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Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by whs37, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. whs37

    whs37 Android Enthusiast
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    I understand that smartphones and tablets with GPS can be used for navigation. How does that compare to a navigation device like Garmin. Does one have to buy the maps and the updates and is there also voice output.
     

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  2. bryanheath

    bryanheath Well-Known Member
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    I use android NAVI all the way!

    The PROS -
    * You do not need to update the maps in a traditional way (update google nav for free).
    * You can integrate the NAVI into internet searches via browser, email, and all of your phone contacts. No burden of duplicate information entry or import export. Check your email, surf and so on.
    * You can use them for walking directions, public, transportation and so on.
    * You probably already have your music on the phone or, Pandora/Rhapsody. If you have Sprint you get Sprint NAV and Google Maps for free. Essentially two NAVI systems in case one gets confused.

    The CONS -
    * It sucks when you have someone blowing up your phone while you are trying to meet somewhere. You have to answer the phone and give up routing or ignore it and route.
    * They are assisted and depend on some sort of data. I could see NAVI failing in rural areas so a no go for hunters etc. The Iphone failed on DATA only NAVI the Samsung Tablet owns so far.
    * Voices are cleaner and the interface may be a tab better on some NAV. No Homer Simpson voice on the android NAVI. Getting better with Google NAV periodically.
    * Inclement weather may jack the phone nav more frequently as the gps chip may not be as powerful.
    * You will find that your phone battery will become mush if you don't turn the GPS off.

    In closing:

    I use my TAB as the NAVI and keep my phone separate. I got sick and tired of my Mounted NAVI falling off the windshield during the winter. I love it. Now if Skype would only let me make calls on BT from the tab. I have heard of some other SIP products. At that time I will have an effective car computer. Single din car screen are 200 bucks do yourself a favor and nab one and get a TAB if it is in your budget.
     
  3. whs37

    whs37 Android Enthusiast
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    bryanheath, thank you very much for the extensive answer - very kind. I am still on the lookout for a 7" Honeycomb Tablet (if they ever appear on the scene). But then I would like to use it occasionally as a Nav - mostely in France and Germany.
     
  4. bryanheath

    bryanheath Well-Known Member
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    No worries this has been a big quest for me as I had the car screen and no NAVI. You are defiantly wise to wait as the existing tabs should bottom out price wise as the new OS and Procs come out. One thing to note about size. When I tried this with my iPad the tablet would not fit in the glove compartment and I found myself locking it up in the trunk. So smaller screens have pros and cons as well. Good luck :)
     
  5. whs37

    whs37 Android Enthusiast
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    You are right. The 10" tablets are just too big to haul around. Might as well haul one of my laptops. The 7" Galaxy with Honeycomb would be nice. But up to now there is not even a rumor about it. But fortunately I am in no hurry.
     
  6. bryanheath

    bryanheath Well-Known Member
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    I think 3.0 is only slated for dual core systems. I think the tab is gettting the next rev 2.3 is it? Who knows though someone will make a cusom ROM no doubt, or a UI that looks like the newer OS (skin).
     
  7. Harry2

    Harry2 Extreme Android User
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    I have Navigon on my Desire HD (4,3").
    Since then the Garmin is in the glove compartment and is not used anymore ;)

    Harry
     
  8. dylo22

    dylo22 Android Enthusiast
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    Google navigation only works in the U.S. But you can still purchase navigation apps and store the maps on your sd and use it just like your garmin.
     
  9. whs37

    whs37 Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks guys for the answers.
     
  10. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
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    Depends on the specific app you're talking about.

    The stand-alone device has onboard maps. Google Maps nav doesn't. CoPilot and Navigon (as well as others) store maps locally if that's a must have. Locally stored maps can be beneficial if you're frequently in areas with poor to no coverage or travel internationally.

    You don't have to buy map updates from apps that downloads maps as needed. You do, however, need to update maps for apps that store maps locally. Whether maps updates are free or not, again, depends on the specific app you're talking about.

    Voice output, again, depends on the specific app you're talking about. Not all have voice prompts.

    There's a bit of subjective preference to consider when comparing GPS on a smartphone to standalone GPS units. You'll find people prefer both for different reasons.

    There is no "Android NAVI". You're referring to Google Maps Navigation. There are many GPS nav apps for Android. Some download map data, others store it locally. As with any other set of options in life, each has its pros and cons. There's no one-size-fits-all solution.

    If you're using Google Maps Nav and you'e not happy with the voice then try loading another TTS engine on your device. SVOX and Loquendo (neither are free) both have better TTS engines than what is stock on many devices. A better TTS engine doesn't just benefit Google Maps Nav. It benefits any app that uses the TTS engine.

    Not exactly. I leave GPS on all the time. It only chews through the battery when actively used. If you have apps that use the GPS receiver that you're not aware of you may find that battery life is improved by turning it off.

    Assisted isn't relevant in the context of what you're saying. Assistance data is only used for the initial fix. The aGPS receiver can fall back on standalone mode if needed. The data requirement is determined by the app, not the GPS receiver itself. I'm not sure what you mean by your last sentence. The iPhone has GPS nav app options with locally stored maps (TomTom, Navigon, etc) just as Android does.
     
