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nRoute vs Streets & Trips vs Mobile PC
GadgetGirl
Ok, here are my humble opinions. Here is how I personally rate the 3 apps:

#1. Garmin nRoute, (Probably because I've used it since 2004 and I'm kinda emotionally attached.)
  • I like it's flexibility. It's easy to navigate around the menus quickly. I like pressing F12 and having all the menu tabs available.
  • Nice, clean interface.
  • Great for extensive trip planning.
  • I like being able to right-click anywhere on the map and select "route to it" without having to create an actual route.
  • Can view your waypoints, select one, then "route to it", again without creating a formal route.
  • I like the Topo maps that can be used and the ability to switch back and forth between CN2010 and Topo US 2008.
  • CN2010 maps have to be converted before using since nRoute is discontinued and the new maps are in a different format. May be confusing until you understand what you're doing. I don't think there are any updates to Topo 2008. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  • Not pretty, although Topo 2008 is nice.
  • Topo US is not routable, per se, but you can start a route in CNNA2010, then switch to Topo and it will follow your route. I love this feature!!!
#2. Microsoft Streets & Trips, (It's a very close 2nd.) I'm starting to like this app a lot.
  • Very good trip planning.
  • Starts without GPS-doesn't automatically start searching for GPS & satelites, although you can turn this feature on if you like.
  • Menus aren't quite as accesible as nRoute, but not too big a deal once you get used to it.
  • Don't like that you can't view a waypoint or a spot on the map and select "route to it" the way you can in nRoute. You can right-click on a road or POI and select Add as Stop or End or Start, but then you have the extra step of creating a formal route.
  • The Terrain view, although not a true topo map is nice.
  • I especially like the "Avoid Area" feature as I live in Montana and trying to navigate back roads can be a nightmare.
    For example, when I ask for a route to Bowman Lake in Glacier Nat'l Park from my home, all of the apps route me through a ridculous maze of fire roads which ultimately ends in a closed road! It must be the shortest route, but not the one any local in their right mind would use! (I found this out the hard way last summer, and had to backtrack several miles.) I can draw a rectangle that encompasses the majority of this area and tell S&T to avoid the area, forcing it to go the right way. (I hate making a route with a series of waypoints if I can avoid it.)
#3. Garmin Mobile PC. I like this one the least and may not keep it. I have a trial version installed.
  • It's pretty. Nice colors. Really cool vehicle icons. Nice 3D.
  • But....it's cartoonish. It looks like my husband's mid-90's flight sim games!
  • I like a real map that looks like a map!
  • Takes FOREVER to calculate (and recalculate) a short route on my netbook (without any other apps running except GPSGate.) It had trouble once recalculating a route when I chose not to go down a road that it selected. It dropped the route completely and I had to stop the car and start over.
  • Makes me mad that Garmin forces you to buy 2 sets of CNNA2010 if you want to use nRoute and Mobile PC. (Although I didn't, but we won't go there!) Also, it won't recognize a Garmin PND w/o GPSGate! How ridiculous is that! I already have an expensive Garmin GPSMap 60CSx. Why would I want to buy another receiver?! All of this "locked map", "unlocked map", "locked app"....is nonsense, not to mention confusing for a first-time user!!
  • Very little ability for trip planning.
  • Good for quick trips that require no planning. I can see my husband liking this app as it's not complicated. He's very intelligent, more so than me, but has very little patience with complicated apps! He's not a true navigator!
Just my 2 cents worth!
tcassidy
I am sure you are familiar with MapSource if you have used nRoute that long. You can perform all the routing functions in MapSource and then send it to Mobile PC. Seems like the best of both worlds.

Mobile PC has dropped the tab interface to be more finger friendly. If you tried nRoute on a keyboard free small touch screen, you would see the advantages that Mobile PC has implemented. In that situation, nRoute is unbelievably cluttered and virtually unusable.

Many people have got used to and expect the 'cartoonish' view. Of course, there is still 2D for the others. I stuck with 2D for a long time but use 3D on my Nuvis now - no advantage, just less clutter.

Unfortunately, Mobile PC was not designed to be off road or boating friendly. It is aimed mainly at the same audience as the Nuvi that it mimics, those that drive on paved highways and don't want to get lost in a new city; Or want a rough idea when they might arrive at a location; Or need to find a fast food joint in spitting distance. The multi-stop routing, tracks, and MapSource interface are just the topping that make it a winner.

Terry
malaki86
Garmin just needs to add an on-screen keyboard to Mobile PC for people that use a small touchscreen.
Marvin Hlavac
Several of us have suggested to Garmin to add an optional OSK (on screen keyboard) to Garmin Mobile PC. It would be helpful to UMPC and CarPC users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetGirl
I like a real map that looks like a map!
I suspect this is one reason why many users like Streets & Trips.
tcassidy
malaki86,
Did you look at any of the add on OSKs as a temporary solution? I made a small one with InScribe, a free download, for my 800x480 devices. Some keys are not available to add to the layout but most are and design only took a couple of minutes once I got the hang of it. Just include the keys you need and something to make it easy to minimize the OSK when you don't need it (bottom right on mine).

Free text entry program for your UMPC - InScribe lets you take notes quickly and easily

Terry
Attached Images
inscribe-1.jpg   inscribe-2.jpg  
GadgetGirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcassidy
I am sure you are familiar with MapSource if you have used nRoute that long. You can perform all the routing functions in MapSource and then send it to Mobile PC. Seems like the best of both worlds.

