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Old July 17th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Happy GPS in Nexus 7?

Hey guys,

I'm not sure if to buy the Nexus 7 yet (it looks amazing, JB looks awesome and the price is great), but before going for it, I have heard that some Android devices have really crappy built in GPS (like the transformer prime, which if I'm not wrong, is an Asus as well).

So what I would like to know is. Is the GPS in Nexus 7 good?

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Old July 17th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingroso View Post
Hey guys,

I'm not sure if to buy the Nexus 7 yet (it looks amazing, JB looks awesome and the price is great), but before going for it, I have heard that some Android devices have really crappy built in GPS (like the transformer prime, which if I'm not wrong, is an Asus as well).

So what I would like to know is. Is the GPS in Nexus 7 good?
I do not have my Nexus 7 yet (being delivered tomorrow), but i may be able to answer at least part of this.

coming from The Transformer Prime, GPS, bluetooth and WiFi radios both suffered it seamed, because of the thought to make the entire tablet out of aluminum. This may have have caused a frequency reflection problem and hurt their full potential. on the other hand, the N7 is all plastic, again with GPS, bluetooth, WiFi, and now NFC radios so this device shouldn't suffer the same fate.

when i get mine out of the box (lol, unboxing videos) i plan to attempt to install Navigon and a gps testing app with WiFi off to get a better idea of signal strength and time to lock, since it doesn't seam to have been investigated yet. I will update when i find out unless someone gets to it first. And to answer any other questions or thoughts, yes I do plan on using this as a backup GPS unit if it will let me.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So far, it seems fairly accurate. It was also accurate on my Asus Transformer. So I don't think one can write off Asus and GPS. Now I'm researching offline navigation apps to use with this.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks to both of you guys, appreciate your help
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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GPS works flawless on my N7, locks nearly instantly. On my Prime it never worked straight out of the box.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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GPS works flawless on my N7, locks nearly instantly. On my Prime it never worked straight out of the box.
Ok awesome, I'm getting this tablet ASAP!
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Old July 18th, 2012, 04:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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GPS works flawless on my N7, locks nearly instantly. On my Prime it never worked straight out of the box.
Indeed the gps works great on wifi BUT I am a bit confused as to how to use it with no wifi and to get performance equal or better than a new garmin or tomtom. I know its cpu is far better than a g or tt, I just do not understand how they work without a data connection.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 05:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Indeed the gps works great on wifi BUT I am a bit confused as to how to use it with no wifi and to get performance equal or better than a new garmin or tomtom. I know its cpu is far better than a g or tt, I just do not understand how they work without a data connection.
All the maps are stored on the device itself. With Google maps, all the content is downloaded, with a TT (or an offline navigation app for the N7) all the content is stored on the device.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 05:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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All the maps are stored on the device itself. With Google maps, all the content is downloaded, with a TT (or an offline navigation app for the N7) all the content is stored on the device.
Keep in mind you can also cache a significant amount of maps for use offline.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 05:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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GPS fine for me too, and I was indoors
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Old July 18th, 2012, 05:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Keep in mind you can also cache a significant amount of maps for use offline.
What does this mean regarding nexus 7 with its limited storage?
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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Keep in mind you can also cache a significant amount of maps for use offline.
I don't thing you can use real time navigation though can you? Just directions?
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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't thing you can use real time navigation though can you? Just directions?

You can get navfree from the market, and you download maps onto your device. UK map was somewhere between 300mb and 500mb, so not taking up too much space. It's all free too. Works well on my galaxy note.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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What does this mean regarding nexus 7 with its limited storage?

It does not allow a huge map to be downloaded, so storage is not an issue.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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You can get navfree from the market, and you download maps onto your device. UK map was somewhere between 300mb and 500mb, so not taking up too much space. It's all free too. Works well on my galaxy note.
Cool! Downloading that now, thanks.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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What does this mean regarding nexus 7 with its limited storage?
If I am not mistaken, if you cache the largest area you can, it will take up ~80MB each time from what I have read.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm a little confused with how offline GPS works too. I downloaded a map area. It seemed to be limited to about 35mb, but covered a fairly large area, maybe 50 x 50 miles. Additional map areas can be downloaded and each area can named. I had somewhere to go so I tried out the GPS. I used the included Navigation app to get directions and off I went.

I used the 'Follow the Route' option. I wanted an alternative route but couldn't figure out how to do it. No problem, this would be an opportunity to see the GPS do re-routing on the fly. GPS followed my driving, but at about 15 miles out, I deviated from the GPS route. I expected it to re-route, but it didn't and soon the map displayed progressively became obscured and I got some message about 'data connection' not being available. When I got to my destination I opened Google maps and it found my location, but when I tried to get directions for home, it said it required a data connection. I left Google maps on and as I drove home, it followed my location flawlessly.

