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Old 12-07-2015, 03:40 PM   #81
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Well, I'm not going to mount an 8" tablet on my windshield. For me, I use my phone to call people and my Garmin to Navigate. Use the best tool for the use needed. No way, can I find a restaurant, gas, etc as fast (while driving) on a phone vs the Garmin.

To each his own.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:48 PM   #82
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Well, I'm not going to mount an 8" tablet on my windshield. For me, I use my phone to call people and my Garmin to Navigate. Use the best tool for the use needed. No way, can I find a restaurant, gas, etc as fast (while driving) on a phone vs the Garmin.

To each his own.
Agreed! I have traveled on business for years and the Garmin GPS/POI model is always the best overall. Smart phones are OK, but I prefer to use them as a phone while driving and leave the mapping to my Garmin. Tablets are just too big to mount conveniently.

For an occasional trip or just needing quick directions, we just use the IPhone or my Android. Voice search is easy for a quick mapping to a spot with our phones.
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Old 12-07-2015, 04:25 PM   #83
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Well phones now have 5 or 6 inch screens and they're sharper and brighter than most cheap GPS units.

Not to mention faster processor so much more responsive.

Try to tap in a search on a dedicated GPS and compare that to a modern smart phone.

For use around home, a GPS may make sense, though you still don't want to leave the unit in the car when it's parked somewhere.

But a smart phone you'll always take with you and with a good vent clip mount, it's easy to do.

Not to mention, smart phone GPS apps have the most current maps while Garmin and the rest depend on selling you map updates, traffic subscription, etc.
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:26 PM   #84
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...

To each his own.
As always.

But I thought it would be helpful to let people know of these options. Maybe their dedicated GPS breaks down, or they need a second one on occasion, and have a tablet or smartphone available. Even use an old smartphone w/o service with this app - no data connection needed.

-ERD50
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:56 PM   #85
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I need to learn about gps via the android phone w/o data connection.
Currently I use my "GPS for Dummies" (it really is called that).
Its good but only for the USA.
I bought it for $29 about three years ago after my Garmin (or is it Garbage) stopped working once it was a year old
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:18 PM   #86
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Well phones now have 5 or 6 inch screens and they're sharper and brighter than most cheap GPS units.

Not to mention faster processor so much more responsive.

Try to tap in a search on a dedicated GPS and compare that to a modern smart phone.

For use around home, a GPS may make sense, though you still don't want to leave the unit in the car when it's parked somewhere.

But a smart phone you'll always take with you and with a good vent clip mount, it's easy to do.

Not to mention, smart phone GPS apps have the most current maps while Garmin and the rest depend on selling you map updates, traffic subscription, etc.
This reminds me that I have not thrown away a defective iPhone 3GS which can no longer make/receive calls because its radio circuit has failed. Everything else still works, and with 32 GB of memory, it should make a wonderful dedicated GPS, if I can find an app with an entire map database that can be downloaded and stored. I have used MS Streets and Trips (on a laptop) - which covers Canada and Mexico in addition to the US, and its database fits on a 4GB DVD.

But then, why carry another gadget instead of using the current smartphone? Or do I turn it into a dedicated MP3 player? It's still a nifty gadget and I hate to throw it away.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:20 PM   #87
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We have an old iPhone we use for music and podcasts.


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Old 12-07-2015, 07:38 PM   #88
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... Or do I turn it into a dedicated MP3 player? It's still a nifty gadget and I hate to throw it away.
For me, that's the beauty of these multi-purpose gadgets, versus a dedicated unit. You can re-purpose them as music players, or whatever. That's another reason I buy laptops to use as my 'desktop' (with external keyboard and mouse, and external monitor if I desire) - a laptop can be re-purposed so easily, as it is 'all in one', and portable.

But sometimes, the dedicated unit is just better because it isn't bogged down trying to be a 'jack of all trades'. Though since the dedicated GPS are still mostly all touch screen UI, there doesn't seem to be much advantage UI-wise. Some dedicated devices have physical buttons to easily reach oft-used functions.

Related to both, I wish they had a means to easily turn the touch screen function on/off. I recall, with both dedicated units and the tablet, you try to re-position it, and you end up inadvertently selecting something on the screen, and it's off to who-knows'where-land. If you are very familiar with the UI, it might be easy to get back. But when you are trying to get adapted, it's suddenly ' "OH NO, what have I done!".

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Old 12-07-2015, 08:09 PM   #89
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I'm going to play with Here maps but I mostly use GPS apps when I'm on overseas trips.

For that Google Maps works best for me because I create custom maps with pinned locations of the destinations where I'm going to be and those where I might be. These include hotels, restaurants, attractions, stores, etc.

THen I can either print out that map showing all those locations or I can open them on my iPhone and navigate either on foot or in car.

Haven't used the public transport directions as much, because Google isn't always good for foreign cities but there are other apps too.
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:50 PM   #90
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One of the local 'jokes' among sailors is that they pray at the Church of Old Salts. That is how I feel about our Garmin. I would be OK using my smart phone navigating on foot but our Garmin can't be beat threading us through unfamiliar cities, interstate exit ramps at freeway speeds.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:45 AM   #91
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We just bought a Garmin (my ancient Tom Tom still works but is so unwieldy now) and we need maps of Mexico.

