Garmin GPS V

Flashback FridayAll of this talk of improving maps lately has made me think back to my family’s first GPS, and then it makes me think, “Yeah, iOS 6 Maps may suck, but at least it’s in color.”

Our first GPS unit was a Garmin GPS V like the one you see above. Clunky, difficult to connect to the satellites and just an all around pain in the behind. I couldn’t imagine how GPS was ever going to become useful with all of the issues we had with this device. No one was ever going to want to use this technology while driving!

Eh, so yeah, I can be wrong.

Flashback Friday is usually about the technology of the past, but this week is more about today as well as yesterday, and a bit of tomorrow.

We just bought our fourth or fifth Garmin, a Nuvi something or other, and we love it. Yes, someone who works in the technology field still believes in the concept of a stand-alone GPS. Why? Because my phone is a phone. Anything else I get it to do is a nice bonus in my opinion. I use Google Maps extensively on my Galaxy Note, but more as a bookmarking system. Before I travel somewhere I go in, add stars to the places I know I’ll need to go to, and then I enter those addresses in my GPS when I need to. I try to fiddle with my phone as little as possible while driving, and that’s why I prefer using a good old stand alone unit. Yes, it may not be as flashy, but it works for me.

Would it be nice if iOS 6 Maps were better? Of course it would be. Do I think Google Maps beats it? By a country mile. Do I think it’s worth getting up in arms over? Nah. I enjoy poking fun at it, but I think it’s another example of how we have become too reliant on technology. I’ve seen numerous tweets from people saying how they were late for a meeting due to iOS 6 maps, or they couldn’t figure out how to get somewhere in a hurry. Have you ever heard of this thing called a “map” that is printed on paper? Or asking someone for directions?

Yes, I do hope iOS 6 Maps gets improved upon, but I also hope that people begin to realize that humans got around for thousands of years without GPS, or maps on their phones. While the Garmin GPS V and I had a mixture of failures and successes back in the day, I always viewed it as a backup. And Google Maps? Well, last time I was out in Irvine visiting the TechnoBuffalo offices, it suggested a route from my hotel to the office that was just insane. By day three I had deduced my own way to get there that saved my three minutes over what it suggested.

There’s something to be said for not always relying on technology to solve all of your issues. If iOS 6 Maps has you down, try thinking it through, and you’ll probably be able to get there on your own.