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Old 05-07-2011, 06:42 PM   #1
ozranger OP
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smart phone gps' avalible in oz and reliability

hi
i am looking at getting a smart phone for navigation. has anyone had experience with this in remote areas where you won't be getting phone recieption?

any phones work better then others?
particular apps that are good?

cheers
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozranger View Post
hi
i am looking at getting a smart phone for navigation. has anyone had experience with this in remote areas where you won't be getting phone recieption?

any phones work better then others?
particular apps that are good?

cheers
Apparently Garmin does one. I cant give you any details but I know some inmates here have them. GPS is separate to the phone bit so doesn't rely on the phone networks.
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:02 PM   #3
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What type of riding do you do? What GPS features are you looking for?

I use MotionX GPS, it's great for trail riding but does not do driving directions and has a bit of a learning curve. There's lots of other software, though the ones with good australian map data that can do driving directions tend to be a bit expensive.

I'd definitely go for an iPhone 4 over any other choice, as it's much more mature. There are apps for everything from turn by turn navigation, to racing lap time statistics, to real time weather/rain maps, to suggestions for nice weekend rides. You can find a full list of navigation apps by clicking here. There are over 5,000 of them available in the Australian app store! If you have iTunes installed, click the "View Navigation in iTunes" link at the top right - it's much more organised than the website.

You will probably need to rig up some way to keep the phone charged while using it as a GPS, or else battery life will limit what features you can use.

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Old 05-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #4
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GPS is separate to the phone bit so doesn't rely on the phone networks.
This isn't really true. The 3G and WiFi radios are both used to get a significantly faster lock on your position than would otherwise be possible, and almost all of the freely available map data comes with license restrictions that lock you into using them when you have 3G coverage.

You can use it outside of 3G, but only with some apps, and even then a few features usually won't work (eg: finding directions to the nearest KTM dealer or SPOT style location updates).
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:31 PM   #5
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A "Smart phone" may also be a bit fragile for your purposes, depending on what you do. I've seen so many broken in the first 3 months of ownership it is not funny, and that is without them being strapped onto a set of handlebars either. They are not shockproof or waterproof. The ones with a dedicated GPS chip (SIRF III-compliant usually) should work when out-of-range, but as stated above an application and data will be required.

All up, they are expensive and delicate electronic gadgets that I would hesitate to use as a navigation tool in out of the way places. A dedicated GPS is prolly a cheaper and better bet. For more info have a browse of the Layin' Down Tracks forum off the main page, it has lots of good info there.

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Old 05-07-2011, 08:41 PM   #6
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A "Smart phone" may also be a bit fragile for your purposes, depending on what you do. I've seen so many broken in the first 3 months of ownership it is not funny, and that is without them being strapped onto a set of handlebars either. They are not shockproof or waterproof.
?!? the iPhone 4's case is high strength glass and metal. Both are stronger than the plastic used on cheap "shockproof" GPS devices, waterproof is easily solved with a waterproof case, which also eliminates any chance of shattering the glass. I have dropped my iPhone 4 on concrete from 1 metre at least 10 times (without any protection at all), and crashed my KTM several times (with a protective mount) and it barely has a mark on it. Sure, it's not the most solid product out there but it is as good as it can be with the size/weight goals they have.

I would also trust apple's engineers to do a better job of designing and sourcing reliable components. They probably spend more time/money designing the iPhone's on/off button than Garmin spends on their entire product line. Apple has $65,000,000,000 in revenue to work with, vs garmin's $3,400,000 and the iPhone is Apple's most important product, while Garmin's most important product is their car GPS systems. Apple has a team of some of the highest paid engineers in the world working around the clock for about two years on each new version of the iPhone (when they release a new version, they've usually already been working on it's successor for a year). Garmin does not put that much effort into any of their products.

To give you an idea how high their standards are, apple just delayed the white iPhone by over a year because it didn't pass quality control (something to do with the colour changing slightly when exposed to several months of normal use). Garmin probably doesn't even bother testing for things like that. Sure, you and I might not give a **** about the colour of a device - but that close attention is applied to every aspect of the product.

I'm an iPhone software developer and have access to videos presentations by apple's engineers. Having watched them talk for many ours about the GPS technology in the iPhone, it's clear that they take GPS very seriously and are spending a lot of money and inventing a lot of new technology in the area. I wouldn't be surprised if they spend over a hundred millions of dollars a year on improving the iPhone's GPS feature set.

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Old 05-07-2011, 08:48 PM   #7
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All their millions hasn't done much for all the screens on the guys work i phones that have cracked then, many from small falls or in pockets. You can't really be serious anyway after the stuff up with the phone reception on the i4 and the metal case. Just because they have money to spend does not mean they always do things well, and usually the more money they make the worse that becomes.

