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Anyone else disgusted with COMAND Navigation?

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Anyone else disgusted with COMAND Navigation?

 
Old 12-30-2013, 04:50 PM
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Thumbs down Anyone else disgusted with COMAND Navigation?

I have read everything MB includes on the use of COMAND. I have had experience with navigation equipment on my iPhone, in my boat, in an aircraft, in my other cars, my old MB 2008 E350.
I was embarrassed to have a $300 Garmin attached to my windshield in my older Benz when I already had one in my dash.
The old style navigation with its ever aging database was a horrible system. I thought for sure, the new Comand system in my 2014 E250 would be better by leaps and bounds.
It is NOT.

Today I needed to use it. I wanted to find where the nearest Toys R UaS ws located. My IPhone gave me the address for three within 10 miles of where I was.
I tried to voice input my destination while driving with no luck. System has a very difficult time understanding the most basic commands.

After trying for over 20 minutes, I decided to pull over and input it manually. No luck.

A $300 Garmin fresh out of the box responds to my voice commands with ZERO voice training, Here was my fancy car with MB electronics, I had already trained for my voice. I could not input any usable data to help me with directions to my final destination. 45 minutes later I gave up and used my iPhone.

This ha to be the least user friendly, the most UN-intuitive piece of electronic device I have laid my hands on in the last 10 years. It is horrible, and definitely not something I would be using again anytime soon.

I think it is time for MB to farm out the navigation system to someone else. My recommendation would be Garmin.
They know how to do it. MB, don't!

If I had spent the time to try the Comand system during the demo ride, and had similar experiences, I would NOT have bought this car which I otherwise love.

The system does not even subscribe to the most basic and common protocols of using a GPS. It shouldn't be this difficult. It is not brand new technology. It is a mature technology. Voice recognition is no longer a novelty. Those of you who have an iPhone with SIRI know what I am talking about.

I don't know if it is a glitch or bad software but I plan on taking it in and give them the same three addresses for Toys R Us and have them show me how it is done.
I obviously do not know how! After 45 minutes I can learn to bake a four layer cake. That should be plenty of time to program a destination into the Nav unit.

Last edited by AErcen; 12-30-2013 at 05:29 PM. Reason: spelling..
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:59 PM
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I rented a 300C AWD last week in Maui. The Garmin is super fast and voice command works.

It uses the theory of K-I-S-S. No 3D buildings or streetview BS.
I think the new Maserati Ghibli shares the same system.


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Old 12-30-2013, 05:55 PM
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I would love to permanently put a 7" Google Nexus tablet over the screen. It would be better by leaps and bounds.

That said, have never had a problem when I manually input a destination, but I always have to search for it on my phone.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:21 PM
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they are dealing with apple computer to bring iOS inside the vehicle. i read that over the weekend alongside the announcement that audi has partnered with google for android units.

i've had good luck with COMAND so far. it finds the nearby POI's and brings me to them with adequate speed.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:29 PM
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"Disgusted" might be a strong word to describe my feelings towards it. I'd call it "useless" or "limited use". I like Waze so that is what I use on my phone. The navigation, believe it or not, is already outsourced. Most of the OEM navigation is made by the same software group and they tailor the look and feel for each manufacturer but the underlying engine and database is the same. http://www.igonavigation.com/ 7 of the 10 largest car manufacturers use their software. http://www.nng.com/company/3637

The problem with any built in system will be the lack of updates and support. Since they source the map data from a 3rd party they have to wait for the 3rd party to produce the map updates then they have to spend resources to convert the map data to their system and finally pass it out to the consumer.

Built-in navigation systems also have to meet specific requirements and way more stringent user interface requirements than something as agile as Waze running on a mobile phone with a touch screen. So while us, consumers interpret it as limitation and poor execution in reality it is a foolproof/dummy proof system tailored for the lowest common denominator which makes it clumsy and awkward to use.