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  11. whs37

    whs37 Android Enthusiast
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    takeshi, thank you very much for the extensive tutorial. I really appreciate it.
     
  12. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    That is not true. It works in Canada and in many other countries as well. It also depends on what smartphone you have.

    Different smartphones have different navigation software available. I used Ovi Maps on my N97 on my last vacation. Ovi Maps allows preloading of maps which is the reason I got an N97.
     
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  13. dylo22

    dylo22 Android Enthusiast
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  14. bryanheath

    bryanheath Well-Known Member
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    Have you actually used an iPhone without cell service as a GPS on a hot spot? Or a tablet? I have and I beg to differ. Tom Tom lost satellite signal more than 50% of the time and greyed the screen out ie it stopped routing (over 1 gig of maps on the device). My TAB will stop routing without hot spot and the "GPS" will stop routing even in the middle of the trip. So it is assisted in some way. The Iphone 3G needs cellular to triangulate. The Galaxy Tab just needs my hotspot. I am sure not all devices are created equally.
     
  15. dylo22

    dylo22 Android Enthusiast
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    No, I have mine on all the time with nothing disabled and my battery is fine. It all depends on whether you have apps actively using it. This includes apps that may be using it in the background. On most android phones, a satellite icon will appear on the notification bar when GPS is active. If it's not active, there will be no icon, and it should use up any juice.

    Assisted GPS is only used to locate satellites to get an initial fix or when you're in area with poor gps signal (ie in a city with lots of tall buildings). In your context, in rural area with view of open sky, it shouldn't have any problems in maintaining a lock on satellites.

    A-GPS - How Assisted GPS Works in Cell Phones
     
  16. bryanheath

    bryanheath Well-Known Member
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    Well it was not rural nor downtown proper. It was all highway from one town to another (iPhone). Open tollways for the TAB. Overall Tab is working pretty well though I have only noticed one glitch which is pretty impressive all things considered. The Iphone just all around sucked with TomTom minus service. No complaints when I had ATT cell though. Rhapsody is working quite well with the Google NAV which is close to my TomTom iphone experience less the spiffy voices.
     
  17. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
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    Math has nothing to do with it. Not all GPS app solutions are equal. Google Maps Nav doesn't fit every single user's needs/wants. Whether Google created Maps and Android and whether it's preloaded or not are irrelevant. "Best" for you may mean those things but it doesn't for everyone out there.

    I've already stated this but once again: Google Maps Nav is not a suitable solution if you're:
    1. Frequently out of coverage (despite its caching) or
    2. If you travel internationally -- unless you enjoy bleeding out international data roaming fees (now there's some math).

    Your loss IMO. You don't know what the alternatives have to offer if you don't try them or at least read up on them. However, if you're happy with Google Maps Nav then by all means stick with it. It's actually my primary GPS nav app.

    No. It's as I said and as explained above by dylo22. GPS only drains the battery when actively used. As mentioned above, Android devices will notify you in the notification bar when your GPS receiver is actively being used. If there's no notification and your GPS receiver isn't in use then GPS will not drain your battery when turned on. There's an important distinction between "on" and "actively used" that you're missing. The iPhone 4 also sticks an icon at the top of the screen.

    Again, as I stated above, if you have location-enabled apps that frequently use the GPS receiver and not aware of this then it may be easier to simply turn GPS off. Again, I don't have any such apps. The GPS receiver is only used when I intend to use it and that's the only time it affects my battery life. In such cases, the device is connected to a suitable charger. If you don't supply enough power then the battery will continue to drain even while connected to a charger.

    Not under such specific conditions. How do you navigate while at a WiFi hotspot? Seems counterproductive.

    I'm lost as to what this has to do with cell service. Cell service has nothing to go with GPS. Also, your iPhone's GPS receiver lost satellite signal, not the TomTom app. Obviously, TomTom can't route without GPS signal but there's an important distinction here that you're glossing over.

    We'll have to agree to disagree then. IMO you're drawing incorrect conclusions from a lack of understanding.

    You're confusing "GPS app requires data" with "assisted GPS receiver". Assisted GPS specifically means that the GPS receiver contacts assistance servers (if available) for a faster initial fix. Assisted has nothing to do with any data requirements that the GPS app may have.

    I fully understand what you mean based on the context of your posts but you need to realize that "assisted" has a specific meaning when it comes to GPS and you'll have difficulty conversing with others (who can't read between the lines) on GPS topics if you insist on using the word assisted in that manner.

    They're not. However in all devices the GPS receiver and the GPS app(s) are separate entities. You're lumping them together. Make sure you understand what the receiver requires versus what the app requires before arguing.
     
  18. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns!
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    I've noticed that my Evo GPS was much better at holding connections with satellites than my old Blackberry. But the Evo also drains battery much faster. So I think what's happening here is the radio power levels from the phone make a difference in connection reliability but do so at the expense of the battery.

    I can easily see Apple making the decision to lower the power output of the GPS radio to favor battery life. It was fairly well established until this most recent generation of Android smartphones that GPS via phone was not as reliable as GPS over a standalone GPS device.

    For the Evo, I need a 1000mA charger to create a positive net charge when using my Nav. The run-of-the-mill 500mA chargers result in a net loss in charge, and eventually, the Evo will die if it's a long trip.
     

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