal with in the US.

      I agree with Rich that this type of device may well be headed here. Most people can easily get a hotspot working and Garmin’s bluetooth connection for data seems to be getting pretty bad reviews on Google Play and TomTom’s new units are also having bluetooth connection issues.

      WiFi is a much easier to deal with.

  15. So, CES 2014 is behind us. There was no mention of this during the show that I am aware of. Also, only the Essential Series was announced. Does anybody here happen to know when the Advanced or Prestige Series will be announced? Could this still be announced in the United States as part of the Prestige Series?

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