There is no in-vehicle voice command system that could compete with Google or Siri, period. So it is welcome news that manufacturers are finally accepting that they don't have the R&D budget and capabilities to compete with the big software players in this arena and they're going to finally integrate these systems instead of reinventing the wheel which is kind of round and made out of stone while the rest of the world is rolling around on Pirelli Pzero Rossos. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/google...225800493.html

I would compare the state of the in-vehicle navigation to where phone integration was 5-6 years ago. Each manufacturer picked a phone maker and you had to use a specific phone with the car before Bluetooth was even available. Now we have Bluetooth and that is all manufacturers have to integrate into their cars and they let the phones do the heavy lifting.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:41 PM
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The interface might sometimes be clunky, but the screen resolution is nicer than many other OEM units I have experienced. A Toyota driving friend of mine always oohs and aahs over my screen.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by AErcen View Post
I have read everything MB includes on the use of COMAND. I have had experience with navigation equipment on my iPhone, in my boat, in an aircraft, in my other cars, my old MB 2008 E350.
I was embarrassed to have a $300 Garmin attached to my windshield in my older Benz when I already had one in my dash.
The old style navigation with its ever aging database was a horrible system. I thought for sure, the new Comand system in my 2014 E250 would be better by leaps and bounds.
It is NOT.

Today I needed to use it. I wanted to find where the nearest Toys R UaS ws located. My IPhone gave me the address for three within 10 miles of where I was.
I tried to voice input my destination while driving with no luck. System has a very difficult time understanding the most basic commands.

After trying for over 20 minutes, I decided to pull over and input it manually. No luck.

A $300 Garmin fresh out of the box responds to my voice commands with ZERO voice training, Here was my fancy car with MB electronics, I had already trained for my voice. I could not input any usable data to help me with directions to my final destination. 45 minutes later I gave up and used my iPhone.

This ha to be the least user friendly, the most UN-intuitive piece of electronic device I have laid my hands on in the last 10 years. It is horrible, and definitely not something I would be using again anytime soon.

I think it is time for MB to farm out the navigation system to someone else. My recommendation would be Garmin.
They know how to do it. MB, don't!

If I had spent the time to try the Comand system during the demo ride, and had similar experiences, I would NOT have bought this car which I otherwise love.

The system does not even subscribe to the most basic and common protocols of using a GPS. It shouldn't be this difficult. It is not brand new technology. It is a mature technology. Voice recognition is no longer a novelty. Those of you who have an iPhone with SIRI know what I am talking about.

I don't know if it is a glitch or bad software but I plan on taking it in and give them the same three addresses for Toys R Us and have them show me how it is done.
I obviously do not know how! After 45 minutes I can learn to bake a four layer cake. That should be plenty of time to program a destination into the Nav unit.
Why don't you use your phone to search for the business address you want to go to and then manually enter it in your car navi system? You can also save it so next time there will be no address entry again.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:38 AM
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Maybe it works better in German?
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Arrie View Post
Why don't you use your phone to search for the business address you want to go to and then manually enter it in your car navi system? You can also save it so next time there will be no address entry again.
I too find COMAND navi woefully inadequate.

I've long wanted to make a parody of it based on the Peyton Manning Buick commercial "hut hut. Orange cones. Reroute".

MB commercial would be something like:

Hut hut.

The preselected sport is....soccer. Please select a play.

Change sport.

Changing sport....please select.....a sport.

Football.

Changing sport...please select a line number.

1.) foozball
2.) gin rummy
3.) the Balkans

I said football!

The selected sport is...bowling. Please select a...bowling...play.

This could go on forever. I gave up and just use my phone through Bluetooth.
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ttoE550 View Post
I too find COMAND navi woefully inadequate.

I've long wanted to make a parody of it based on the Peyton Manning Buick commercial "hut hut. Orange cones. Reroute".

MB commercial would be something like:

Hut hut.

The preselected sport is....soccer. Please select a play.

Change sport.

Changing sport....please select.....a sport.

Football.

Changing sport...please select a line number.

