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Old 01-16-2014, 03:22 PM   #41
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GPS devices will be popular for several more years or more. A windshield mounted talking turn by turn Garmin is hands down way better than a smart phone GPS app.
Why is it better?
Why can't your smart phone app have talking turn by turn directions and be mounted on a windshield?
The smartphone app also has much better traffic info, compared to FM traffic receivers in Garmin GPS and better screen visibility in bright light conditions.
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:13 PM   #42
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In keeping with a number of discussions going on at the moment (getting rid of cable, dying technologies, extra legroom when flying, etc.) I thought this was a timely article:

10 things not to buy in 2014

Here are the CliffsNotes:

1. Cable TV
2. Landline service
3. GPS devices
4. DVD and Blu-ray players
5. Hotel rooms
6. Two-year phone contracts
7. Desktop and laptop computers
8. Extra legroom in economy
9. Credit cards with points or miles programs
10. Digital cameras
Interesting list. I disagree with 7 however... A tablet or smart phone is no substitute for a Laptop.

Notably missing from this list is subscription radio services e.g Sirius. Giant waste of funds imo. Your cell phone can store and/or play (via bluetooth) to your car radio and these services are expensive. .02 cents
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:09 PM   #43
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I'm a latecomer to the GPS world. I have a Garmin and a dash-mounted beanbag thing that works well. I haven't used it a lot except to get familiar (I know where I'm going around here). I really like it and it's portable.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:17 PM   #44
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Why is it better?
Why can't your smart phone app have talking turn by turn directions and be mounted on a windshield?
The smartphone app also has much better traffic info, compared to FM traffic receivers in Garmin GPS and better screen visibility in bright light conditions.
I use both the built in nav system in the car and Waze on the iPhone.

The built in system doesn't need network connectivity, which matters in many areas.

Waze not only has excellent voice based turn by turn, but also has crowd sourced speed trap and other hazards information.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:40 PM   #45
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I use both the built in nav system in the car and Waze on the iPhone.
The built in system doesn't need network connectivity, which matters in many areas.
I use Google Maps on my phone and as long as I remembered to cache the map (roughly 50 x 50 mile squares), it will work in offline mode (except traffic info)
There are some paid apps which have full maps in offline mode.
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:27 PM   #46
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Why is it better?
Why can't your smart phone app have talking turn by turn directions and be mounted on a windshield?
The smartphone app also has much better traffic info, compared to FM traffic receivers in Garmin GPS and better screen visibility in bright light conditions.
Well, for one reason, once you buy the Garmin you have no further charges. With smartphone GPS, you are paying for data and if you are in a 4G area with a 4G phone it can use a LOT of expensive data.

Soon after we got 4G phones, DH tried using the phone as a GPS and used huge amounts of data in a 45 minute drive.

Using a smartphone to check a map is fine, but actually using it for turn by turn directions if you don't have unlimited data can be cost prohibitive in 4G.
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:59 PM   #47
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Well, for one reason, once you buy the Garmin you have no further charges. With smartphone GPS, you are paying for data and if you are in a 4G area with a 4G phone it can use a LOT of expensive data.

Soon after we got 4G phones, DH tried using the phone as a GPS and used huge amounts of data in a 45 minute drive.

Using a smartphone to check a map is fine, but actually using it for turn by turn directions if you don't have unlimited data can be cost prohibitive in 4G.
Just make sure the app you use on your phone has maps stored on the device. Then the GPS function uses no data at all (in fact it works whether you have cell phone signal or not). I use the Navigon app on my iPhone (a Garmin product I believe), and I use it for long road trips all the time. I has never resulted in an uptick in data consumption on my monthly bill.
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:36 PM   #48
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Just make sure the app you use on your phone has maps stored on the device. Then the GPS function uses no data at all (in fact it works whether you have cell phone signal or not). I use the Navigon app on my iPhone (a Garmin product I believe), and I use it for long road trips all the time. I has never resulted in an uptick in data consumption on my monthly bill.
Someone please correct me if I have this wrong, but as I understand it, your GPS app in your phone needs to access data for turn-by-turn directions and route planning.

If you store the maps on your device, it will use the GPS w/o data to tell you where you are, but that's all (and might be enough for you).

App descriptions are not clear on this, it seems to take some digging to distinguish between "here I am" functions, and" turn-by-turn navigation" functions.

The typical handheld GPS device has the routing/planning and turn-by-turn built in. Phone apps go to the cloud for that stuff, so need a data connection. Pre-loading the maps may be able to help cut down on the amount of data, but that might all be app dependent.

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Old 01-17-2014, 05:42 PM   #49
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I am going to give away that minivan to a needy family. The cost to keep it just to haul something once in a while is getting to me.

Besides ...



... I have trailer hitch on my 2 SUVs. The problem is I have only one trailer and it's up in the boonies home to haul my dirt bikes to the forest trail heads. Pulling the thing back and forth between two places is a chore. Buying another trailer is out, of course.
The trailer option is often overlooked by those thinking a pickup is the only option. After watching a builder complete our house with just a Dodge Omni I reconsidered. When our family built our lakehouse we used just a converted boat trailer with a wooden deck. This hauled all our oddball stuff while we had the heavy stuff delivered. ( blocks, trussses etc.) In building the house our delivery charges were less than $100 total.
A small economical vehicle is all you need. With the money saved we stay in four star hotels on our quarterly vacations. To each his own.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:02 PM   #50
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True, most people would get by very well with a minivan if their pride would let them.
The snow plow sets my heavy duty 92 F250 down in the front pretty good, but most minivans are front wheel drives, so I guess it wouldn't matter if the back wheels are in the air.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:03 PM   #51
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Someone please correct me if I have this wrong, but as I understand it, your GPS app in your phone needs to access data for turn-by-turn directions and route planning.

