iPhone as GPS?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Shawnee Bill, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    Currently using Android phone for GPS, Osmand and Locus.

    But I carry an iPhone as my phone and would like to use it as a backup GPS.
    I have searched but cannot find an app for iPhone that can download gpx tracks.
    Is there a good app for that? Just doesn't make sense to me there is not but I can't find it.
    #1
  2. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne unfiltered

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    I used GAIA GPS on my iPhone while hiking in Guatemala a few years back. Worked very well. I loaded gpx files for hiking routes and it worked fine.
    #2
  3. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne unfiltered

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    As a side note, if you're planning to use your phone mounted to your bike in a hot climate, consider that phones will overheat and shut down until they cool. I had this happen multiple times while navigating cities in Mexico where my iPhone overheated and I had to wait around, fully kitted, in a city until my phone could lead me to my hostel. So, if you're planning to use a phone for travel, take this into consideration.
    #3
  4. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    I did try to find info on GAIA GPS but found no details on their website and it is $20 to download their app. I'm not ready to spend that much just to find out how it works, really don't want to pay $20 for any app in todays app market.

    Both Locus and Osmand are rather powerful apps and they have free versions and full price is $6-7 each.

    Probably not going to do long distance travel depending on my iPhone, just use it as backup for my Nomu android which has no telephone connection, just used as a dedicated GPS and some internet.
    Generally just use it to follow downloaded tracks such as BDRs and following tracks downloaded from AdvRider. Will GAIA GPS do that?

    For highway trips I use a Nav5 on my GS. I will probably carry that as a backup until I find something for the iPhone.
    #4
  5. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Pocket Earth Pro
    Galileo Pro
    OsmAnd
    Scenic
    iHikeGPS
    MotionX

    . . . in that order IMO if you don't want Gaia


    I've also recently heard some glowing reviews of Google Maps Offline but have not tried it yet, have not researched it, and don't know if it will import gpx files.
    #5
  6. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne unfiltered

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    So I found a thread where the engineer from Gaia was offering the app for free. I found the thread in 2015 and the thread was like 2 years old! Just out of curiosity I emailed them and asked if they were still offering the app for forum members. They said yes and sent me a code to download it for free! Like you, I didn't want to pay that much for an app. If you want to give it a try, shoot me a pm. I can give you the details.

    Literally could be a shot in the dark but it's worth asking!

    And yes, you can download tracks and it'll show up in the software, even when there's no cell service like on a volcano in Guatemala. Haha
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  7. scootertrog

    scootertrog Been here awhile

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    I can't understand why so many people expect to get these apps for free? Developers are not asking a lot for an app, typically $10 or less. Considering it'll cost hundreds for a dedicated, fairly archaic GPS device, even the paid-for apps are a bargain. Who wants to work for free? As soon as everything is free, we are ALL screwed, because everything will be worth nothing.
    #7
  8. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    NOT looking for free, just competitive pricing for similar value.
    In the case of Gaia they are asking $20 for a product that has very little description of it's capabilities.
    I paid $6-7 each for both Locus and Osmand, but also they each offer a free demo download that have limits on their use but you can test drive their product. Also they both (and there are others) have pretty good product descriptions on their websites. Gaia has none of this, just pay three times their competitors price up front and not sure what you're getting.

    I would be more than willing to pay double the cost of a phone and navigation app for a Garmin, but for 5 times the cost I balk at that.
    #8
  9. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I'm with you, Scooter. One topo map from Garmin -- ONE -- costs $100! To get the whole USA, that's $700. Add to that another $80 for City Nav. Those people are crazy!

    For $20, I'll happily download any well-reviewed nav app just to try it for a week. If I don't like it--who cares -- it was $20!
    #9
  10. Sugra

    Sugra Adventurer

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    I know it all comes down to personal preference but I was happy to pay $20 for Gaia. I've tried many of them and I like Gaia the best for off-road navigation, by a pretty big margin. gpx and kml track files can be imported into Gaia.
    #10
  11. robdr1

    robdr1 Adventurer

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    https://maps.me/download/

    Best offline maps in my opinion. Use this as my goto GPS all over Colombia, works great, excellent up to date maps!

    Also it's free :)
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  12. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    I have also used maps.me in Morocco, seemed to pick up most of the off road Pistes.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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  13. Sugra

    Sugra Adventurer

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    Does Maps.Me have topo/shaded relief maps or just roads?
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  14. Scheffy

    Scheffy Been here awhile

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    I used the MotionX iPhone app as my sole GPS on a 2 month TAT run and it worked just fine. It's not really the most refined user interface, but it's got a ton of features (once you learn where to find them) and you can import GPX files by dragging and dropping into iTunes. For $1.99 it's probably at least worth a shot...
    #14
  15. AzMtnThumper

    AzMtnThumper n00b

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    I have been using GAIA for several months and I've been very pleased, it's definitely worth $20. I build a route on my PC using their website (so much easier than Basecamp) and it synchs to my iPhone 7 effortlessly. Then I download a map for the route, also painless, and go ride.
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  16. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    I’ve used maps.me on my iPhone 7+ and find it to be as reliable as anything out there, and easy to use. I’ve used it at home in the USA and also in many other countries. Seems to have all the “good” roads, too—“good” meaning dirt and gravel trails. As an aside, on a trip last week to Ushuaia, I rode through almost three days of very solid rain. The water-resistant iPhone survived perfectly, without even using any kind of crazy cover that always seem to double the size and weight of the phone and render it harder to use and see. I just put the iPhone in a RAM mount as is. You will have to keep the phone plugged into the bike’s power port or use a backup phone battery like I do, since GPS mapping apps tend to run batteries down fast. I have a 8X battery that will last for a 15-hour riding day and then some.

    At home, my GSA has the Nav V and I still use maps.me or Google Maps with he iPhone. I can’t even remember the last time I updated the Nav V. It’s pretty much obsolete.
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  17. 75bronco

    75bronco Been here awhile

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    I can not down load routes to maps.me.
    Am i missing something?
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  18. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    The route should be in a KML/KMX file. If it’s GPX it might work but you should be able to export a Google Maps (or other) route file in KML/KMX or use GPS Visualizer (a free web-based app) to convert it.

    Then, email the file to your phone. Press and hold the link and you should get a list of apps to open the file in. Choose maps.me, and there it will be. Keep in mind that’s with an iPhone. Could be a slightly different process with an Android device.
    #18
  19. scootertrog

    scootertrog Been here awhile

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    Galileo Pro for following a built route or track, Scenic for on-the-fly route-building while on the road and CoPilot Pro for Garmin-like "get me from A to B asap". These 3 apps have worked flawlessly with my iPhone 5s.
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  20. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    Getting a lot of options, thanks to all.
    Looked at a few of them but so far haven't decided on one. From the maps.me web site it says it can import tracks in kml/kmz format but they expire with time, didn't try it but that's a deal breaker. Of course maps.me is free so not a bad deal.
    #20