1.) foozball
2.) gin rummy
3.) the Balkans

I said football!

The selected sport is...bowling. Please select a...bowling...play.

This could go on forever. I gave up and just use my phone through Bluetooth.
Hahaha .... no wonder why it works better with my non-English speaking accents.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:38 AM
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I use comand navigation mostly for it's maps....how to get around a slow down or which little street goes through. The only time I use POI's is if I am very low on gas or looking to get an idea of restaurants at the next exit on the interstate. POI's are woefully incomplete on Comand. When I do want to use navigation, I actually have found it reasonably good at finding at least some route to where I'm going although one never knows if the street name is main st, route 44, or US 44....and is it US 44 or highway 44 or Florida 44...most of the time, in those situations, I give up. Not sure the garmin is better. I don't seem to have trouble with voice recognition.

I've found sirius traffic useless, but no better or worse than garmin traffic which seems to never cover where I am. Neither is at all current. I now rely on Waze and Gas Buddy....both are very up to date with constant user input.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ttoE550 View Post
I too find COMAND navi woefully inadequate.

I've long wanted to make a parody of it based on the Peyton Manning Buick commercial "hut hut. Orange cones. Reroute".

MB commercial would be something like:

Hut hut.

The preselected sport is....soccer. Please select a play.

Change sport.

Changing sport....please select.....a sport.

Football.

Changing sport...please select a line number.

1.) foozball
2.) gin rummy
3.) the Balkans

I said football!

The selected sport is...bowling. Please select a...bowling...play.

This could go on forever. I gave up and just use my phone through Bluetooth.

The voice command part I agree with. It does not understand what I say almost at all if the car is moving. It is way better when car is stationary but that is when you don't really need to voice command...


The big problem is with the microphone locations as they obviously are too close to the windshield and pick the wind noise or something. In rain voice command does not work at all as rain hitting the windshield is so noisy. And it does not matter if I use the "individualization" or not.


Funny how these German engineers can sometimes make a very stupid mistake. Like this individualization is supposed to train the system to recognize your personal voice and work better. Well, good idea but I think this would work better if the system allowed you to do the individualization while the car is moving when it could count for the wind and other noises the car makes when it moves at speed...


Navigation itself works well for me. Yes, a lot of POIs are missing and it is a small task to find the address with my smart phone and manually enter it but after this is done it takes me very well to where I am going to.

Last edited by Arrie; 12-31-2013 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Arrie View Post
Why don't you use your phone to search for the business address you want to go to and then manually enter it in your car navi system? You can also save it so next time there will be no address entry again.
That is precisely what I ended up doing. I pulled up the address for Toys R US with the help of SIRI on my iPhone, and then attempted to input that address into COMAND by voice control while I was driving.

When Voice recognition wouldn't even understand some basic commands like "yes", "no", "cancel", and my asking for a street name Paseo would end up on the screen with a page full of street names beginning with Larson and everything else that began with the letter "L" and no way to back out of there, I gave up and pulled into a shopping plaza and attempted to input the address manually this time using the keyboard. That also did not work because the range 1800-1899 did not include the 2812 house number I was looking for.

On my handheld Garmin, I can type in TOYS R US and have a choice of all the TOYS R US near me to choose from. With COMAND the best I could do was to find TOYS R US Distribution Center somewhere in Houston Texas. I live in Florida.

45 minutes of stuborness and frustration later, I gave up and used my iPhone instead.

Tomorrow I will affix my trusty suction cup mounted Garmin on the lower left corner of my windshield and hope no one notices it.

I love my car. I am not looking for reasons to dislike it. I just can't understand the rationale behind incorporating something so high tech as NAVIGATION and have it work so poorly in a world class car and expect us to accept it as OK. It is not OK. It is really really bad.

For those of you who ARE happy with your COMAND and MBrace. I am happy for you, but rather than defend what you have, go out and try few other similar gadgets and see what you DON'T have.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AErcen View Post
That is precisely what I ended up doing. I pulled up the address for Toys R US with the help of SIRI on my iPhone, and then attempted to input that address into COMAND by voice control while I was driving.

