iPhone + Navigon vs a real gps

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

  1. JasonLester

    JasonLester Riding north

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    Scott its not perfect. But it's not bad at all. I have used it plenty around town and other than a few little route oddities I really like it. It's never not gotten me there it just one time tried to take me on an odd route. If I hadn't known the area I wouldn't have seen it.
    It's probably as good as my cheap tom-tom I have in the car.

    I haven't figured out to get it to play audio through my Scala rider yet but it's not a big deal yet.

    Well worth it IMO
  2. workinboy

    workinboy n00b

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    Hey guys. Maybe someone here will be able to help me out. This is what I'm trying to do:

    I have mapped out routes via Google Maps on the web and saved the routes as a KML file. Now, I am trying to find an application for the iPhone that will take the KML file (or GPX) and deliver turn by turn directions. Do I need to convert the KML file to something else? If so, how can I go about that?

    Waze won't take the KML files. I've looked at iNomad and couldn't figure out how to work it.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks guys!
  3. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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  4. GravelRider

    GravelRider AKA max384 Supporter

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    Just another update on my feelings on using the iPhone with Navigon as a GPS.

    Firstly, I'm sick to death of iPhones. I've had an iPhone for over four years now and I think it will be the last apple product I ever buy. I'm having problems with chargers, the phone cutting off on me, it's very slow, the screen is becoming progressively more unresponsive, the battery life is terrible, and just keeps getting worse, and it freezes quite often. I've had my most current one for about a year and a half now. Considering the cell phone companies do two year contracts for reduced phone prices, it shouldn't be too much to expect the phone to actually last two years.

    Okay, onto Navigon. At first I loved it. However, the longer I use it, the more I've grown to hate it. It very often plots quite bizarre routes that are obviously not optimal. The heads up display (or whatever it's called) switches between 'expected arrival time' and 'time until arrival' seemingly at random. The number of POIs are very poor. My four year old TomTom that has never been updated has more POIs than Navigon. The Navigon GPS has trouble recognizing turns. It will often tell me that I have let's say 12 miles until the next turn. Okay, I don't have to keep my eyes glued to the screen, right? Well, unfortunately, not all turns are listed as turns. By this, I mean the route line follows the turn and if my eyes were on the screen, I'd see I had to make a turn. However, the app treats the turn like part of the road I was on, so it never tells me a turn is coming up. I don't know how many times I've glanced down just to see that my next turn is a u-turn because I missed my last one. For the longest time, I thought I just wasn't paying attention and kept kicking myself for it. However, I eventually discovered that it was the GPS, not me. Conversely, it often tells me a turn is coming up when in reality, it's just a curve in the road. It's quite bizarre actually.

    This brings up another very annoying habit of Navigon. When I enter a destination, I generally get two or three route choices. Often times if I miss a turn and get back onto the route I was on it will have already recalculated out a new route using one of the other route options from the beginning. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as I would hope that it would replot a shorter route for me if I miss a turn. However, if I get right back onto the route, I shouldn't have to deal with an alternate route. Also, it often plots a longer route, not a shorter or the same rate.

    A couple of months ago I was heading back home from Erie, PA. I had chosen a route to take me home (all I really needed was to get out of the city). I was coming up to a left hand turn according to the GPS. I looked and noticed that the GPS had me make a left, then two rights, and then another left just to get right back on the street I was currently on. Well, that was obviously a mistake, so I just headed straight instead of taking the detour around the block. By skipping that small section, it recalculated my route. Before skipping that small part, my ETA was 5.5 hours. After it recalculated, it gave me a route that was 9.5 hours ETA. That's just absolutely terrible.

    I've tried using my Navigon app in the car with friends, and it has been a running joke for quite some time not to let me use my iPhone for GPS because it will take us the wrong way. Why the joke? Well, it's less of a joke and more of just reality. I have/had four other dedicated GPS units. Navigon on the iPhone doesn't come close to competing with any of them.

    At the end of the year when my contract is up and I get a new non-Apple phone, I've been debating whether I want to celebrate by shooting the phone full of holes or smashing it on the sidewalk (as I've daydreamed of doing many times). It really is a tough decision. I will also be purchasing a waterproof stand-alone GPS unit for my motorcycle. I'm likely getting the Nuvi 550.
  5. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Just for laughs, while in a rental truck yesterday I used my iPhone with Sygic, a gps app which was 2/3 off in the iStore for a limited time. I'm a sucker for gps units and apps.

    Sygic uses TomTom maps, and looks really full featured when you read the specs. The maps are all pre-loaded to the unit, so there's no need for web or data connections.

    I asked Sygic to guide me to a U-Haul depot in town, and as I got to where I knew the depot was, the app kept telling me to pull a U turn, so it didn't have the right info in it to find this major street which has been the same for years.

    I find the best way to see if the gps app is dependable is to use it when you already know how to get somewhere. That way you don't need to trust the thing, and you can tell when it's just plain wrong.

    That's why I usually use my Garmin Montana with multiple maps loaded.
  6. workinboy

    workinboy n00b

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    Thanks for the response. So if I don't download it as a KML file and just share the link with a website that will convert it to a GPX (http://www.gpsies.com/upload.do?uploadMode=convert), will it still keep it as a route? If so, once I have that GPX file, is there any iPhone app that will allow it to be imported and then deliver turn-by-turn directions? Maybe the official Garmin or tomtom app? Navigon?

