iPad Mini as GPS Using Sygic, CoPilot, Motion-X GPS Drive Apps

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Meff, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Meff

    Meff half way there...

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    I just completed a 10 day trip and only used the iPad Mini as navigation alternating between Sygic, CoPilot, Motion-X GPS Drive, and even a little Google Maps when I was in cellular coverage. Sygic and CoPilot were my defaults but the more I used Motion-X GPS Drive, the more I liked it. All 3 had offline maps, streaming bluetooth music and turn by turn to my Sena SMH10 that worked exceptionally well. Plus, I had TripAdvisor, NOAA Satellite Weather and the entire internet at my fingertips when needed. Fantastic set up and made the trip that much better. It's very hard to pick a winner from the 3 Apps as each has their own strengths, but all have very few weaknesses compared to the Garmin.

    [​IMG]

    The set up worked like a champ with no issues. I'll try to find the time to do a detailed report on each of the 3 Apps and the iPad Mini set up but here's the short form.

    Set up:

    iPad Mini w/Retina Display (with cellular plan)
    TechArmour AntiGlare screen protector
    LifeProof Nuud waterproof case and LifeProof cradle
    Various Ram Ball mounts/arms to the cradle (which uses an AMPS mount)
    Powered by an SW Motech 12V powered tank bag

    I still brought the Garmin 350LM in case the iPad failed and ended up using it mostly for one touch gas station searches and compass, elevation, speed, etc...

    Also mounted the GPS Gen3 SPOT

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I won't be going back to the Garmin for navigation any time soon. Although I know the set up looks cluttered it was not intrusive at all and I had full visibility to my dash and all the gear was out of view unless I glanced down at it. The larger size of the iPad Mini screen made it easier for quick viewing and the added features of the Apps made the entire experience better than trips I've done with just the Garmin.

    As these GPS Apps continue to evolve it's going to be very tough for Garmin and the like to keep pace as the overall functionality is superior.
    #1
  2. Berty222

    Berty222 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the info. Will use my iPad Mini 4 ( wifi+cellular model), but without a sim card in it , on a 2 week trip on the west coast next july.

    I use Pocket Earth Pro and love it. Offline maps are dowloadable, section by section and aren't too heavy . Easy to import GPX files from BaseCamp.

    Will check out the ones you use.

    Cheers
    #2
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  3. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I just bought the same device! So far, I've only used Co-Pilot. Have not heard of Pocket Earth Pro but I'll check it out. For me, I need lots of offline maps because I travel all around the West where's there no service, and I rarely know in advance where I'm going. Being retired, I have the luxury of loading up the bike and heading down the road with only a vague idea of where I want to go or how many days I'll be gone.
    I know I can get Navigon, but I loathe the idea of giving any money to Garmin for anything. :bash
    #3
  4. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    would you guys with the iphones and ipads please give Galileo (free or pro) a quick run and review here on advrider ? that would be cool to see how it compares to your current apps of interest.

    thanks !
    #4
  5. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    ohgood,
    GalileoPro has become my app of choice (on-road rider only, no off-road). I create the tracks in Tyre, save the file as gpx. I'll put that gpx file into Dropbox and just open it with GalileoPro. The tracks I create follow the road path very well down to 500' of resolution. I also have CoPilot Premium, it is really good if all you want is take me from A to B (ala Google maps) and show me all the fuel and food along the way, but I don't need this type of navigation much, as I typically take the curviest option possible out in the middle of BFE.
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  6. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    Meff,
    Give GalileoPro a shot, I think you'll like it. :) My wife has an iPad Mini, and I knew it would make one heck of a great GPS. I think it's a little too big for my bike though, looks good on the Duc though. :)
    #6
  7. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    wow that was fast, thank you scooter!
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  8. Meff

    Meff half way there...

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    Thanks Berty - it's been about 18 months since I posted this and I still love the iPad Mini for Nav although I did not get a large trip in last year - too damn busy. I'll take a look at Pocket Earth Pro as suggested as I'm always up for trying new apps but am not a fan of Basecamp for routing.

    Looking at the original map I posted above - I should just do that again this year as it was a phenomenal trip.
    #8
  9. Meff

    Meff half way there...

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    Hey thanks Scootertrog - I'll try the Galileo Pro as well.

    Everything looks good on the Duc :-)
    #9
  10. Crusader26

    Crusader26 Adventurer

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    I have an upcoming TAT trip and I am working through my GPS situation. I can't stomach buying a ZUMO, it seems like its artificially expensive and I purchased the Montana from Cabela's but returned it (i didn't find it user friendly). So, I am leaning towards using my iPad mini, which I already have. It is the wifi only version but I am going to buy the Dual GPS receiver (http://gps.dualav.com/explore-by-product/xgps150a/) and utilize an app to make it a functioning GPS unit. Can anyone see any glaring issues with this?

    I have experience using the Dual GPS receiver (and BadElf) in the air, but never on the ground. My logic is that if I trust it on the Final Approach Fix in the clouds, it should be reliable enough on the ground...
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  11. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    I do not have experience with bad elf or Garmin glo. I am interested in seeing what you find. most of my phones are older so ble is not available, and Bluetooth would likely be a battery killer for me.

    im speculating here, but if my four year old smartphone can handle tracking through dense canopy, those purpose built unis you're looking at should blow it away.
    #11
  12. Crusader26

    Crusader26 Adventurer

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    Yeah thats what I'm thinking. One additional bonus of using a GPS receiver like the BadElf is that it feeds data to all apps that require satellite info to operate. So, theoretically I could search for things around me (shops, gas, etc.).

    If I don't end up using a GPS receiver, I'm just gonna pick up an old phone and use it. I refuse to pay Garmin big money for a GPS. I think it is outdated and kinda a rip off... IMO.
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  13. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    It's been awhile but back in my pre Montana days when I was trying to use an iPhone, I kept having issues with it over heating. I'm sure riding in Tx during the summer didn't help. How are the minis holding up as far as robustness?
    #13
  14. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    I'm trying a few apps and the main difference between the Montana is that with apps I can't tell which roads are dirt but on the Montana win CNNA I easily can. Is there an app with distinct lines for dirt roads?
    #14
  15. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Pocket Earth--no
    Co-Pilot--no
    MotionX-GPS HD--no

    That's all I got.

    Who's got Navigon? What about Navigon? Navigon is basically CNNA for us.
    #15
  16. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    I've got Navigon, it's a no. It does have a nice feature where it will give you a choice of fastest, shortest or most scenic route. The scenic is great to get ideas if you're slabbing it and I wish it was built into the Montana.
    Here's an image from Motion X. Some of these roads, which you can barely see, are dirt.

    IMG_9728.jpg


    Here's a similar shot, although not the same area on the Montana with the CNNA map
    IMG_9729.jpg

    I'm just curious how people are using the iPad mini, and how you can see anything on it. Google maps used to be much easier to see until they changed it. Now it's as bad as Apple maps with faint white lines on a white background and no street labeling until you zoom so far in you can't tell where you are anymore.
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  17. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Co-Pilot offers 14 different color schemes, and you can choose different ones for night and day. You can probably find one you like. Street labeling is decent, though for my tired old eyes the font size is too small.
    #17
  18. Meff

    Meff half way there...

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    I've not had any overheating issues with the iPad set up no. I think the antiglare coating reduces some heat and the fact that my setup has it "out in the breeze" also contributes to keeping it cool. I've done multiple back to back hot summer days of 10-12 hours with no issues.
    #18
  19. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    What app did you use?
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  20. Meff

    Meff half way there...

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    My entire setup and apps used are in the first post.
    #20