Why TomTom Sucks (Gizmodo)

Discussion in 'General TomTom Discussion' started by Michael Quinlan, May 14, 2009.

  1. Michael Quinlan

    Michael Quinlan

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    A Garmin fan-boy "reviews" the TomTom Go 740 Live

    Gizmodo - Why TomTom Sucks - Tomtom go 740 live

    In my opinion, the primary function of a GPS device is to, based on your preferences, determine a reasonably fast or short route to your destination, and then provide real-time guidance to you - the driver - to keep you on that route. If it fails to do that, then the other features are meaningless.

    My year-long experience with my Garmin c550 showed me that Garmin falls flat on it's face with regard to guidance - unnecessarily telling me to "keep left" to avoid accidentally exiting the highway that I'm supposed to continue on, and failing to tell me to keep left/right, or turn in some instances when it really would be helpful.

    My year-long experience with my TomTom tells me that with regard to the core functionality mentioned above, they are head and shoulders above Garmin.

    The article really should be titled "Why dumb-a** people shouldn't work for a gadget blog".
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
    Michael Quinlan, May 14, 2009
    #1
  2. Michael Quinlan

    Malouff

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    I thought the Gizmodo poster made some very valid points.
    :D = valid point, :eek: = Not important or incorrect

    1. in that time, nobody has fixed the platform's inherent problems. In fact they're only getting worse. :D
    I agree how many times do we see posts for the same problems that TomTom never addresses.
    For example the rounding error of the speed from kilometers to miles
    TomTom needs to make a stable firmware then build upon it.
    It is getting bigger and harder to debug for them by introducing new features without fixing problems with the current code.

    2. "clear"?an active route :D
    How many posts in forums are there complaining on how TomTom could have designed it more accessible to get to.

    3. The main screen is still a mess :eek:
    This depends on the end user's preferences so is not a very valid point

    4. The road graphics still look horrible, and the refresh isn't always fast enough to tell you where you are. :eek:
    Well Garmin's roads do look better.
    It also depends on what firmware bugs have been introduces that can impact the refresh rate or faltering voices. (Garmin has/had problems also)

    5. There's no bar up top that says the name of the street you should turn on :eek:
    That poster must not know where to look

    6. it keeps telling you what exits not to take, even if you're going straight for hundreds of miles :D
    There is a speech preference that is suppose to disable this but does not work

    7. It doesn't turn on and off with ignition?like all Garmins do :eek:
    I don't see this as a major problem

    8. use of expressions like "motorway" make you quickly realize this is a one-design-fits-all-countries product :D
    Yes, it does do this and would be simply to fix if they put in the effort
    Malouff, May 14, 2009
    #2
  3. Michael Quinlan

    Michael Quinlan

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    I found this very annoying on my Garmin, so I find it hard to believe I would overlook it on my TomTom, though I haven't experienced it.

    While I think that you're right about the "reviewer" making some valid points, his invalid points lead me to believe this was his first experience with a TomTom, and that he's not the 5-year veteran of TomTom reviews that he claims to be.
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
    Michael Quinlan, May 14, 2009
    #3
  4. Michael Quinlan

    pianoCM

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    As said b4, I went through many generation of gps devices running from PDA with Mapopolis, iGuidance, Navigator, ... to AIO Magellan, Garmin and then now Tomtom. I must have the reason for that and I don't expect others having the same.
    Back to the review from above, I start with item 5 of Malouff's post. Personally, I would never waste my time reading such review from a person who DOES NOT know a very basic stuff. If he or she indeed doesn't know how to operate or at least how to read the screen, then there is no point for me to believe that his/her review will be any good and I consider that review is garbage. He or she MUST have solid knowledge on the GPSs in order to review and compare one vs others, otherwise, the so-called "review" is just like a complaint and we all know, complaining and reviewing are not the same.

    With item 2, Clear Route is ALWAYS there to play with. If one doesn't see it, then READ the manual. The reason people keep posting and asking are they don't want to read the manual, asking is faster way to do. This is not a Tomtom issue. And if one ever complains why on earth that button burried deep inside the menu then I must say: 1. you can bring it out to the very first page if you want to. 2. once again, Tomtom is very flexible to deal with and IT IS FOR ADVANCED USERS, in constrast to Garmin interface which purely for no-brainer.

    Item 3, the main screen isn't a mess. If one feature missing, there will be people complaing why it missing and if there is one on the main screen, there will be some others saying it's a mess. PERSONAL REFERENCE.

    Item 4, poster must have no knowledge that Tomtom gps have the best and fastest refresh/redraw rate. Only Garmin top-notch, high-end and latest GPS implemented the new screen refresh rate up to 10MHz now???

    Item 8, please note it called "freeway" in the WestCoast and "highway" in the EastCoast.
    pianoCM, May 14, 2009
    #4
  5. Michael Quinlan

    tangentproject

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    TomTom Model(s):
    GO 730
    I have a 730 and after reading the manual have no idea how to do this so if you would describe the process I would be very grateful.

    Thanks in advance.
    tangentproject, May 14, 2009
    #5
  6. Michael Quinlan

    Malouff

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    pianoCM,

    Regarding item 5 you do have to admit that it was moved after app 8.10 where it was at the bottom of the screen using a full line to the top right corner.