    Thanks!
  7. voodoodoo

    voodoodoo n00b

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    Iphone works great as motorbike navi if you buy the right gadgets to mount&waterproof it.
    I'm using a lifeproof case and mount kit. The mount kit is compatible with any gopro mount.
    U need to mod it a little to be able to charge when it is mounted. I cut away some of the plastic and also made a silicone"plug" for the powercord to make it more waterproof.

    To plot the routes im using Navigon as it is the only Navi app so far that let me plan wich roads to drive by plotting them directly on the map. Im mostly planning&plotting on my ipad and mail the route to the iphone after i'm done.
    Just click on the link in the inbox and the route pops up on your phone.
    You can then store it locally if you like.

    The screen on the iphone is quite bright if you adjust it manually

    Im using scala g4 for audio to helmet and com to passengers and fellow riders

    I've been using this setup for 2 seasons with 2 trips from Norway trough Europe. 16 days each time. No problems yet..
  8. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

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    Navigon on an iPhone 4 saved my bacon when my $$$$ Zumo 550 took a crap in Europe. I was able to navigate for 2 days until I could replace the 550. I will use it as a backup GPS. It is mounted in a RAM bar mount so I can glance at other nice things like real time weather radar. Oh, it's also a phone, text messenger, email device too.
  9. edtheslowrider

    edtheslowrider Been here awhile Supporter

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    I've just been learning this stuff. Seems the trick is to forget ROUTES and go with TRACKS. For the moto so much better to craft your own track (GPX).
    Motion X on the iPhone seems to be working pretty good for me so far (on road navigation only). Instead of following directions, just follow the line on the map. There's a pretty good thread here with how-to for saving & importing.
    Can also pre load maps covering your track in case you're out of cell range. For the price I'm liking it.
  10. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer Supporter

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    Try CoPilot GPS for navigation. It is available for both Android and Iphone and there is a free version that will get you started. And the paid versions (well worth it IMHO) are not that expensive. Map data is not as accurate in some areas as Navigon (or Garmin) but functionally I think it works much better than either, and the errors are usually not that big a problem.

    Oh, and I couldn't agree more regarding the Iphone. Used one for a few months before dumping it and going to Android. Been happy ever since. Just be aware, you can't transfer your CoPilot license from an Iphone to an Android.
  11. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    ALL smartphones make lousey cell phones. Android phones suck just as much as iPhones, which suck just as much as Crackberry's. That's what you get when you try to shove all that multi function crap into one device. You want to get quality phone functionality, then you need to buy a PHONE.

    That being said, I have the pleasure of almost never having to use a phone, so a smartphone works just fine for me. :lol3
  12. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

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    Texting and Skype. Telco voice is so yesterday. Dude.
  13. bob393

    bob393 Been here awhile

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    Yup the droid with a dashboard app is my current GPS of choice. and I always have it with me.
    The problem as stated is when you loose cell coverage.
  14. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    This is not true, there are plenty of GPS apps available that do not need cell coverage for turn by turn directions as long as your phone has a GPS chip. I have been using Navigon and MotionX on iPhones for 3 years and it works as good as my old Garmin 376c even in the middle of no where with absolutely no cell coverage.
  15. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    until a month or two ago I might have believed you. I've crossed over to the dark side though and there's a really simple reason/solution. It's not necessarily the app. It could be the phone. I couldn't get a GPS app to work and figured technology just wasn't there, and everyone that said it worked was full of it. Turns out, my phone sucked. I got a replacement, and my phone couldn't be more accurate.
  16. Duall

    Duall Adventurer

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    I have NAVIGON on my Iphone 4, I think it's the best navi app out there. I have been using it for a year and it has never let me down.
  17. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    Agreed, I've had it since the day it came out. It works so well that I sold my Garmin dedicated GPS. I haven't experienced any of the problems that someone said that they are having.
  18. GravelRider

    GravelRider AKA max384 Supporter

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    You're probably right. My iPhone is an old piece of shit. Maybe if Navigon were on a better phone, I wouldn't be having all the problems I've been having. However, some of the problems, like not recognizing a turn or indicating that an area where you go straight on a road is a turn sound like map errors to me. I know they all have them, but so far the Navigon app has had more than any of the standalone GPS units I've used.

    Either way, I'm going to be getting rid of the iPhone at the end of the year and switching to an Android platform. I'm sure the grass won't actually be greener on the other side, but I've gotta at least give it a try, you know?
  19. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    Be warned that Androids eat batteries alive!
  20. DynaSport

    DynaSport Been here awhile

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    I really don't care if anyone thinks iPhones are a piece of crap or not, however my experience has been just the opposite. My wife and I got rid of our Blackberrys the same day almost two years ago. I got an iPhone 4 and she got the latest and greatest Samsung out at the time, I can't remember the exact model name, but it was in the Galaxy S line.

    Anyway, I am still using my iPhone and have never had a moments problem with it. I downloaded Motion-X Drive and after adjusting to the different interface I have left my two Garmin units in the glove box. I actually prefer the iPhone with Motion-X and I have been a Garmin fanboy for a long time. The only thing I don't like is my inability to create routes on something like Google maps and load them into the phone like I can with Basecamp on my Garmin.

    During the same time I have had my one iPhone, my wife has been through four Samsung Android phones. They keep having glitches that can't be fixed and have to be replaced.

    Also, my iPhone integrates with all my other stuff so well. iCloud is pretty cool. Stuff backs up automatically and my music on the iPhone is always up to date with my iTunes. Etc, Etc, blah blah, it just works.

    I bought a $50 waterproof mount for my bike and will be testing it out thoroughly next week and I have a nice mount for my car for the iphone. I may have bought my last dedicated GPS ever. We'll see.