So is a data connection required to get actual directions and/or to make course corrections, even though an offline map is being used?
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Old July 19th, 2012, 06:47 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Are you guy's talking about Google Navigation or Google Maps?
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Old July 19th, 2012, 02:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Are you guy's talking about Google Navigation or Google Maps?
I'm talking about both. I started with Google navigation. When it stopped working I switched to Google maps.
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 08:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by martingroso View Post
Hey guys,

I'm not sure if to buy the Nexus 7 yet (it looks amazing, JB looks awesome and the price is great), but before going for it, I have heard that some Android devices have really crappy built in GPS (like the transformer prime, which if I'm not wrong, is an Asus as well).

So what I would like to know is. Is the GPS in Nexus 7 good?
The GPS works great! Even within my house. The apps for offline use still need some work. The Google Now turn-by-turn directions, for instance, works fabulous (i.e., intuitive, responsive, and informative) except that it seems to only save part of the selected route-map locally. Thus, once you get past the area that it saved (i.e. by some unknown default), the GPS still shows where you are relative to the path that you selected, but it will stop showing you the other roads, waterbodies, etc along the way (until you re-connect the wifi). Thus, you'd have to switch back to your offline Google Map to see your local detail, which is fairly easy to do but then you loose the ETA clock and the live upcoming-turn-suggestions.

The free Co-Pilot GPS app overcomes this limitation except that I couldn't figure out how to make it automatically stay centered on my current location. Plus the app is not nearly as responsive as my other apps -- most notably the Google alternative. It's not very intuitive either. Perhaps the paid version does more -- though the quirky behavior gives me pause to even try it. And perhaps others can comment on how other apps work.

Long-story short, there's not reason to believe that Google and other apps will soon overcome these current shortcomings. I fully expect the Google directions to get even smarter, and soon.
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 10:21 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 03:21 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Tried mine yesterday inside a train - metal box with metallic ant-glare windows and it worked perfectly. I certainly couldn't do that with TF201!
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 05:45 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I tried out the N7 on a one hour journey at the weekend using Co-pilot GPS (free in the app store, although I have the almost essential 20 voice navigation and 3D maps add on). Worked perfectly.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 08:34 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I've just driven all over Northern Italy with CoPilot Live on my Galaxy Note and it was great ( especially the tunnel simulations) . I'm guessing it will work well with the Nexus 7 as well
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 08:42 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grok451 View Post
So is a data connection required to get actual directions and/or to make course corrections, even though an offline map is being used?
As far as I can tell, yes, that's the case for Google Maps.

You can cache map data, but it only caches the actual map itself. It doesn't seem to be able to do directions if it's not connected to the internet.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 09:52 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ubest View Post
Indeed the gps works great on wifi BUT I am a bit confused as to how to use it with no wifi and to get performance equal or better than a new garmin or tomtom. I know its cpu is far better than a g or tt, I just do not understand how they work without a data connection.
Tether to your phone for data connection
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Old August 28th, 2012, 05:03 AM   #27 (permalink)
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When I see GPS I think navigation. This is not necessarily so. The Nexus GPS will locate you on a downloaded map. That is no problem at all.
However, you must have a data connection to calculate a route. If you calculate the route while connected the navigation works well. But if you don't have a data connection you can not calculate a new destination. This includes recalculating if you deviate from the original route. In my opinion this makes the tablet next to useless as a navigation device.
Yes, you could use your phone for a data connection but the why not just use the phone for GPS?
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Old August 28th, 2012, 08:10 AM   #28 (permalink)
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When I see GPS I think navigation. This is not necessarily so. The Nexus GPS will locate you on a downloaded map. That is no problem at all.
However, you must have a data connection to calculate a route. If you calculate the route while connected the navigation works well. But if you don't have a data connection you can not calculate a new destination. This includes recalculating if you deviate from the original route. In my opinion this makes the tablet next to useless as a navigation device.
Yes, you could use your phone for a data connection but the why not just use the phone for GPS?
'Cos:
1. The N7 has a 7" display vs a 4~5+" on a cell phone.
2. The N7 has a quad-core cpu and Jelly Bean.
3. You can still use your cell phone while your N7 navigates you to your destination uninterrupted.
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Old August 28th, 2012, 09:54 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Navfree = winning

(no data connection required!)
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Old August 29th, 2012, 07:43 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Navfree = winning

(no data connection required!)

