iPhone + Navigon vs a real gps

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by doctor_big, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. rmcc

    rmcc Adventurer

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    It will keep ii in place with rotation lock yes. But restrict you from using landscape option.

    On the "inorotate" application it gives you a few seconds to rotate to portrait or landscape after you open up the application and THEN it locks it down which is kind of nice if you prefer a landscape view for the nav.

    Also it allows you to specify which programs you want to lock down and which you want to allow to remain landscape/portrait capable. BUT it only allows you to do that to the following programs:

    ipod
    sms/mms
    mail
    safari
    notes
    contacts

    all the other apps on the phone are a blanket restriction (like the included option on iOS4)

    But yes, thank you for bringing that up, the rotation lock does work effectively for eliminating the portrait/landscape flip/flop AND no jailbreak is required.
    #21
  2. rmcc

    rmcc Adventurer

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    The value and capability an iPhone or Android phone brings for the price you pay is FAR BEYOND what a Garmin GPS brings for the same money. Plus it's a developable platform that can be constantly tweaked and upgraded to fit an ever expanding field of uses.

    You can download very good terrain maps and decent road maps for free from motionX gps and store them (limited only to storage space on your phone) so you do not need to use a data connection once you are on the road.

    The user interface is very easy to use and has limitless options for customization. The downside to motionX gps application is no turn-by-turn guidance option. You need a different application for that such as Navigon/MotionX Drive (much like the terrain maps for a Garmin vs the road maps are a different animal)

    Eventually these issue will be worked out as I have been an iPhone user since June2007 and the rate at which development takes place has been rapid. The iPhone application capability is limited by who steps up to develop the platform for an end user. Our depth of use for a GPS is much wider then the average person so we are a hard bunch to please (hence why I was using 3-4 different nav applications on my trip for different situations)

    Our problem as "Adventure Riders" is there is not a great solution that address both on/off road and multiple country user that could be driving/riding/walking. Typically a GPS is geared toward a specific end user navigation task.

    The major weaknesses for motorcycle users on a ride with the iPhone (or any capacitive touch screen device) is the lack of physical buttons to press with gloves on (this will be addressed in time as there are solutions popping up and I am working on my own) and it's also not weather hardened. I did not experience overheating yet because I have not ridden it in a hot environment with my iPhone.

    I did however get caught in some gnarly rain/snow and while stopping at a gas station came up with this funny solution to get me by for the day (and carried extras just in case I got caught in the rain again and did not want to stow my phone)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I do know there are waterproof options out there for the iPhone that have been pioneered by the cycling community... I will check that out and report!
    #22
  3. Bryn1203

    Bryn1203 Dances with spaniels

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    rmcc - thanks very much for that. This noobee learn't a lt from that.
    Cheers :clap :D
    #23
  4. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer Super Supporter Supporter

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    #24
  5. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

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    If my premonition is correct, I lived through this same thread roughly a year ago.

    First, 5-6 hundred is a bit of an exaggeration isn't it, more like 2-3? Also, 60 on the software is an exaggeration isn't it, more like 15-20?

    The contract and monthly bill is NOT an exaggeration. You pay to play, but that includes a ton of things beyond this thread.

    Buy a Nuvi and suffer the pain.
    #25
  6. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    http://www.youtube.com/v/umDr0mPuyQc

    <object height="385" width="640">
    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/umDr0mPuyQc?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="385" width="640"></object>
    #26
  7. mantan

    mantan Been here awhile

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    Where is the auto-rotate lock? I have ios4 on my 3GS iphone and could not find it in Settings. I have been looking for this feature, esp. for the Navigon app. Help!
    #27
  8. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

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    Keep in mind that the iphone limits your apps, and costs alot more.

    On a droids back country navagator is 7.99. All the maps are free.

    Also with the app glue trail. You can literally take a picture of any map, resize and overlay it to Google maps, and run your gps off of the picture. It works great

    I didn't realize you could buy waterproof Touchscreen cases?

