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Old 08-07-2015, 08:42 AM   #41
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I only use my iPhone and the Waze app when driving. Waze is far superior to Google maps and the native Apple map app. When I'm in town I turn the Waze app on, plug the phone into the data/charger cable in the center console storage, and just listen to the voice prompts. If I'm away from home and not familiar with the area I will pull it out of the storage compartment so I can look at the screen more often.

I think one's comfort with technology and navigating plays a big part in what you use. One of my sons is a Luddite and has the navigation skills of a rock, he uses a Garmin GPS and constantly gets lost. It is not unusual for him to miss turns and turn a 30 minute drive into an hour or more. I've worked with the kid for years on this and I've come to accept that navigating is a non-starter for him. A couple of times he's found himself in a shady area by accident. I'm very comfortable with all this, but I learned navigating as a boy scout, and honed those skills with a lifetime of being in the military and law enforcement - navigating is like second nature for me. I'm also very comfortable with technology so using the phone and apps like Waze seems simple for me.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:57 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
I do use the Waze app and like but - and maybe it is my phone - it seems to drain the phone battery even while plugged in. I tend to use it for shorter local trips during rush hour as it does well looking at traffic and finding the best route, identifying road hazards/issues, etc. Maybe when I get a bigger, sturdier, more battery-efficient smartphone I'll use it more and eventually replace the Garmin. But for now I have plenty of storage room and outlets in my car dashboard and armrest so having both is no big deal.
Jolly, one tip (for the iphone, don't know about other phones), I like to turn off Waze's access to my location when I'm not using it, since it does use up battery life when not on. It is kindof a pain, but just go to settings, privacy, and location service, and switch Waze to never from always. It irritates me that there is not an option for while using, like on some other apps, but I guess that is why they are able to report real time traffic, based on the movement of other silent Wazers.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:01 AM   #43
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My defense is I'm using the GPS.

I use GPS on my phone while driving, especially if there's a lot of traffic. Real time route selection based on actual traffic conditions means I might cut a minute or three off a drive during rush hour.

Oh, and how do people drive in rush hour every day and remain sane? WTF.
Looks like the phone as GPS defense won't hold up in California.

Quote:
A California appellate court has ruled that using the GPS or mapping functionality on a phone is a moving violation, on par with driving while texting. Steven Sriggs, the defendant in the case, was pulled over for using a phone while operating a motor vehicle, but he wasn't texting or making a call - he was looking at a map.
Calif. Court Upholds Ticket for Phone GPS Use While Driving - ABC News

When I was w*rked, I remember myself and co-w*rkers screaming bloody murder when there was any rumor about being transfered where we couldn't travel by commuter train.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:47 AM   #44
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...I remember my father in law using a GPS and verbally arguing with it as he drove. He knew the route he wanted to use and knew it well... in that case... why use a GPS?
One can use a GPS without the routing simply to see where he is currently on the map. But of course, if you are traveling on a well-worn path, you already know where you are, let alone asking it to set up a route then argue with it.

As described earlier, I have used cached maps on an iPhone, and navigate just by seeing where I am on the map relative to the destination. It is because without a cell data link, all other functions are lost. I will see if other map programs are better in stand-alone mode, if I can pry the Android tablet from my wife.

The MS Street-n-Trip for the PC fits on a 4 GB DVD and has all of the US and Canada streets. There is no reason one cannot fit the same road database into a tablet with 64 GB of flash memory, although downloading the data will take a long time even if it is permitted.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:29 AM   #45
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I've been using the iPhone app WhereAmIAt? for hiking, etc. It gives you Lat, Long and a small map. While I was exploring the Mason Dixon line, i navigated to a MD monument with published survey grade coordinates. My WhereAmIAt? coordinates were within 35' of the published coordinates. Surprising accuracy (or luck) from a cell phone GPS under full tree canopy.

Its a cool GPS app. perfect for when someone calls or texts you wanting to know where you are at - Just send them a screenshot of your map and coordinates.
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:13 PM   #46
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Thanks for all the great replies.

After thinking about it, I'm now planning to get a new Garmin GPS unit with lifetime map updates. As for shopping for one, it's almost overwhelming how many incremental variations of these things there are.

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Old 08-08-2015, 05:24 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
My defense is I'm using the GPS.

