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Old October 3rd, 2013, 05:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Real Navigation" Program (Please don't move)

I asked this question in the applications area over a week ago and got no response. So mods, please don't move. I'm looking for a response from S4 owners.

I'm looking for a real GPS program for if and when I get stuck with the new version of Google Maps/Navigation. The three requirements are:

1. Traffic data--easily visible on the screen.
2. Toggle between close up and wide area views.
3. To be recognized by Chrome to Phone as a navigation app (Copilot's failure and the failure of about half the GPS apps for some reason).

Is there anything that offers all three?

Does Garmin offer a full GPS Android product? Even if I had to pay $70 that would be better than dealing with the new Google Maps.

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Old October 3rd, 2013, 07:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
I asked this question in the applications area over a week ago and got no response. So mods, please don't move. I'm looking for a response from S4 owners.

I'm looking for a real GPS program for if and when I get stuck with the new version of Google Maps/Navigation. The three requirements are:

1. Traffic data--easily visible on the screen.
2. Toggle between close up and wide area views.
3. To be recognized by Chrome to Phone as a navigation app (Copilot's failure and the failure of about half the GPS apps for some reason).

Is there anything that offers all three?

Does Garmin offer a full GPS Android product? Even if I had to pay $70 that would be better than dealing with the new Google Maps.
I'd recommend Sygic. However it fails in the third of your criteria. It is an option when getting directions from Google, but fails because it just opens rather than opens with a route. Other than that it's great.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 11:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd recommend Sygic. However it fails in the third of your criteria. It is an option when getting directions from Google, but fails because it just opens rather than opens with a route. Other than that it's great.
I'm not even seeing that it opens when you open a Chrome to Phone link. But how does it toggle views and show traffic?
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not even seeing that it opens when you open a Chrome to Phone link. But how does it toggle views and show traffic?
Traffic is by subscription. It updates in real time, can be set to alter your route to avoid it and shows the traffic on route by tapping the "Traffic" button top left to toggle between navigation screen and complete route. Pinch to zoom in and out.

As for directions, if you don't set a default it offers Sygic when you tap on the get directions link from a search on Google (naitive browser, Chrome or Google search widget) . Just opens Sygic though, doesn't open it with a route already input.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Traffic is by subscription. It updates on real time, can be set to alter your route to avoid it and shows the traffic on route by tapping the "Traffic" button top left to toggle between navigation screen and complete route. Pinch to zoom in and out.
Thanks.

I can pinch to zoom in and out with the new Google Maps. I want to be able to toggle because that's not convenient when driving.

It's crazy someone doesn't just steal the old Google GUI. Google stole it from Dash Express (I assume because Dash Express was bought by RIM).
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Indeed Sygic is not perfect, but as a standalone, no need to connect to Internet app. It's pretty good. Now here is the thing it is still not as good as Ovi Maps (v3.04) I was using two years ago on a Nokia N8. That was totally free and about the only thing good Nokia did with Ovi in it's name.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sygis does look like one of the better apps I've tried--most professional. It just doesn't do what I need to do.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 02:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sygis does look like one of the better apps I've tried--most professional. It just doesn't do what I need to do.
A colleague of mine swears by "Waze", never used it myself and I know it downloads data and maps on the fly, but have you looked at that?
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 04:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes, I've checked out Waze. I'm not sure it did any of the things I want. The traffic seemed to be little signs along the route showing how fast the traffic was moving. Not nearly as nice as color coding.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 11:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Garmin, unfortunately only has a dedicated app on IOS. But they own Navigon and there app is pretty good. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.navigon.navigator_checkout_us&hl=en
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Old October 4th, 2013, 12:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The problem I have with nav apps is that they use databases which are out of date by the time they're issued. Same with my nuvi with lifetime maps... which I typically update as soon as the new mapset comes out. And yet there are places I go that have had road changes over a year old that still don't show on the latest mapsets.

That's one thing I like about Waze. I have yet to stump it on my normal travel paths. Otoh, when I ask it to search for something specific in my local area, it doesn't do a very good job of finding what I'm looking for unless I plug in a physical address. And Google even owns Waze.

In contrast, Google Voice Search does a very good job for me on local searches. And it gives me the option of which nav program I want to use to nav to the searched item.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The problem I have with nav apps is that they use databases which are out of date by the time they're issued. Same with my nuvi with lifetime maps... which I typically update as soon as the new mapset comes out. And yet there are places I go that have had road changes over a year old that still don't show on the latest mapsets.

That's one thing I like about Waze. I have yet to stump it on my normal travel paths. Otoh, when I ask it to search for something specific in my local area, it doesn't do a very good job of finding what I'm looking for unless I plug in a physical address. And Google even owns Waze.

In contrast, Google Voice Search does a very good job for me on local searches. And it gives me the option of which nav program I want to use to nav to the searched item.
You have to remember that most of the mapping is done by people that drive the vehicles around. Sometimes they do miss places/roads that have been there for years. If you find any mistakes you can always report the errors.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 12:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I assume you're referring to Waze.

