Android Phone for NexRad and Navigation

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by wingwing, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012

    The JUNE EMFB BETA test has been sent out..
    .. if I missed you, send me a PM

  2. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Aug 12, 2005
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    Bought this and still working on a mount. I'm thinking an aqua box from ram on a short arm to the bars.

    Anyone else run this setup? I don't have a BT headset, any recommendations that def work?

    I'd like to screw around with the new version. I don't have ICS on my phone, have it on a tablet. Don't even know how I would get it? The phone is a Samsung Charge 4G
  3. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    pic of my mount here (near the top of the post)

    I'm using the SENA SMH10 BT headset with mine.. working good so far..

  4. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    quick update..
    I'm just about finished with some modifications based on suggestions from all the feedback.
    In a day or two, look for an email with "EMFB June Trial v2"

    If you can think of anything else in the meantime, let me know.

    Thanks again,
  5. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    on a related note...

    and /but.. the biggest complaint against Google Maps is always (was always)?
    .. "but it's not a real GPS unless you have a signal"..
    (even though it's already been caching what you need for almost a year)

    in today's news is:

    "Google today at a small event in San Francisco announced that it's taking Google Maps offline.
    That's right, no more will you be beholden to your data connection.
    Or if traveling abroad (or on a subway, for instance), you'll be able to kill data altogether and still find your way around. This, ladies and germs, is a big deal.
    What's more is that it's not just macro-level mapping. You'll be able to zoom all the way down into street view, sans data. ... Google says it's coming soon enough."

  6. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    Tip: (unexpected ways some people are using EMFB)
    The EMFB main green screen ALWAYS shows your current location automatically using all available location sensors.., if you turn off both Wifi and the GPS, then the address displayed will always be the only location device remaining.. ..and that would be the nearest cell tower to you..

    Kind of fun to be able to see and know how far the nearest tower is..
    ..especially if you only have one bar and you're wondering why.

  7. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    Thank you for all the feed back..

    There are many changes in this "final" trial update...
    I won't bore you with all the details..
    .. suffice.. if there something you did not like before, it's probably fixed now.
    If you find anything else, please let me know...
    If you have signed up for the "trial" you should have an email with the June release.

    This free "Trial" should run until about June 21..
    .. after that, this free version of the app will no longer work (hopefully).
    If you already have purchased "EMFB III", the "EMFB IV" upgrade is free.

    No one figured out the hidden commands.
    They are for voice controlling many of the EMFB functions.
    EMFB has always done Navigation and MAPS by voice command.
    Now, it does WEATHER and other functions by voice command too.
    i.e. Just ask for the animated NexRad display near you and it will display.
    i.e. ..ask for the 48 hour forecast and it will pop up..
    ... and if you like, EMFB will read it back to you.

    The idea is many functions that take more than one "tap" can now be accomplished with just one tap (DESTINATION) and then saying:
    My Computer Commands
    .. a list of what can be done will then display.
    There are currently 11 voice commands it can recognize; I'm sure I'll add more.
    Speak plainly and slowly.. most Android phones get better at recognizing what you say as you use it more.

    Many thanks to those of you that really dug into this and gave me some great feedback.

    I really need one more thing from all of you.
    If you tap and hold (long tap really) the CLOSE EMFB button, it will show you the "internals".
    Please scroll to the bottom of that page and EMFB should properly show what state you are in.
    I'm already working on "EMFB V" and knowing what state you are in without fail is important..
    .. it is going to pop up important alerts as you cross state lines.

    hope you enjoy..
  8. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    !! HEADS UP !!

    EMFB v4 is on the PLAY store but until I get the bugs worked out
    PLEASE do not download it
    It will overwrite your paid v3 version.
    But the bad part is then it won't load.
    Then you won't have either v3 or v4.

    I'm still trying to get it all figured out.