Mobile PC has dropped the tab interface to be more finger friendly. If you tried nRoute on a keyboard free small touch screen, you would see the advantages that Mobile PC has implemented. In that situation, nRoute is unbelievably cluttered and virtually unusable.

Many people have got used to and expect the 'cartoonish' view. Of course, there is still 2D for the others. I stuck with 2D for a long time but use 3D on my Nuvis now - no advantage, just less clutter.

Unfortunately, Mobile PC was not designed to be off road or boating friendly. It is aimed mainly at the same audience as the Nuvi that it mimics, those that drive on paved highways and don't want to get lost in a new city; Or want a rough idea when they might arrive at a location; Or need to find a fast food joint in spitting distance. The multi-stop routing, tracks, and MapSource interface are just the topping that make it a winner.

Terry
Yes, I use Mapsource, but the only time I really use it is to transfer maps to the GPS 60CSx. I can do just about everything right in nRoute. It took me almost 1/2 hr in Mapsource to create waypoints, create a route, and transfer it to Mobile PC. (This was my Home to Bowman Lake trip, which is 75% back roads. These are legitimate roads and are the ONLY roads to get to Polebridge, MT. Polebridge has no paved roads for MILES and no electricity. Fascinating place, BTW. It's the NW US entrance to Glacier Nat'l Park.) Granted, I still have to create a route in nRoute, but I can do it right in nRoute. I like MS S&T for the "avoid area" feature which is WAY COOL for this scenario!
But, I appreciate what you are saying.

Yes, Mobile PC is uncluttered, I agree, but I don't think nRoute is cluttered at all, even on my netbook. You can show/hide toolbars as needed and pressing F12 will bring up everything you need all in one place (I like that!) If I had a touchscreen, maybe I would feel differently. But, I'm not using a small screen...10.1" is more than enough real estate for nRoute. I mean, after all, this is LaptopGPSWorld! MS S&T has the nice Full Screen feature.

The cartoon thing is just me, I'm sure. Maybe I'm old school. I just like the "look & feel" of real maps.

I can see how Mobile PC is a winner for city driving. I just don't live anywhere near a city! Most of Montana is back roads and we do a lot of camping. I will probably be thrilled with it on our frequent trips to Spokane, WA. It knew exactly where my favorite martini bar and IMAX theater were!

But, like I said just my humble opinions and 2 cents worth!
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetGirl
The cartoon thing is just me, I'm sure. Maybe I'm old school. I just like the "look & feel" of real maps.
Karen, have you tried Mobile PC in 2D mode? Does it still have that "cartoon" look for you? Or is it just the 3D mode that you don't have much use for? I like a map to look like a map, too. I find that Mobile PC is fine in 2D mode. It looks pretty much identical to Mapsource's display (newer versions of Mapsource). I don't have much use for 3D mode.

...ken...
GadgetGirl
No, I haven't. But I will try it.
Ken in Regina
It's under Settings > Map > Orientation. You can set it to North Up or Track Up. Either one will give you 2D mode.

...ken...
GadgetGirl
I tried it. I'm still just not impressed. I just don't like the way it feels. Hard to explain. I do like the weather, flight status, fuel prices, etc although some require an additional "service" which I'm sure is going to cost me more money if I decide to get them. Haven't looked into it yet.

I'll probably buy it (software only) as I like to have a lot of tools in my bag. (I am a hopeless addict. )There is a "Purchase & Go" feature when you click on "Continue Trial", but I get a Garmin server error every time I try it. (And yes, I have an active internet connection when I attempt it!) It looks like the only option is to purchase it online and wait for the DVD. Seems kinda silly as all I need is a license number, but it probably has something to do with Garmin's convulted "software only", "software + GPS", "locked maps - unlocked maps" BS.
Ken in Regina
I know what you're talking about. Because of the way everything is drawn (thicker/heavier), you get less map on the screen for the big-picture looks. If you zoom out far enough to see the full area you want, you lose detail. If you stay at a zoom level that gives the detail you need, you can't get zoomed out far enough to see a large enough area. .... If that makes sense.

It's the same frustration that has kept me from purchasing a Nuvi (I have a Garmin iQue 3600 that displays like nRoute).

...ken...
GadgetGirl
That's it KIR! You hit the nail on the head! Kinda like a coloring book look.
GadgetGirl
I've had a little more time to evaluate Garmin Mobile PC and I have to admit it is growing on me. I didn't realize it was as closely integrated with Mapsource as it is, so that helps a lot.

I also found the equivalent of a "route to it" that works pretty well. It was just a little bit harder to find and not quite as intuitive as in nRoute. If there is a point on the map you want to "route" to, click on Browse Map, then click any point on the map, (custom waypoint, POI, city, road, etc), then select Point Information, then select the exact point that you are interested in from the resulting list on the next screen, then select GO! from the next window with the small map. This may make it a keeper after all!
tcassidy
Just wait until you get a touch screen. Then you'll be sold! I wish it had an exit button though. That x in the top right corner is pretty hard to choose with a finger.

Terry
GadgetGirl
Is there such a thing as a USB touch screen?

I've been looking at the Lilliput 7" Um-70 Mini Usb Monitor. It would fit perfectly in a dashboard recessed spot in my Dodge Nitro. That way I could close the laptop and put it aside and just have the monitor visible. Is this too much clutter?
Would a touchscreen equivalent be asking too much?
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