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Thread: Sat Nav Apps ?

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    Sat Nav Apps ?

    Hi all,
    I'm planning a trip for the summer and was looking to use a sat nav app on my iPad or iPhone rather than fork out for a Garmin/Tom Tom etc.
    Any suggestions or recommendations ?
    Ideally need to be able to create routes, either within the app or on PC/Mac and save to the app to work offline without data charges.

    Thanks !


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    I don't know if this is an option with the fruit phone, but on Google maps I can create a route on my PC, then send it to my Android. If I choose, it can track my travels too, for me to review later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManxVFR View Post
    Hi all,
    I'm planning a trip for the summer and was looking to use a sat nav app on my iPad or iPhone rather than fork out for a Garmin/Tom Tom etc.
    Any suggestions or recommendations ?
    Ideally need to be able to create routes, either within the app or on PC/Mac and save to the app to work offline without data charges.

    Thanks !
    Google Maps works just fine ... that said, I rarely use it. I have a trusty paper map in the map pocket on my tank bag visible at all times. I prefer using paper maps because I can mark interesting points and roads for future reference, and because I feel it's easier to be more spontaneous with it since I don't have to keep 'setting' my route in the GPS/phone.

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    Google maps work just as well on iPhones, but I like Jeff's paper map idea better, less distractions. I find keeping a mental image of your day's route should suffice, along with a compass!
    Google maps will always tell you where you are, which the paper maps cannot do.
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    I use a paper map, Garmin and the cell phone too with Google maps. I have had all 3 save me time in different situations. If your going to use the phone remember that it will eat battery power and depending on your data plan may cost money on long trips. Also cell coverage can leave you with no info.

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    Thanks folks, I was trying google maps yesterday which was easy enough to create the route (on a pc) but couldn't get it save and show on my iPad - will have another look, prob something simple I'm missing !

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    Sat Nav Apps ?

    Don't forget to check that the map is downloaded/cached in Google Maps before you head out in an area without 3G cover :/

    The Navigon app is so far my preferred (but pricy) option. But transferring routes to the app is a pain.


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    I'm old fashion I Guess, I tend to use paper maps making it easier and quicker to use while riding the bike than pulling up some app on a deceive that doesn't have cell service. Besides where's the adventure knowing where you're going? I use to just write down notes on paper , study the area maps. Boy has things changed, made us lazy. IMO Good thing is when the sun has one of it's major solar flares and grid goes down, I'll still know where I'm going.
    Opportunity is where you anticipate it.

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    Masking tape for the win! It has so many advantages and very few, if any disadvantages. I still carry paper maps in my saddle bags just in case and just because I like paper maps.

    No opinions an any high-tech stuff. Sorry.
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    I've been using Scenic with my iPhone. It will import gpx files, or you can create them in the app and have full turn-by-turn directions. You can download only the maps you need (a pay-as-you-go system) so it works without a cell signal, and it was created for motorcycling. I like it a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mofo View Post
    Masking tape for the win! It has so many advantages and very few, if any disadvantages. I still carry paper maps in my saddle bags just in case and just because I like paper maps.

    No opinions an any high-tech stuff. Sorry.
    Gaff tape for the win! lol

    Paper maps draw low current, batteries last a long time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    I've been using Scenic with my iPhone. It will import gpx files, or you can create them in the app and have full turn-by-turn directions. You can download only the maps you need (a pay-as-you-go system) so it works without a cell signal, and it was created for motorcycling. I like it a lot.
    Thanks Jeff, I'll check it out

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    Take a look at Pocket Earth Pro, too. Just a great app overall.

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    Mapping at the ton?

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    Waze is a great app., that works well on all platforms. Although I can't remember if it can cache maps. I have a tech geek buddy who uses it exclusively on his iPhone/iPad.

    Jose

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    I've used Waze on my Android tablet. I believe that it uses Google maps "saved areas" when I am not connected to a network. Speed, GPS, and turn by turn all work "offline" if you load the route when online beforehand. The things that don't work "offline" are live messages like road construction, gas prices, police sightings, and traffic congestion which I don't need anyway.

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    Yeay,Scenic got a tracker and displays location of any photos you take :)


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    Ok, so I've tried and failed with a few apps, google maps, co pilot, navigon, waze, maps.me and a couple more that just didn't seem to do what I wanted or it wasn't particularly simple to.
    But I came back to this thread tonight and picked up that I hadn't tried the Scenic app that was recommended by Jeff S and wish I'd tried that first !!
    So easy to import routes, which was just what I was looking for, gpx files can be imported or routes imported from google maps and a couple of other routes websites
    So far so good.
    However, I haven't actually used it as sat nav just yet, only imported a gpx file with routes and waypoints for a 7 day tour, will try out the offline sat nav over the weekend
    Thanks Jeff S 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

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    Been a while since I've been here. Glad you like it. How did it work out for you?