In the past I've reported errors to whoever it is that supplies Garmin with maps. It seems to take a long time for those to get rectified.

I'm really quite new to Waze at this point and wish there was a tutorial to explain all the features, etc. For instance, Waze recommends to leave the app running even if not navigating as it somehow contributes to the collective. I'm curious what info they glean in such a scenario? Traffic? Road verification?
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Old October 4th, 2013, 12:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I assume you're referring to Waze.

In the past I've reported errors to whoever it is that supplies Garmin with maps. It seems to take a long time for those to get rectified.

I'm really quite new to Waze at this point and wish there was a tutorial to explain all the features, etc. For instance, Waze recommends to leave the app running even if not navigating as it somehow contributes to the collective. I'm curious what info they glean in such a scenario? Traffic? Road verification?
Garmin gets there maps from Navteq, which is owned by Nokia. I had a chance to ride around in one of the mapping vehicles and its a pretty extensive process.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 12:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old October 5th, 2013, 01:41 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I assume you're referring to Waze.

In the past I've reported errors to whoever it is that supplies Garmin with maps. It seems to take a long time for those to get rectified.

I'm really quite new to Waze at this point and wish there was a tutorial to explain all the features, etc. For instance, Waze recommends to leave the app running even if not navigating as it somehow contributes to the collective. I'm curious what info they glean in such a scenario? Traffic? Road verification?
I think Waze still tracks your location and speed and uses it to update the traffic info.

Have you checked out the Guided Tour on the waze site? Free GPS Navigation with Turn by Turn - Waze
It might have what you are looking for.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 08:11 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Yes, I've seen that. It's pretty light on details. What I detest about apps in general is built-in features that are never explained how they are intended to be used, or what various indicators mean, etc.

If I were a developer, I would think all that would be spelled out in a guide or somesuch.

Edit: I stand corrected. Waze does indeed have a useful guide:
http://www.waze.com/wiki/Waze_Version_3.5
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Old October 5th, 2013, 11:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I use Waze and have used it for years instead of or alongside Google Maps. I can shed some light on some questions posed by others here.

- The reason Waze requests background running is both for mapping and traffic monitoring contributions to the cloud. It truly is the "Social GPS" and every single person helps.

- Color coded lines come into play when traffic is picked up by outside monitors or confirmed by others via social speed. You'll see color coding mainly on highways or main drags. Traffic bubbles are when individuals report traffic, but they can be for any number of reasons. Could be a genuine jam or a slowdown because of an out of sight road block (ie: someone stuck because roadwork is squeezing everyone into one lane). However if more people encounter it, it may eventually change colors.

- Waze updates daily (Waze - Official Blog: Map Updates Now Daily -- Worldwide!). They announce when both US and Intl maps are updated on their social networks. Prior to this they were ~weekly. They never waited a whole year

- Social Networks are optional (currently FB and Twitter), and more than likely will remain that way since Waze has had their profiles in place since inception. If anything, G+ will become a third optional social connection. Google has said it has no plans to swallow Waze whole and will leave it as a separate entity (Google closes acquisition of Waze | Android Central).

- If you aren't aware, the search page has multiple network icons on the bottom including Bing, Contacts, Google, Facebook Places, Foursquare, Yahoo, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Waze itself. I've rarely had a place not show up in at least one of these options, but YMMV.

- I admit, the webpage is lacking in the Icon Glossary, but they figure that the icon names shown when clicking Report in the app are mostly self explanatory when you see them on the map.

- Not sure if Chrome to Phone will pick it up, but Waze does register as a nav app when clicking on addresses (Contacts, Stock Browser, Chrome).

I use Waze for the usability, social fun, and promotions.
Usability: Learns your routes, optimizes them, and keeps you out of harm's (traffic's) way
Social Fun: If your friends are on Waze and everyone's headed somewhere in different cars, you can turn it into a race and watch everyone head for the finish. Just don't tell the cop you were trying to beat your friends at Waze if you get caught speeding.
If you're stuck in a traffic jam with a bunch of other Wazers, someone is more than likely going to start a local chat about it, lol. Sometimes you can make new friends, or learn something new about the area.
Promotions: Every once in a while, usually seasonal, the streets will be littered with promotional items (ie: candy corn for Halloween). Racking them up gives bonus points to your overall driving score and top earners for the promotion usually get real prizes, usually an electronics item for top earner while runner ups get Waze goodies. Currently, you can find sweepstakes entries for free Eminem tickets (Waze - Official Blog: Waze Your Way to Free Eminem Tickets) while last month they gave away the song Berzerk.

If there's any other questions I can help ya with, feel free to ask. I more than likely know if it's something I've done, or can at least point you in the direction of an answer.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 12:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Darnell, that is excellent info. It should be in a Waze FAQ on their site.

A few questions, if I may.

1) is Waze still running in the background when I choose switch off from the menu? (not sure what the iOS version says) Long press of the home button shows Waze in recent apps. If not, how do you run Waze in the background?