When Voice recognition wouldn't even understand some basic commands like "yes", "no", "cancel", and my asking for a street name Paseo would end up on the screen with a page full of street names beginning with Larson and everything else that began with the letter "L" and no way to back out of there, I gave up and pulled into a shopping plaza and attempted to input the address manually this time using the keyboard. That also did not work because the range 1800-1899 did not include the 2812 house number I was looking for.

On my handheld Garmin, I can type in TOYS R US and have a choice of all the TOYS R US near me to choose from. With COMAND the best I could do was to find TOYS R US Distribution Center somewhere in Houston Texas. I live in Florida.

45 minutes of stuborness and frustration later, I gave up and used my iPhone instead.

Tomorrow I will affix my trusty suction cup mounted Garmin on the lower left corner of my windshield and hope no one notices it.

I love my car. I am not looking for reasons to dislike it. I just can't understand the rationale behind incorporating something so high tech as NAVIGATION and have it work so poorly in a world class car and expect us to accept it as OK. It is not OK. It is really really bad.

For those of you who ARE happy with your COMAND and MBrace. I am happy for you, but rather than defend what you have, go out and try few other similar gadgets and see what you DON'T have.
Obviously your brand new car needs a navi disk update if there is a street with more numbers than it knows unless, of course, you missed a road designation between north, south, east and west. In some areas this is important if the road actually changes between north and south at a railway or a major road or something.
Yes, Navtech could do much better job with this all. I just don't blame MB for it and use my phone to find the address or call Teleaid and they beam it down for me.
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:06 AM
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Actually the voice control works rather well for me and I'm not afraid to say "Call John Smith Mobile" as more often than not it actually connects me with the right person and if not the option I wanted is Number 1 on the list of options. It is leaps and bounds better than the voice system was in my BMW or in my wife's A4.

As for the maps, in DFW the maps and lane suggestions can be out of date from one week to the next with all the heavy construction that goes on and I wouldn't even fathom using the built in POI database for anything when my cellphone can do so much better.

However my wife prefers to use the built-in NAV unit in her Audi A4 over a cellphone with an even more severely outdated map database because the Audi system is easier to use for her. She hates touch screens and typing on a small cellphone so a rotary knob for selections works way better for her.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:48 AM
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Arrie got me running scared now.
I am feeling like I am being tailed. If there is anything I don't like about my new car, I need to be careful voicing my criticism fearing I might get scolded.

Technology exists for users to update their own NAV data in small, inexpensive handheld units.Units costing just a couple of hundred Dollars. Why couldn't MB have chosen a system that made that possible so we all don't have to go back to the dealer for updates. There are no disks to purchase. It is hard drive based. Garmin and Magellan use memory for the data, no disks no hard drives.

If MOST of the owners are complaining about MBrace and COMMAND, maybe the problem is not with those complaining but with the system(s). To respond to an earlier jab, NO, I did NOT buy a $62,000 car so I can complain on the forums. Who does that!
I complain because I bought a $62,000 car that fails to deliver in some features.

It is those public complaints and and criticisms that allow for the companies to take note and respond. We sometimes complain about our own families and our loved ones. Why would our cars be off limits.

Not the way I wanted to start the New Year, arguing with others. Happy New Year anyway.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:47 AM
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Most folks who have used COMAND would agree that it's not up to the standards expected of a Mercedes-Benz. Frankly, the navigation is rubbish and the rest is nothing to get excited about.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:36 AM
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it doesn't bother me; hell, I don't even use that stuff in my cars.......
didn't buy them for the infotainment/directions and such...


bought for safety, comfort and the Star
but I could see how the slackness would bother other owners......me? I keep it really simple(as instantfob mentioned )
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by AErcen View Post
Arrie got me running scared now.
I am feeling like I am being tailed. If there is anything I don't like about my new car, I need to be careful voicing my criticism fearing I might get scolded.