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    I didn't see this thread earlier, so sorry for the late reply. It might help others in the future so leaving my comment here.

    I use HERE WeGo maps by Microsoft. It is available on Android and iOS. You can use offline maps and download entire state maps (in USA) or even entire country maps to your device for offline use. Maps are also updated over Wifi every month or so. Works very well. I used it around death valley while I was driving in the wilderness with no signs of civilization or mobile network for >50 miles. I'm not sure if you can store routes on it though. Offline search works very well too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    Been a while since I've been here. Glad you like it. How did it work out for you?
    Well, I've not actually used it as yet, just imported the routes I want and hoping to test it over the next week or two.

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    OK I guess by now you have probably already sorted this out.

    However if you are still looking I would suggest that for short occasional trips – use a free or paid app on your phone.

    For much longer tours buy a used TomTom Rider 2nd edition – it may be old but is still the best dedicated motorbike GPS and is still supported with map updates available for an additional fee. Sadly that means they still command strong prices especially full kits with a motorcycle charging dock. The original SD card is too small but can be replaced with a 4GB HD SD card (no bigger!) which has space for a full set of updated Europe maps. After the rider 2nd edition, the bean counters took over and even the latest 40/400 series models are little more than a badly reworked car unit, which I would avoid like the plague. (I bought one and deeply regret it).

    Be aware of the downsides of apps:

    All the GPS apps I have tested significantly eat into the phone battery life – so assume the normal battery life will be halved, if your trip is less than that, you won’t need to mess with chargers.
    If you also plan to hear voice instructions via Bluetooth then battery life will be further reduced.
    To see maps on the move, most phones can be tucked into a see through pocket on most tank bags – which will avoid issues if you encounter rain. Handlebar mounts are available for most phones but I have seen at least two phones come loose at speed and neither survived the fall – so why risk destroying an expensive iPhone?
    Most apps use “assisted GPS” to provide a better fix on your position – so positioning can become quite flaky in areas without cell coverage, meaning turn by turn instructions may be issued well after you have passed the relevant turn. – “Turn around where possible” is a commonly used phrase for many GPS systems.
    Most apps also use data, especially for things like traffic updates, so can be costly if used outside your service providers area or they consume data beyond your contract limit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skimad4x4 View Post
    OK I guess by now you have probably already sorted this out.

    However if you are still looking I would suggest that for short occasional trips – use a free or paid app on your phone.

    For much longer tours buy a used TomTom Rider 2nd edition – it may be old but is still the best dedicated motorbike GPS and is still supported with map updates available for an additional fee. Sadly that means they still command strong prices especially full kits with a motorcycle charging dock. The original SD card is too small but can be replaced with a 4GB HD SD card (no bigger!) which has space for a full set of updated Europe maps. After the rider 2nd edition, the bean counters took over and even the latest 40/400 series models are little more than a badly reworked car unit, which I would avoid like the plague. (I bought one and deeply regret it).

    Be aware of the downsides of apps:

    All the GPS apps I have tested significantly eat into the phone battery life – so assume the normal battery life will be halved, if your trip is less than that, you won’t need to mess with chargers.
    If you also plan to hear voice instructions via Bluetooth then battery life will be further reduced.
    To see maps on the move, most phones can be tucked into a see through pocket on most tank bags – which will avoid issues if you encounter rain. Handlebar mounts are available for most phones but I have seen at least two phones come loose at speed and neither survived the fall – so why risk destroying an expensive iPhone?
    Most apps use “assisted GPS” to provide a better fix on your position – so positioning can become quite flaky in areas without cell coverage, meaning turn by turn instructions may be issued well after you have passed the relevant turn. – “Turn around where possible” is a commonly used phrase for many GPS systems.
    Most apps also use data, especially for things like traffic updates, so can be costly if used outside your service providers area or they consume data beyond your contract limit.

    SkiMad
    Hey Skimad, thanks for the info
    Basically my thoughts are to use an app on my phone or iPad as a cheaper option rather than buying a sat nav.
    I have trip coming up with my Dad who has a sat nav and I'll use the trip as a test to compare how the app works.
    I'll have it connected to power and will use offline maps.
    Going to give it a test this weekend around the TT course !

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManxVFR View Post
    Hey Skimad, thanks for the info
    Basically my thoughts are to use an app on my phone or iPad as a cheaper option rather than buying a sat nav.
    I have trip coming up with my Dad who has a sat nav and I'll use the trip as a test to compare how the app works.
    I'll have it connected to power and will use offline maps.
    Going to give it a test this weekend around the TT course !
    As the only rider in my group with a satnav, I always get stuck leading the group through nasty confusing bits of roads/cities. It gets old . . .


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