smart phone gps' avalible in oz and reliability

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by ozranger, May 7, 2011.

  1. ozranger

    ozranger n00b

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    well that was a big 'can o worms' i just opened. :D
    thanks to everyone for your input. i have been doing a lot of research and i think i might go for the motorola defy. water proof to 1m (they say water resistant, but the pressure rating should be 1m) dust resistant, shock/scratch resistant.
    there seem to be some good android apps for pre loading maps, and as this is an emerging speciality for phones i can only imagine it will get alot better as the mapping companies try to cash in on the apps.

    i will avoid the i phone simple because its a bit more expensive (going OS so don't want a plan) and don't like apple that much.

    i view apple as a bit of an oppresive dictorial government. they restrict everything you do (e.g. no blue tooth to stop file sharing, don't get me started on itunes) and keep tabs on everything you do. just think they love money a bit too much!!! i know, what company doesn't? but i like the android freedom.

    thanks to everyone for thier very helpful imput:clap
    #21
  2. BurnieM

    BurnieM Nipple boy

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    Nobody says 'waterproof', water resistant yes and usually a standard number. I would go for IPX 6 or higher.

    If it says IPX 5 or IPX 54 then I would not buy on that (low) level of water resistance
    .
    #22
  3. Oz-Strom

    Oz-Strom Still trying

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    Bumping this thread to enquire if anyone has come across a new GPS app for iPhone that they would recommend for using on the bike? Is there one that is able to have tracks/routes installed?
    I have used the Metroview app and had the iPhone in the tankbag map sleeve, and that works fine, but it is a basic app that can't do routes.

    Thanks

    I found this one - and TBAM mentioned in latest issue they are doing a review of it.

    http://www.mud-maps.com/

    [​IMG]

    Leave your mark...
    Wouldn't it be great to have a constant recording of your every movement so you can retrace your steps if you ever get lost.
    That's exactly what the MUD MAP Tracklog feature does! It automatically records your movements and displays them as a trail on your map. It also gives you the option to save just a snippet, or the entire length of your journey.

    http://www.mud-maps.com/images/apps/new/home_unforgetable.png


    Unforgetable.
    Have you ever discovered a great camp site or spot during your adventures and struggled to find it the next time? That will never happen again...
    With MUD MAP, you can use the Waypoints feature to mark any spot on your map, so that you can find it again and again, time after time.
    You can even share your spots with your friends using the mCloud social features. What are you waiting for?

    There is also a 4x4 GPS app they do.

    OK - they also have a 4x4 GPS app @ $199

    http://www.vms4x4.com/product-iphone-vms_app
    Some description from the itunes store

    THE VMS APP IS BUNDLED WITH COMPREHENSIVE 4X4 MAPS.

    SmartTOPO™ - TOPOGRAPHIC MAP OF AUSTRALIA
    Gregory's™ - TOURING & ACTIVITY MAPS

    ADD YOUR FAVOURITE MAPS

    • Provides flexibility to add over 3,000 raster maps.
    • Purchase online and download instantly.
    • Raster maps are digitized versions of the original paper maps from Australia’s leading map makers such as GeoScience, Westprint, Vicmap and many more...
    • Preview the entire range for free from www.mud-maps.com. Purchase and download immediately for use with the app.
    _______________________________________

    WAYPOINTS & TRACKLOGS

    • The tracklog feature records your every move & overlays your movements on a map.
    • Mark locations of interest with waypoints, like a great camp site.
    _______________________________________

    mCLOUD™ - ACCESS YOUR TRIP DATA ON ANY MAC OR PC

    • Effortlessly transfer Waypoints & Tracklogs from the app to your account.
    • No cables, no memory cards, it's all wireless & it just works.
    • Review & edit from any PC or Mac.
    • Simple enough for anyone to use.
    _______________________________________

    WHERE AM I™ - GETTING LOST IS A THING OF THE PAST

    • Displays your position in real time on the map.
    • Current Speed, Altitude, GPS Co-ordinate & accuracy.

    EDIT: I received this email advise when I enquired about track/route options.


    // Add your reply above here
    ==================================================
    From: Tech Support 11
    Subject: Question on iPhone app

    Hi Graham,

    Thank you for your inquiry. The VMS 4x4 app allows you to use something called Track Log. This will allow you to use your PC or Mac to plan a custom track or alternatively, as your on the track itself, to save the track as your riding on it.

