Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Kinder, Gentler Jill

I talk about my Garmin GPS (a.k.a. "Jill") a lot. Yes I do.

So, anyway...when I updated my maps last month, I also discovered that there was an update for Jill herself - the voice that gives me turn-by-turn directions as I drive. And believe it or not, I definitely noticed a difference in the "new Jill". And I like it.

The old Jill had a tendency to be a little harsh and mean, especially when you miss a turn. Anyone who owns a Garmin knows what I mean when I say "Recalculating..." When the old Jill says "Recalculating", you can tell she's frustrated with you. "Ugh. Recalculating...again! Why do you even bring me on your trips if you never follow my instructions? Jackass." But the "new Jill"? The infamous word "recalculating" is still part of her vocabulary, but now she says it in a more happy-go-lucky sort of way. Now, it's more like, "Recalculating! Yay! Oh well!" Jill's other instructions are also a little more friendly. Instead of giving commands, now she's just giving suggestions, and she doesn't seem to mind so much when you don't follow them. Maybe Jill had a lobotomy. Or maybe she's developing dementia. Either way, I like it.

While I was on the Garmin website, I also downloaded another voice, in case I ever get tired of Jill: Lee, the Australian. Amber's parents have the Lee voice on their Garmin, and I liked it, so I found a way to get it on my device. But after spending an hour or two in the car with Lee, I decided to go back to Jill. I totally dig the Australian accent, but Lee's accent was subtle at best, actually. Lee is very soft-spoken and, well, boring. If Lee talked like the guy from the Outback Steakhouse commercials (who has a highly exaggerated Australian accent, of course, and unlike Lee is very upbeat and enthusiastic), that would be awesome. Either way, it just wasn't the same. I missed Jill.

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