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General Is using the nexus 7 as a gps practical?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by 4ubest, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. 4ubest

    4ubest Android Enthusiast
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    I have a gps unit that is several years old and I was wondering whether it would feasable to use the Nexus 7 as a gps or would you recommend getting a new garmin or tomtom gps?
     

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  2. candroid11

    candroid11 Well-Known Member
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    I don't think so because you would need a data connection (which is not possible on the N7) to load the maps. Unless you were to cache all of the map data you need for where you are going, but that might take up a lot of space, and if you miss a spot then navigation will not be able to work. The better option is to get a good android phone with a data connection and use google maps navigation with it.
     
  3. TauxiC

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    This. Or using a hotspot, or having your phone rooted and using wifi tether. That is what I intend to do.
     
  4. Ramzes13

    Ramzes13 Android Enthusiast
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    you do not need a data connection if you use Navigon from Garmin, available on the Play store, this is how i was able to navigate using my TF201...or another gps application that could be side loaded.
     
  5. DanielM426

    DanielM426 Android Enthusiast
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    Practical? Not at all. I'm not saying that you can't do it, you could easily. But it's not going to be convenient. I have a windshield mount for my evo and it was tricky to find a place to mount it safely and that's only 4in. Also there's no reason to buy any sort of navigation with google maps being free.
     
  6. Daz71

    Daz71 Newbie
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    I believe that while the new Google Maps does allow you to cache it can't calculate directions unless you're connected to data. Since it's only recent that the Google Maps have given you the ability to cache it's possible that in the not too distant future this feature would be added, I don't know whether you can have Google Maps calculate your route while you're sat in front of your home, connected to your home wifi, then follow the directions offline?


    Meanwhile, as already stated above, there are already navigation apps which will pre-load maps. Without data you'd not get features such as traffic reports.
     
  7. MartinS

    MartinS Android Expert
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    I will tether it to my GNex. No bother to use Google Maps Navigation then.
     
  8. stridermt2k

    stridermt2k Android Enthusiast
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    Side loading a GPS app sounds neat, but I wonder how much space the maps take up?
     
  9. raggedstone

    raggedstone Lurker
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    I've looked into this. I'm going to use my Nexus 7 as a sat nav when I drive the south of France from the UK in August. Google maps is not an option - caching is rubbish if you go off route, and the data roaming costs would kill me if I stayed online.

    Instead I'm going to get one of the offline navigation apps from the store. There are a number that are good, including Navigon, Copilot and Sygic. Google them with "android" and you'll get some discussion about their pros and cons. They are all available from the play store. Better granularity on price and map coverage can be had by buying from the developer's websites, which seem to offer more options that the play store.

    I understand that European maps are about
     
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  10. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert
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    FYI, the new version of maps lets you cache entire areas. The old Nav app cached your route when it calculated it, but you're right - going off-route would require data again.

    The new Maps version lets you download whole cities/counties worth of maps.
     
  11. Sam 95

    Sam 95 Newbie
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    I've used copilot on my sensation for a while now and it's never let me down, so no data isn't really an issue, unless you want live traffic. If you wanted to use Google though couldn't you use a mifi for the data?
     
  12. CrackBaby

    CrackBaby Android Enthusiast
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    Walmart offers a mifi that is pay-as-you-go with not-terrible $ rates. TruConnect has the best rates but charge $4.95 extra in a month that you use it (meaning it is a one-time monthly charge, not each time you use it).
    Skype may enter the market at 6 cents/mbps but that seems to be limited to set locations a.k.a. Boingo.
    Hopefully the cost of mifis will come down a little, both the initial product and the cents per mb.
     
  13. raggedstone

    raggedstone Lurker
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    Yeah - I know you can cache fairly big chunks of data, but I don't think it will be good for caching cleverly enough to get me from Calais to Montpelier (by a different route coming back). Plus POIs are going to be handy too for fuel/hotels/stops.
     
  14. CrackBaby

    CrackBaby Android Enthusiast
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    If you cache it, does it still "talk" and give directions? I plug my phone into the speakers and listen for directions, rather than take my eyes off the road to look at the map on the phone.
     
