Sunday, March 18, 2012

POLL: Do you want your GPS to say recalculating?



Recalculating. It’s a word from your GPS that’s become part of the popular culture, quite often being made fun of. Miss a turn (even intentionally) and your GPS keeps saying it over and over until you return to the route, stop navigation or mute the blasted thing.

There were so many complaints that Garmin actually took it out of their units, starting with the 2012 line. The 2013 nuvi series won’t say it either. Given all the complaints, you’d think that would make people happy, right?

Imagine my surprise when I started seeing questions in our comments, with many people wanting to know which nuvis they could buy that would still say recalculating. So today I’m putting the question to you…do you want your GPS to say “recalculating” or not?

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. Well I want it to say something, although ‘recalculating’ I don’t like. Using turboccc’s tools I’ve chnaged mine to say ‘your way then’.

    • johnaerial says:

      I’m now using 2017 Garmin Drive 51. Still no ‘Recalculating’. I do miss it as the recalculation is now very quick and seamless and I do not notice it has happened. Not a good thing as I can easily get taken to places I don’t want to go.

  2. Kyle From Denver says:

    Garmin has a voice studio so I’ve changed “recalculating” to “Doh!”

  3. I don’t mind that she says ‘recalculating’, I just wish she wasn’t so arrogant and snooty about it.

    • Change to the male voice — it doesn’t have that “irritated” tone when recalculating. The woman’s voice thinks you should have stopped and asked for directions a long time ago. The male voice knows that you are too much of a man to take directions from anyone, even a GPS, so it remains unruffled regardless of how many times it recalculates. Seriously, on our GPS, the male voice doesn’t get agitated, but the woman’s voice does, so it is Garmin that is propagating these horrible (but mostly true) stereotypes.

  4. I’m deaf, so I mute mine anyway. My dad either had or wanted (I can’t remember which it is now) a voice package with Mr. T where it would call him a fool for not following the route, then recalculate.

  5. Cary Nelson says:

    I really don’t mind if it says it or not. My 3490 doesn’t say it and it’s not a big deal, I know I am going off route without the Nuvi saying recalculating.

  6. Brad Goodridge says:

    I’d like a pause button for when I turn off for gas, food, or the restroom.

    • James Vorp says:

      I agree 100%. I would love to have a pause button so when I pull off for lunch or gas I don’t hear that awful “Recalculating” when I know I left the route on purpose.. Help!!

  7. Benazeer Abbas says:

    Well if know the route then I don’t want to listen it. So edit my route and go 🙂

  8. Bobby dee says:

    One time I had it on mute. Jill then wanted me to go 18 miles then, “When possible, make a U turn”. I do need a voice alert. “

  9. Ian Chapman says:

    Misdirection by GPS & Recalculating were the subject of today’s “Blondie” comic strip.

  10. Tiger-Heli says:

    I like it – bought the 2350LMT partly b/c it was about the most advanced model I could find that still said it.

    OTOH – I wouldn’t totally shy away from the newer models, but I would miss it.

    Wish they gave you an option to enable/disable it so everyone could be happy.

    • I agree with tiger, make it a option off or on, that’s it.

    • Certainly, the voice of recalcularing is necessary to know if are mistaken each other on the way or not, and if we want to remove must exist the option to deactivate the or not, but never deprive each other of that option! please put the voice of recalcularing return!

  11. On this “recalculating” issue I’m hoping someone will clarify for me as I’m a bit confused. If the GPS says “recalculating” I’d assume it’s doing just that. i.e., calculating a new route based on your current location. Once it’s finished calculating (which should only take a few seconds), I would think it would stop making the comment. This poll question suggest otherwise. Namely, you have to go back to the original route before it stops. That seems a bit crazy. There are cases when I may purposely ignore a GPS route (e.g., I may know an area well and prefer a slightly different route from that calculated as I get close to my destination). I’m planning to buy a Garmin to replace a TomTom that was stolen, but need some answers on this issue. Thanks for any help.

    • Your assumption is correct. The problem comes when you decide to take a different route or drive to a new destination or via point — it’s still trying to get you back to your route. If you just miss a turn and then do what it says, no problem. I hope that is clear enough. If not, let me know.

  12. Michael Moonitz says:

    I like the ‘recalculating’ feature as it serves as a warning something is amiss, whether useful or not. I also miss the ‘bong’ tone on earlier units such as 650 and 660, which alerted you when a directional change was coming. I would have preferred if Garmin left these features in but allowed you to disable them.

