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Old 02-02-2013, 09:09 PM   #1
twowheelpilot OP
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Ditching Garmin for android or iphone as GPS

what is keeping riders from ditching their GPS all together for a smartphone?
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Dedicated GPS doesn't need a data plan... Works in areas that phones don't..... Sure I will think of more later.


I tried to use a smartphone as my GPS for a while before buying my Zumo 450 and I just didn't seem to have the features that a good dedicated GPS has such as being able to map your own routes, easily used while riding, waterproof, and so on.

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what is keeping riders from ditching their GPS all together for a smartphone?
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:03 PM   #3
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There are apps that are pretty damn good, off line maps, GPX import/exporting, routes/tracks etc.. (I like motionx) but the reason I havent dumped my stand alone unit is you need to have power to your phone and there arent really any practical weather/dust proof cases that allow charging AND allow full use of the phone.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:12 AM   #4
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All the above....

...plus a dedicated GPS does one thing, and does it very well.

Multi-tasking compromises all functions.

Also, GPS can do loop route mapping.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:30 AM   #5
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Agreed, but cell phone aps like Google Maps have real time traffic (free), updated maps in real time (no paying yearly subscription fees), now have the ability to store map data and lastly if you lose you're GPS signal which happens quite a lot to me in the city it can rely on Cell phone data/tower info to continue to guide you.

For me the ability to carry just one device that handles phone, GPS, camera, weather, remote emergency locating, video player, etc. is priceless,

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Old 02-03-2013, 07:36 AM   #6
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Dedicated GPS doesn't need a data plan... Works in areas that phones don't..... Sure I will think of more later.

It amazes me that people cluelessly hang on to this belief.
A smartphone does not need a data place to be used as a GPS. A smartphone as a GPS works well where there is no phone service. It is just a matter of installing the right app.
In fact, most recent smartphones not only have the GPS chip set, they also have a Glonass chip set. Plus as a bonus, they can still give a rough location from the cell towers and WiFi if you are near those. So it is not unusual for them to get an initial location lock must faster then a run of the mill Garmin, and give you 12 or more satellite fixes even in poor sky visibility. Not something you get from a Garmin.

I used to use a Windows phone years ago with a Garmin app. That worked well.
Now I am using an Android phone. I like the ability to choice the app I want to use. I like CoPilot for routing. And I like to use OSMand when just driving around and looking for interesting roads.
And if you do happen to have cell coverage, Google searches can be really handy. And Google maps has a cool feature. I log onto Google maps with my PC at home. I have a number of my own maps stored on Google. For example, I have one called 'places to visit'. I roam around the Google map in the evening on my PC, and put place markers on the map. the next day while out riding, I add a map layer with 'places to visit' on it. I can then go look for these places that I marked on the map. You can easily share those map markups with friends. Admittedly, this does require data, but that is seldom an issue with Verizon.


The disadvantage is that few phones are waterproof. But there ARE waterproof phones.
Most waterproof covers like an Aquabox or such add another layer of glare over the screen, making them hard to see in sunlight.
Other than rainy days, I always just use my Android.
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worwig screwed with this post 02-03-2013 at 07:44 AM
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:39 AM   #7
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I've thought about it, but I've yet to see a secure, weather resistant , ruggedized, practical solution for a smartphone on a bike. My next GPS may be a $100+ Garmin with traffic with a plastic bag tossed over it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:48 AM   #8
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Battery life .


I have a Casio Gzone smart phone and its water proof and rugged but plugged in it loses its water proofness and unplugged running the battery just isnt going to keep it for a couple of days . Plus when I ride Im tring to get away , if I wanted to look at a phone all day I would be at work and get paid for it .
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I've thought about it, but I've yet to see a secure, weather resistant , ruggedized, practical solution for a smartphone on a bike. My next GPS may be a $100+ Garmin with traffic with a plastic bag tossed over it.
I recently bought a Samsung Rugby Pro which IS waterproof, ruggedized, etc. and Google navigation is amazing plus a large area can be cached for no signal situations...However the screen not nearly bright enough in direct sunlight for gps use so I still use my Garmin on my bike
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:52 AM   #10
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one exception

my Garmin Etrex 20 gets plenty of satellites - way more than it needs.

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Old 02-03-2013, 07:55 AM   #11
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how do you transfer the places?

Quote:
Originally Posted by worwig View Post


I log onto Google maps with my PC at home. I have a number of my own maps stored on Google. For example, I have one called 'places to visit'. I roam around the Google map in the evening on my PC, and put place markers on the map. the next day while out riding, I add a map layer with 'places to visit' on it. I can then go look for these places that I marked on the map.

.
how do you transfer the places between PC at home and the phone?
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:01 AM   #12
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I've had a lifeproof cover for my iphone and handle bar mount for over a year. It's survived all sorts of weather fine. With the waterproof head phone connection the lady butts into the songs to tell me where to go, then butts straight back out.

Battery life on iPhone does suck when using GPS.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:04 AM   #13
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I guess it comes down to personal preference. A dedicated gps is what I prefer.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:00 AM   #14
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I haven't done it because I haven't found an app that works as well as my GPS does. Google maps is ok, as long as you don't get out of cell phone range for very long. Get off the limits of the map Google has downloaded, and the program crashes. Haven't found any others that I liked all that much on the app market.

For offroad adventuring, I've found things like a Garmin 60 or Delome PN to far exceed the abilities of the smartphone apps, mostly because of their maps.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:43 AM   #15
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I like the fact the Zumo series GPS units are specifically designed for water/rain and deal very well with the elements. A smartphone is just way too susceptible (sp?) to problems related to exposed touring on a bike.

I guess if you have the proper mount/case to put it in, that will certainly help.

Also, your phone screen is not pressure sensitive. I have yet to be able to use my Galaxy S3 phone with gloves on....they work by heat.

My Zumo has a nice feature to change the keyboard so you can use it with gloves on...makes the buttons larger in size.

I don't know.....The phone is fine as a backup or maybe primary use in a car, but on a bike? Just seems out of place.
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