I use GPS on my phone while driving, especially if there's a lot of traffic. Real time route selection based on actual traffic conditions means I might cut a minute or three off a drive during rush hour.

Oh, and how do people drive in rush hour every day and remain sane? WTF.
below from
Quote:
GPS devices are covered under distracted-driving laws. Whether you’re in compliance depends on how you use them, even how you install them. And failing to follow the rules is not only expensive in terms of tickets, points against your license, and higher insurance premiums, it can also be dangerous.
I thought I'd search since I did not know the answer.... so it looks like my phone is a GPS won't fly many places since GPS are included in DD Laws. Keeping your hands on the wheel have a better chance.
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Old 08-08-2015, 05:39 PM   #48
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That CR article says mounting your phone (or GPS) on the dash for hands-free operation isn't an issue. I use this magnetic mounting system for my phone and find it is a great way to legally use the phone for navigation:


Amazon.com: Nite Ize STCK-11-R8 Steelie Car Mount Kit for Cellphones - Retail Packaging: Automotive
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:54 AM   #49
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I thought I'd search since I did not know the answer.... so it looks like my phone is a GPS won't fly many places since GPS are included in DD Laws. Keeping your hands on the wheel have a better chance.
Guess I'll go back to staring at paper maps to avoid any tickets...
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:25 PM   #50
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Is it legal in your state to mount the GPS on the windshield?

50% of states have laws against windshield mounting. It's legal in my state but not in the neighboring state (20 miles away).
I'm not sure how legal it is, but I mount mine in front of the tachometer. I can still see the speedometer, gas gauge, etc. but just not the tach. I find it very easy to see and convenient.
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Smart phone in lieu of dedicated GPS unit?
Old 08-10-2015, 02:08 PM   #51
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Smart phone in lieu of dedicated GPS unit?

I use an old Garmin, and I prefer that over a phone for safety. I have it on a weighted bean bag that sits on my dash, and it is much easier to use because of where it is located. Also, it enables me to find nearby gas stations, hotels, or food along my route, something I haven't seen mobile phone apps able to do within the GPS app. It is easier as well for being able to set waypoints and easily recall them while driving. Using a dedicated GPS also frees my phone for broadcasting podcasts or music through my car radio, which it can't do if you're using the map feature. Some apps may have evolved around this now, but I'm pretty sure on the iPhone at least, only one app can have control of the speaker at one time. Then of course there is the issue of actually using your phone as a phone and a GPS at the same time, which can be tricky if not completely unsafe. I have 2 problems, and one is that I don't have lifetime maps, and so sometimes if roads have changed, then I'll use the smartphone, but it's not my preferred solution. Also, if driving in congested traffic, the real-time traffic that google maps has is great. You can overcome both of these issues with the right GPS unit. Oh yes, I've used my Garmin in many countries where I didn't have phone service, so that has saved me some $$$.


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Old 08-10-2015, 02:30 PM   #52
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California allows you to mount on windshield in corner, not in the center.

I would imagine other states allow something similar.

For my iPhone, I got a vent clip like this:

Amazon.com: QuGi® Air Vent Mount Cell Phone Holder. Rotates 360. Holds Most Smartphones Including Galaxy S4 and S5, IPhone 6, iphone 6 plus, IPhone 5, 5S and 5C, LG G2, and Nexus 5. Even Holds Galaxy Note 2 and Note 3. Ipod, Small, Sleek, Simple. Fit
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:25 PM   #53
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...Using a dedicated GPS also frees my phone for broadcasting podcasts or music through my car radio, which it can't do if you're using the map feature. Some apps may have evolved around this now, but I'm pretty sure on the iPhone at least, only one app can have control of the speaker at one time.
I haven't encountered that using iPhone 6 Plus and Waze. The music still plays while the Waze voice comes on, but it is slightly muted while the app is speaking.
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Also, if driving in congested traffic, the real-time traffic that google maps has is great.
The Waze app far outshines Google maps when it comes to directing me around traffic congestion as it develops. I keep it on "fastest route" and it has a very aggressive algorithm that is light years ahead of anything Google has. I was sold when I used it one day driving back home to downtown from the burbs and it turned an hour drive according to Google into 30 minutes. It took me down streets i didn't even know existed but I didn't run into any traffic at 5pm. Last month I drove from Reagan National to Fairfax VA in the late afternoon - using it side by side with the built in nav unit in my rental it reduced a 45 minute drive according the the car gps into 28 minutes by using a different route.

