Stand alone GPS using Droid

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by rizzo1968, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. rizzo1968

    rizzo1968 Adventurer

    Apr 20, 2011
    I was wondering if anyone is using android smart phone as a stand alone gps...I have a unused phone without a data plan.. I would like to install a mapping program on the phone to use...any recommendations would be great thanks for the help
  2. BeefEater

    BeefEater BR 549

    Feb 27, 2012
    I have used my DROID x as a primary gps before....
    Mich better than nothing but would prefer a hardwired dedicated unit. If I had used a hardwire kit for the bike I may have liked it better but running the GPS and all of the other applications on the phone was not good for the battery life. There is a ongoing discussion about this very same topic in the GPS laying tracks section of the forum. I know there were some programs that were mentioned but I cannot remember which ones. May want to check it out and see if they can point you in the right direction
    Good luck with it
  3. LetItRoll

    LetItRoll ForwardAholic

    Jul 14, 2010
    North Central Idaho
    Maverick off-road Gps (has highways also) works offline if you pre-run the area(s) you are going to need. There is also a way to preload regions onto your microsd card from another program, that method is for tech saavy people. Has multiple map options, the one i use appears to be real photographs from aerials, and the image quality is amazing (seems to be higher mag. and sharper than google earth). Check it out if you plan on doing alot of dirt roads, and more remote places.
  4. Ghostyman

    Ghostyman Been here awhile

    Sep 5, 2011
    LA face with the Oakland booty
  5. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

    Jul 12, 2007
    Charlotte, N.C.
    I just started using Co Pilot Live for Android on my Galaxy S4. It is more of a regular GPS with turn by turn navigation that uses the GPS function and downloaded (off data) maps. You only need data connection to download the app and map. I think I got it for $9.95 which included free download of entire US map. Pretty good deal and very versatile.

    I also love the routing function as it gives you three alternate route options and you select your route or select your own route by just drgging the route. This is really how I envision GPS to work- simple and effective. You also get a 1 year free live traffic. Some of the quick route options that I feel that every GPS should have is the detour function. When you encounter traffic or require detour, you can hit the detour and it will prompt to detour next 2, 5 or 10 miles as to avoid the entire road block. Cool idea.

    Just my opinion from a user.

  6. Reddoggie

    Reddoggie Adventurer

    Dec 21, 2011
    North Colorado
    Just downloaded and can't wait to try it. Looks awesome.
  7. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

    Jul 12, 2007
    Charlotte, N.C.
    I am liking it so far. Just remember to restart your smartphone after installing the map. As stated, the Co Pilot is more of a regular GPS w/ Turn by Turn Navigation that works off data and uses the built in GPS functions in your smartphone but certainly not as versatile as DSM or similar which is geared for off road and using tracks versus routes, etc.

    The entire US Map which is included in the $9.95 price did take about 1.4 Gig of memory and so you may want to install to an SD card if your phone supports it.

  8. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

    Jul 21, 2004
    I've used many Garmin units and several phone+maps combos.

    I have yet to see a phone combo that comes even remotely close to being as good as a dedicated unit. Battery life, GPS signal loss, screen visibility in Sunlight, user interface, map and POI coverage - all that stuff combined makes dedicated units substantially better than the best phone GPS.

    And with prices what they are, I don't see the point in even trying. Some of the 4" units can be had for <$50 if you shop around.
  9. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

    Apr 29, 2011
    Cuernavaca, Mx, Gloucester, UK
    The biggest issues for me are weather protection and the ability to read the screen in direct sunlight. I have used waterproof cases in the past, but charging the phone at the same time is problematic. I had a problem with the Samsung GS3 overheating and suspending chraging in direct sunlight.

    That said, I do use the app Sygic, and often the voice turn-by-turn directions are good enough to keep my phone in the tankbag or pocket. It's generally an excellent app, and has even the tiniest villages in Mexico. I can only assume the coverage in the US will be equal or better.

    Although not 100% accurate, I have a $170 refurbished Garmin Nuvi 500 that I use with custom maps for general "I don't know where I am, get me home" directions in Mexico.
  10. spinney

    spinney n00b

    Jun 21, 2013
    Does anyone have any experience using an iPhone with an earbud in their ear for GPS? Google Maps for iPhone is pretty good I feel so I was curious if anyone had used it on a long bike trip.
  11. quattroman

    quattroman Adventurer

    Jun 8, 2011
    Riverview, FL
    For Free you can try NavFree. Download by country/state. I have for low/no reception areas. Pretty good.

    Drawbacks, you will need data to search for Location Names (shops, parks, etc); but if you have the address to the place you want to go then type that in and presto.

    Voice turn by turn included. GPS speed (and I believe max MPH for the street).

    More features I haven't tried.
  12. Virtual Rider

    Virtual Rider Traveler

    Jun 27, 2005
    I find my Motorola Razr to be a good GPS for what I've used it for. It does a great job of capturing location quickly and staying accurate. I can see a need for a specialized ap to use it in more remote places.

    I had an HTC somethingorother before and the GPS was completely worthless. I think it tried to use tower triangulation most of the time and end up being very inaccurate in most cases. So this may be obvious but make sure your spare phone will get a good location lock before you bother with any new ap
  13. snoman002

    snoman002 Been here awhile

    Mar 15, 2013
    Another NavFree user here. It uses open source maps so I'm guessing there is a way to custom load some off-road maps, not sure though.

    It isn't perfect, but I have yet to find one that is.

    If your handy with a soldering iron you could make your phone charge wirelessly, or buy one that is already, and then charging with a waterproof case becomes easier.
  14. Dustinbrwn

    Dustinbrwn Adventurer

    Oct 25, 2013
    I have been messing around with my nexus 7 for a gps and came up with this setup...
    I use the Osmand app, and download the area I want to use for offline. I then use a topo layer from the opencyclemaps within the app itself.
    I then use google maps to make a route, download the KML file, use to convert to GPX file, transfer that to the osmand app and load it up. Its working great so far.
    I have my tablet mounted with the RAM tablet holder, and then a dual USB 3.1a plugin to charge it.
    The only thing is in direct sunlight its hard to see, and its not waterproof.
  15. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Sep 21, 2010
    BROUTER version .9.2
    ORUXMAPS version 5.5.2


    completely offline on and OFFROAD tracking, route PLANNING, route FOLLOWING, route navigation, exporting to GPX/KMZ/KML, importing from GPX/KMZ/KML, emailing to others, bluetoothing to others, sharing maps, wpts, tracks, routes, CURRENT LOCATION of either user, with a really good interface.

    oruxmaps is my go-to.

    a very close second (but doesnt have the offroad capabilities nearly as well) is


    osmand is also completely offline, if needed, but not as good at offroad stuff, or as quick as oruxmaps. the UI is cludgy, but easy to use with a little time.

    after many tries with the others, those two (brouter is for offline routing only) came out on top for me.

    others that are good, but just not my preferenced apps:

    dualsportmaps (prolly the best after oruxmaps)
    maverick pro (very nice tracker)
    sygic (sucks, doesn't like working offline)
    waze (social networking boon)
    google maps (if you cache before hand, still very limited)

    and a few others. given the choice of a $600+ gps unit, with all kinds of cool features and a 3-6" screen, i'd take an old android phone and oruxmaps over it, even if i didn't get to pocket the $500+ difference.

    yep sure would