Sunday, March 18, 2012

Details emerge on Garmin Smartphone Link app

Garmin Smartphone Link iconGarmin has posted some FAQs on their Android Smartphone Link app, and we’ve got the highlights for you…


Garmin Smartphone Link weatherAnd a few other items:

About Rich Owings

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


  1. Unfortunately after speaking with Garmin Support and trying everything I can think of, neither the Nexus S or Galaxy Nexus (the two phones I own) are supported. Sad that they chose not to support the Flagship Android phones out of the gate. I would love to have this functionality but I guess being cutting edge does not quite cut it.

    • Uh oh. And I was just getting ready to order a 2×95 to go with my Galaxy Nexus. I can’t believe they left the hottest early adopter phone out. Did they give any indication of how soon a fix might be coming? They can’t leave 4.0 out for too long.

      • It was a fairly generic “It is not listed on our compatibility list, wait for an update” response from Garmin for my Galaxy Nexus. There was no timeline given. My Nexus S is running 2.3 and that is listed on the Garmin site as “Unverified” for my 3490T. I can verify that I get the same results as the Galaxy Nexus where it still has the original phone integration functionality but no Smartphone Link.

        It looks like all of the other Samsung Galaxy models are listed as compatible but being an Android Developer I stick with the Nexus devices. Maybe when I can get a good car dock for my Galaxy Nexus my Garmin will end up in a drawer somewhere collecting dust while my phone does its job.

    • Folks, I’m currently using my Galaxy Nexus and Smartlink without any issues. I’m suscribed to all the subscriptions and couldn’t be happier with the integration between the Nexus and my Garmin 3490LMT.

      • Good to hear. Guess I better order one of the compatible models today!

      • It turns out that the site that I read about the smartlink app incorrectly listed the 3790 as compatible with the smartlink software after a firmware update. After contacting Garmin again they said that my Nuvi was not compatible. I notified the website of the error and they corrected the compatibility list. So I received two different answers from Garmin. The first saying that my phone was not compatible and the second correctly stating that it was the Nuvi that was not compatible. Oh well, it would have been nice.

      • UPDATE: Smartlink inexplicably stopped working with my Galaxy Nexxus. Garmin tech support has been no help. Unfortunately, according to the license agreement , there are no refunds. I know it’s not my phone because I installed everything on a different phone and got the same results. Anyone here got any ideas?

  2. offthegrid says:

    Slightly off topic here but I was looking for a manual on the 3590 and there wasn’t one on the US website but there were manuals for the LIVE 2320, LIVE 2340 and the LIVE 2390 plus the LIVE 1695. Are these just misplaced?

    They are getting the traffic camera feeds through Trafficland it seems. No traffic cameras for RI but in case any other RIers look here TrafficLand is waiting for some type of upgrade at the RI traffic center which they were told is coming shortly.

    So its everything from 2.1 and up except 4.0??

  3. They look like UK models…

  4. I expect like a lot of Android apps, there are going to be a few device by device compatibility issues.

  5. offthegrid says:

    I imagine if you pair the device for this data you will also be pairing for voice? I haven’t had a gps yet that I wanted to use as a bluetooth phone.

  6. Rich,

    How long before we see an outdoor unit with this type of support?


  7. Rich this photo is from the Garmin UK blog about ‘smartphone link’ – it shows a Google local search icon but in the US they talk about using the phone to search and transferring to the unit which seems cumbersome.

    There is also this about Tracker:

    Free connected services will include the Garmin Tracker application which enables you to allow friends on Facebook and Twitter to track your location, live weather information and myGarmin™ messaging, which provides update notifications and special offers from Garmin.

    I emailed Garmin but you would likely have more luck than I would.

  8. offthegrid says:

    The pictures are probably a mistake but I’ll follow through on it and see what they say.

    • Yeah, I was thinking that might be the case with the Google Local icon. Keep us posted if you hear anything.

      • offthegrid says:

        There is no Google local on the unit.

        I wish they’d roll out a connected equivalent but I’m betting the data would add up as the 2390 doesn’t even seem available in the UK any longer.

        They really made a bad choice with this app tying them to Android.

        Having a generic bluetooth connection along with wifi and maybe a hard tether option would allow for many more users to connect. A lot of smartphones have a hotspot feature

  9. Rich,

    Wondering about the the weather radar portion of the smartlink….. did you subscribe to it…. does it allow you to scroll in to closer detail with weather radar overlay on?

    • You can pan, and you can zoom in a little. It starts with a 50 mile scale and goes down to 12 miles If you go to a 2D view of the map, you’ll see the same scale on a nuvi, which will give you an idea of the size of the area you can see. You can’t really zoom in very far. Definitely more of a regional view.

  10. Scott Abernethy says:

    Closely looking at the 3590 (pending your review)…. Was wondering about the 3D Digital Traffic on the unit and the Live Traffic provided by Smartphone Link…. would there be reason to subscribe to the live traffic service if your unit already has digital 3D traffic?

  11. I think you will find that the major cell providers (Verizon, Sprint) offer much wider coverage areas than any of Garmin’s FM based traffic services. I live in a rural area and can’t receive any FM traffic broadcasts until I drive a good 20 miles from my home. OTOH, I’ve had both Verizon and AT&T cell phones and they get a signal almost everywhere.

    Look at the traffic coverage maps on Garmin’s site. Unless you’re near a major metropolitan area, you will probably not get any data at all with an FM receiver (which includes the “digital 3d” service).

  12. I just bought the 1490LMT thinking that the BT would allow me to send maps from my Android phone to the Garmin. I didn’t realize that they only had a handful of compatible devices. I don’t understand what the deal is with compatibility. Why can’t they just make all their BT devices use that profile? It’s so much easier to search and locate from my phone and then once I get the address send it to the Garmin. I’ll probably return the 1490. This is a real bummer 🙁

    • I think when they made this decision, they were targeting folks who already own Garmin units, to entice them to upgrade. You just got caught in the crossfire.

      • I think this is the kind of thing that signifies that a company does not care about its customers. There are plenty of things that they can make money from. I have been using Garmins for over a decade now – paying $450 for my first Garmin. I consider that to be one of the best tech purchases I made. Over time, I have bought many Garmins. Even after Google added Navigation to Android, I have continued to use Garmin for the navigation since apart from the offline capability, I just trust Garmin maps more. But just like Android phone manufacturers don’t seem to realize that updating the OS versions on their phones is good for retaining customers in the long run, Garmin doesn’t seem to realize that keeping customers using their products is a good way to keep them from buying another product when it’s time for the next one.

        While I was waiting to upgrade from the 1300, I was without a Garmin for a month and used my Galaxy S3. I may just continue using that if I return the 1490.

        BTW, thanks for a great site! There’s a wealth of information here and your reviews are excellent. I should have come here first 🙂

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