    Any ways I made one very easily. Your right the touch screen does not work that well with gloves on. But on the flip side we should be riding and not programming while we are riding.


    #28
  9. dpifko

    dpifko Can u smell the It's Its?

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    RMCC - that was a great writeup comparing apps. Thank you. It really should be stickied somewhere since this same question comes up. And that is an awesome waterproofing case ;-)

    To the original poster - it really does depend on how and where you ride. The good thing is that you can get a bucket-full of apps to cover all of these situations for less than the price of many Garmin accessories. Furthermore, you get to choose the package that's right for you, not whatever bundle the GPS maker determines you should have.

    As you mentioned, one of the big advantages of the iPhone for me was its ability to be expanded based on content from independent developers (independent from TomTom, Garmin and Navigon, and other physical GPS makers, that is).

    I have a hundred ideas for how to use a Garmin device, even integrating it with an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, but not having an open programming environment pretty much puts an end to that party. TomTom is a little better in that you can hack the machine, but few real consumers do so.

    It's funny that the news bits are all about the open/closedness of iPhone vs. Android when, in reality, they both make it WAAAAAAY easier for 3rd software to get to customers than do TomTom or Garmin or, for that matter, the keepers of the java phone generation that came before iPhone/Android.

    That, plus the ruggedness of the iPhone. I'm on a dual sport right now (duh, it's advrider) and expect to go down in the dirt from time to time. I don't think the iPhone will take the impact well, and I don't want to lose both my GPS and phone access if I can avoid it. That's why I usually ride with my GPS up front and my iPhone in a bag/box/pocket.

    Amen. ;-)

    Daniel
    #29
  10. iLander

    iLander Been here awhile

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    I've been checking out different options for my iPhone as a GPS and this thread covers most of the questions I had.

    One more: I've got a powerlet socket + a cigarette lighter adapter which would allow me to use the iPhone car charger as a power source while on the bike. Are there any other options for connecting the phone to, say, the battery? I only have one socket & usually use it for heated gear.
    #30
  11. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer Super Supporter Supporter

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    There are some good options. The elegant (but expensive) solution is to buy this harness from Powerlet: http://www.powerlet.com/product/apple-3g-3gs-4g-itouch-battery-harness/421 It does exactly what you want.

    Another is to make something yourself. I had an extra cigarette-lighter USB adapter lying around. I would like to be able to recharge my Cardo Scala G4 Bluetooth gizmo on the bike. It uses a micro-USB connector, but it is same principle as the iPhone charging. I canibalized the tiny circuit board inside, added some power leads, and potted it in a little plastic box:
    [​IMG]
    I potted in the USB>microUSB wire, but could have used an iPhone power cord just as easily. Now I will wire this into an open circuit on my fuse block.
    #31
  12. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    What model iPhone do you have? I had an iPhone 3G, and upgraded to an iPhone 4. The 3G would auto-rotate all the freaking time and drive me mad, while the iPhone 4 only does it once an hour or so, usually while parking the bike or overtaking someone at warp speed. And it always goes back to the proper orientation after half a second.

    Mind you, I mostly use Motion X GPS which doesn't have any rotation at all. So my observation only comes from occasional use of other software.

    With the touch screen, it depends on what gloves you have and what mount you have. RAM claims their screen makes the iPhone completely unusable, but it works fine with with cheap third party water proof mounts. For gloves... my wet weather gloves don't work at all, the thin light ones I wear for summer commuting work perfectly, while the in between gloves I normally wear are problematic, sometimes I have to press the buttons a second or third time (especially when it's also behind the mount's waterproof screen.

    As for rugged... I've crashed my bike many times while the iPhone is in it's mount (which is a dodgy gym armband + zip ties. I just bought a proper mount that offers good protection but have not used it yet) and the iPhone is undamaged even when I've come out of it in pretty bad shape. It also *usually* comes out ok after an encounter with water. Mine has handled occasional use in rain when I couldn't avoid it, just try not to let too much water get into the headphone and charging ports and speakers (the touch screen will get confused when your fingers are wet, but it's glass and you can just dry it off). Friends of mine have done stuff like drop their phone in a full coffee cup. Usually it comes out unscathed, sometimes it needed to be repaired. Don't know anyone who's had to replace their phone due to water, but it obviously could happen to you.

