Garmin GPSMAP 500 and 700 MFDs

Garmin’s latest multifunction displays employ touch screen navigation and wireless networking, and you can upload routes and waypoints conveniently with your tablet or smartphone.

Garmin MFD

Courtesy of Garmin

These days, it’s hard to walk even a short distance down any busy dock and not encounter someone using a smartphone or a tablet computer. In a very short time, they’ve become indispensable. Marine-electronics manufacturers have quickly adapted, and they’ve either integrated these devices into their systems via wireless connections or incorporated the (mostly) intuitive technology into their multifunction displays. Even die-hard traditionalists have to admire the ease at which we can now navigate with accurate, detailed, easy-to-use navigational equipment.

Garmin’s latest offerings, the GPSMAP 500 and 700 MFDs, also use touch-screen navigation and wireless networking. While the ability to network with your tablet or smartphone via Garmin’s excellent BlueChart Mobile app now permits you to “follow along” with the new Garmin MFDs and upload routes and waypoints, updated system “control” features are expected later this year. The company has also partnered with Fusion Technology to link Fusion’s stand-alone 700 Series stereos with certain Garmin MFDs for access to iPod music libraries.

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