If you store the maps on your device, it will use the GPS w/o data to tell you where you are, but that's all (and might be enough for you).

App descriptions are not clear on this, it seems to take some digging to distinguish between "here I am" functions, and" turn-by-turn navigation" functions.

The typical handheld GPS device has the routing/planning and turn-by-turn built in. Phone apps go to the cloud for that stuff, so need a data connection. Pre-loading the maps may be able to help cut down on the amount of data, but that might all be app dependent.

-ERD50
Not with Navigon. As an experiment, I turned off cellular data and wifi on my phone, opened Navigon, entered a random destination, and the app could still find my route and give me turn by turn directions. All you need is a GPS signal, just like for a Garmin device.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:42 PM   #52
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I use Google Maps on my phone and as long as I remembered to cache the map (roughly 50 x 50 mile squares), it will work in offline mode (except traffic info)
There are some paid apps which have full maps in offline mode.
I tried Google map with caching and as you said, it limits the coverage area although my phone has 32GB, far more than the capacity of the DVD map the MS Street & Trip program provided.

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Not with Navigon. As an experiment, I turned off cellular data and wifi on my phone, opened Navigon, entered a random destination, and the app could still find my route and give me turn by turn directions. All you need is a GPS signal, just like for a Garmin device.
A smartphone with GPS has a more powerful CPU with more memory compared to a stand-alone GPS, so conceivably an app would be all one need.

I have seen smartphone apps advertised as low as $2.99, so wonder if these would work as well as Navigon at $59.99. When something is so cheap, it does make you wonder.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:10 PM   #53
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Not with Navigon. As an experiment, I turned off cellular data and wifi on my phone, opened Navigon, entered a random destination, and the app could still find my route and give me turn by turn directions. All you need is a GPS signal, just like for a Garmin device.
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...

A smartphone with GPS has a more powerful CPU with more memory compared to a stand-alone GPS, so conceivably an app would be all one need.

I have seen smartphone apps advertised as low as $2.99, so wonder if these would work as well as Navigon at $59.99. When something is so cheap, it does make you wonder.
Ahhh, thanks for the feedback. When I was researching this a few years back, I was probably only looking at free/nominal cost (<$5) apps. If it takes something like a $50 app, I probably would have missed it.

Good to know if I ever need to replace my seldom used old GPS.

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Old 01-17-2014, 11:00 PM   #54
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Google Map when offline and with the small cached map still does what you described, i.e. tell you the present position in the cached map but not providing direction.

I have not downloaded and tried any of the cheapo map apps, but a review I read said quite a few of them will download entire countries if not a large region or a big city. I found these by googling "iphone offline map app review". And some use the "openstreetmap" which I guess is open source.

Some apps are even free, I guess because they make money by loading the city map with businesses that pay for advertisements.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:45 AM   #55
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The snow plow sets my heavy duty 92 F250 down in the front pretty good, but most minivans are front wheel drives, so I guess it wouldn't matter if the back wheels are in the air.
I did say most people.
Most people don't put a snow plow on the front of their vehicle.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:50 AM   #56
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...........A smartphone with GPS has a more powerful CPU with more memory compared to a stand-alone GPS, so conceivably an app would be all one need..................
I wonder if these apps can be moved from phone to phone. For me, a GPS stand along unit would get replaced less often than a smart phone.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:56 AM   #57
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I wonder if these apps can be moved from phone to phone. For me, a GPS stand along unit would get replaced less often than a smart phone.
At least with iPhones, once you buy an app it's yours forever. When you buy a new phone, it loads all the apps you had before. In fact, if you have multiple devices (say an iPhone, an iPad, and an iPod touch) an app can go on to each device if you want it to.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:49 AM   #58
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Eventually the gps in phone vs built-in will probably be a moot point:

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The last and best feature of the car is Honda's GPS solution: it's your phone. You can order the car with navigation for something around $1500, or you can download the HondaLink app from Honda for $59.99 and get something better. With the app, the car will display your phone's GPS on its seven-inch display. That means as you upgrade your phone, you'll be upgrading your GPS, too. I can't think of a better system.
The 2015 Honda Fit Is How To Do A Hatchback Right
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:13 AM   #59
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I wonder if these apps can be moved from phone to phone. For me, a GPS stand along unit would get replaced less often than a smart phone.
Sure you can. I purchased my Navigon app in 2009 to use on my iPhone 3G. I have since moved it to my iPhone 4, and now to my iPhone 5s - without having to purchase the app again. And I regularly download updated maps for it, for free.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:26 AM   #60
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Sure you can. I purchased my Navigon app in 2009 to use on my iPhone 3G. I have since moved it to my iPhone 4, and now to my iPhone 5s - without having to purchase the app again. And I regularly download updated maps for it, for free.
Thanks, that would make it much more practical. I have an IPod Touch Gen 3 that is quickly becoming a paperweight, so I'm a little cautious about the long term value of apps.
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