    Basically, the problem is that the same "trial" version that works for everyone here does NOT work after it gets uploaded to the Google PLAY store.
    thanks for your patience,

  9. ww73

    ww73 Been here awhile

    Mar 11, 2009
    Sammamish, WA
    Let us know when it's available on the Google Play store. Thanks.
  10. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    OK.. Happy Fathers Day !

    re EMFB:
    I'm 99% I've got the download bug fixed.
    Make sure it says v 4.17
    (in some locations it takes a few hours for Google PLAY to catch up,
    it might still say v 4.16 and STOP)

    If you have already purchased it, go to Google PLAY and just select update.
    You may have to uninstall your old version first, but that is just on some phones.
    You DO NOT have to purchase it again, just "Update" (Upgrade).

    Thanks for all your patience.
    I'm heading up to Bryson City in a bit.
    I'll check my "info" email account.
    The trial copy will continue to work until the end of the month.

    Thanks ALL for your help with this project. I hope it helps you ride safely and more aware.

  11. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    Please note:
    EMFB 4.18 update.. v4.17 and the free "June trial copy" will quit working by mid July

    Please check the GOOGLE PLAY store in a few days for an update to 4.18+

    This will fix the "won't start bug" that sometimes makes EMFB fail to start if there is no data connection when you first open it..
    (error: "file not found")

    It will also use "ft" instead of meters for accuracy and altitude.

    YOUR "old" 4.17 will stop working by the middle of this month due to the "won't start bug".
    .. So be sure and update to 4.18+ before then.

    Also.. fyi...
    Be SURE and download the newest version of Google MAPS..
    It allows for LARGE area "pre-caching"
    I was able to download almost the entire Smoky Mountain National Park and "no signal" was no longer a problem.

  12. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    EMFB Update:
    v 4.18 is now available for download on Google Play.

    v 4.17 and the free trail copy will stop working on July 15,
    please update before then.

    The only two 4.17 bugs that were reported have been fixed in this update:
    1) error 101, file not found
    2) sometimes DND (Do Not Disturb while riding) generated multiple text responses.

    New for 4.18:
    1) feet instead of meters
    2) choice of graphical or numeric format for hourly forecast
    3) no "reloading" when switching from portrait to landscape
    4) all text and buttons are "larger" again
    5) works on ICS (tested up to 4.04)
    6) works inside or outside
    That means: although it works better with GPS, GPS is not required so you can use it "at the office" or in places where GPS can't "see" the sky.
    7) "turbo mode" (there's that word again ) on start up, then "battery save" while running; toggles back to "turbo" as needed.

    Please, enjoy, ride safe and let me know if you find ANY issues.

    Again, thank you all for your help in getting v4 "out" this year.

    I'm using mine in the "Otterbox" case but the Otterbox screen protector is too opaque for my eyes. I removed their screen protector and have just been using the rest. With their big rubber protector around the edges and covering all the holes, I think the phone is now much more water resistant.. not quite water "proof" but much better than stock.
    You might want to check one out for your phone.

  13. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    EMFB 4.19 is available for download in the PLAY STORE

    After you update, the new title bar should say "v4w".
    .. should fix a WiFi bug that only affected some Samsung phones.

    let me know?

  14. Late for the Party

    Late for the Party Adventurer

    Sep 21, 2010

    Works perfectly. I'm still lugging aroung an older smart phone so V4.1.8 started giving me issues. I ran 4.19 this morning and it works perfectly.
  15. ssevy

    ssevy retired and riding the backroads

    Mar 16, 2009
    Southern Adirondacks
    Hi Dennis,

    I just entered the 21st century yesterday and bought a Samsung Galaxy S3. The first thing I did when I got home was download your app, as I am leaving on a 12-day trip on Monday, and thought the weather/GPS combo would be great.
    Noodling around at home with it, everything seems to work fine, so I am looking forward to using it on the road.

    Two questions - should I keave my phone connected to 12v during the ride and just leave your app running? My thought was just to check it when we noticed possible weather ahead.

    Does this app leave a trail behind so you can see where you have ridden for the day, and give you mileage totals, like a real GPS? That would be an awesome feature, and completely eliminate the need for a separate GPS for me, as I can search for food, gas, etc., with the smart phone I guess.

