Using only my phone for navigation

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Mexico, Central & South America' started by LOGS, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. LOGS

    LOGS n00b

    Mar 4, 2016
    The Road
    Been searching and can't find a thread that's not a couple years old. I'm driving from the states to TDF this fall and would like to not have to buy a standalone GPS. So are there apps out there that can get the job done. I would like something for the smaller roads(plan on taking only coast roads down if possible), something I can search for food/hostels time to time, and keeps track of my route. I currently have an iphone 5s, but wouldn't be willing to make the jump to android if it's worth it(liking the waterproof S7). Thanks!

  2. MJGS

    MJGS Enjoy Every Ride!!

    May 7, 2014
    Santa Cruz,CA
    Look at Gaia GPS its a app that will run on Iphone and Android. I have been using for the past couple of years. What i like about it is you can download maps to use while out of service area. Aka you dont need cell service. Tracking is great. You can download any type of map ie.. satellite, road or topo. Or all three. I have been using the pro version as well about 3 dollars a month. Includes additional maps and tools.
  3. Dirtwannabe

    Dirtwannabe Been here awhile

    Jun 24, 2015
    N.E. Indiana, flat & straight, ugh
  4. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Sep 21, 2010
    there are tons of active threads in the main section, pertaining to smartphone gps stuff. don't search, adv's search sucks. just click n read.

    iphones are fine for this. gaia, galileo, motionx (i think its still in business, not sure), osmand, others.
    if you do move to (or just buy a cheap used) android, the options become waterproof/rugged/much cheaper. check out osmand, locus, navigon, and the similar apps on the android market. the ONLY apps i would pay for are osmand or locus at this point. never pay subscription fees, for nav apps.

    check out the smartphone threads in the main section. there is tons of info. anyone smart enough to board a plan without getting tazed can handle this process ;-)
  5. lilmonkey

    lilmonkey Been here awhile

    Feb 19, 2010
    Also look at GPS Kit (iOS). I've used this the last several years when out-of-service. Pretty fantastic.

    Google Maps will also allow you to select an area and download it, but it does get limiting when doing larger areas.
  6. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

    Aug 7, 2008
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    I've used and my iPhone 7+ since 2016 instead of a "real" GPS while traveling in South America. has gotten better and better, and the maps are updated often with incredible detail. I have used them in every South American country except for Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. I sometimes switch over to Google maps when I'm in "civilization" and cellular service is available. The iPhone 7+(and all later models) is "water resistant," and I just keep it in a RAM mount in all weather conditions, even driving rain. Never had an issue. Also, the iPhone really is "sunlight readable." The only caveat is that unless the phone is plugged into the bike's charging port or connected to a auxiliary battery when navigating, the phone's battery will drain quickly. I use a 10X auxiliary cell phone battery (about $30 at Best Buy) and keep that in the tank bag with the phone plugged in. It's enough juice for a 12+ hour riding day.
  7. paolalopez118

    paolalopez118 n00b

    Apr 8, 2020
    I always use Maps, since 2017 I use my phone for that.