Can second that, amazing piece of software, terrific voice guidance and the name says it all ! NavFree , its free and really good, even does postcode nav in the UK, just brilliant.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 04:29 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Regarding google navigation offline. I did a post here a few weeks ago comparing my car's navigation to google navigation on the N7 without being tethered. Google navigation can run without a data connection but it is quite awful. It can't reroute, it basically just spoke to me when I was about to get on and off the highway. Nothing in between. On the street if I change route, it won't reroute. When I tether N7 to my phone google navigation was much chattier. Overall, the current version of google navigation offline is not close to what my car can do and almost as good as my car when its online. Obviously, my car is not online so I'm not sure how my car's gps differs from the N7's gps.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 07:35 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Compared to Google Nav, I think Navfree is awful.

Completely not designed for tablets - the UI is too small, buttons are too small... no voice recognition to input addresses, and it has that awful method of inputting state, then city, then road, then house number.

I wish Google Nav could function completely offline. My girlfriend's dad is looking at an N7 to replace his GPS, since he likes the idea of having a computer-like device on the go, and is looking to buy a new GPS anyway. I'm just having a hard time recommending a GPS app for him. He's not highly tech savvy, so working out a method where Google Nav is usable isn't going to happen.

Navfree crashed twice on me yesterday, and like I said, the usability of it leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, I get that it's free - I'm not arguing with the value of the app.

I may give the cheap version of Copilot a try and see if that's any better. The reviews for navigation apps are just all over the board.
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Old September 5th, 2012, 01:37 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Regarding Navfree rerouting, I have just completed a round trip of 290 miles and can confirm it reroutes on the fly, no problems, maybe the UK maps are behaving differently from the US ones? I hope not as I am using this instead of Copilot on a 1500 mile road trip in the US in less than 2 weeks time !
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Old September 5th, 2012, 08:51 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I have the paid for voice turn-by-turn Live8 version on my WM phone but just installed the free version on Play to my N7. Not used it in earnest yet but looks like it'll be fine as long as I keep my beadies on the screen

FWIW, I asked ALK if I could deactivate the WM version and download/install the Android version. A resounding "no" was the answer and they wouldn't even make an allowance towards the Android version.

Not sure I'm ready to trust Google Nav just yet.

Might give Navfree a wee go as well
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Old October 30th, 2012, 09:33 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I live in Canada.
Is the GPS in Nexus 7 good without tethering to a smartphone (i.e. no data connection)?
Do I run Navfree?
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Old October 30th, 2012, 09:38 PM   #36 (permalink)
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You can precache up to like a 20mb area of the map. The GPS works fine, you just gotta make sire you have the area you are in predownloaded.

Good for short trips, bad for anything more than around 4 hours because you'll run out of cached map
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Old October 30th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #37 (permalink)
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The problem is that all you get is cached map data - it will not calculate routes or locate addresses. So it's better than nothing but Google Maps is not a substitute for a full GPS on a device that doesn't have a persistent data connection.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 09:52 PM   #38 (permalink)
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It will calculate routes as long as youre connected to data. You just can't stray from that route because it won't reroute you
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Old October 31st, 2012, 05:33 AM   #39 (permalink)
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You guy's might want to think of it as an assist. you still need data, but not as much. Think about getting a cheap wifi hotspot. Freedompop or something.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 05:57 AM   #40 (permalink)
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You guy's might want to think of it as an assist. you still need data, but not as much. Think about getting a cheap wifi hotspot. Freedompop or something.
...and now you're committing to carrying an extra device, requiring additional charging, and paying a usage fee just to have a GPS.

Not trying to be obstinate, just pointing out that Google Maps/Google Nav really only works as a concept on a device with a data connection. You can shoehorn it into kind-of working, but there are a lot of disadvantages.

Say you decide you don't want to carry a hotspot everywhere... You calculate the route before you leave the house. Okay, great. You can't deviate from it, though. You can't look up any POI on the way. And God forbid you accidentally exit the Nav application or it crashes: your route is gone with no way to get it back.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 07:05 AM   #41 (permalink)
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...and now you're committing to carrying an extra device, requiring additional charging, and paying a usage fee just to have a GPS.

Not trying to be obstinate, just pointing out that Google Maps/Google Nav really only works as a concept on a device with a data connection. You can shoehorn it into kind-of working, but there are a lot of disadvantages.