    The app uses iTunes to sync your data onto the device and is free to download from Apple.

    View this PRIVATE Discussion online: http://vms4x4.tenderapp.com/help/dis...44d0bc41297222
    --
    #23
  4. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    I purchased Sygic a couple days ago and so far it's great. But I've only played with it a few times while commuting.

    Ask me again in a few weeks.

    http://www.sygic.com/en/iphone
    #24
  5. Oz-Strom

    Oz-Strom Still trying

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    Hey abhibeckert, am interested in your purchase of another app. Is this as a supplement to the MotionX app, or as a replacement?

    Look forward to your assessment and report, as I really need to get something soon, but am a GPS virgin for this sort of app.

    Has anyone tried using the battery pack add-ons for the iPhone? Or do most run it powered to the bike?
    #25
  6. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    An iPhone running navigation will burn through battery very fast on the bike. Direct wiring into the bike is the only practical solution. When you do this, be careful to check the power capability of the charger. Look for the "made for iPhone" label and check the current output. I believe you need a full 1 amp output to ensure it will keep up with the current draw of the phone itself. On my first attempt (iPhone 3GS) and a truck-stop 12-volt charger, my battery kept draining, even when connected to the bike. My cheap-ass charger simply couldn't keep up.

    Better yet- get a charger rated for the iPad - which can draw 2 full amps.

    I've run a iPhone 4 with a Griffin Power-Jolt charger with full Nav and continuous music for 17 hours on my bike with no problems.
    #26
  7. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    A supplement for sure. They are both useful for completely different tasks, though sometimes I'll have both running at once.

    My assessment so far is to get MotionX for navigating off road or on back roads, and for recording tracks to share with other riders. It has all the flexibility of paper maps, with a bunch of very handy features to make navigating easier. And it does a great job of recording your ride to be viewed later in the app, or in google earth on a PC. It uses OpenStreetMap for map data, which is a bit spotty sometimes, but MotionX is perfectly functional even if there are no maps at all where you're going, so it's not a big deal.

    But it doesn't do turn by turn navigation, and it's almost useless if you need to find a nearby petrol station.

    I'm not sure what the best GPS app is for street riding. The two I have are Sygic ($25) and NavFree (free). Sygic has a lot more features, and it uses commercial map data. NavFree has less features but it does have most of the important ones, and it uses openstreetmap.org's data.

    After using sygic for a while, I think the extra features are worth the price. But you could get by just fine without them. For example, sygic supports routes with multiple points along the way, and it shows you the speed limit, warns you if you're approaching some train tracks, tells you to what lane you need to be in, etc. Nice stuff, but not essential.

    The big difference is the map data. Sygic's map data has almost every road in australia, even tiny goat trails I wouldn't want to take my 690 down without someone to help me get out if I get bogged. So far I've only seen one or two tiny roads which weren't on sygic. In comparison, NavFree is missing a lot of minor roads, especially in remote australia, and street names are few and far between.

    On the other hand, Sygic is full of roads which flat out do not exist. They're all over the bloody place, if I ride for an hour in the places I like to ride, sygic might show me 20 or so side roads which simply aren't there. At first I thought maybe these were old roads which have been closed, or planned roads which were never built, but a lot of them make no sense at all, for example I saw a tiny side road that runs parallel to a major road and crosses river that would require a multi-million dollar bridge, and it wouldn't provide access to anything. There's no way that road ever existed or was ever planned to be built. And the built in database of speed limits is often wrong, it's handy but I wouldn't rely on it.

    Sygic's map data is technically better than NavFree's. But when there's something wrong on NavFree, I can, and regularly do, go in and fix it myself. And depending where in australia you're riding, I suspect NavFree might be a lot better than Sygic.

    I don't like the routing of sygic very much, it tries very hard to send me down all the most boring roads in the area, even if it means an extra hour or two of riding. NavFree is a little better, but still not great.

    My verdict is to get MotionX GPS if you want to work with tracks, and either NavFree or Sygic depending how much street riding you do. Maybe try NavFree first. I'd like to hear others opinions on the wide range of turn-by-turn apps available though, as many of them look very good and I'm too cheap to buy them all.

