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What are good chooses for Android, for a real GPS-like exp..

Blue Flame 91 Points
edited November -1 in Smartphone Navigation
Hi,

I'm looking for GPS program for my Android phone (assume no cell service/ Data service is available)...

I've had Nuvi-760, 780, and 885(I still have). I expect simulator behavior in my Android phone (Razr MAXX HD). Needs to have its own maps...

Any suggestions for programs from the Play-Store or a known source.

Bruce

Comments

  • gatorguy 224 Points
    I personally consider these to be the best three:

    Google Maps
    Free, frequently updated, lots of customization, decent directions and accuracy. Streetview is pretty useful for verifying your destination. Now that area maps can be downloaded for off-line use there's not many downsides. It's become my go-to app for quickly finding stores, restaurants and local businesses.

    Waze
    It too is free. Originally I wasn't very impressed with it. A couple years ago in my area it had a lot of missing or incomplete roads, lacked detail and thus offered iffy navigation. I tried it out again a couple months back and wow what a change. Doesn't have some of the map layer options that Google does and lacks Streeview but the live "social" interaction from users reporting road closures, accidents or other delays makes it pretty darn useful for serious commuters. If your primary use is getting to and from work/school or making a few local daily stops this might be a great choice. Navigation directions can sometimes be a little suspect tho according to users so perhaps best for those that already had a pretty good idea where they were going. What about off-line use (downloadable maps)? That's a no and probably always will be since Waze focuses on the social aspect of travel.

    Navigon
    This was my original Android navigation app and one of the first to offer on-board maps. It's not free, currently $40, but that does include lifetime maps updates. It's still the cleanest interface of the three IMHO and the directions are usually spot on. It's also the only one of the three that can take navigate over long distances without a data connection. Timely voice instructions, easy to see map, common sense interface. It's a solid app but feature updates are few and far between any more and overall it's feeling a bit stale to me. Still the best choice for a long-distance traveler in my opinion.
  • patruns 10 Points
    Sygic is getting some good reviews although some are complaining that updates are happening too frequently Polaris is another option.
  • Blue Flame 91 Points
    Does Google now automatically store the maps. How do you cache the maps, before hand?

    Navigon, is not well liked on GooglePlay. There is equal 1 and 5 stars?

    Its too bad Garmin dont make a Nuvi-like program for Droids...
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    Google has a support document that explains the process, but it's really easy.

    https://support.google.com/gmm/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2650218

    On your Android phone open Google Maps. Browse to the area you're interested in. Tap the menu button and select "Make available offline". You're presented with a box, so just drag the frame to select the area you want to download for offline use. That's pretty much it.

    I'm not sure what the actual limit is, tho it's probably stated in the link I gave you. I downloaded one that covered the entire area from Tampa/St Pete up to Orlando, about a 66MB file. That's really quite a large area for a daily commuter and would probably cover all your usual needs.
  • Two and a half years later and Google Maps and Waze still require online use. You can download tiles on Maps but no searching or routing while in the boonies.

    Texas has lots of areas with no cell coverage. Unless you're close to an urban area or an interstate highway you're SOL. I only get 1G at the Home20 and lose it when I pull out of my driveway.

    The best two apps I've found is Mapfactor Navigator and Here. Both use OpenStreetMaps (free) and TomTom (buy maps) with Navigator.

    Both have good reviews. I did find Here to have very poor routing algorithms. It would try to put me on longer routes on third class roads.

    After using MFN a few months I've settled on it as my goto app and Here as a backup, although I can't imagine Mapfactor failing to get me where I want to go. And I'll be paying for the TomTom maps as well. OSM maps are updated monthly and the TomTom maps quarterly.

    Sorry if bringing this back upsets anyone. Just thought somebody might benefit from an update.

    Ted
  • Boyd 1795 Points
    xPosTech said:

    Sorry if bringing this back upsets anyone.