Say you decide you don't want to carry a hotspot everywhere... You calculate the route before you leave the house. Okay, great. You can't deviate from it, though. You can't look up any POI on the way. And God forbid you accidentally exit the Nav application or it crashes: your route is gone with no way to get it back.
I use a Garmin GPS, until it can't find a location. So there is a flip side to that argument. I don't see Google making a free NAV app in the near future.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 05:34 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Can gps work when wifi is off? I'm need it tomorow and I don't know how to use it. Pls answer soon.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 06:26 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Can gps work when wifi is off? I'm need it tomorow and I don't know how to use it. Pls answer soon.
Yes it does work without WiFi. But you have to make your setup with the WiFi - I guess because it has to get the relevant maps first..
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Old February 9th, 2013, 06:40 PM   #44 (permalink)
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GPS works, you'll have to predownload the maps though
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Old February 10th, 2013, 12:25 AM   #45 (permalink)
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The GPS does not require a data connection to work, period.

It's the navigation software that may or may not require a data connection. With the Google Nav app, a data connection is required as it dynamically downloads map data as you travel along. It's possible to cache map data for a trip but then you will not be able to reroute or anything without a data connection.

Instead, install an app like NavFree that INCLUDES the map data (stored locally on your N7) and doesn't require a data connection.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 03:36 PM   #46 (permalink)
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I use Nav free where you can preload the maps - per state. Since I live in the center of Florida, the map of Florida is enough for me. This works very well and has a lot of options.
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Old March 16th, 2013, 08:26 PM   #47 (permalink)
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OK. After reading through these posts, I tried something that I think most will find useful. I will list some steps to take and keep in mind that this is strictly for the Nexus 7. The Nexus comes preloaded with a handy little app that uses a combination of GPS and an internet connection. It's called Navigation. And you'll need a smartphone with bluetooth for internet access if you plan to use navigation for trips.

1. On your smart phone you have to enable internet sharing. Your smartphone must have a data plan for this to work.

2. Make sure that both your phone and your nexus 7 are able to connect to each other via Bluetooth.

3. When both devices can see each other and Bluetooth is enabled on both, your Nexus 7 will show your phone connection under bluetooth. There is a little box to the right of that connection. Click on it and there is a check box that allows your Nexus to get internet access through your phone via bluetooth.

4. Open the Navigation app and enter your destination.

That's it! The Navigation app does not work on GPS alone and needs an internet connection to actually load the maps in real time. But it works great with an internet connection.

And by the way, since you have an actual internet connection you can use your Nexus 7 to also browse the internet, get on facebook, twitter, check your email, etc as well.

This may also work on other Android devices but I can only speak on the Nexus since I know it all ready comes preloaded with the Navigation app. Not sure if it is something that is on other Andriod devices to start and may be available in the Google store anyway. Good luck and have fun with internet access on your tablet while you are on the road. But please, do not try this while driving too. Safety first!
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Old March 17th, 2013, 03:28 AM   #48 (permalink)
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You're making things way too hard. THERE IS NO NEED FOR INTERNET ACCESS IF YOU USE AN APP THAT USES LOCALLY STORED MAP DATA!!!!

Try CoPilot Live for a paid app or NavFree for a free one. Both of these apps store the map data locally so you won;t need a data connection while underway.
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Old March 17th, 2013, 05:24 PM   #49 (permalink)
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You're making things way too hard. THERE IS NO NEED FOR INTERNET ACCESS IF YOU USE AN APP THAT USES LOCALLY STORED MAP DATA!!!!

Try CoPilot Live for a paid app or NavFree for a free one. Both of these apps store the map data locally so you won;t need a data connection while underway.
Right, navigation systems in cars don't have data connections either. I use a few different apps with maps download and it works very well.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Default Putting it plainly..

Nearly everything Google requires an internet connection. Don't associate Google anything with GPS if you do not have an internet connection. ITS THAT SIMPLE! Google (input whatever name you want) works well in metro areas or tethered to an internet connection, but not without.

Other "NAVIGATION APPS" utilize the GPS without the requirement of a WiFi/internet connection. What this means is that the Nexus 7 has a true "stand-alone" GPS! The app itself has the contained maps required for GPS operation and navigation.

So if you're out backpacking and downloaded the appropriate software (with maps) before going out into the wilderness, it will triangulate your position on the map and track movement. You can also set a route, and it will take you there...without an internet connection.

Backpackers and other entities are catching on to the uses of some of these tablets that have this features to hold very detailed topographical maps rather than carrying paper. It also allows them to geo cache and entertainment out in the wilderness. The Nexus 7 has the ability to be a Garmin Montana 650T but with many many more features! As long as you have the appropriate software for the unit to use!

There are many posts on here stating that it won't work without the internet (this is not an absolute), they are referring to Google or an "internet powered" map, not a GPS powered app.
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