One of the biggest benefits of using an advanced cycling computer is navigation and GPS. Today, Garmin is pushing a big update for Edge 530, 830, 1030, and 1030 Plus computers that bring big improvements to navigation and route management.
Garmin’s navigation features on compatible computers have long been one of the primary reasons to buy one of the company’s products, with higher-end products like the 1030 and 1030 Plus offering excellent routing features for long-distance riders and bikepackers. With today’s update, Garmin’s maps are getting the first major overhaul in a few years, making navigation features better on all current-generation Edge computers that support maps.
To start, the upgraded maps experience will offer high contrast maps that are easier to read in all lighting conditions. It also looks like route direction is more clear here—instead of just showing the route on the map page, it also defined which direction you’ll be riding. That’s a nice touch for users who might have the same route in opposite directions.
Further, the onboard maps also feature heatmaps directly on the device in a new feature called Trendline. This should allow for route management on the fly, as cyclists will be able to see where other riders in the area frequent. Cycling is all about adventure and discovering new roads, and heatmaps are a great way to do that. This feature seems especially awesome for folks who travel and don’t know where to ride.
Lastly, compatible Edge computers will (finally) cache routes as they’re opened, so speed and time estimates will essentially be pre-calculated once a route has been opened once. This will save time at the start of navigated courses—where previously users had to wait a few minutes for everything to calculate before they could get started, now you’ll be ready to roll in a matter of seconds.
The new map features are available now as a free OTA update that can be pulled over Wi-Fi or through Garmin Express.