    Sorry if the questions are lame, but this smart phone thing is completely new to me, and I am not up to speed just yet.
  16. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    Thank you.. and congratulations on getting one of the best phones you can purchase right now!
    I got to play with one and it's incredible.

    re your two questions:
    1) "should I keave my phone connected to 12v"
    That is most definitely YES... it will charge as you ride otherwise it will be dead in a few hours.
    I keep mine plugged in with a 2 amp charger; that way you can use it AND charge it at the same time.
    If you get one of those 400ma USB chargers, it will slowly charge the phone, but only if it's off.
    I keep 4 apps running at a minimum ALL THE TIME... (I don't have a separate GPS anymore).
    a) Music ..I've got about 10 days loaded on the phone with no repeats
    b) EMFB.. either in thr NexRad Screen if the weather is threatening, or the main green screen so that I can see what towns I'm passing through as I ride (I'm almost always on back roads off the interstate).
    c) Google Navigation (often running in the background so I'm just listening to it)
    d) Google Maps if I've pre-planned a custom route so I see where I'm at.

    Your new phone has ICS.. that has an awesome feature that makes the above REALLY REALLY easy..

    .. in the lower right hand corner you'll what looks like a box within a box... that is the "task switcher".
    Tap that and you can toggle "to and from" each of the above apps.. remember, they are still all running all the time,
    you are just switching between which one your are viewing.
    If you've not already read it... I've put together a "long-ish" piece that talks about a lot of this.
    (and the blue links talk about mounts and chargers)
    Check out:

    2) re:
    "Does this app leave a trail behind so you can see where you have ridden for the day"
    EMFB does not do that directly (although I'm working on it) but Google Maps does it once you turn on "Location History".
    You just turn it on once and forget about.. it tracks where ever you go 24x7.
    It's not for sharing it's only for you BUT .. you can go to your history file and select a data range (like the 12 day trip) and then it will show a map and trail for that time.. THEN you can save or share that map.
    As far as daily totals.. I've not found a way to that automatically... you'd have to pull out each 24 hour period from the history file and see how far and where you went.
    .. but it IS all there.
    I can show you EVERYPLACE I've been for the past 2 years.

    Especially when I'm near the end of the day I keep EMFB on
    Use EMFB and DESTINATIONS screen to easily locate fuel, food and lodging.
    It will also keep a list of what your searched for.
    All you have to do is say something like "Best Western" or "Comfort Inn" and then NAVIGATE to and it will take to you the closest one... but if you say "show map" instead of "navigate", then it will pull up a list and you can call around first to check for availability.
    EMFB "combines" MAP and NAVIGATION in an easy to use format.
    There are so many ways use it.. it's take a little time to learn them all.

    Please let me know if you have ANY questions...

    good luck on your trip and ride safe..

  17. MadChap

    MadChap Been here awhile

    Jan 25, 2010
    Out of Prison
    Dennis: End of August I'm up for contract renewal and will be getting the Sam GalaxysIII. Currently using HTC Incredible. For GPS I've been using Garmin HCX Legend. The USB input on it is now shorting so I either need to send it in for repair of just totally go android.

    Since you've clearly spent lost of time on the Android platform I have a question. The Garmin maps seem to show many more primitive roads than Google Maps. I'm in central Oregon and just out my back door there are "roads" that show on my Garmin but not on Google Maps. Are there any alternative maps with more detail?

    When I ride my DR350 the conditions for the GPS, Ram mounted to my handlebars, creates lots of shock on the mount and electronics. Ram Mounts is making waterproof mounts for phones. Do you think the phone Galaxy will handle the shock, or should I stick with the Garmin for rough terrain and use the Android for road rides with the Vstrom?

    Thanks for any advice. If these questions are being asked anywhere else, I'd love the links.

  18. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    sorry I didn't get back to you sooner on this.. I'd not checked this post in a few days.

    Great choice on the Sam Galaxy III
    (my other fav is the Sam Galaxy Nexus but only because I much prefer the pure Android experience without all the OEM additional bells and whistles.)

