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Google Navigation

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by BigKayDaddy, May 25, 2011.

  1. BigKayDaddy

    BigKayDaddy Member
    Thread Starter

    I am traveling within the US soon and I plan on renting a car. I am trying to decide if I need to rent a GPS or if I can use my Motorola Atrix and the Google Maps Navigation feature.

    Does anyone have experience with this app? Is it as good as an actual GPS?

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  2. itsallgood

    itsallgood Android Expert

    I have an Atrix too. The GPS and Google maps works really well on the Atrix. Very fast and accurate. I use Google Nav. almost every day for traffic. I believe it is better then Garmin portable GPS systems. If you haven't used Google maps yet. Try to use it and customize your settings before you travel. When I travel, I only use my cellphone for GPS. I have my favorites starred, so I don't have to do a search.

    Check out this video. It is old but gives you an idea of what Google Maps can do.

    YouTube - ‪Google Maps Navigation (Beta)‬‏
    BigKayDaddy likes this.
  3. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Android Expert

    I use Google Navigation and I think it's great. It's better than any of the dedicated (car-targeted) GPS units that I've used, but I've only used about three of those.

    * The turn-by-turn directions are excellent and the GPS is very accurate.
    * You can speak your destination, rather than having to type it. Or you can use a destination that's in your address book.
    * Points of interest aren't limited to the amount of memory in the device. Points of interest include anything that Google knows about. (And of course Google knows about everything.)
    * It's very portable so you can use it for walking around as well as in the car.
    * When you arrive, it usually shows you a street-view picture of the destination, so for houses, you're sure to knock on the right door.

    * You must have an Internet connection (like 3G, 4G, or WiFi) when you start your trip so that the Google servers can figure out the route and load the maps. (You don't need a data-connection after you start out.)
    * GPS uses more battery, so you might want to have a car-charger if you're planning any long car trips.
    * To be really convenient, you should have some kind of suction-cup windshield mount. (I do. That's also nice for hands-free phone conversations.)

    Note: You can still use your Android device as a phone or as music-playing device or an audio-books-playing device while you use it for turn-by-turn directions. It pauses the audio to tell you about the next turn. You can also set it to "mute" if, for example, you don't want to wake any sleeping passengers with the turn-by-turn directions.

    Bon voyage!
    SeekerOfTheWay and BigKayDaddy like this.
  4. BigKayDaddy

    BigKayDaddy Member
    Thread Starter

    Wow, great responses guys!

    Thanks a lot.
  5. Usta

    Usta Android Expert

    For basic usage and in your home country Google Navigation is fine.
    However, if you use it in abroad, the data costs are counting not only at the initial calculation moment, but also when you are changing the route. This can happen for example when you are re-routed due to traffic.
    In addition, the more advanced features are missing, like Signposts, Lane Assists, POI warnings, itinerary planning, etc. To get these you can also get an offline professional package like Copilot or Navigon.
    SeekerOfTheWay likes this.
  6. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert

    This isn't a question with a one-size-fits-all answer. Some people prefer standalone devices. Some don't. I'm in the latter category, having logged nearly 20,000 miles on smartphone GPS solutions.

    It's impossible to tell you what your preference will be. Have you used Google Maps Nav at all? That would be a good start to determine if you're happy with it as a nav solution. Have you used any standalone GPS devices?

    Posts above cover a lot of items you'll also want to consider. Also mentioned above but I'll emphasize: don't overlook the fact that there are GPS nav apps that store map data locally (e.g. CoPilot, Navigon) if that's your preference.

    To clarify: GPS accuracy is determined by the GPS receiver, not by the GPS app. A lot of people don't seem to understand the distinction.

    Pay careful attention to specs on car chargers. If you supply less than what you use then your device will discharge even while connected to a charger. In general, aim for 1000mA/1A. The more current, the faster the charge.

    Suction cup mounts are convenient if you're frequently in different vehicles but may be illegal, depending on local laws. Personally, I prefer a good mount that secures to the vehicle with screws but that doesn't really help with rentals.

    As long as you stick to the route, within certain limits. Of course, any features requiring data (traffic, rerouting, POI searches along the way, etc) won't work if you don't have data. If you don't have data or if coverage is an issue then I'd strongly suggest a GPS nav app that stores its map data locally. Some people are willing to rely on Google Maps Nav's cache as a substitute for data coverage but I'd generally recommend against this approach unless you've determined that you're ok with it.
  7. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    One other consideration is that alternate routes are not very flexible using Google Navigation. Options are to avoid highways and avoid tolls. The maps are very accurate and it adjusts well if you go off the recommended route, but it makes planning a little difficult.
  8. TwinCams

    TwinCams Newbie

    Good reading about Google Nav! Thanks.
  9. asif9t9

    asif9t9 Newbie

    HTC Desire HD here. One thing that annoys me about Google Nav is I can't save the setting to avoid toll routes. I tend to back out of nav often while driving (at stop lights of course ;)), and then I go back into Nav and hit the destination....

    Well, what happens is every time you back out of the nav program, and go back in, it will search for a route based on toll roads. Where I live, there's one main toll road which is expensive, which I need to avoid. But it's always in my "way", so nav programs wants to take me there.
  10. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    Maybe an alternate program like CoPilot would save default settings and routes for you. I have zero experience with it since Google Nav is good for my limited needs.
  11. ambientdroid

    ambientdroid Well-Known Member

    One more good thing about google nav, is that the maps will be (relatively) up-to-date.

    A lot of people don't bother to update the maps on their stand-alone GPS unit after they've purchased it.
  12. Usta

    Usta Android Expert

    Yes, most of the SatNav apps (including CoPilot and Sygic) allow you to plan routes inclusive/exclusive toll roads. Handy, especially using it in "toll-rich" countries.
  13. uzee

    uzee Well-Known Member

    I have problem with my Google Navigation app.

    Previously when i used my Google Navigation app it worked fine.

    Now every time i turn it on, the gps signal comes on. After about 3 minutes the signal is lost every time, and it doesn't reconnect.

    How can i solve this problem?

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