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The Reason Why Garmin Can Offer Free Lifetime Traffic Alerts

You may have heard that the latest family of GPS navigation devices from Garmin come with lifetime free traffic alerts, helping you get around the bumper-to-bumper gridiron. However, it’s not completely true that these updates are free.

In order to make up for the extra cost associated with providing this service, Garmin has apparently integrated a series of advertisements into the user interface. This way, the cost of providing traffic alerts is shouldered by the advertisers rather than the end user.

When you access the traffic menu, one of these advertiser’s names always appears at the bottom of the screen. Also, from time to time, one of these ads will pop up on the map view screen (they won’t appear when you are in motion). A single tap of the advertiser’s name will perform a POI search for nearby retail locations.

Unfortunately, there is no option to turn off the ads at all. You can’t even pay the premium if you wanted to. Wouldn’t it be better if you could choose to have either ad-supported traffic alerts or no ads (and no traffic alerts)?

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About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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