    I'll mention up front that I'm not current with the Garmin products anymore.
    I had them for years in my airplanes but never quite warmed up to their motorcycle offerings.
    Got rid of my last one a few years ago and have been using alternates ever since.
    The last two and half years I've used Google Maps and they're getting better all the time.
    I do some "off road" with my Ural side car set up but don't consider myself a hard core "explorer".
    Here in central Florida, the Google Maps have every forest road and unmarked cow path that I've run across.

    RE: "The Garmin maps seem to show many more primitive roads than Google Maps."
    Is there any chance you could post a side by side screen capture or picture that shows that?
    There is lots of (negative) chatter on some forums about the older Garmins having more detail but the newer ones not having so much.

    If you have an older Garmin and it has ALL the roads you prefer to travel I would keep it alive as long as you can..
    .. a newer Garmin may not.

    You can load very detailed topo maps on the Google offerings but I'm not sure that would provide the same flexibility you now enjoy with your Garmin. You'd have to preplan a bit more with the topo maps
    Check out some of the Gmap4 stuff at:

    re: "handle the shock"
    As far as being able to "take it" I think if you don't bust the screen the phone will take about any "shock" you get on the bike
    (short of jumping the red river canyon .. :-) )
    I use an otterbox "Defender" on my Nexus.
    .. but I also pay the few bucks a month for insurance so in case anything DOES happen it's no big deal and I just get a new one.
    The smartphone for me is a tool to be used in that manner, not some jewel to be kept locked away.
    In the past few months, there have been a few ruggedized phones coming on the market..
    .. not sure if they are military spec but definitely more water resistant which is the main problem.
    When the weather gets bad for me I just put the phone in a waterproof pocket and continue listening to it through my Bluetooth headsets.
    If it's raining SO hard that I have to put the phone away, I probably should not be looking at IT anyway.

    Google Maps have made some great changes this year.
    No signal is no longer a problem. You can now pre-load VERY large map sections in advance.
    So it is more and more like dedicated GPS.
    You can view any of their maps and see your location on it.
    What you can't do yet when you have no signal is ask it to find directions for you.
    That, is still signal dependent; but I expect that to change soon too.
    They have already announced their intent is to eventually make it a fully off line application.
    I "play" as often as I can in the North Carolina mountains and mostly there is no signal in the shadows of the hills..
    .. but I can preload almost the entire Smokey Mountain National Park with one click..
    If I need more, I can download all the surrounding areas with a couple of more clicks.
    I live in "the forest" of Central Florida (Ocala National Forest) and I have that entire 800 sq mile area preloaded into my phone.

    hope that helps some..
    ... sorry I'm not as current on the Garmin stuff as I used to be.
    Google does it all for me now and with EMFB to show animated weather on the same app, well that's about all I need.
    If I were exploring "true wilderness" like where you live I'd have all the hi-res topo maps preloaded..
    I might even keep the old phone charged and loaded with all the same maps (as a backup)..
    .. even after it's deactivated from the service provider it's still a nice gps with a decent screen.

  19. MadChap

    MadChap Been here awhile

    Jan 25, 2010
    Out of Prison
    Thanks for the information. Here's a screen capture zoomed at 1 mile for both programs. Mapsource on left, Google Maps on right. This is just east of my house. Mapsource obviously has way more roads than Google. However most of those "roads" that show are not roads at all but just very faded and overgrown jeep trails. Just the kind I like to ride.

  20. wingwing

    wingwing Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2012
    ok.. I see.
    Easy question:
    Have you tried just turning on the SAT view in Google Maps?
    For the same location as in your example when I turn on the SAT view I can see all those overgrown jeep trails and more...
    ..especially when zoomed in a bit...
    (I'm guessing they're not marked anyway?)
    The TERRAIN view provides a decent topo too.


    Even when I'm using GN on the street bike.. I ALWAYS have the SAT view on..
    .. it's like having a real time helicopter view of where I'm riding..