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Garmin 2025.10 North America map update


Amazingly, Garmin released another map update.

Why is this amazing? They're the last man standing for standalone car navigation systems, that's why. It's very nice to see Garmin still releasing map updates.

I currently run a Garmin DriveSmart 66 as my daily driver in the car. It has worked very well.

I'm not going to go over the particulars with the DS66 because I've already done that previously. Instead, I'm going to talk about something else I think should exist.

As I said, Garmin is the last man standing when you want a standalone navigation system. You get a DS66, maybe optionally get a bean bag mount (so you don't have to stick it to the windshield), and that's pretty much it...

...unless you want a larger screen like the DS76 and DS86. But that's it. Garmin is your only option in America for one of these things new.

What I think should exist is an alternative standalone option. And no, that cheap stuff on AliExpress doesn't count and neither does the phone. I mean a standalone navigator as good as Garmin. That used to be TomTom, but they don't sell standalone models in the US anymore.

I don't have the business acumen nor the money to pull this off, but if I could, I'd love to develop a modern version of the Garmin nuvi 265. Yes, I'm talking about the 3.5" screen square version. A modern take would be something that uses OpenStreetMap data that could be updated whenever the user wants, uses a magnetic mount similar to how people mount phones in cars, and has huge concentration on two things: UI and heat resistance.

It is totally possible to develop a UI that's fun, easy and quick but powerful all at the same time.

And I would want this thing to handle whatever heat even the hottest summer could throw at it. Heat resistance is a really big deal.

Bigger screens are not what we need. It's the UI that needs to change. My old Garmin nuvi 40LM from 2011, a 4.3" version, is actually more legible than the 6" DriveSmart 66. Yeah, the DS66 is far more advanced, but still, that old 40 can be read far more easily.

There are other things I'd want this thing to do, but I'd want this to be a legible little powerhouse the size of a car gauge that could be mounted nearly anywhere in the car.

Garmin (and TomTom) actually had the really right idea with the 3.5" size. It totally worked, but then they got all widescreen crazy and it's been that way ever since.

Would something like this sell? I know it would, if for no other reason than from people seeing "Waiting for GPS..." on their phone navigation app over and over again, getting mega frustrated at that and thinking, "There has GOT to be something else I can use besides this crap!"

I would hope some developer and some investors would take interest in a new 3.5" standalone OpenStreetMap-based navigation system. And oh yeah, I'd be more than happy to talk with them about it.

For now, I'm glad to still see map updates and will continue using my DS66.

Published 2024 Mar 19

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