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App for iPhone

Ramaprem 60 Points
edited April 2014 in TomTom Car Forum
I own gps devices for autos (both TT and Garmin), but - because of the very short battery life of these devices - they are mostly useless for walking around a city, for example. So I thought to purchase the TT app for iPhone. I should mention that I have only a pay-as-you-go phone (no data-plan), and wish to make no changes in this. I don't want to pay anything as I'm walking around unfamiliar cities. And I wish to use it just about anywhere in Europe.

I assumed that the phone-with-app would work exactly as a normal auto device would. But this:
"Services are available via in-app purchase and require a mobile phone connection." (emphasis mine)
is printed in the TT specs (services) for the app - as shown in iTunes.

Now, I'm not sure if my phone will function exactly like a dedicated navigation device.
What does "and require a mobile phone connection" mean in this case? Why would it?

I guess that I could just turn on the phone and connect to any local cellphone carrier, without "using" the phone, or incurring charges. Or not? And be connected, but for what purpose? Again, I want to walk around - and not pay for it!

Of course, I assume that the battery life of the phone will really suffer using it as a gps device. Am I going to find the phone, too, will have a similarly short battery life?

Comments

  • dhn 227 Points
    As I understand it, the TT app in Europe requires the user to have a tethering plan with his/her teleco company provider.
  • Ramaprem 60 Points
    I don't know what a "tethering plan" is, but it sure sounds like it will cost money - and is something that I don't have or want to have.

    And is your reply specific for Europe? How about in North America?
    Thanks.
  • sussamb 621 Points
    edited April 2014
    If you only aim to use it while walking around cities one option would be to download something like the viewranger app from viewranger.com. With that app you can pre-download areas you'll be in and store the maps on your phone while connected to your wifi etc where you live. That way you won't need a data plan while roaming.
  • Ramaprem 60 Points
    My only aim is, indeed, as you stated.
    And the phone will be using its built-in gps receiver, yes, to accomplish this?

    This sounds like a usable solution - especially since its free (which is not a requirement, for me). I'll check it out.

    But the battery-life question still needs to be addressed. I'm wondering if the phone will last long enough to be useful.

    I should add that I have a Garmin e-Trex 20 - with OpenSource maps - for this purpose. It works absolutely great - but I am looking to make use of the beautiful-and-full-colored, and larger, screen of the phone.
  • sussamb 621 Points
    Must admit it's my Etrex I use :-)
  • Ramaprem 60 Points
    Must admit: don't blame ya.
  • Boyd 1725 Points
    edited April 2014
    I went to Europe last month and had a similar requirement - pedestrian use with no data usage. After a lot of reading, I purchased the Garmin StreetPilot Onboard for Western Europe app. The maps are stored on the device and no data connection is needed. To save space on your phone, you can only download the region(s) that you need (although you must pay full price for all of Western Europe regardless).

    It will alert you that some features aren't available without a data connection however (traffic, routing via mass transit, weather reports, etc) but the basic navigation functions are there, just like the Nuvi.

    I considered the TomTom app, but after reading everything I could find, it didn't really look like it was intended for pedestrian use at all. Garmin has a special pedestrian mode that is similar (but not exactly the same) as the Nuvi models supporting advanced pedestrian navigation.

    There were some things I never did figure out about this app, but the maps were excellent and it didn't use any data. :)
  • Ramaprem 60 Points
    Will check it out. Thanks so much for that.

    And the battery usage? Could you walk around 4-8 hours on a charge?
  • Ramaprem 60 Points
    But I see that this Garmin app is not including a life-time map update. TTs app offers this.
  • Boyd 1725 Points
    That doesn't sound right to me. I think the map is updated each time an app update is issued, and they are free. But I don't think there is any published schedule for updates. For me it's not much of an issue because I don't visit the EU very often. :)

    http://support.garmin.com/support/searchSupport/case.faces?supportPage=Garmin StreetPilot Onboard for iPhone&caseId={1181ce60-9cdd-11e0-d01c-000000000000}&locale=en_US
    How do I update my maps in the Garmin StreetPilot Onboard for iPhone application?

    12/07/2011
    Garmin StreetPilot Onboard’s maps are bundled with the application, and new map data is included with most app updates. The app is updated exclusively through the App Store.
  • Ramaprem 60 Points
    Thanks, Boyd.
  • Ramaprem 60 Points
    After reading posts in other topics - concerning battery use - methinks I will simply stay with my eTrex20 for the stated purposes.

    It even has the "advantage" - as I see it - of not having a touch screen. It doesn't go doing its own thing - and changing mode - each time one touches it. I like that bit of old-time technology in that case.

    Thanks to all for input/advice.
  • nutcase 91 Points
    Garmin has a special pedestrian mode that is similar (but not exactly the same) as the Nuvi models supporting advanced pedestrian navigation.
    Boyd, I have the Garmin and TomTom apps for US/Canada installed on my iPhone (testing them out before choosing which to use for our trip to Europe). I can easily get the TomTom app to give me pedestrian directions, and I found the "Pedestrian Alert" setting in the Garmin app. I cannot, however, figure out how to get pedestrian directions in the Garmin app. Did you have to buy the "Urban Guidance" extra? or is there a setting I'm missing somewhere? or, maybe, pedestrian navigation isn't included in the Garmin US/Canada app?
  • Boyd 1725 Points
    edited April 2014
    I did purchase the urban guidance and did not try using it without. One major shortcoming of the Garmin app is that you can't simulate your location - or I couldn't figure out how - and I sure tried. :) That limits any testing before you actually arrive.

    The pedestrian mode is very strange. I think it automatically switches when it detects that you're walking. And there are duplicate menu items for pedestrian routing that confused me. Honestly, I never quite figured out how it was supposed to work, it seemed to randomly stop tracking me at times and there are multiple map screens, some of which evidently recalculate while others don't.

    Since the documentation is virtually non-existent, I had a hard time figuring that out. But really, I was content to just see my position on the map and whatever waypoints I had created. The map itself was very good for Athens (only place I stayed in the EU). Neither Google nor Apple had usable street level mapping for Athens (you can't zoom in far enough).

    One reason I like using my phone is that everyone walks around staring at their phones today, so you blend into the crowd.
  • nutcase 91 Points
    I did purchase the urban guidance and did not try using it without. One major shortcoming of the Garmin app is that you can't simulate your location - or I couldn't figure out how - and I sure tried. :) That limits any testing before you actually arrive.
    I received a reply from Garmin that, in fact, pedestrian routing only shows up after buying "Urban Guidance". And, like you, I never could find a route simulator in the Garmin app....There is a "Trip Planner", but I can't figure out how to get it to show me the directions (only the map).
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