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Old July 5th, 2011, 07:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Google Maps Navigation

How well does this work compared to a tomtom or a garmin GPS? I'm trying to decide between an iPhone and an android phone and I could also use a GPS. So if google maps navigation works just as good as a regular GPS then it would make more sense to just get an android device.

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Old July 5th, 2011, 08:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've used the following:

1. Factory navigation (BMW and Kia)
2. Stand-alone GPS (Garmin, several models)
3. BlackBerry and Android phones (Samsung Fascinate and Droid Charge).

Aside from screen size, I have found the phones to work at least as well as the stand-alone GPS. However, the factory systems (especially the BMW) worked a bit better IMO, with the exception that their maps needed to be upgraded for a substantial fee ($200, typically).

One great advantage of the navigation on the phones is that they're usable when you're a pedestrian.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 08:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's a subjective matter. There are those that prefer standalone GPS units and those that prefer GPS apps such as Google Maps. It's really an assessment that you need to make for yourself.

I've used Telenav and Google Maps (both stream maps) for over 15,000 miles of roadtrips. Keep in mind that apps like this do require data to download maps. That's one thing that standalone units have over such apps. They have locally stored maps and don't rely on data coverage.

That said, there are nav apps that locally store maps as well. CoPilot and Navigon are a couple of options for Android. Navigon and TomTom are a couple options for iOS. I recently added CoPilot Premium 9 for times that I'm out of coverage because it was recently on sale. Such apps are also helpful if you're traveling internationally and want to avoid international data roaming fees.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you are concerned about accuracy, the GPS in most phones works as well as stand alone GPS units. One of the major differences between a Tom Tom and an Android phone using Google Nav is that the phone needs a data connection to get maps on the fly. The stand alone GPS units store their maps on the device.

The Android phone will have more up-to-date maps and directions do to the dynamic nature of the information, however if you do not have access to data in any particular location, you might loose the ability to route until you can establish a data connection. Be advised that there are stand-alone GPS apps for android that store the maps on the phone. You can, in effect, have the best of both worlds on an Android device.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 08:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunatic59 View Post
The Android phone will have more up-to-date maps and directions do to the dynamic nature of the information
Should read "Google Maps Nav" above. If you use an app that uses locally stored maps on your Android device, the Android OS itself doesn't ensure that your maps are up to date. Maps have to be updated for such apps whereas Google Maps Nav and other streaming nav apps always have access to the latest map data. Of course, whether the "latest" map data is truly up-to-date is an entirely separate matter. Even Google's maps are out of date in some places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunatic59 View Post
You can, in effect, have the best of both worlds on an Android device.
...or an iOS device as well. Or any smartphone that offers nav apps that stream map data as well as locally stores map data. It's not Android exclusive as the comment above make it sound.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think both platforms are now mature enough to provide a choice of good navigation solutions.

Android has the advantage of having the free Google Maps, which is getting better and better.

TomTom is for now only on iOS, but they are expected to bring their software for Android ASAP. They can't ignore the rapid growing Android user base.

Garmin recently bought Navigon, so they should be able to combine their know-how and make that package even better.

nDrive is another player on Android, which works very well on the phones.

Sygic has also a good software for Android. I always have a deja-vu remembering TomTom with this software...

As you can see, there are enough choices for Android.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 06:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I use both depending on where I am and where I'm going. If routing is important I definately select my TomTom over my Droid (even with slightly outdated maps). Google regularly routes me in the most convoluted ways you can possibly imagine. It is very adverse to routing me via the tollway even though it is the shortest both distance and typically time wise. I have repeatedly verified that I do NOT have the options checked to avoid tollways and highways but alas it tries very hard to keep me away from the major arteries. It has also routed me off the highway down and around a few local routes only to route me back ON to the highway a few miles down the road!?

That being said, I do use Google Nav on a daily basis for close to real time traffic monitoring on my way to and from work. With light projected traffic, I just ignore the directions it gives me and go the way that from experience has proven to be the fastest.
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