    Why should it upset anyone? I wish we had more posts like yours in this sleepy forum. ;)

    Thanks for posting!
  • Hi all;

    I've been a way. My job keeps me busy.

    I currently still have and use my Garmin Nuvi-885.
    For TOPO mapping, I used my Garmin (custom hi-res and Garmin map) or for my Android (Moto X Pure edition 2015) I use MyTrails Pro. I've never used it for directed navigation - I have no idea if that works.
    For Satellite info I use, GPS Essentials.
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    edited December 2015
    xPosTech said:

    Two and a half years later and Google Maps and Waze still require online use. You can download tiles on Maps but no searching or routing while in the boonies.
    Ted

    I was fairly certain Google Maps for Android now offers off-line navigation and search, with the same being brought to iPhones in the next few weeks.

    EDIT: Well it looks like Google has just today updated it's App Store app to add off-line navigation and more. There's also gas prices and business hours included with the update. Just visit the App Store.
    https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/google-maps/id585027354
  • I'm sure they'll do what they can to try to stay ahead of Apple. The last update at the Play Store was Dec. 8. I last tried it Nov. 28 for a trip to the Houston VA. I couldn't determine the exact boundaries of the map tile that was downloaded. There was no 'box' to select an area to download on Android.

    Offline operation doesn't fit with Google's business model. If it was up to them Android would not have an external memory slot. They would much rather force users to use cloud storage and upload/download data as needed. Which fits hand in glove with their cell partners charging for the data transfers. They don't really want users being able to use outdated (offline) devices. One older device used offline is one new phone/tablet they can't sell.

    I'll give Maps another try to see if they have improved the Android download/search capabilities. There are probably some differences with Apple vs Android.

    Ted
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    edited December 2015
    Here's a brief summation on the Google Map off-line capabilities on iPhones. The Android version added these a couple weeks earlier.

    "...much better offline maps support. Now you can select a portion of the map and save it locally onto your iPhone or iPad. And this does more than just save the local street layout. Saving a section of Maps lets you search for destinations even without a data connection; you can also get turn-by-turn navigation, business hours, and contact details when offline."
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    xPosTech said:



    Offline operation doesn't fit with Google's business model. If it was up to them Android would not have an external memory slot.
    Ted

    That's not true. Android 6.x (Marshmallow) does just that, enabling an SD card to be used as either removable or encrypted "internal" storage for everything from apps to photos to map segments. ;)

  • You're right. Even 5+ offers more SD functionality. Maybe they listened to the grumbles from users. Or maybe there really is a Santa Claus.

    Thanks for the correction.

    Ted
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    edited December 2015
    edit
  • Boyd 1795 Points
    I thought they made it free a year ago?

    www.cnet.com/news/get-google-earth-pro-for-free/
    _______________________________________________

    Get Google Earth Pro for free
    The Pro version of everyone's favorite virtual globe used to cost $399 -- per year! Now it's free. Freeeeee!

    February 3, 2015
    6:35 AM PST
    by Rick Broida
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    They did. That's why I edited it out before you replied. We must have crossed in the night. LOL!
  • Hi, what is the Android smartphone with GPS more accurate and reliable?
  • Boyd 1795 Points
    edited December 2015
    You can get better accuracy using an external Bluetooth receiver. I have a Garmin GLO and have used it with Android, iOS and Windows.

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/oem/sensors-and-boards/glo-/prod109827.html

    Android does not directly support external GPS devices, but there's a simple "hack" to make it work. You use the developer menu to enable mock GPS locations. Then you use a free program called "Bluetooth GPS". It just continuously writes the external GPS location data as a mock location. This makes it available to any apps that you're running.

    iOS will automatically use a bluetooth GPS once you pair it with the phone/tablet (as long as it's providing greater accuracy than the internal chip).

