Old Android based phones for GPS?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by ben2go, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Tweaker

    Tweaker ...

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    Last I used it, you don't need cell service to use Google Maps. I have the entire west coast saved on my phone.
    #21
  2. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    I must disagree with this to some extent. It will vary with the devices of course.
    All Android phones that I have seen include cell tower assistance and even Google location services that get you near your location if they see WiFi. Those location assistance services 'kick start' the GPS hardware so that it can locate you very quickly off of the satellites.
    And many new devices, like my Galaxy SIII have chip sets that not only locate you by GPS, but also by Glonass. So here I am, sitting indoors, and seeing 18 satellites. Not something you are going to see from a normal GPS reciever. Needless to say the satellite lock was very quick and it is a very accurate location.

    As for mine. I have a charge cable and a handlebar clip. Not waterproof though. I use OSMand, NAV free, and CoPilot, for maps on my device that don't need a network connection. Plus of course Google and Bing maps when online. I haven't used my Garmin in a long time.

    The challenge for me is getting a screen that is visible in sunlight, modifying gloves to work with the touch screen, and the waterproofing.

    I like having multiple versions of software maps to choose from in front of me.
    #22
  3. FixerDave

    FixerDave KLR650 - XR200R

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    high-contrast black/white maps help a lot more than you would expect them to. Definitely worth a try. A sunshade helps as well and does protect from the elements somewhat, but it can be awkward to work around.

    Other than that... I probably won't get around to trying this, not before truly daylight-readable screens are cheap, but I've been thinking about using an e-book reader as a remote screen. Basically, pick up a cheap monochrome e-ink tablet and figure out a way to display a picture, once per second. The same picture, over and over again. Then, update that picture by screen-caps on the actual GPS tablet.

    The actual GPS could be small, protected (though you'd still need it for touch-screen controls), and the display wouldn't really matter. The e-ink display, on the other hand, could be mounted in a protective case (that you wouldn't need to open all the time) and be fully readable (even more readable) in direct sunlight. No sunscreen, big, and depending on how good the look-angle is it might even be mountable directly on the windscreen. Those e-book readers can get pretty thin and light.

    A once-per-second update, or even 3 or 4 seconds, would be fine for displaying a map. I ride fast, but not THAT fast. Getting a small app to grab a screen-cap and post it to a file once per second would be trivial. Getting the e-book reader to see that file (USB, bluetooth, or ?) and display it might prove a little more challenging. However, I do think the idea has merit. I just don't have the time to do it and my high-contrast maps are actually good enough for my navigation needs. Not awesome like e-ink would be, but good enough.

    David...
    #23
  4. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Some of the software I use allows you to change the rendering colors, which helps a lot.
    I created a sunshade for my phone. It helps keep it dry too. That sits on a shelf because it is so large to let you work around it. It was a bit too much.
    The e-ink display is an interesting idea. I don't know of any e-ink display with an auto refresh though.
    #24