To be honest, Waze does have an occasional glitch with my current location. Sunday morning my GF and i were going to eat a late breakfast after working out and Waze kept indicating my current location and direction of travel way off from reality. It's not the first time it's happened.
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:32 PM   #54
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Even though we have dedicated nav systems in both cars, we often use our iPhones (Google or Apple maps). I have an old Garmin Nuvi that served us well in previous non-nav cars, but I only it in rental cars when we fly somewhere now. We prefer the smartphone only because the maps are automatically updated unlike the nav ($169 per update, that's nonsense) or handheld GPS unit (free, but ours has to be plugged into a PC for an update).
I've used all 3 options - built in GPS (what I prefer overall), Garmin handheld unit mounted on the windshield, and smartphone. Cost of updating hasn't been an issue.

I have a Ford Explorer (2012) now with built in GPS and periodically I get a flash card with map updates sent to me in the mail. I've never had to ask for it and there has been no charge for it.

On my Garmin, I bought free lifetime updates and it wasn't an outrageous amount of money. So, I was happy with that as well.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:39 PM   #55
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I used Google Maps on my Ting-connected android phone just a couple of hours ago to navigate from the airport to my hotel. I usually keep data turned off, but I turn it on specifically to do navigation. I have an air-conditioner vent-mounted holder that works well in most rental cars.

Google Maps works really well in most civilized places. It has made some spurious recommendations, like repeated exit-reenter the Ventura Freeway on the way to Santa Barbara, and what looked like a location-bombed Bubba Burgers on Kauai. Today, I tried Maps on the work Blackberry; it couldn't even find my local hotel, so back to Google. We just bought a car with the GPS app; it already needs updating. Somewhere in the 1.5" thick manual it'll tell me how to do that; every time I use Google Maps, the information is current without fuss.
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Old 08-11-2015, 02:29 AM   #56
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I have a tom-tom that I've used in Sicily (better maps than Garmin, for Sicily, at the time I purchased it.) We've used it around home and on domestic vacations as well. It works fine. We did not bring it on our current Europe trip because we were mostly doing public transit... and hopefully the trains and buses know where they are going. LOL.

This week is the only week we're renting a car - to explore in/around Aix-en-Provence. The car came with built in navigation. We were using it yesterday and discovered it had significant lag in the turn by turn directions - telling us AFTER the exit that it was time to exit. Fortunately, I had my Nexus 5 - and we switched to using that.... MUCH better. But - we missed a critical turn in near the port in Marseilles yesterday before we learned our lesson and ended up these very narrow, windy streets, 1 car wide, but bidirectional, full of blind corners because the built in GPS lagged.

Because of this experience, I'm not a fan of the built in gps of the Peugot 308.

We'll have my phone with us when we head out this morning.
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:02 AM   #57
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I repurposed my old garminfone which incorporated a complete Garmin GPS with lifetime maps as a standalone GPS unit for use in rental cars. I like the Garmin display which includes information like instantaneous speed along with speed limits. Your speed info turns red when the speed limit is exceeded. The speed limit info is quite accurate and extends now to my jaunts into Canada. Another thing I love is that the Garmin retains your traveled route as a blue line so when returning to your starting location, you don't need new instructions, you can just backtrack.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:06 AM   #58
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I will say one thing about Google Maps on phones though. When you get into a big interchange where different lanes go in different directions, Google Maps didn't sort it out too well or give enough warning ahead of time.

I think Garmin advertises something like Lane Assist feature that may be better.

But I haven't been taking my Garmin on overseas trips for a few years now.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:03 AM   #59
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We use phone for turn by turn directions.

I must say I sue the nav in the vehicles a lot. Mostly just to bring up a map and see if a particular road goes through when I hit traffic or if we are just out exploring. I have also found that thee map cd's come down over time if you ignore them long enough.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:51 AM   #60
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I think Garmin advertises something like Lane Assist feature that may be better.
Lane assist is a great feature when you are in big cities or complicated highways:

lane assist.jpg
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