The Need for Speed

30 September 2011 @ 1:07 PM  / Trail Tech /

With the introduction of our newest touch screen product, the Garmin Montana, comes a laundry list of new features and improvements to ensure that whatever you’re doing, Montana will be there to quickly and efficiently assist you.

This article will help you become a Montana power user by utilizing one or more of the following features:


Wouldn’t it be nice if everything you needed to accomplish was just one or two touches away? With Montana, this can be a reality. We’ve added a powerful, new utility called “Shortcuts” that can combine a multitude of specific tasks all into one touch. Shortcuts can be as simple or as complex as you want, and they can be placed in various menus, including the Main Menu, Drawer, or Favorites Dashboard (see below). To make your own Shortcuts, go to Setup > Shortcuts and Create Shortcut.

So, what exactly can you do with a Shortcut? Let’s go through the basic capabilities:

Profile - A shortcut can load a specific profile for you. At its core, this can simply eliminate the need for entering the Profile Change application. However, when combined with other components of a shortcut it really starts to shine.

Where To? - A shortcut can start navigation to a waypoint of your choice.

Application - Any of the applications on Montana can be launched from a shortcut. If selected, it will automatically launch over the top of whatever you’re currently doing on the handheld.

Setup - On its own, one of the most powerful utilities of shortcuts is the ability to change commonly used system settings. Any combination of system settings can be set from here. The maps on your unit can also be set to enable or disable from here. Starting with Montana software version 3.60, maps and some settings can also be toggled. A toggle works by changing the current state to the opposite state. For example, when selecting a shortcut that toggles a map, instead of always enabling that map, it would only enable it if it were disabled. Otherwise, if it were enabled, it would disable the map.   

The best way to describe the power of shortcuts might be to give some examples. 

Go Home

Switch to the Automotive Profile, Launch the Map, and start navigating to the waypoint “Home”.

Start New Track

Clear Current Track, Reset Trip Data, Turn Track Log On

Hike with BirdsEye

Switch to Recreational Profile, Launch the Map, enable BirdsEye maps, enable screen lock, set Map Orientation to Track Up.

As you can see, utilizing Shortcuts will help make your handheld into exactly the right tool for you. Our final advice is to give your shortcuts a good name and a representative icon to help you stay organized.
Advanced Menu Customization
Most of us have a certain way we like to do things, and Montana doesn’t get in the way of that. If needed, the Main Menu can be configured to contain up to ten pages of icons and each of those pages can hold up to sixteen items. The Drawer is available from any page on your Main Menu and can be used to hold applications that are of less importance to you, but are still used.

The Main Menu and Drawer are also capable of holding more than just the applications that come standard in them. Shortcuts can be placed anywhere on your Main Menu and/or Drawer. We’ve also added a new way to make links to items inside the Where To? and Setup menus on your Main Menu or Drawer. By placing these items on your Main Menu you can have one-touch access to the items you use the most.

There are really two ways to configure the Main Menu and Drawer on a Montana. The first is simple reorganization. If you want to move things around, briefly press and hold on an item until it moves to your finger and drag it to where you want it. If you drag it onto another item, the items will swap places. You can also drag items from the Drawer to the Main Menu and vice versa by dragging an item out of or into the Drawer. You can also easily drag items onto other pages on the Main Menu by dragging onto one of the two arrows that appear on the sides of the menu area.  
The second way to configure the Main Menu and Drawer is advanced customization. Under Setup > Main Menu, you are given lots of options, including:

Add item - From here, you can add powerful new items to your menu such as direct links to Where To? or Setup items, Shortcuts, and of course, main applications.

Delete item - Select an item and press the Trash icon. Removes item from menu.

Move to Drawer/Main Menu - Select an item and press the Drawer icon.

Number of Items - Change the number of items on a page by using the + and – buttons.

Add a new page - Add a new page to the left or right by using the arrows to move to a new page.

Change the Dashboard - Every page on the main menu can have a different dashboard, allowing for ultimate configurability in your setup.

Set the Start Page - If you’d rather start in the middle of your menu pages instead of all the way to one side, you can set any page in your main menu to be the starting page.


