Originally Posted by hillstones
What do you base your first opinion on? Have you ever owned a car with Navi and updated it? Sounds like you never have. Map updates were easy, and when on sale, inexpensive. I bought Honda DVDs when they were on sale for $99 (instead of $149). I sold my old Map DVD on eBay and recouped half the cost or more of the new DVD. Install the new DVD and your update is done automatically. How hard is that? Current Hondas no longer use DVD drives. They are flash-memory. Map upgrades are now purchased as a USB flash drive. Plug in the flash drive and the new data is uploaded to the stereo. Why do you think that is hard to do? Map updates are not necessary every year. I bought one in 2007, and another in 2011. Your smartphone requires a monthly fee.
You confirmed the failure of smartphone navigation. No cell service, no navigation. My OEM navi would still work perfectly because it does not require cell service to operate. People who claim smartphone nav is better are full of themselves. They all get to the same address. My Honda Navi did a better job than a Garmin, which prompted multiple turns to get to one location instead of a more direct route guided by my Honda's Navi.
Portable Navis get stolen all the time because people are too lazy to remove them from the windshields. The OEM dash stereo is unlikely to ever get stolen, which is another benefit.
If you're satisfied with your built-in nav system, that's great. I'm happy it's working out for you. And yes, I have owned cars with nav systems and I've owned standalone auto GPS units. Based on my experiences and for my purposes, using an iPad to navigate and support other needs and interests while we're driving works best for me.
Your math assumes, however, that I'm buying wireless cellular data service for the sole purpose of navigating. I'm not. I have other, higher priorities for staying connected while traveling. If you're talking about economy, for some years I used the same Garmin and moved it from one car to another, rather than go the high cost paying for the factory nav option whenever I bought another new car. Some in-car nav systems are user friendly, but some still haven't figured it out after 25 years in the marketplace. Why should I put up with systems that aggravate me when I try to use them, plus having to deal with different user interfaces when I switch from one car to another, no matter how good those nav systems may be?
Even though flash drive updates are more convenient than DVDs and dealer service appointments in the old days, why bother and why pay extra for them, especially when those versions are - as you say - revised only quarterly or annually? With Apple Maps or Google Maps, the data is cloud-sourced and is always current. Why should I have to worry about manually implementing updates? I want that taken care of for me. I shouldn't have to mess with updates.
So cell mapping data was lacking for 50 miles out of our thousand-mile-plus trip around Lake Michigan. That doesn't exactly label it a failure. The back reaches of the UP can be pretty desolate. If you're heading into the back country, use a GPS for sure. But driving U.S. Hwy. 2 between Naubinway and Manistique isn't exactly rocket science. We were there to enjoy the scenery - not to have our noses perpetually pressed into a nav screen. On a trip like the one we took, would a built-in nav system have provided both the location and background info for an artisan glassblowing shop in Cross Village, Michigan? Or a Mexican restaurant in Milwaukee that serves several great traditional molé sauces? That's the benefit of tablets and the impending evolution into CarPlay capability. Users get nav systems plus so much more info-gathering capability.
Edited by Kibitzer - 4/16/14 at 6:25pm