Technology exists for users to update their own NAV data in small, inexpensive handheld units.Units costing just a couple of hundred Dollars. Why couldn't MB have chosen a system that made that possible so we all don't have to go back to the dealer for updates. There are no disks to purchase. It is hard drive based. Garmin and Magellan use memory for the data, no disks no hard drives.

If MOST of the owners are complaining about MBrace and COMMAND, maybe the problem is not with those complaining but with the system(s). To respond to an earlier jab, NO, I did NOT buy a $62,000 car so I can complain on the forums. Who does that!
I complain because I bought a $62,000 car that fails to deliver in some features.

It is those public complaints and and criticisms that allow for the companies to take note and respond. We sometimes complain about our own families and our loved ones. Why would our cars be off limits.

Not the way I wanted to start the New Year, arguing with others. Happy New Year anyway.

I didn't go to my dealer to update the navi maps. I purchased the disk from them but did the update myself. Took over three hours if I remember correctly. The update was on two disks.


This is a hard drive based navigation but the data that needs to be loaded on the drive comes on DVDs.


Unless MB totally changed this system you can still buy the map update disks for it either from a MB dealer or directly from Navteq. Price is the same no matter which way you purchase it.


But again, has MB changed this so that you cannot do it yourself?

Last edited by Arrie; 01-01-2014 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:06 PM
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Had my 2009 navigation in my 2010 E updated about six months ago. Not much better than before, but I seldom use it so not a real problem for me. Always use voice, except sometimes to use last destinations. It works fine. However, it still cannot find streets with E or W or East or West in the description and the main part of name is not separately listed. Example: East Greenville St. I always have to say "Correction" when it brings up the lists until it asks me to spell it. Then I spell "Green..." and it pops up E Greenville and W Greenville.
Have tested it by searching out some fast food and chain restaurants. Some locations that are years old are still not shown.
Also, it still tries to get me to take a loop through a very seedy trailer park to get to a US highway even though the loop brings me back to highway I am already on. It also tries to get me to always turn right when leaving my driveway no matter what my destination is. Takes me 1/4 mile north and then loops around another road to bring me back to street on which I live to go south.
I foresee in the future that automotive manufactures will just provide a large display with which smart phones, personal GPS devices, etc. will be able to communicate. Sort of the way BlueTooth works.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:05 PM
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I have two MB's with Command....they both SUCK.
Next to the standard plastic seats, the Command Nav system is an equal joke.

I won't repeat the complaints the previous posts have mentioned, but I will add one. Why on GOD'S GREEN EARTH can't you change the font size on the maps? The font is so tiny that it will cause an accident if you actually try to read it. No way to change it either.

Have you guys tried to update them yet? I have. What a HUGE pain in the ****! Prepare for a 3-hour process with multiple disk changes.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:12 PM
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Coming from 2012 to 2014 model.

I am glad the new Voice Command lets you read the whole address now instead of ... City First, Street First, Number ... crap!
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:05 PM
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The GPS on my 2011 E350 is NOT good.....mostly because it lacks the updates that a $200 Garmin would provide FREE for a lifetime. The mega bucks dealer charges $ 245 for an update....what's wrong with that picture. The folks at MB are clueless to the current status of GPS systems and are ripping off their customers for updates. I'd rather they contract Garmin to provide GPS services and save all the negative comments about the Mercedes system.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:12 PM
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I ordered our 2014 E550 without the optional package that included the nav system. No regrets at all, but a downside was Mercedes' refusal to sell me the optional heated steering wheel unless I did order the Premium 1 package which includes the nav system. So... no heated steering wheel. I wonder what they are thinking at Mercedes-Benz to so needlessly irritate would-be car buyers? There is nothing about heated steering wheels that cannot be provided as a stand-alone option.

Last edited by marvinlee; 01-10-2014 at 10:13 PM. Reason: grammar correction
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:43 AM
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You folks have me wondering what version Nav im running. When was the last Nav update and how can you check what version you have?
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