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Discussion Starter #1
I'm setting up my new 2021 Sienna Limited and have found the toyota built in navigation a bit clunky and inaccurate. Do most of you stick with that, or do you use Android Auto/Apple Car play? What are your experiences with Android Auto? Pros and cons?
 

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I use Waze navigation app on my Android phone religiously even when I know how to get to where I'm going because it offers several features not found in built in navigation systems. First, other Waze users mark the locations of rhe police on the Waze map so I get real time information about speed traps. It gives you audio warnings about police reported ahead. Users can also mark traffic, accidents, construction, street closures, etc. Second, it shows the locations of speed cameras and red light cameras and gives you audio warnings about them. Third, it factors in traffic when it recommends routes to your destination and will adjust the route when traffic changes. I'm assuming that last feature is also offered in the built in navigation systems now but you may have to pay a subscription for the traffic data. Unfortunately my 2018 Sienna doesn't have Android Auto so I can only use Waze from my phone.

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2020 Predawn Mica Gray Limited
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We have a 3rd gen but we use Apple CarPlay exclusively. It charges your phone and has a familiar and easy to use music interface (which we use frequently in the car and at home). We also use the navigation apps (Waze/Google Maps or Apple Maps) as well and it is easy to use and familiar.

I’m not sure if the limited has the wireless charging mat or not, so you may be able to have your phone charge just by laying it down instead of being plugged in.

Personally having the familiar visual queues on the screen keeps us from looking down at our phones while behind the wheel which is safer and more efficient.

We did try Toyota Navigation once and I agree, it’s clunky and not as user friendly. That being said. I pre-programmed our home into the Toyota navigation in case the zombies come and there is no cell service. My wife can just simply touch home and it will guide her back using the GPS and existing maps downloaded on the factory radio.
 

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I love the Apple CarPlay for navigation. No complaints at all. Would have been nice if it were wireless but I love the tray in the bridge that holds the phone upright and allows clearance for the cable.
 

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I tried the built-in nav for a 200 mile trip and it was strange. Part way through the trip it recalculated the ETA and added about 45 minutes for no apparent reason. I've made this trip hundreds of times and it always takes about three hours and 45 minutes. The built-in nav was initially correct, but changed the ETA to 4.5 hours later.

Android Auto has its own issues. The time calculation is generally spot on, but it is missing some streets which can give inaccurate directions. A house I used to own was on a street that Google Maps doesn't have. Looking up the address worked, but the directions showed me driving to an adjacent RV park and walking across the golf course(!)
 

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I tried the built-in nav for a 200 mile trip and it was strange. Part way through the trip it recalculated the ETA and added about 45 minutes for no apparent reason. I've made this trip hundreds of times and it always takes about three hours and 45 minutes. The built-in nav was initially correct, but changed the ETA to 4.5 hours later.
A common cause is an excess mismatch between expected average speed settings and actual speeds. Go into your navigation preferences and change the expected average speed settings if necessary. This issue can occur even when the expected average speeds are realistic for normal conditions. For example, if my setting for average expected highway speed is set to 65 mph and my actual highway speed due to adverse weather is 45 mph, the ETA will be recalculated upward at some point during the trip. On our current in-dash Toyota nav systems, the ETA recalculation is not done continuously and usually happens towards the end of a trip.

Android Auto has its own issues. The time calculation is generally spot on, but it is missing some streets which can give inaccurate directions. A house I used to own was on a street that Google Maps doesn't have. Looking up the address worked, but the directions showed me driving to an adjacent RV park and walking across the golf course(!)
Not all streets get recorded. It sometimes takes years for streets to appear in online maps after they are recorded. For example, a private street and especially those in gated communities may never be recorded although the addresses on an unrecorded street often are. A primary source of map and address data comes from the census. One of my roles prior to the 2010 U.S. census was to electronically record the coordinates of the main entrances of thousands of structures where people live ... houses, apartment buildings, hotels, homeless shelters, prisons, convents, etc. When I encountered an unrecorded street, when possible I used electronic instruments to "map" the street as I slowly drove it.

It can take a variable amount of time for new or newly public streets to show in map databases. None of the streets in my homes association showed on any map until around five years after we ceded our private streets to the city.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. I guess another option is to use neither android auto or Toyota navigation, but instead use Google maps on the cell phone with audio directions through Bluetooth to the car speakers. I found out that my wife primarily follows audio, and rarely monitors the display anyway.