    It now let's you know see a little more road but if it is a long street name it shrinks the text in the new smaller area.

    I also like tangentproject have a 730 and don't see any way to move Clear Route to the first screen.
    Unless you are using the unofficial 3rd party menu designer that was developed for firmware 7 I know of no way to customize the placement of any menu item.

    Please do share with us how you are able to achieve the reordering of the menu.
    Malouff, May 14, 2009
    #6
  7. Michael Quinlan

    gatorguy

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    As far as I know there isn't a way.
    gatorguy, May 14, 2009
    #7
  8. Michael Quinlan

    pianoCM

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    @ tangentproject and Malouff

    As I said above, Tomtom is FLEXIBLE AND FOR ADVANCED USERS. I think you both (or you three) have misunderstood my point and Malouff do seem to know what I'm talking about. Let me make it clear:
    NO, Tomtom itself doesn't have any option to bring the Clear Router button on to the very first page of Main Menu.
    YES, Advanced Users can alway manipulate/modify/edit/create/whatever it is, ... its stock Main Menu with Custom Menu and then bring the Clear Route button on the very first page of Main Menu.
    Do we lose anything by doing that? YES, we do, we must sascrify some others.
    Conclusion, yes, there is a way.
    pianoCM, May 14, 2009
    #8
  9. Michael Quinlan

    pianoCM

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    After reading the right above post, do you still want to play around with?
    There're many threads discussed about the Custom Menu in here, let me know if you need any help.
    pianoCM, May 14, 2009
    #9
  10. Michael Quinlan

    tangentproject

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    Play with it... no. Thank you for the offer of help as well, but I only brought it up as your wording seemed to indicate it was simple enough to do (that it was in the manual) however after reading your post above I now understand your intended meaning.

    Too bad that the TT menus weren't more customizable so that a person could decide which menu items are more important to them and bring them forward on the menu pages... and do so easily.
    tangentproject, May 14, 2009
    #10
  11. Michael Quinlan

    pianoCM

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    It's perfectly fine not to modify it and that's what every mfg want you to do :)
    It's just there for who wants to play around with.
    pianoCM, May 15, 2009
    #11
  12. Michael Quinlan

    mvl_usertest

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    mvl_usertest, May 15, 2009
    #12
  13. Michael Quinlan

    canderson Moderator

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    If you have discovered some magic that I've overlooked for my GO720, please elaborate. I've had this issue since 7.441 (as new) and have NEVER been able to turn that off! There's a checkbox in the voice preferences that appears to be just the lick -- and it does nothing.
    canderson, May 16, 2009
    #13
  14. Michael Quinlan

    Michael Quinlan

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    Are you referring to the Disable early warning instructions ('ahead turn left')? If that's what you're referring to, I do not have mine disabled, nor have I ever tried to disable it. What I was referring to was unnecessary instructions like "keep left" when I'm on a two lane highway, which opens up to three lanes for 100 feet to allow vehicles to slow down as they exit the highway. This gets very tiresome when this occurs every 1/2 mile or so.
    Michael Quinlan, May 17, 2009
    #14
  15. Michael Quinlan

    canderson Moderator

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    No, that's not what I'm referencing. It's the "Keep left" and "Ahead, keep left" that occurs every time I approach an exit-only lane on a limited access highway. The unit seems sure that I'm going to wander off into a turn lane by mistake unless nagged to avoid it. And that's the thing -- in most cases, it would require a deliberate lane change to make it happen. Whats worse is that sometimes it'll tell me to "keep left" at a right lane exit-only, and the LEFT lane turns out to be an exit-only lane at a subsequent exit. I wonder how many people got caught by one of those instructions?

    Where this becomes annoying is driving through a major city where exit-only lanes (some of them ON the left at times) are frequent. There are stretches here in the Denver area where every interchange is built that way. My GO720 reminds me to avoid each and every one of them. Yap, yap, yap.

    There is an option in the Voice Preferences called "Disable 'keep to highway lane' instructions" that just refuses to help this situation.
    canderson, May 17, 2009
    #15
  16. Michael Quinlan

    Malouff

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    I completely agree with you canderson.
    Having used my 730 in the Denver area I know what you are talking about.

    PianoCM can you please take a look at the Custom icon mystery thread
    Malouff, May 17, 2009
    #16
  17. Michael Quinlan

    Terrell

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    If I understand your complaint, it's that the GO says "Keep left" when there is an exit lane. I was thrown a little by this at first, especially when it says, "Keep left, then exit right."

    I learned to realize that "Keep left" is not the same as "Get into the left lane." It just means to stay toward the left when a new lane goes off right.

    The GO's lane picture gives a good idea of what to do, I find.

    And of course, you still have to watch the road. :)
    Terrell, May 18, 2009
    #17
  18. Michael Quinlan

    Michael Quinlan

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    That's exactly the behavior I got from my Garmin unit. Obviously the need for any "guidance" from the GPS device is dependant on the map data, Perhaps the data in your area is coded differently than it is in mine.
    Michael Quinlan, May 18, 2009
    #18
  19. Michael Quinlan

    canderson Moderator

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    Granted, NY isn't NJ, but I can assure you that it behaves in exactly the same fashion in NY state.
    canderson, May 18, 2009
    #19

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