XT & Mac is it worth the upgrade risk?

Having Garmin zumo XT problems? there is loads of help and advice in this forum
BritOne
Posts: 1
Joined: 19 May 2021 08:28
Location: UK South East
Great Britain

XT & Mac is it worth the upgrade risk?

Post by BritOne »

I have three days to decide if upgrade my trusty old 590 to an XT.

Percieved Pros for my hard earned cash
Better display and Screen
Can transfer GPX files wirelessly

Possible Negatives

We all know that Garmin software is....... lets just say not the greatest experience.
I use a Mac laptop and iphone which is a platform that Garmin may be compatible with to a degree, but one they do not appear to particularly embrace.

I have learned to live with the foibles and now have a workflow that works, and in most circumstances I can predict what the 590 is likely to do with GPX files created in myrouteapp (its just sooo much easier and quicker than basecamp).
The MRA HERE is a good but not a perfect emulation of the 590 and on a critical highly detailed route using minor roads I need to further edit the MRA in Basecamp to ensure the Garmin will select the specific roads I want. so probably 25% -30% of my routes have to go through Basecamp

Questions

So exactly how flakey is the XT in general use, and on the mac connecting to basecamp

Is what I see on this forum regarding connectivity to Garmin Express and Basecamp a real problem, or once people have their workflow sorted does everything work consistently?

On the road is the device stable or not? - some conflicting reports out there

Is it relatively straightforward to transfer GPX files wirelessly from both a Mac and an iphone to the XT? or is there a connectivity faff that means its not likely to be the significant gain that I perceive?

Its Garmin. I know it will not work how it should (sorry, how I might expect) and there is going to be a frustrating learning curve, but once I get there is it all stable, or flakey or frequently changing?

I need to get to the point where I understand its behaviour, it is acceptable for purpose, and the behavior remains predictable in less than a month...which is where I am with the Zumo 590.... Is that reasonably achievable?

Or do I just stick with the known quantity and spend the money on a couple of track days........

your thoughts would be appreciated
It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it......
PaulaRay
Posts: 101
Joined: 20 Mar 2022 11:35
Has liked: 74 times
Been liked: 10 times
United States of America

Re: XT & Mac is it worth the upgrade risk?

Post by PaulaRay »

Just came across this.... Too bad there wasn't any feedback to your great questions. I'm a MacBook Pro M1 Max user.
danham
Posts: 299
Joined: 13 Jul 2018 14:25
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Has liked: 95 times
Been liked: 91 times
United States of America

Re: XT & Mac is it worth the upgrade risk?

Post by danham »

BritOne wrote: 19 May 2021 09:20
Possible Negatives

We all know that Garmin software is....... lets just say not the greatest experience.
I use a Mac laptop and iphone which is a platform that Garmin may be compatible with to a degree, but one they do not appear to particularly embrace.

True, but I have found the iPhone/Mac/XT setup more than satisfactory.

I have learned to live with the foibles and now have a workflow that works, and in most circumstances I can predict what the 590 is likely to do with GPX files created in myrouteapp (its just sooo much easier and quicker than basecamp).
The MRA HERE is a good but not a perfect emulation of the 590 and on a critical highly detailed route using minor roads I need to further edit the MRA in Basecamp to ensure the Garmin will select the specific roads I want. so probably 25% -30% of my routes have to go through Basecamp

MRA can confuse the XT and so I'd advise going native BC all the way if you can devote some minor pain to the learning process.

Questions

So exactly how flakey is the XT in general use, and on the mac connecting to basecamp

Is what I see on this forum regarding connectivity to Garmin Express and Basecamp a real problem, or once people have their workflow sorted does everything work consistently?

The problem is real, but the solution takes 2 seconds and is very easy. Just make sure Express is not running in the background. In fact, because the XT can update maps and firmware over WiFi, you don't need Express for much of anything.

On the road is the device stable or not? - some conflicting reports out there

If by stable you mean does it follow the route you planned? Yes. But it does have quirks if you go off route and does make it harder to regain your route if you take a wrong turn than my old 660 or your 590. However, a simple strategy is to always display the track along with the route, turn off recalculation, and visually navigate back to the route. Using the XT's Skip function to rejoin a route is a good way to drive yourself insane. And with the track stripe to guide you, no need.

Is it relatively straightforward to transfer GPX files wirelessly from both a Mac and an iphone to the XT? or is there a connectivity faff that means its not likely to be the significant gain that I perceive?

Be sure NOT to allow the XT to set up or use Garmin Explore, which pretends to make this easier and in fact makes it harder. Plain old Garmin Drive on your phone will let you transfer routes wirelessly just fine. But unless I'm on the road, I prefer to pop the SD card into my Mac and drag routes to its Garmin/GPX folder. Much faster.

Its Garmin. I know it will not work how it should (sorry, how I might expect) and there is going to be a frustrating learning curve, but once I get there is it all stable, or flakey or frequently changing?

I need to get to the point where I understand its behaviour, it is acceptable for purpose, and the behavior remains predictable in less than a month...which is where I am with the Zumo 590.... Is that reasonably achievable?

If you spend those weeks riding practice routes, sure, no problem. If you haven't seen New England Riders' BC instructions, take a look:
https://www.newenglandriders.org/learn-basecamp/

My answers are in bold in your quoted text above. I am using an XT, having owned a 660, and I'm running Basecamp on a 2017 iMac 27" with OS 10.13.6.

Short answer: newer Macs and Basecamp can be a problem (sloooow), but many have worked around this by running BC in 3D mode but tilted to be close to 2D. In my opinion, other than that, it is definitely worth it to upgrade. The XT is faster, has a much brighter screen, and some useful touring features. It is worth wrestling with BC because as you mention, it's best to run routes from other programs through BC to pre-flight check at a minimum. The XT is overall so much better than my 660 for long distance touring. Hope this helps.

-dan
Zumo XT, 660, nuvi 760 and many retired units dating back to the GPS III+
2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE
PaulaRay
Posts: 101
Joined: 20 Mar 2022 11:35
Has liked: 74 times
Been liked: 10 times
United States of America

Re: XT & Mac is it worth the upgrade risk?

Post by PaulaRay »

Awesome!! I'm not the O.P. but, that's great to know. I'm on a MacBook Pro M1 Max. Thanks for all the great info. 👍😊