We didn’t stop at the Main Menu for customization. You can also reorder the Setup and Where To? categories however you want by selecting “Change Item Order” from that application’s option menu. Save yourself time by reducing or eliminating the need to scroll these lists by bringing the items you use to the top.
More Dashboards in More Places
Dashboards have been a popular addition to our handhelds. A dashboard allows you to add specialized information to an application. By using dashboards, you can reduce or entirely eliminate the need to jump between different applications. In Montana, we’ve added new dashboards to assist in even more activities, as well as an exciting new place to put them. Dashboards can be placed on the Map, Compass, Trip Computer, and now the Status page. By placing a dashboard on your status page, you can have one-touch access to it from anywhere in the product.
The global access that the status page offers becomes even more enticing when paired with one of our new dashboards, Favorites. The Favorites dashboard is unique in that it is actually a completely configurable, scrollable menu of applications, shortcuts, and links to Where To? or Setup items. When placing the Favorites dashboard on the Status page, you can literally do anything from anywhere in the product. Combine the power of shortcuts into this and things can really start to get crazy.
The following is a quick breakdown of the dashboards currently available on the Montana:
Altimeter   Automotive
See your current track’s elevation and future track elevation. Touch the dashboard to go to the full Elevation Plot application.   See your current speed, direction and odometer information. If you are using maps with routable roads and speed limit information, the current speed limit will also be displayed. Your speed will turn red if your speed is greater than the road’s speed limit.


Compass   Recreational
A smaller version of the compass.   Countdown to sunrise or sunset and useful off-road information.


Stopwatch   Status
A condensed version of the stopwatch application. Start/Stop and Lap/Reset actions are available and are tied back to the stopwatch application.   A collection of the current time, date, location, battery status and GPS strength.


Small Data Fields   Large Data Fields
Four configurable data fields.   One configurable data field as large as possible.


Favorites   Satellite
A customizable tray of favorite applications. Explained in depth above.   Skyview of satellites, their strength, and elevation data. The skyview reflects the Satellite application settings and can be displayed in North Up or Track Up.


The name, type, and ratings for the nearest geocache. The distance and bearing to this geocache are also listed along with chirp™ status. When navigating to a specific geocache, that geocache’s information will be used in the dashboard. Touch this dashboard to jump to the geocaching application.
Power Key Customization
What if we could take the power of the Favorites dashboard/Status page combination and make it even faster? That’s exactly what we’ve done with Power Key Customization. This brilliant, new feature allows you to double the functionality of your power key by using a single or double tap to do something. This functionality can be enabled under Setup > System > Configure Power Key. If a new power key function is set for a single tap, your status page will then be set to work using a double tap.

The Power Key can launch an application, Shortcut, or a link to a Where To? or Setup item. With the addition of Shortcut Toggles (see Shortcuts) the power key can even become a utility in itself. To get a better idea of its potential, let’s look at some examples of what can be done with the power key:

Mark a Waypoint - Set to launch the “Mark Waypoint” application

Take a Photo -
 Set to launch the “Camera” application 

Lock/Unlock Screen -
 Set to run a Shortcut that only toggles Screen Lock

Mute/Unmute -
 Set to run a Shortcut that only toggles Volume Mute

Turn chirp On/Off -
 Set to run a Shortcut that only toggles chirp Searching

Start Nav to Coordinates
 - Set to launch the Where To? > Coordinates page

Switch Maps
- Set to run a Shortcut that toggles the preferred map sets

Automatic Mount Detection
Profiles are a powerful way to use your handheld in different configurations. In order to provide a more seamless experience when switching between different modes of use, we’ve added automatic mount detection. Configured under Setup > Profiles > Option Menu > Set Mount Profiles, Montana can be set to change to a different profile when it is placed into or taken out of a specific mount. It can even be set to remember the last profile you were using when in that state for those of us that like to use more than one profile while, for example, not mounted.
Hiding Dashboards

Having a dashboard on the map is extremely useful, but at times can get in the way. In Montana there is no need to leave the map and change your setup just so that you can see the map. Simply touch the small arrow to hide or show the active dashboard with one touch.

Option Menus
Garmin handhelds can be configured to work many different ways. We’ve brought commonly used options to all of our applications in Montana to help you quickly configure the way things look or work.

QWERTY Keyboard

What’s faster than a touch screen keyboard? A familiar touch screen keyboard. Turn the Montana to landscape mode to get a full QWERTY keyboard for all your data entering needs.


Automatic Activity Logging

Go on a vacation and record lots of tracks and waypoints? Instead of viewing these items by location, you can find them by date. The Montana will keep track of what you did on the day you did it and group them together in the calendar. Every day that activity (waypoints, geocaches, and/or tracks) is recorded will be indicated with a tick mark for easy recall. 

Getting Out Fast
When you’re deep into an application and just want to get back to the Main Menu, a press and hold on the back button will take you there.