Google Navigation And Data Usage.


  1. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member

    This may be a dumb question, but I'm curious for a more concrete answer instead of me just assuming. I use Google Navigation quite a lot. That said, I also have a T-Mobile data plan where I get 100mb of 4G and the remainder after is unlimited with 2G or 3G or something like that. I forget the exact stipulations because I personally don't notice a difference and I'm always near wifi when I web browse.

    Moving along, I got a text from T-Mobile saying I was nearing my 100mb cap. Uh. What? Really? All I used this month was GPS. But then it hit me... I had been using Satellite mode the entire time so I could see the actual ground layout as I traveled. While I like this feature, I certainly don't need it.

    That got me wondering if Google Navigation actually used up any data when used in a regular mode. I used Google Navigation on a 15 minute trip and used so few data it was unreal. Like .02 mb or something? I forget what it was, but it was absurdly lower than what I experienced when I enabled Satellite mode.

    Which brings up another point... I used up like 2mb alone when I enabled Satellite mode. The big question is, does Satellite mode continually use data or did that 2mb jump I had at the beginning just take place to initialize the actual mode?

    In short:

    Does Google Navigation use any data when used in regular mode?
    Does Google Navigation use up a good chunk of data when used in satellite mode?

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  2. jamiedolan

    jamiedolan Active Member

    Yes.

    Yes.

    Maps are not stored on the phone like a regular GPS device they are downloaded from Google.

    Yes, downloading all those graphics is surely intensive on your bandwidth.
  3. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member

    That said, now I'm on the hunt for an offline GPS solution to have as a backup in case I'm in a completely remote area and can't hit a data tower to get re-routed accordingly.

    What do you guys suggest? I'm playing with MapDroyd right now... I just downloaded all of the maps from the east coast states since I'm going on a trip shortly down south.
  4. prjctchris

    prjctchris Active Member

    Before you go out and pay for a locally stored maps GPS app I would first try and make sure you're using all of Google Map's offline capabilities first. By that I mean going in to Google Map's "Cache Settings" under More when you hit your menu key and allowing the app to pre-cache your navigation and areas you spend a lot of time in. You can even set it so that it will only prefetch on Wi-Fi. This should cut down a lot of the data being used during Navigation and in general using Google Maps.

    If that doesn't work out for you in regards to your data usage I always recommend NAVIGON as my favorite GPS solution that has locally stored maps.
  5. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member

    If I set this in Google Maps, would it thereby cache when I use Google Nav?

    I'm not sure if caching is really the ticket, as it seems to be super limited with how much it caches. My concern is that some of T-Mobile's coverage areas that are blank could be where I end up passing through. So if I set up Google to cache, okay great, but it seems to cache 10 square miles. What if I hit a state with little/no coverage and I'm out of the 10 mile cache range?

    Also, where is the cache saved? Phone? SD?


    EDIT - Further reading about Google's offline cache suggests my fear was right. This is not something I'm necessarily looking for, as cache is not a true offline solution. On top of that, I can't even pre-define what I want to cache, besides the unchangeable 10 mile radius thing. That said, I'm now back on the hunt for an offline GPS app for use with Android. Any suggestions? Currently looking at Locus but it looks oddly confusing to download the map I want...


    EDIT II - hmmm....
    Google Navigation to get true offline mode this summer? | Android and Me
  6. TheHoodedClaw

    TheHoodedClaw Well-Known Member

    I have the same concerns you do about wanting to be able to navigate without data coverage. The simplest solution is to always leave a stand-alone Garmin or Magellan GPS unit in your car! But I travel by plane and get a rental car often when that can't be depended on.

    My initial solution was to use Navdroyd, which only costs a few bucks for the software and uses free Wikimaps you download for the area in advance. It does work as long as you have already downloaded the maps. But the maps I used had no street numbers or poi, and it was an inferior experience.

    I finally shelled out for CoPilot Live Premium during an introductory sale. It works very well and has good maps, though a few of the poi are outdated, maybe two percent. It now costs about thirty bucks but works great and I think it is worth it. If that's too rich for you there is an earlier version of the software for about ten bucks still available in the market that would probably be fine.
  7. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. I'm a little hesitant to shell out just yet because I'm not sure I need it where I'm going. Plus I DO have a GPS unit sitting around somewhere which kind of negates the point of buying a GPS app unless I'm after the convenience of having it integrated to my phone.

    I'm also very curious about Google's offline gizmo as well. I just wonder what the status of it is... I wonder if the 10 mile cache option they have is what Google calls "offline navigation" (which is very :rolleyes:) or if it's still a work in progress.

    It would be super convenient to download a map package and then utilize that with Google Nav. I absolutely love the Google Nav interface. Some of the screenshots I've seen from other navigation apps just feel lacking to me now.
  8. Draiko

    Draiko Well-Known Member

    Switch over to Sprint and let your worries melt away.
  9. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member

    Even if I was on Sprint, I like solutions that are agnostic to the platform. Nothing irritates me more when "xyz" company offers something on Android that is exclusive to them only. It sincerely makes me want to avoid that application even if it's half decent.

    That said, I'm still on the hunt for further answers. Anybody have any idea about the news article from above?
  10. itsallgood

    itsallgood Well-Known Member

    I use Google maps as my primary nav. With that said, I tried the caching for off line use. Although useful, you can not use for turn by turn direction nor can you search by typing in a name. I have been using google maps on my cell phone for the past few years now, when I've traveled. I've never had a problem with mapping until me and my wife took a vacation in an area that would seem to have been secluded in the middle of nowhere. For 15 miles I had no 3G signal only edge. Thank God I had CoPilot Live to use offline. It worked beautifully with only a few destination was off by about 50 yards. (I was in the country, so I expected some destinations would be off alittle.) If you buy CoPilot Live, get version 9. You will have to buy spoken street names for like $2. If you want that. I bought it and it sounds like the voice in google maps. One last piece of advice, what ever offline mapping app you use, familiarize yourself with how to use it and how to search. That way your not trying to figure it out when you need to use it.
  11. JaSauders

    JaSauders Well-Known Member

    I use Google Nav on Edge (I have 100mb of 4G a month, the remainder is unlimited on edge) and it operates just fine. Why did you specify you had no 3G coverage and only Edge? Did you have issues with it? Mine operated fine. In fact, I didn't notice a difference that I had switched out of 4G until I read my text messages later that night that I had been operating on 4G all day...

    I'm still curious about that offline Google Nav report I read in June...
  12. itsallgood

    itsallgood Well-Known Member

    I only had like one bar while on edge signal. Which kept dropping to where I only had just a signal to make phone calls only. (No data signal at all) I have an Atrix.
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