    It's a bit of a shame no-one is putting in the extra effort to make their products more rugged and water resistant. If you can do it with a watch, why not a phone? Also, companies have demo'd technology to make electronics 100% water proof. I've seen youtube videos of iPhone's being used for hours while sitting in the bottom of a fish tank with no case, but none of these products are available yet (it was some kind of silicon type protection that they spray on the internal components of the phone, nothing on the outside needs protecting - it's all just glass and aluminium).

    I'm told apple has technology in the phone which will record water, extreme temperatures or humidity and sudden impacts even when the phone is turned off. Any of these will void your warranty. But in general, it is very well built from strong rigid materials with zero moving parts, and non-water proof but tight seals that prevent water from getting to the sensitive parts. Your home and contents insurance, or even your phone company, may cover accidental damage of your iPhone as well. I have protection from accidental damage/loss/theft for $8/month.
    #32
  13. bairesman

    bairesman Road warrior

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    Hi there,
    Like many of you I would like to try the Iphone as my GPS, problem is I live in Buenos Aires and we only have a single reliable (still in the works) map source and that is proyectomapear.com.ar (free source of GPS maps of Argentina) They support both Garmin and TomTom GPS devices. Is there any Iphone app that will allow me to use any of these maps, I mean being able to upload these maps as they get updated?
    Thanks much,
    Martin
    #33
  14. lilmonkey

    lilmonkey Been here awhile

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    ...and for those of you who would like to solve the controlling your capacitive touch/iphone screens...

    http://www.quirky.com/products/37-Digits-Conductive-Glove-Pins

    I've been using them this winter and they do work. They are smaller in person than the pictures lead you to believe. Basically a small pinhole and you're in business. I have been using just the index, found the thumbs to be a bit clunky.

    Use a bit of threadlocker to keep them on.
    Awesome.
    #34
  15. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    Nice find! :clap
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  16. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

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    I heard aluminum foil works but I've never tried it, my regular old riding gloves have leather that wraps around the tips of my fingers and it works fine with the touch screen.
    #36
  17. Chisenhallw

    Chisenhallw Avowed Pussbag

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    Guys, you don't even need to do that. Go to a local craft/fabric store, and get some metallic thread. Stitch a star or asterisk shape into your first finger and thumb. Voila. You don't have to take off your gloves to manipulate your iphone.
    #37
  18. moulin6801

    moulin6801 Been here awhile

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    Hey, how about no signal on the phone, you are out of the GPS.... I have both installed on my handle bar, sometimes I even use the iPhone map as a back up/2nd source, but the GPS is the one that never fails. Besides, if you get a phone call, than you can't use the GPS, and that may be in a dire moment..
    Cheers.
    #38
  19. nanotech9

    nanotech9 ** Slidewayz **

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    I usually wear thin MX gloves on my bikes... I velcro the phone to the tank to play tunes etc. I usually just lick the leather on my glove finger and it works great to run the iphone... sucks in the cold, but otherwise, its good.
    #39
  20. earthmuffin

    earthmuffin Adventure Commuter

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    My iphone completely saved our OBDR trip summer before last. Rolled up to the first forest service road, fired up the 60csx and realized that there had been an error loading the tracks. Luckily I had backed the tracks up into MotionX GPS and predownloaded the maps for the route. We did over 800 miles on gravel over the next 7 days and the iphone was our only navigation source.

    I did fight overheating in the middle of the day.
    Bottom line, it works but its not optimum. I would choose a dedicated GPS any day, but the iphone serves as a great backup and I'm glad we had it. Personally, though, I rather let my iphone snap some great pics and vids along the way and call my wife every once in awhile to let her know I'm still alive.
    #40