We used my iphone to navigate up and down the southern California coast in October and it used up quite a bit of my 1 gb monthly allowance. I tempered that by taking screenshots of the maps I needed from Google maps and navigating part-way with them. I dread to think what the charges might be if I tried to do that in Mexico.


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Old 12-08-2015, 06:25 AM   #92
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Here and other similar apps do not use data as they rely on maps that you download previously. The work off the GPS capability in most smartphones, just like a dedicated GPS unit.

I have a couple of older phones that have HDMI out. I could pair that with an HDMI in larger tablet as the slave to see better.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:27 AM   #93
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One of the local 'jokes' among sailors is that they pray at the Church of Old Salts. That is how I feel about our Garmin. I would be OK using my smart phone navigating on foot but our Garmin can't be beat threading us through unfamiliar cities, interstate exit ramps at freeway speeds.
If you decide you want to try a smartphone instead, at least for the iPhone, the Garmin App works great and has the same interface as the Garmin's dedicated GPS devices.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:56 AM   #94
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I will be leaving next week for a long trip through Europe, with quite a bit of driving through the countryside as well as going into towns. As part of the preparation, I have been downloading maps into my smart phone, and thought I would share what I have learned. And my "excellent" memory recalled this thread, so I decided to resurrect it.

With the new smartphones having so much memory and a screen display much nicer than most if not all dedicated GPS units, it would be a shame having to buy or to carry another device. The problem is finding an app that can store the map data on the phone itself for offline use, so that one does not incur high data usage over the cellular network.

Back when this thread started, I was still using an old iPhone 3GS, and I found a way to have Google Map store some local street maps. This feature offers limited navigation, however.

I now use a more recent Android phone, and find that the newer phone in conjunction with new apps offers much better GPS and navigation than the above old kludgy way.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:59 AM   #95
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I find the Google Maps offline features unsatisfying.

I've saved tiles but often, it wants you to update.

So I usually have some kind of connectivity, either from T-Mobile free roaming abroad or I buy a local SIM.

There are other apps. like Here maps which also offer offline options.

However I prefer Google Maps because I can do some trip planning on the desktop browser, like creating custom maps with destinations pinned already. Then I can open these custom Google Maps on my iPhone.
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:16 PM   #96
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In surfing the Web for apps, I saw that MAPS.ME got a lot of recommendations, so installed it and started to download its maps. It looks quite usable, but I still prefer Google Map, particularly for trip planning on a PC or laptop which has a bigger screen than even a recent smartphone.

So, would it be nice to share the same map and waypoints that you prepare on the PC, and to have the same route on the smartphone? And I am partial to Google maps, and prefer it over other online maps.

Yes, Google now makes it easy. I can preplan the driving route on the PC, and send it over to the smartphone. Upon opening the route, the smartphone Google Map app offers to download maps along the route, so that they would be available off-line when there is no signal. Of course I allow it to.

I then kept repeating the above for all the driving segments for each day of the trip, until I have all the maps cached inside the Android smartphone. To test, I turned off the cellular data link as well as its WiFi. The map display still worked. And I could still searched for restaurants, gas stations, etc... In the offline mode, you will not have the satellite view, but all the streets and landmarks are still there.

I now have all the maps of the areas that I plan to visit in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the phone reports that the Google maps take up less than 2GB of memory. Not bad at all.

PS. Saw that I cross-posted with Explanade. My experience with the Android phone is much better than with the old iPhone 3GS. I don't know if it is because that iPhone is so obsolete, or because Google giving more capability to Android phones.
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:21 PM   #97
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Have you tried sending more than one set of directions to your phone?

I am wondering if it's limited to just one, so effectively, you have to send the directions just before you leave. So it might be something you do at a hotel, from a laptop, to have the same directions show up on your phone.

But what I do is create custom maps and put all the destinations and waypoints I would be interested in for that trip. Then you can open those custom maps directly in the Google Maps app. on the phone and just select the destination you want to go to and it will calculate the route right there. You do need data connectivity when it's calculating the route and also to load those custom maps though.
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:45 PM   #98
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I downloaded an app called map for my windows phone. It allows you to download countries.
So I downloaded USA, Mexico, and Belize.
When we were on the cruise, with the phone in airplane mode (no phone connection) I turned on the GPS part, and when I searched it showed exactly where we were (just off-shore). I could zoom in and out to see road details, etc..
I'm really starting to like these smart phones.
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Old 05-06-2017, 03:46 PM   #99
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We are not planning on renting a car in Europe. I've just used the phone for walking navigation in places like Rome and it was great. Especially useful when in a labyrinthine section of the city. There was no need to download maps for that. Tmobil used Vodafone in Italy.

We'll be in Canada (Banff, Jasper, Waterton, Calgary) and hopefully the Tmobil reception will be good there. Here is the coverage map. I guess I'll download some map areas while at the local hotel. Have not done this much.
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:27 PM   #100
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Don't forget about the TripAdvisor App - you can download some cities ahead of time - includes all the hotels, restaurants - then use it with no data.
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