Another difference I noticed was, when seeking a destination that involves turning into say a college campus, church complex, or a mall, toyota navigation often just routes you to the street address on the main road and leaves it to the driver to find their way into the complex to find their building. Google maps directs you onto the sub roads inside the larger complex and is much more helpful.

Regarding missing streets in toyota navigation, I've noticed that as well, only the missing streets have been public for 100 years.
 

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Toyota Sienna 2021 AWD Platinum
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IMHO, Navigation is still early evolving technology. Smartphones with real-time updates, and more sensitive touch screens, are better equipped to keep up with it. I haven't bothered to try our Sienna's Navigation for the same reasons. I did try Android Auto Play Navigation. In my 5 minutes of trying it, I didn't feel like I would be missing anything if I never tried it again. Other turn off for me earlier for using Car Navigation was that our 2011 C300 doesn't have touch screen (possibly intended) and severally limits what you can do while the car is in motion.

If Toyota offered me even just a dollar to remove the navigation from it, I would gladly accept it!

On side note, I can't figure out why most car makers can't just slap an IPad or Android Tab like devices on their dashboards. They are a lot more cheaper, with crisper screens, and touch sensitivity.
 

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Update: I made another sincere attempt at Android Auto. Unfortunately, results were the same 2nd time too which is I can live without it. I tried Spotify, Maps and couple other apps.

Overall, using android auto means learning a brand new 3rd interface that is yet different from standard Android, or Toyota interfaces. Also, there is no easy way to navigate/switch between music/maps/standard Toyota functions. At minimum, Toyota needs to add a button to jump to what is calls "Projection" under Apps for CarPlay/Android Auto. The infotainment navigation of Android Auto is more clunky, slow, much lower touch sensitivity/reactions. This may not be all of Toyota's doing as these may be coming for App Developers. The automatic (and helpful) bird-eye view also supersedes other screen functions like Map turn instructions. I would like to continue to have birds-eye in stop and go traffic, and still be able to fumble with maps on a separate screen on my phone.

Next, I will try my wife's IOS. I have never been a primary IOS user but let's see if it fairs any better.
 

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Update: I made another sincere attempt at Android Auto. Unfortunately, results were the same 2nd time too which is I can live without it. I tried Spotify, Maps and couple other apps.

Overall, using android auto means learning a brand new 3rd interface that is yet different from standard Android, or Toyota interfaces. Also, there is no easy way to navigate/switch between music/maps/standard Toyota functions. At minimum, Toyota needs to add a button to jump to what is calls "Projection" under Apps for CarPlay/Android Auto. The infotainment navigation of Android Auto is more clunky, slow, much lower touch sensitivity/reactions. This may not be all of Toyota's doing as these may be coming for App Developers. The automatic (and helpful) bird-eye view also supersedes other screen functions like Map turn instructions. I would like to continue to have birds-eye in stop and go traffic, and still be able to fumble with maps on a separate screen on my phone.

Next, I will try my wife's IOS. I have never been a primary IOS user but let's see if it fairs any better.
Just to confirm.... Are you running the latest version of Android Auto on your phone? If you're not sure then just goto Google Play app on your phone and see if Android Auto requires an update.

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I use Apple Car Play for my Navigation using Google Maps. In all my cars that had the factory navigation option, I have always found it to be a bit odd and off. I have concluded that Google Maps is the way to go for Navigation.... most accurate and I like the feature where it tells you which lane to be in for turns.
 

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Just to confirm.... Are you running the latest version of Android Auto on your phone? If you're not sure then just goto Google Play app on your phone and see if Android Auto requires an update.

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I do have the latest Android Auto. I don't see any Play store updates recommended. FWIW, I have Regular Note 10 current with all system updates.

For others who may have not tried Android auto but wondering what it is, well, it looks and feels nothing like phone interface. It is NOT like seeing same things that you do on your phone on car screen. Looks like app Designers add another custom interface that shows up on car screen. Among a few apps I sampled, Google map was close enough. Spotify, not so much.
 

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I do have the latest Android Auto. I don't see any Play store updates recommended. FWIW, I have Regular Note 10 current with all system updates.

For others who may have not tried Android auto but wondering what it is, well, it looks and feels nothing like phone interface. It is NOT like seeing same things that you do on your phone on car screen. Looks like app Designers add another custom interface that shows up on car screen. Among a few apps I sampled, Google map was close enough. Spotify, not so much.
I think the Android Auto interface is purposely simplified so it won't be a distraction to the driver. It looks like some changes are coming to it this spring.


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