Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Smartphone Link app adds three free features including tracking

Garmin has rolled out an updated version of their Smartphone Link Android app today, bringing three new free features – Garmin Tracker (seen above), dynamic parking and the ability to send addresses direct from the Google Maps application. To get the new functionality, you’ll need to update the app and your firmware.

Smartphone Link is available for select Bluetooth-enabled 2012 Garmin devices, including the nüvi 2475LT, 2495LMT, 2595LM, 2595LMT, 3490LMT and 3590LMT.

Also of note is this little gem from the 3590LMT update notes, “Improvements made to Smartphone Link Traffic, and added quicker switching back to the Traffic Cable,” perhaps solving a problem some have been complaining about.

More details below:

Garmin Smartphone Link app update adds Dynamic Parking and Tracker functions

Finding parking spots can be a real hassle, so we’re excited to let you know that we just launched an update for our Smartphone Link app that adds a feature to help you find available parking spots at commercial garages and airports. The new version of Smartphone Link also adds a tracking functionality, so your friends and family can keep track of where you’re headed. Additionally, the update includes the ability to send addresses from Google Maps on your Android phone straight to your nüvi. The new version is available today at no cost in Google Play.

Here’s what’s new for the Smartphone Link app:

Dynamic Parking

This new feature helps you locate parking areas close to your destination. For commercial garages, it also provides you with the number of spots available and the current cost of the parking spot. Covered are 42 major metropolitan areas and 79 airports in North America with details about the garage, including addresses, phone number, capacities, size regulations and prices (early-bird, evening, holiday, specials, etc.).

Garmin Tracker

Garmin Tracker allows you to track the location of your nüvi on the Garmin website or with the Tracker app, so your friends and family can see where you’re headed. It is also possible to send a link via Facebook, Twitter or email to track you as you travel with your nüvi.

Send Google Maps Addresses

Smartphone Link now lets you send locations and addresses from Android’s Google Maps to your nüvi. You can simply click on an address in Google Maps to open a pop-up window that will allow you to send it to your nüvi via Smartphone Link.

Smartphone Link is an app for Android phones to provide live services to nüvi devices, utilizing the smartphone’s mobile data plan. Garmin Smartphone Link is available at no cost in the Android Market and includes several free live services as well as premium in app purchase options such as Premium Traffic, Fuel Prices, Live Weather and photoLive Traffic Cameras.

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. Anthony N. says:

    After some experimenting, I can report that the Smartphone Link traffic service and the service provided by the GTM 60 cable are now playing nice with each other. The other new features are nice extras here, though I am having some slight issue with the Tracker feature, which doesn’t worry me.

    I’ll give credit where credit’s due. Garmin does listen to the uproar of complaints, thought they have a weird way of showing it.

  2. offthegrid says:

    They need to add Google search so common searches can be stored and easily accessed with a couple of touches to the screen.

    • Yeah, a dedicated Google Local search button seems like a no brainer. Maybe they think it’s easier to use your phone for it, but that wouldn’t be the case if you could use the nuvi’s voice command functionality. Maybe getting data to flow from the nuvi to the phone is more complex though.

  3. Has anyone been able to get the send address from Google maps to work? I never get the prompt from Google Maps

  4. Great Rich!!! That was it…… fixed….

  5. offthegrid says:

    The 3590 is the 10th best selling gps on Amazon and #146 out of all electronics.

    Those are pretty good numbers for a $400 gps.

  6. Cary Nelson says:

    Did they stop giving us the basic weather in the Smartphone Link app? I remember getting it before but now, just trying it sitting in my house with no other Bluetooth devices connected except my phone, when I click weather it just goes to the advanced weather description.

    • I can’t tell because I ponied up for premium weather.

      • Cary Nelson says:

        I do think you no longer get the basic weather free, I tried again and still was not able to see the basic weather, kept getting info on getting the advanced weather. So I decided to purchase the advanced weather and the basic weather worked just fine. So not sure when they decided not let people get the basic weather free.

  7. Cary Nelson says:

    What in peoples opinion would be the better traffic. The digital 3D that uses HD radio and updates every 30 seconds or the 3D live traffic that works more places, better coverage? I have a 3490 and an Android phone with the smartphone link app.

  8. offthegrid says:

    The coverage is more important if you travel a lot.

  9. dilwyn owen says:

    I have installed this app on my HTC wildfire S and tried pairing with my Nuvi 2415 wchich I am told should be ok. Problem is after installing the app about 6 times now I still cant get past the bluetooth set up stage. I have an icon in the top left of the phone but nothing shows on the GPS. Am I going wrong somewhere? Some things on there I would like to use but Im not getting very far……doh!!

    • Have you updated the firmware on the 2415? If it has the original firmware, that’s probably the issue. Once you update it, Smartphone Link should show up on the nuvi under Apps.

      • dilwyn owen says:

        Hi, thank you for the reply. I have only had it a couple of weeks and checked the other night what firmware was on it, as there has been an update in the last few days. The firmware is up to date. Garmin tell me now the phone might not be compatible but it works for the hands free.

        Rather annoying…


  10. dilwyn owen says:

    quote: Strange. They definitely list it as a compatible device.

    Hi again, yes I know. called support on the phone, got through eventually (uk ,by the way )
    they are a bit bemused also. They tried a samsung galaxy and a HTC Desire and both worked..
    I might have to get another phone, contract on this one has another 12 mths though. Annoying….;o)

  11. dilwyn owen says:

    Hi again,

    This is get very annoying now. I purchased another phone today a Samsung galaxy Y, having explained my problem at the o2 shop , I was told if any problems return the phone for a full refund.
    Got home, set it up to install the app from google play and……. didn’t get past the Bluetooth set up page. I am now starting to think that there is a problem with the software installed on the 2415. I cant see how two different phones can have the same problem. I will contact Garmin by phone in the morning…..again

  12. Cary Nelson says:

    There was an update to the smartphone link app recently on my android phone but it didn’t show what was in the update like most of the apps do when they have an update. Anyone know what the update included?

    • There was an update in the last couple of days that removed in-app subscriptions. The app was updated again to fix this. Not sure what else was in the first update.

  13. Hi, i can’t install ” Garmin smartphone Link : to my Galaxy S3 Phone it keeps saying incompatible with S3 GT-19300 in your country, i live in Bahrain. pls help.


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