Think IBM, Microsoft, GM, Ford etc.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibeckert;15856633
I would also trust apple's engineers to do a better job of designing and sourcing reliable components. They probably spend more time/money designing the iPhone's on/off button than Garmin spends on their entire product line. Apple has $65,000,000,000 in revenue to work with, vs garmin's $3,400,000 and the iPhone is Apple's most important product, while Garmin's most important product is their car GPS systems. Apple has a team of some of the highest paid engineers in the world working around the clock for about [B
two years[/B] on each new version of the iPhone (when they release a new version, they've usually already been working on it's successor for a year). Garmin does not put that much effort into any of their products.
If they are so good how come they fucked up a simple thing like the aerial on the iphone 4? lack of testing or just plain lack of care?
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by abhibeckert View Post
This isn't really true. The 3G and WiFi radios are both used to get a significantly faster lock on your position than would otherwise be possible, and almost all of the freely available map data comes with license restrictions that lock you into using them when you have 3G coverage.

You can use it outside of 3G, but only with some apps, and even then a few features usually won't work (eg: finding directions to the nearest KTM dealer or SPOT style location updates).
Hardhead is referring to the Garmin Asus A50 Nuvifone which has a separate GPS that also has a smart phone running Android 2.2 on it .

Runs Garmin maps just like a normal GPS off of the satellites or can run maps off phone app if you would want to.

Very happy with it so far and comes with car cradle etc. I use it in the car and have a Oregon 300 for the bike. Agree with Godsilla's comments. If you were touring and could mount it in a waterproof case on the bars then I think it would be okay, or carry it with you etc.


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Old 05-08-2011, 05:36 AM   #10
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Another vote for the iphone4 :-), I have a oziexplorer gps and a nuvi in the landcruiser... But prefer using iphone's mudmap ( in the place of oziexplorer) and Telstra's navigator(build by garmin) instead of the nuvi... Just one mount, one cradle, one power cable and can swith to whatever navigation app I need. I am currently in paris, and disabled 3g to prevent data charges.. So I will use the wifi in the hotel and "browse" the googlemap app arround where I am to download the maps and then start walking...
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:18 PM   #11
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Unavoidable problem with GPS phones

I did use a phone as a navigator while travelling in Indonesia. The maps were inadequate (non existent in places), but as far as I can see it's the same problem with Garmin.

What really annoyed me was having to physically touch the phone to interact with it. That's the one problem that any decent bike navigator will overcome by the use of (big) buttons. You'd be nuts not to have the phone in a protective case, which makes is really inconvenient to get to it.

Voice control would be the ultimate solution but I'm not aware of any navigators that have it.

FWIW, Nokia maps are available for nearly every country, are free, regularly updated and can be downloaded on a PC. Beautiful for travelleing when you don't really want to carry a GPS, but the interface it too screwed up for serious use. As far as I know the only track logger is a kiddie app "Sports Tracker" that can record lap times and heart rate, upload your workout music etc. Plus the maps are pretty much only "on road" (but not bad with some fairly remote dirt roads in Australia). But if you suddenly don't know where to go in a foreign city, it's nice to have it.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:02 PM   #12
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iphone case and mount

another option I found recently

not sure if this one has been discussed - from the UK

Is it rugged enough for offroad adv riding? Looks interesting

http://www.ultimate-mobiles.co.uk/de...case___823.htm



mount



utube vid here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pW_Zvd2ao0

Have hardwire kits too that seem to fit with the waterproof case

http://www.ultimate-mobiles.co.uk/ha...dock___818.htm
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Oz-Strom View Post
another option I found recently

not sure if this one has been discussed - from the UK

Is it rugged enough for offroad adv riding? Looks interesting

http://www.ultimate-mobiles.co.uk/de...case___823.htm



mount



utube vid here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pW_Zvd2ao0

Have hardwire kits too that seem to fit with the waterproof case

http://www.ultimate-mobiles.co.uk/ha...dock___818.htm
Mmmmm IPX4, not real waterproof...

Might be a goer though, for mounting purposes if nothing else. For general city driving the iPhone beats the Zumo, no question. Rough trails, dunno.

Anyone know how to turn the accelerometer off to stop the screen from flipping?

I use this USB charger for my iPhone 4 - no probs at all with charging. In fact it is quite quick - 20 minutes = approx. 40% charge. I connect it directly to the battery via a Fuzeblock, and is turned on and off by the key. Get the seal kit for it too - then you can charge in the rain...

viz
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:12 PM   #14
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Anyone know how to turn the accelerometer off to stop the screen from flipping?
Double tap the home button and swipe left to find the button that will lock it into portrait orientation.

Locking it into landscape is more complicated, but it can be done by enabling "Assistive Touch", which is intended for disabled users (it's in settings, you can set it to be enabled/disabled with a triple click of the home button).

All the apps I use work better in portrait anyway.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:05 AM   #15
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Just reviving this one, any further good or bad regarding I Phone or smart phone for ADV work, i found this waterproof case that sounds alright. http://www.gadgetmac.com/gadgetmac/l...-4-review.html thinking about investing in a new phone.
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