what am I missing?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Rubberlegs, May 22, 2014.

  1. Rubberlegs

    Rubberlegs Been here awhile

    May 11, 2013
    I see that a lot of inmates are using their mobile phones (aka Iphone) as a GPS.

    I have done this in the past as well,

    cheap since I already have an Iphone, I like to listen to music while riding so the voice prompts work pretty good.

    some of the issues I have,
    - I do not have a water proof case and no way of mounting it to see the screen and even if I did, the screen is pretty small.
    - google maps is ok for getting to a city or a postal/zip code but it totally sucks for finding nearby things (will direct you to a gas station far away when you sometimes have one nearby)
    - DATA, most map programs use data. I do not have a data plan for the US and a lot of the places I ride have no 3G or cell data.

    so my question is, how are you guys finding your way around these issues?

  2. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

    Oct 21, 2008
    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
    Umm, not using Google Maps? :D

    There is CoPilot, TomTom, Sygic, and others all of which contain downloadable maps and do not require a data plan to navigate.

    In fact, I am not sure about the fascination with Google Maps.

    I've attached my phones (iPhone 4 and Nexus 4) to my bike using a RAM X-Grip mount successfully. Wouldn't be great for off-road riding, but works great on-road.

    There are lots of discussions about using a smartphone as a GPS in these GPS forums...
  3. worwig

    worwig Long timer

    Nov 30, 2009
    Hog Mountain
    Small screen. You chose the iPhone. There are many choices in smartphones. Some of them make a normal GPS device look tiny.
    I use an open RAM finger grip mount. I seldom have an issue with the rain. The few times I do, I just put away the smartphone and don't use it. I find that during the rain I don't care for any GPS distraction anyway, so even though I can find ways around the rain issue, I don't bother. I do carry a clear bag that I can slip over the phone called an aLocSak. It is transparent and seals it well. Just in case I really want routing in a heavy rain. But even then, I typically hide the smartphone and just listen to the Bluetooth.
    Edit: One day I did make a 'game' out of the ride in the rain. I had been out all day and didn't bring any rain gear with me. It started to rain, and I slipped my phone into a bag and brought up a live radar. I was about an hour from home, but it took me about three hours to get home as I road around in circles avoiding the dark clouds on radar. I found a number of interesting roads that day, and stayed fairly dry. :rofl

    Google maps. Seldom use that. I use offline maps most of the time like OSMand or CoPilot. If you are going to use Google online maps often, you are doing something I don't. use the Gasbuddy app to find the nearest station.

    See the previous comment on software. Offline data may work most of the time, but relying on it is a bad idea IMHO. Plus the constant data downloading eats the batteries, and make the smartphone run hot. Just a bad idea IMHO.
  4. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Sep 21, 2010