  15. raggedstone

    raggedstone Lurker
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    I've only got limited experience of caching a route, by finding the route at home on my mobile then, disabling comms and following the route suggested. It does give voice directions, but I seem to recall it gave up pretty quickly when I failed to follow the route. Which kind of defeats the object for me a bit. If you can't recover from going the wrong way, it's not sufficiently idiot proof.
     
  16. 4ubest

    4ubest Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks for your help. Since I am not very mechanical most likely I'll just buy a new gps as I really make use of points of interest, traffic, etc.
     
  17. raggedstone

    raggedstone Lurker
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    I think you'd be mad to buy a GPS if you already have a Nexus tablet. You just need offline GPS software (Copilot, Sygic, Navigon etc), an in car charger and a mount. It's not rocket science. and you don't have to be mechanical. How much would a touch screen 7 inch GPS cost?
     
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  18. MrQuietguy

    MrQuietguy Newbie
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    I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (just updated to Jelly Bean) and have loaded Copilot USA on it. The maps (including points of interest) use about 4GB of the 16GB on my SD card. I also have a Garmin dedicated GPS in my car. I prefer the Garmin because it's always mounted in my car and ready to use. I also prefer the Garmin because my Galaxy Nexus screen is smaller and harder to read. Nevertheless, the Galaxy Nexus with Copilot works just fine, and no connection is necessary to use it unless you want traffic info. Okay, that's the background.

    My Nexus 7 is on preorder from Google, but they have not shipped it yet. I definitely plan to load Copilot on it, and I think I will like it. The 7" screen should be amazing. Since I have two cars, I can leave the Garmon in one and use my Nexus 7 in the other just as I now do with my Galaxy Nexus.
     
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  19. 4ubest

    4ubest Android Enthusiast
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    I sure don't want to be mad although I a bit angry that I ordered the Nexus on google play. I have enough trouble getting a car charger for my 1500 mAh phone that actually chargesand I have no idea where to get one that charges a 9400+ mAh one.
     
  20. Ferris1974

    Ferris1974 Lurker
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    Hi there, sorry to join this post so late in the day. I have a question for raggedstone, how did you get on using the Nexus 7 as a GPS device on your French road trip?
    I used an iPhone for Calais to Angouleme this year, copilot worked the phone so hard the battery swelled which popped the back off the phone and cracked the screen! Did the Nexus have any heat problems from extended use of the GPS?
    Thank you

    James.
     
  21. h4x0rj3ff

    h4x0rj3ff Chemist
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    I use my n7 as my primary gps with an app called sygic. Is 30$ but has a 7 day free trial. I went up in the dead of the forest in the upper peninsula in Michigan and used it without data. It downloads all the data to your device and I promise you it is worth the money. Don't east your money on a new GPS unit when you already have one.
     
  22. Ferris1974

    Ferris1974 Lurker
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    Thanks for the swift answer h4x0rj3ff... Did the nexus 7 get hot at all to the point where you were concerned? I ran the iPhone for 9 hours and the heat destroyed the phone! The iPhone expanded to a good couple of inches thick.
     
  23. h4x0rj3ff

    h4x0rj3ff Chemist
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    Well I can't say that I've ever used my GPS for that long so I'm not really sure. I've used if for about 3 to 4 hours at once and I didn't notice any I'll effect on the temperature of the device. You *should* be fine. If your worried about it put sygic also on your android phone and run n airplane mode (no need for your radios to be running if you have no service) and then turn on you GPS and it'll work the same way. Most android phones have full GPS capabilities.
     
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  24. Nutz

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    Copilot is brilliant. So much so that I sold my regular boring SATNAV. The only issue is a decent in-car mount.
     
  25. dportal2006

    dportal2006 Android Enthusiast
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    Well you would have to download the maps to the actual tablet because the nexus 7 doesn't have Internet unless you are using a hot spot. I personally have not tried it myself because I use my phone but it might work for you. I wish you good luck
     

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