    • re: “I would have preferred if Garmin left these features in but allowed you to disable them.”

      Yep. I agree. They should have given people the option. They should should have a lot more options and also should have a Windows/Mac configuration app to make it easier to configure them.

      If too many people don’t like something, they could change the default setting to disable it, but make sure people know it’s still there. All the PND makers should do a better job of providing demos or videos that guide customers through all available features and settings.

      Magellan still has the turn notification chime. But if the voice direction to actually make the turn (i.e.: “Turn Right Now”) is timed just right, then there’s not much need for a chime. Some of the newer PNDs and apps seem to be getting this timing just about right.

  13. Notification that a route has been recalculated is useful because, when a driver decides to take a different route (for whatever reason, including, as often happens, making a stop not in the planned route on the PND), it lets the driver know that the unit has stopped trying to direct you back to the old route (directions that need to be ignored; i.e.: a series of directions that may eventually culminate with “when safe, make a U-Turn”), and has is now giving directions for the revised route that the driver should follow.

    In short, an alert that a route has been recalculated tells the driver that it’s OK to stop ignoring obsolete directions.

    I would much rather see a single notification: “Route Updated” or “Your route has been updated” when it has happened. It could also be done with a distinctive chime sound.

    The other issue is how fast the recalculation happens. The recalculation happens very quickly with most any recent PND, which have faster processors than models from years ago. Maybe back then they were so slow to recalculate that they needed to keep saying “recalculating” so the driver knew the unit was still working.

    If route recalculations happen quickly enough after going off route, there is less need for notification, because the driver can be fairly certain that if any directions need to be ignored, it won’t be for long. Another thing a nav unit could do instead of giving turn-by-turn directions to return to the original route, is simply say, “When safe, turn around to resume the original route” while only giving turn by turn directions if the route has been recalculated

    Part of this is not just processor speed, but how the software works. Some units and mobile apps seem to persist on staying with the original route longer than others in certain circumstances. A recent example I noticed was when I compared Navigon MobileNavigator (Android) to TomTom (Android). When I threw an curve ball at both of them by intentionally going the opposite direction from the route on a point on an outer road that was almost exactly mid-way between two freeway entrances, Navigon revised the route much faster than TomTom, which persisted in trying to get me to make turns that would eventually lead to a U-turn (thought it doesn’t say “U-Turn” until after the first turn). I would expect their hardware PNDs are probably similar.

  14. In my opinion, the removal of “recalculating” is a great thing. I like to “override” the route decisions the GPS makes many times so having the unit just update its route automatically works for me. Could Garmin have left the “recalculating” statement an option/feature for people? It seems based on some comments and the voting that some people found it useful to be notified that they went off the suggested route.

  15. I need another Garmin because ny daughters is broken. Cancelled my order after all the complaints about the garmin just rerouting the directions without saying recalculating. Will wait for 2014 models and if not fixed by 2014 will look for a new brand.

  16. By hearing the Recalulating announcement, it gives me the option to turn around and follow the road I missed. When I’m not alerted to the recalculation, I am often taken on a longer route.

  17. i used to hate the annoying recalculating word until i ran into a situation where it would be nice to know that I went the wrong way. i was looping back to the same location that i started at because i took the wrong exit and ended up where i started from. i did this twice and thought it was a garmin mapping bug but on the 3rd try, i noticed that the exit sign was slightly different and took that route instead and it worked. if there was a voice that said i took the wrong exit, it would have solved my problem.

  18. I just returned a nuvi 65LM because it didn’t have the recalculating warning. This warning was very useful and made sure I stayed on course to my destination. I went back to using my old gps that has this feature. Garmin should make it an option to use it or turn it off.

    • Garmin: Please offer a Firmware update to either add, “recalculating” back or give us a choice to include it.

    • Exactly… Garmin should have left the “recalculating” feature set as an option… the user should have a choice to have it enabled or disabled. It’s obvious that Garmin’s decision to remove it came from someone in marketing. What were they thinking…. not a smart move.

  19. I will gladly exchange my Garmin with someone who purchased one without the “Recalculating” feature!! I will even come to your location to do the exchange as long as you live in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.

  20. Since you are supposed to be watching the road and only glancing at the GPS screen while driving it would be nice if there was a voice or sound notice of some sort when you miss a turn. My original Garmin Nuvi had it and I was not happy that the one I am using now does not. It only shows briefly on the screen as percentage of completion of the new route and then it just tells you the next turn, and the next, etc with no voice / sound indication that you are or have missed the turn.

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