2) if observing a traffic obstruction or accident ahead, you have to wait until you're beside the event before pushing the report button for accurate location, correct? It would be a nice option to be able to report while stuck in traffic with some estimate of distance from my present location, instead of when you just get moving again and drive past the issue.

3) How long do those traffic reports/police/hazards/accident icons remain onscreen or available? I've made a hazard report about a stopped vehicle and on the way back from my destination, see the same vehicle still there but there's no hazard icon to show that a report was made.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 01:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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1) Waze is only running in the background when you leave it that way - tapping home with it open, the notification icon will let you know it's still active. Switching off completely exits the program.

2) Yeah that "right there" thing does get annoying. I'm guessing they do not expect anyone to report something half a mile ahead or so, though the option would be nice where the terrain permits it.

3) I haven't paid too much attention to the "xyz ago" thing, but I believe it's an hour or so just based on occasionally driving back past my own reports in that time frame. However if someone else drives by and clicks "Not there" on the warning pop-up, it will be removed. I admit there are some who do not pay attention to the "incident this distance ahead part and just click not there early while not bothering to repost it. Also, I cannot confirm whether or not each incident type has it's own time frame. I may ask them that Monday morning. Bonus tip: Most of the hazards have a My Lane/Other Lane option. If you want to report something on the other side, click it to switch.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 02:31 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Thanks for that.

One comment about my lane/other lane: the guide says that is not yet operational. does it in fact work now? I think I've tried it without success, but it's hard to tell when you're driving.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Thanks for that.

One comment about my lane/other lane: the guide says that is not yet operational. does it in fact work now? I think I've tried it without success, but it's hard to tell when you're driving.
It has on the rare occasion I've used it. Is it an in-app guide that says it doesn't work or somewhere on the website?
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Old October 5th, 2013, 03:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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It's really expensive, but Tom Tom offers an android application with traffic which has to be purchased in app.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tomtom.uscanada&hl=en
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Old October 5th, 2013, 05:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
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It has on the rare occasion I've used it. Is it an in-app guide that says it doesn't work or somewhere on the website?
It's in the guide (of course, it could be out of date info):

How to Report - waze

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Old October 5th, 2013, 07:23 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Darnell,

In your experience, how long does it take Waze to learn a preferred route?
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Old October 5th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I see. I barely use the Wiki xD. I guess even though it appeared to be reported, it may not have gone through. However, the wiki is a few versions behind (Currently 3.7.3) so who knows.


It depends on how often you drive it. If it's your daily commute, it may learn the best way in a week or so. Additionally, you can add Home/Work locations in the settings to help it along. After a while it will learn your departure time and ask if you're going to work/home.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 07:52 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Old October 5th, 2013, 07:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I see. I barely use the Wiki xD. I guess even though it appeared to be reported, it may not have gone through. However, the wiki is a few versions behind (Currently 3.7.3) so who knows.


It depends on how often you drive it. If it's your daily commute, it may learn the best way in a week or so. Additionally, you can add Home/Work locations in the settings to help it along. After a while it will learn your departure time and ask if you're going to work/home.
True enough about the version. I'll have to play some with the lane info.

Waze has already begun asking those questions for me.

I've had several occasions this week when the routing server timed out. Have you had any service issues?
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Old October 5th, 2013, 08:32 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Yeah the timeouts happen. Lately Waze has been growing in publicity, gaining acclaim from tv news stations and becoming the go to traffic report assistant. I think that fame is catching up with them. They are good at keeping tabs on confirmed issues on their site and socially though. During rush hours I chalk it up to the rest of the 9-5 workforce.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 09:15 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jhawkkw View Post
It's really expensive, but Tom Tom offers an android application with traffic which has to be purchased in app.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tomtom.uscanada&hl=en
I don't consider $40 all that bad. I liked my TomTom device in the past (unlike the Magellan which was so bad at routing that I returned it). My main complaint about TomTom was that 80% of the time when there was an exit only lane on the freeway it told you not to take it. That meant that if you were 30 miles from your exit it would tell you you were 3 miles from something, then 5 miles from something, then 2 miles from something. You had to pay more attention that way. Hopefully they've figured out in 3+ years that isn't useful.
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Old October 27th, 2013, 09:34 AM   #31 (permalink)
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As mentioned elsewhere, the constant reminder of the Verizon OS update finally effectively forced me to update. That meant I'm stuck with Google Maps 7, so I bought the TomTom app.

$29 on sale with a 15 minute refund period, but before you can use the program there's a 20 minute map download! And beyond that, it has the same stupid system for entering an address that the TomTom GPS devices have, where you have to enter the state, then the city, then the complete street name, then the house number. I'd forgotten how much I hated TomTom.

That input system might be acceptable if it worked with Chrome to Phone, but it doesn't. Also, I wasn't able to verify that traffic worked, because their live services weren't working at the time.

Anyway, I'd spend time trying to get a refund, but it might come in handy next year when we go to Yellowstone. I suspect I'll be in some areas with no data services at times.
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