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Subaru navigation system -- tips, tricks, lockout override

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Hi all, this is my first post on the subaruoutback.net message board. I've actually been quite active on several other popular message boards, but I recently discovered this site and have found it to be a nice community of practical Subaru fans and owners, not full of raging angry die hard enthusiasts! :p

So, I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery of my new 2010 Outback 3.6R with nav, and it is set to arrive around the beginning of October. While I have obsessively researched it for many months, it seems that I overestimated some of the capabilities of the nav system.

While I knew that it does not have a 3D view, I was disappointed to find out it does it offer text-to-speech for street names. And while I knew it locked out some functions while driving, I am learning that it locks out almost everything (supposedly even changing playlists from an iPod). And even worse, I understand it even locks out some of the functions of the voice activation.

So here are my questions... I'd love to get a nice discussion thread going on this.

1) Can any current owners who are using the system provide a review of the system? Likes and dislikes? Tips and tricks? Pro/con comparisons to handhelds like Garmin?

2) Please expound on what is locked out when driving. To what extent can you program it using the voice activation while driving? Does it understand free text like addresses and street names or does it just have a fixed vocabulary? Can you do things like change albums for music on a USB stick while driving? Does it show album art?

3) Has anyone found a source or technique for hacking or unlocking the lockouts while driving? There are many stores on the Internet that sell plug-and-play harnesses for doing just this, but I haven't found anything for the Outback?Legacy. I recently contacted www.CoastalEtech.com who specializes in Toyota overrides and others, and they said they have no current plans to support Subaru but could in the future. I understand that the Subaru software is very similar to Toyota's, so I'm hopefully something will come out soon.

Thanks!

Elliot

EDIT 20-DEC-2009: IF YOU ARE READING THIS THREAD FOR THE FIRST TIME, SAVE SOME TIME AND SKIP TO THIS POST -- I have just posted a 9 page comprehensive illustrated guide on modding the nav on the 2010 Outback/Legacy to override the navigation lockouts while in motion, and also to add a trick mod to view the rear camera even if you are not in reverse:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=209308#post209308
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· Registered
2010 2.5i LTD
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149 Posts
heyandy said:
Panasonic will support your unit for about another 2 years tops. As with all manufactures of navi / tv / blu-Ray / game console / etc. The cost of supporting something 2 years old becomes greater then the cost of pleasing the customer
He said Pioneer, not Panasonic.

If you are referring to maps updates, Garmin's map updates work on their mapping units that are many years old. I expect to get map update support on my (new this year) Garmin Nuvi for at least 5 years, and a lifetime map update subscription was only $90 - Kenwood charges about $250 per year. And the Nuvi didn't cost anywhere near $2,000, can be used in other vehicles (such as our minivan, and rentals when we travel), on other continents (we'll get the European map set for a couple hundred $$ when we travel to the UK next year), on foot in cities, etc.

I can also hook it up directly to my PC to add waypoints ("favorites"), add to the Points Of Interest database, etc.

Yes, integration with the car's sound system and a bigger screen would be really nice, but...
 

· Registered
2010 2.5i LTD
Joined
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149 Posts
heyandy said:
Pioneer or Panasonic or Garmin, doesn't matter, support for 2 years is lucky, 5 years is pushing it.. Even with map updates
Unlike you, I am not expressing an opinion, I am describing my experience over many years using a series of Garmin products. Just go look at Garmin's web site to see that you can still update Nuvis and GPSMAPs from six or seven years ago. They will also still service/repair really ancient units.

I would expect Magellan to be the same. I would be far less trusting of car audio manufacturers, who tend to license technology in from different vendors from one year to another.

as a geek I know how these work
That "I'm the expert, so my opinion counts more than yours" line is so lame. Lots of folks here are in the tech business, probably for a lot longer and at a lot more senior level than you.

As to the Garmin, hope you keep remembering to take it down with the mount every single time you use it.
Gotta love the rapid swerve to "anyway, what you own sucks for some totally different reason". And, yes, we don't leave valuables of any kind on display in our cars. On the subject of mounts attracting thieves, we have had permanently mounted GPS mounts visible in our cars for many years and never had a break-in. We are fortunate not to live in a high-crime area, but we have frequently left these cars unattended for several days while backpacking.
 

· Registered
2010 2.5i LTD
Joined
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149 Posts
heyandy said:
And as with opinions, experiences differ.
How about the FACT that Garmin has updates for all their mapping units back way more than 5 years. And the FACT that they still offer repairs on ancient units. Not opinions, not experiences, FACTS that you can verify for yourself.

My background has been around technology and electronic "toys" (as I like to call them) for quite some time
Saturday job at Best Buy?

I am glad you live in a perfect place and have had only have had great experiences. I'm very happy for you.
You are being an ass (English, not American meaning).
 
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