    There are several other bluetooth devices, such as Bad Elf and Dual

    http://gps.dualav.com/explore-by-product/xgps150a/
    http://bad-elf.com/collections/bluetooth-gps

    The Bad Elf GNSS surveyor is a very interesting product. $600 isn't cheap, but other units that provide this level of accuracy typically cost several thousand dollars.

    http://bad-elf.com/collections/bluetooth-gps/products/be-gps-3300
  • Boyd said:

    You can get better accuracy using an external Bluetooth receiver. I have a Garmin GLO and have used it with Android, iOS and Windows.

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/oem/sensors-and-boards/glo-/prod109827.html

    Android does not directly support external GPS devices, but there's a simple "hack" to make it work. You use the developer menu to enable mock GPS locations. Then you use a free program called "Bluetooth GPS". It just continuously writes the external GPS location data as a mock location. This makes it available to any apps that you're running.

    iOS will automatically use a bluetooth GPS once you pair it with the phone/tablet (as long as it's providing greater accuracy than the internal chip).

    There are several other bluetooth devices, such as Bad Elf and Dual

    http://gps.dualav.com/explore-by-product/xgps150a/
    http://bad-elf.com/collections/bluetooth-gps

    The Bad Elf GNSS surveyor is a very interesting product. $600 isn't cheap, but other units that provide this level of accuracy typically cost several thousand dollars.

    http://bad-elf.com/collections/bluetooth-gps/products/be-gps-3300



    First of all thank you for having responded to me and to the information, you've been very kind.

    I apologize for mistakes, unfortunately I do not speak English, I translate with google.

    You I realize that the chip of smartphones are not as precise as a GPS antenna outside, these days I have to buy there a smartphone, the external antenna you suggested I will buy it later. So I would like to understand what is the smartphone with GPS more accurate and precise ? They explained that in general the phones with Qualcomm CPU have the more accurate GPS.

    Can you recommend a smartphone Android to be used as a navigation system ?

    There are tests to figure out what are the best smartphones with integrated GPS ?
  • Boyd 1795 Points
    Sorry, can't help your there. I use an iPhone but have a Samsung Android tablet. The GPS in the Samsung tablet is pretty bad. :)
  • Boyd said:

    Sorry, can't help your there. I use an iPhone but have a Samsung Android tablet. The GPS in the Samsung tablet is pretty bad. :)

    It's not important that your smartphone is Samsung, any brand is fine, as long as it Android. I spend about 350 Euros. Been some models recommend ? There is a dedicated website that performs tests on various smartophone of GPS ?
  • Boyd 1795 Points
    I'm afraid you did not understand. I do not have an Android phone. I have an iPhone. Sorry.
  • I understand it, in fact I asked if there is a site dedicated to run tests on the various GPS smartphone. OK thank you.
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    marck120 said:

    Boyd said:

    Sorry, can't help your there. I use an iPhone but have a Samsung Android tablet. The GPS in the Samsung tablet is pretty bad. :)

    It's not important that your smartphone is Samsung, any brand is fine, as long as it Android. I spend about 350 Euros. Been some models recommend ? There is a dedicated website that performs tests on various smartophone of GPS ?
    The Nexus 6P would be a good bet IMHO. Between GPS, A-GPS, Glonass and the very latest Android OS version 6.0.1 the accuracy has been reported as quite good. The OS version in this case is as important as the previous three items as Android 5.1 registered some complaints when it came to GPS performance. Another brand to look at would be anything from Motorola. They have a long history with radio chipset design and implementation and I don't recall seeing complaints about location accuracy with any of their recent handsets. They also tend to be one of the first OEM's with OS upgrades. Android 6.x is already running on many of their smartphones.
  • EmmEff 80 Points
    For apps, also have a look at OsmAnd and Locus. They both have limitations and annoying bugs and use OpenStreetMaps for offline routing. I use those two + Google Maps + CoPilot on my Nexus 4.
  • I've been using MyTrails pro. I'm somewhat happy with it. Its no Garnin.
  • jangeo67 86 Points
    has anyone tried the Alpinequest GPS app ?
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