Bluetooth Phone Compatibility With a Garmin GPS
By Aaron Charles
With a compatible Bluetooth phone, you can access new features on a Garmin GPS like hands-free calling and point-of-interest dialing. Garmin has a Web page that enables you to find out what GPS models are built with Bluetooth technology, and with which phones they can synchronize. The models that are compatible with Bluetooth-enabled phones fall into one of these major categories: GPS units designed especially for the commuter, everyday driver, gadget geek and motorcyclist.
Bluetooth-Compatible GPS Units
There are at least two ways to narrow down your search for Bluetooth-enabled phones compatible with Garmin units. One way is to first find out what GPS units have Bluetooth technology installed in them by visiting Garmin's website (link in Resources). On the Garmin homepage, mouse over the "Shop - Buy Devices" link and click "On The Road" from the drop-down menu. Then, on the sidebar, click "Feature" and check the "Bluetooth" box in the drop-down menu. The site will then list all the Garmin GPS units with Bluetooth technology installed. Select the model that's best for you, and then proceed to finding a compatible phone.
Determining Phone Compatibility
If you already have a Bluetooth-enabled phone and just want to know which GPS units are compatible that phone, your first step is to visit Garmin's Bluetooth page (link in Resources). Then click the "Mobile Phone" link, which will take you to a list of Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones supported by Garmin. Select your phone manufacturer and model from the drop-down menus, and select a Garmin GPS device from the list. Typically, there are at least a few, so view the specs for all models.
Compatibility between a phone and a Garmin GPS unit comes with a number of possible features, including phone book transfers from your phone to the GPS device, hands-free calling like sending and receiving calls with the GPS device instead of the phone, call history, text messaging and a smartphone link app. The availability of these features relative to your phone will appear after you select your phone on Garmin's Bluetooth page.
With Bluetooth technology syncing your phone and your GPS unit, you can talk on the phone hands-free through your GPS device, which is more convenient than trying to fish your phone out of your pocket while driving when you want to take or make a call. Additionally, you can pull up points of interest, such as restaurants, and then call them, all via the GPS. And even though these features make talking on the phone while driving easier, follow all laws regarding using phones while driving and give more attentive to the road than to the conversation you're having on the phone via GPS.
Aaron Charles began writing about "pragmatic art" in 2006 for an online arts journal based in Minneapolis, Minn. After working for telecom giant Comcast and traveling to Oregon, he's written business and technology articles for both online and print publications, including Salon.com and "The Portland Upside."