OSMAND, tips learned through testing

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by counter shaft, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. counter shaft

    counter shaft Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2019
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Ireland
    I've been testing OSMAND recently and after a few spins have come up with a few pointers that might help others using similar apps, and other Android or IOS tablets.

    1. Mobile phone and tablet devices get their location info through GSM data, WiFi, as well as built in GPS antannae. I found that my old Nexus 7 tablet, with no GSM or WiFi connection, just couldn't keep up with my real world progress on the trail, and its location would lag behind, missing turns or giving late instructions regularly. This was especially noticeable on overcast days.
    The fix: enable the WiFi hotspot on your phone, and connect the tablet to it. Once your tablet is connected it piggybacks on your phone's location info, and is much better at keeping up. Obviously your phone's location info has to be turned on.

    2. Voice prompts. It's important to keep your eyes on the road/trail. Looking down every few seconds isn't practical and you'll miss turns, so the voice prompts are invaluable.
    For me a very small pair of noise isolating earbuds work. They're small enough to be comfortable inside the helmet and tbh I don't even notice them unless I snag the cable (also installed a headphone extension so it unplugs easily if I do snag it)
    Tip: when loading GPX, be patient and let it load. If you hit the start navigation button too soon (before it's fully loaded) then there'll be no voice prompts.

    3. Battery. The Nexus 7 (and probably most other tablets) with its hotspot and 7 inch screen on, and it's processor working hard to navigate, eats through the battery. I tried connecting USB power from the bike to it using a USB cable, and later a wireless charging pad.. and the battery still drains faster than it can be charged.
    The fix here was to change security settings so that the tablet has no screen protection (password/pattern/pin) and the screen can be turned off/on instantly by tapping the power button. OSMAND still runs in the background and the voice prompts continue. If you need to see the map just tap the power button and it instantly displays it for you. It still drains the battery, but by turning the screen off when instructions aren't needed, the rate slows enough to use it all day.

    4. Lock your screen in Landscape mode permanently. I don't know if it's the vibrations or what, but in auto rotate mode sometimes the display would invert and display upsidedown. Lock it to landscape and it's easily and permanently fixed.
    #1
    KayDubbya and Suncoaster like this.
  2. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,181
    Location:
    Portugal
    This has not been my experience
    I think you got some other issue with that tablet /setup.

    1- I've been using a phone since 2015 as a GPS , never had a sim card in it and never connectied to wiifi during riding , locaition has been spot on

    2- Dependes on your type of riding, if you just use it for off-road dirt bike riding, you need to look at it, i Just glance down when i hit a fork or crossing in the road, then i khnow to turn right or left

    3- Osmand is known for beeing a battery hoarder, also big screen and wifi/gsm will pull a lot of amps too. How many usb connections you got ? Do you use a FAST 3A+ power supply ?
    Any extensions on the cord ?
    I use mine in airplane mode powerd by a magnetic usb cord in witch i've solded the cabe directly to the power supply, makes one less connection point for possible power loss or bad connection

    4- This is a good tip
    #2
    toypro1 likes this.
  3. counter shaft

    counter shaft Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2019
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    Ireland
    Oh yea my setup is far from perfect.. but it kinda works for me .. can't explain the need for WiFi, but my tablet is faster to acquire and retain the location with WiFi on, and regularly loses the signal when it's not connected
    #3
  4. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Oddometer:
    2,215
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    because it's a Nexus 7. If you have the original 2012 model, it had lots of issues, GPS lock being one of them. I thought they fixed that in the 2013 version with faster storage and better proc, but it's possible they didn't do anything to fix it.
    #4