Garmin Finds Fools Gold Under OpenCaching Rainbow


Poor Garmin. About 5 years ago the company absolutely owned the GPS market with everyone from new Drivers Ed Teens to Thick Glassed Grannies desiring the latest nav equipment for directional assistance.

Then came Android.

Then came Garmin’s promise to deliver an Android Phone.

Then came continued promises that yes, an Android Phone was still coming.

Then came an “Okay, we’re still working on this but we need some help from ASUS.

Then came Google Navigation for Android.

There went Garmin (reluctantly).

Now the company is searching for some kind of buried or hidden treasure by… helping people search for imaginary buried or hidden treasure? That’s right. Garmin owns which essentially facilitates a worldwide 24/7 treasure hunt. Only there isn’t any treasure. Not for the people who find it and not for Garmin, either. But there IS an app that will help you look for it now.

I totally understand the attraction of GeoCaching from an entertainment standpoint, but it’s definitely disappointing to see a company like Garmin – who could have gotten their act together and launched an amazing Android device – reduced to launching iPhone and Android Geocaching apps. I’m not sure where exactly this fits into their overall business strategy except for that it uses GPS.

I think we’ve seen the last of Garmin Android hardware but I’m still hoping they’ll lend their brand and resources to one of the big manufacturers who can do something productive with it. Or at least cave in and launch an Android/iPhone Garmin Nav App, will ya?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Tom Tom got on the board early with their iPhone hardware, I don’t know what sales were, but I doubt they were impressive enough to push Garmin to release similar hardware. Garmin’s attempt at a phone was pretty good from the standpoint of a capacative GPS device, but as a phone it was terrible. The 2.1 update was nice, but more of “too little too late”. And at least the update offered “breeze” as an alternative to the (anything but) “classic” home screen.

    Garmin that has now punted and seperated themselves from Asus, I see their only good option for remaining relevant in the smartphone GPS game is to release the offline apps from their failed Garminfone experiment to the general Android population.

  2. I am pretty sure garmin released a phone for t-mobile a awhile back, but it was mid level device, so noone cared to buy it…

  3. GoPadge said: “Tom Tom” ….Screeech. I Stopped reading right there.

    The Execs at Garmin missed the boat. Their best bet now is prolly just to drop the free app and pray for ad revenue resulting from it. Otherwise itsawrap. #scrambling

  4. Garmin has had an iPhone app for awhile now (called Garmin StreetPilot). I imagine an android app is only a matter of time. Perhaps the geocaching apps were test apps for their planned navigation apps later on?

  5. Heres an idea, integrate android with some of their Marine and Aircraft navigation systems. they could probably get in on that military android device too, it supposedly has to have accurate navigation.

    just my two cents garmin. otherwise, get the lifeboats.

  6. Please do your research before writing an article

    1. I did. If you’re going to take the time to leave a comment, say something of substance.

      1. pwned! You tell him!

  7. The saddest thing is that has such a small fraction of the true there are 10 opencaches in the raleigh durham area were as there are over 8000 on the official website. Its a fun sport but garmin needs to stop trying to reinvent and integrate with the rest of the world.

  8. Is there an Android user old enough to drive who wouldn’t happily pay a few bucks to upgrade from Google Navigation to something a little more user-friendly, and with a better voice (or choice of voices)? There are other nav apps available but I haven’t been impressed with them, and a company with Garmin’s resources could build the ultimate.

    Had they had just a little vision, Garmin could still own GPS navigation.

  9. An android with a real GPS in it would be awesome like the Garmin phone was, however the android phone itself must be awesome too, with specs that rival high end phones with the latest android SW.

  10. Garmin needs to enable a Navigation application that we can use off data network. This would sell and I would actually buy this if priced reasonably. I resist buying dedicated GPS devices because I feel it should just work on a phone. And, to enable it without a need for a data connection would sell it to me.

  11. Garmin totally OWNS the sports gps market. But they best be careful, the sports apps are coming up fast and now phones like the arc are shipping with ant+……

  12. Android Nav sucks at finding alternative routes when there is traffic. I never carry my Garmin 760 anymore because Android Nav is good enough, but would GLADLY pay for a Garmin (or TomTom) app that would provide better navigation that would include good traffic avoidance and alternative routes availability.

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