Smartphone Link – Garmin Live services
The Smartphone Link for iOS or Android allows the GPS device to receive live data, including live traffic data, parking trends, up to date red light and speed cameras, weather, and other live services. It also enables smart notifications (SMS, calendar etc.), hands-free calling and Foursquare check-in.
I tested handsfree calling asking it to access a person in my contacts list. The call was clear and at least the standard of a Bluetooth call. Live traffic comes via the smartphone, but you can buy an optional GTM36 traffic receiver cable to get around that.
The LiveTrack feature lets you share your trip with contacts from your smartphone and your social networking accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter. While you are sharing, viewers can track your current location, recently visited locations, and the path of your recent travels in real time.
Trip planner allows you to specify where you want to go and maps the route including attractions along the route. Lastly, the Baby Cam and back seat reminder are great for kids.
As an in-car GPS, it does everything I need – plus, with the 6.95in screen, I can read the letters and numbers! The screen layout is better than most other brands. It receives my best larger GPS of 2018 award.
The extras are nice, and I use Wi-Fi to keep maps up to date. The other Smartphone Live features are great when travelling.It is a well-built, fast and accurate GPS with the advances of a 6.95in responsive capacitive screen in a 6in body.
My only issues (none are deal breakers) are:
- Traffic receiver should be standard although it is not costly
- Voice activation is patchy at best although all brands suffer accordingly
- Hands-free phone still needs touch screen commands and could use more volume
For more details, a video of live services is available below.
GPS expert Johnny Appleseed may be your best place to start.