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Dueling Navigation: my car vs. N7

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by val88, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    So this evening on my way home from work I decided to try an experiment.
    I decided to see how well the N7 would handle navigation vs my car as well as using the N7 as my stereo.

    Experiment 1: N7 with no wifi, google music BT streamed to my car.
    Equipment used: N7 with google nav, BT and Google music, 2011 Infiniti M37, infiniti nav
    Result: N7 failed miserably. Though I will say Infiniti nav is pretty freakin awesome. It also has live traffic with traffic congestion/weather warnings and rerouting options but live traffic cost me $9/month.

    I could not initiate a route without a data connection on the N7. I tried speaking a destination and got the message "could not reach google" (shouldn't there be offline voice actions?). Typing my destination in, Google nav just spins until I tethered to my phone. With route set, I turned off data again. Nav informs me data connection is lost. I ignored it. Started up google music, told my car (via voice) to play bluetooth audio. Both worked flawlessly. My phone is also linked to my car (it does so automatically when I get in the car). Sound is automatically muted on the N7 and plays from my car speaker just like plugging in headphones. I set my car's nav route as well.

    I pull out of the parking lot and my car tells me to turn right. Google nav does as well. So far so good. However, my N7 does not lower the sound of my google music when it gave me instructions so it was difficult to hear (correction: it G nav did lower the sound but nav's voice wasn't loud enough). My car on the other hand muted all other volumes when it gave me directions. Thats pretty much all I heard from google nav for a long long time. Meanwhile my car is giving me constant updates. I thought maybe my google nav had died. But no, when I got near my exit it did tell me to take the exit.

    After I exited, I heard nothing from google nav again and I drove for a good 20 blocks via streets with several turns. My infiniti gave me flawless and frequent updates. At one point I changed my course. My infiniti rerouted but google nav could not reroute (I assume its the data connection nonsense again). Having used google nav plenty of times on my GN I know its not this sucky.

    Stay tune for my next experiment with N7's data turned on the entire time. I'm sure the directions will be better. But it really shouldn't have to rely on data.

    Update: 08/08/12
    Experiment 2. Same test but N7 tether to my phone.

    Much better results. N7 spoke almost as frequently as my infiniti. Google nav still trails a bit. Its not consistent with telling me "take the next exit". Sometimes its 200 ft, sometimes its 1/4 mile. My car's direction is more detailed "take exit B32" rather than "take next exit" or "turn right onto main street" vs. Google nav's "turn right". Visually, my car shows a lot more as well but I don't get into that. Too much info there.

    So from a purely driving perspective, I will still stick to my car. I think the biggest software upgrade that google nav needs is offline navigation. There is no reason why it shouldn't be robust offline. My car doesn't need wifi why can't google nav? Google maps is still king of course but when I am driving there isn't a whole lot that I should be doing anyway.

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  2. Sam 95

    Sam 95 Newbie

    Why not try copilot? It mutes other sounds during instructions aswell
  3. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    This was an awfully long and detailed experiment to find out that Google Nav requires data... which the beginning of your experiment had already made clear ;)

    I'd be interested to hear how they compare with the N7 has a data connection, though: sometimes the different routing engines and map sources give you wildly different routes.
    stridermt2k likes this.
  4. DC IT

    DC IT Member

    Agreed with Binary Vision.
    Without data connection the odds are stacked against the N7 as Google servers cannot provide updated info on traffic, maps etc.
    BTW, I have OEM NAV on a 2010 and 2011 vehicle and both have outdated maps since the maps for a 2011 NAV in a vehicle is at least 2~3 years out of date when you drive out of the dealership.
    In a fast developing city I often find that the on board NAV cannot find the address whilst my GNote's Google Map/NAV can.
    That is why I mount my GNote to the windshield and use Google Map/Nav in conjunction with the vehicle GPS.

    One thing the car's GPS cannot do is run a Yellow Pages Ap to let you reverse search an address with phone number and then launch Google Map for the direction to get to the address or Google NAV to guide you there.
    I am sure if or when I can find a suitable vehicle mount for the N7 it will make an awesome GPS.
    Google Maps has free traffic info and you can download an app that opens up MOT traffic cameras to view up to date traffic on the highways.