    If I turn the screen off and record a track with MotionX GPS, it will last about 6 or 7 hours from full to flat on the internal battery. If the screen is on, it lasts about 2 or 3 hours.

    A battery pack would help if you have no other choice, but if the shit hits the fan you're probably going to need your phone, so I think hard wiring it to the bike is the only way to go.
    #27
  8. Oz-Strom

    Oz-Strom Still trying

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    Thank you both for the useful information as always. I have the Metroview Aus nav app on my iPhone, but have only used it in the car, but it works OK for urban travelling and is only $25.

    I think I will hang off getting anything else until I can get a review of the Mudmap app for ADV riding.
    #28
  9. GodSilla

    GodSilla I did that.

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    Hi Abhibeckert, those non-existent roads are prolly gazetted roads that the councli has registered, but never constructed. There ar 2 near my little farm that cross the river on paper, but in reality are paddocks, but the council gazetted them so they appear in the software.
    Cheers.
    #29
  10. Oz-Strom

    Oz-Strom Still trying

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    The Griffin Power-Jolt SE V2 for iPad seems to be the go then
    #30
  11. spacekadet

    spacekadet Been here awhile

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    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.
    #31
  12. Oz-Strom

    Oz-Strom Still trying

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    #32
  13. viz

    viz I Ride Ms Piggy

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    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
    #33
  14. outback jack

    outback jack Long timer

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    #34
  15. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    Still using mine and it's going strong. Worn out and beat up from being dropped and rained on (in the recent SEQ floods I rode through 700km of monsoon rain without any protection other than my windshield, cars were going 40km under the speed limit most of the time and my phone was soaked... but no problems. Since then I put a condom around it though), sat on, shoved in the pocket with my keys, covered in oil while working on the bike (it's got my KTM owner manual, workshop manual, and part schematics on it).

    Only problem I've ever had is the rear camera lens is scratched to oblivion and can no-longer be used. There are replacement lenses on eBay for $3 but I haven't got off my butt and ordered one yet.

    Anyone who says it can't handle vibration is talking out of their ass. My KTM 690 thumper vibrates plenty, my handlebar mount has worn grooves into the glass (not over the screen) and even the solid steel rim is marked where it contacts the soft plastic mount, but the electronics haven't failed. I wish I could say the same about my bike's electrics... failing all over the place due to vibration. Looks like I'll have to buy a new wiring harness soon. The phone has done pretty much as many km's on my handlebars as the bike has done.

    I'm not entirely happy with the software, but most people aren't anywhere near as picky as me, and it seems like users of garmin's devices have many of the same complaints. I'm toying with launching my own Adv GPS app (I make iPhone apps at work), but not sure if it'll happen.

    Looking forward to replacing it with the new model at the end of my two year contract, no plans to try anything else. :thumb
    #35
  16. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    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.
    #36
  17. hoadie72

    hoadie72 Adventurer

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    I use an iPhone 3GS inside a Magellan Toughcase, on a generic RAM mount. It has it's own built-in GSP receiver, which is far superior to the 3GS's. Software-wise, I run TomTom & MemoryMap. Quite an expensive setup but I bought it for bushwalking (the Toughcase also has a battery), and is 100% waterproof and accepts a mini-USB cable for charging while on the road.

    [​IMG]
    #37
  18. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    I hope they release an updated model for the iPhone 4S (or perhaps wait for the iPhone 5?) and skip the built in GPS and battery.

    I think the iPhone 4S GPS receiver is as good or better than the Magellan one, and the battery just adds weight and bulk and $$$ to a unit that is always powered by my bike anyway.

    The magellan toughcase is the only IPX7 case I've seen so far, which is necessary if you don't have a windshield to protect it from highway speed rain.
    #38
  19. hoadie72

    hoadie72 Adventurer

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    It would've been nice if they'd designed the case a little more generically so it could fit an iPhone 4 / 4s.

    If I ever go down the route of using a newer phone I'll look at one of the soft case offerings from Givi.
    #39
  20. TPER Chief

    TPER Chief Adventurer

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    hi there guys I am looking at running my iphone4 as my gps, looks like mudmaps is the best solution from this thread. Has anyone run the hema maps app on there phone ? As they tend to be the better maps and details for far outback travel with no phone reception. I know they make a GPS unit too. Any Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    cheers
    #40