    Google maps are free and more up to date whereas it costs $300+ to update your vehicle NAV's maps!
  5. desmofan

    desmofan Well-Known Member

    My guess is the reason the N7 Nav did not mute the music was because you were listening to your music from the phone, not the N7. Google Music requires a data connection, so the N7 could not have been playing the music, since you disconnected data.
  6. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Google Music doesn't require data if the files are cached or pinned offline. I virtually never stream music directly from the servers.
  7. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I have to retract my statement about music being muted. Google nav did lower the music. I think the G nav voice was just too low. Probably will have to configure that voice louder. Google music did not need data because I had it set to play only music on device.

    Updating my OP to include my experiment this morning with data on.
  8. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    well, like any experiment you don't just want to hear a quick result. You want to know how the person got to that result otherwise commenters will jump on your back with "but how?" :)

    Haven't done wildly rerouting with the N7. But I'm sure it will be fine because I have done so on my GN.
  9. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Yup. I agree especially on updates and cost. Google maps is awesome and is a more all around product. I just wanted to highlight the areas of driving that google Nav needs to bump up.

    However, my infiniti's nav is pretty robust as well. I can do address search or name search of nearby restaurants, places etc. and it can dial my phone for me all of which I do by voice so I would hope google makes some offline improvements on their nav. The car's interface as you can imagine is not nearly as user friendly as google's software but still pretty good. The infiniti nav is very top notch so it is a very high bar for google nav.
  10. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    It would have to be a very early morning for me to start google music on my phone and think it was streaming from my N7. lol. Besides, my car tells me where the source is coming from. In any case, google nav did lower the music but not mute it. My problem was that the google nav voice was too low. Probably have to bump up the voice volume if possible.

    Google music does not require data. I have it set to play music on device by default.
  11. MartinS

    MartinS Android Expert

    What is Infiniti nav?

    I've always found Google Nav to be excellent (for a free option) - but with data always enabled of course.
  12. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Thats the navigation in my car that I'm comparing against google nav.
  13. MartinS

    MartinS Android Expert

    Oh right thanks. Was thinking I'd never heard of it as a sat nav... (or a car for that matter, guess we don't have it in the UK).
  14. DC IT

    DC IT Member

    OP, I'm not familiar with the Infiniti NAV but the NAV on my vehicles are not as user friendly to set the destination as the Google NAV.
    The OEM nav requires me to enter the city followed by the street name then the street number. Then I have to confirm each entry and then instruct it to start. Too many steps IMO.
    With Google I can say the entire address in one sentence and it finds the address and off you go. Two basic step using voice command.
    BTW, on one of my vehicles I can search for the destination on my cell or computer and then send it to the vehicle and then retrieve it on the NAV and go from there. That is very useful if I want to plan a trip with several stops.

    Also the OEM nav maps are stored in a hard drive and takes several GB whereas the N7 will probably download basic maps for the local area so thus its not as capable if you don't connect to the data plan on your cell.
  15. heebs79

    heebs79 Newbie

    What you need to try is pre-caching maps on Google maps so it will function without a data connection, i'm not sure if there is a limit on how much data you can pre - cache but each cache is at least 50 square miles. This is a relatively new feature. The only question I have is if Google nav pulls map data from Google maps, I just assume it does, never tried this feature.
  16. AT1988

    AT1988 Member

    Does the Nexus 7 have a USB port? BC since Google Maps needs data connection, u could plug in a mobile broadband modem if it does have a USB port, turn it into a 4G LTE behemoth.
  17. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Its a mix bag. Sometimes the infiniti interface is great (like I touch a spot on the map as my destination and it routes to it and when it warns me about traffic congestion in 2 miles and offers detours) sometimes like you said there are too many steps. I like your other vehicle though where it sends the info back to the phone. Because quite frankly I'm confusing myself with all the voice commands for my car, for my phone, for my N7.
  18. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I tether my phone to my N7 when I need data. But to answer your question the N7 does have a mini usb port. You probably have to root to mount usb devices. I do that for flash drive, portable drives etc.
  19. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I already had the entire area pre-cached on google maps before I did my tests. But can't do navigation offline. Google nav itself has no real offline mode and google maps has limited offline functionality. Hopefully, google will make offline modes for nav in the near future otherwise it loses a selling point for N7.

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