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Old 07-04-2011, 07:53 AM   #1
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Vancouver , Washington
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Google Turn-by-Turn Navigation

I recently upgraded my cell phone on Verizon to the LG Revolution. Since you’re forced into a data plan with these phones I thought that it might be possible to offset the cost by not subscribing to the Verizon Navigator application.

Since I was trying to keep costs down, I also didn’t want to pay for a GPS application or service but did want turn-by-turn voice navigation so that I wouldn’t have to divert my attention from driving. I came across the Google turn-by-turn application on the Android Market and installed it on my phone (runs Android 2.2).

While I have only used it for a few hundred miles, I was able to use it in rural and city environments and I have to say that I’m very happy with the results. The directions were clear, I could use my phone contact list for the source of the desired address and it locked in quickly. The maps are nice and with just a couple of exceptions everything worked not only as expected but with better performance than the Verizon Navigator application.

The exceptions were 1) there were 2 cases where the voice guidance & map indicated where to turn correctly but incorrectly listed the name of the street; and 2) the voice is very mechanical and not as nice or smooth as other GPS applications.

Bottom-line is that I will be using the Google navigation now exclusively for both daily driving as well as RVing.

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Old 07-04-2011, 09:16 AM   #2
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It has limitations

I have experimented with Google Nav.

I am glad it is on my phone, because I always have that with me.
However it is no replacement for my Garmin.

One big problem: It can not calculate a route when you have no data connection. So get out of cell coverage and you will find it fairly useless if you need to modify your route at all.

I do think the satellite map and the fact that it is does integrate with the rest of google's apps are neat features.



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Old 09-04-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
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The new version of google maps/navigation allows for offline routing. This is on the Android version "jelly bean" which is available on the newest devices. Pretty cool! !
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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I have to second the no data connection point.

We went to Arkanasa in June and essentially, once we got east of Sulphur Springs, even though we were on Interstate 30, if we had been depending on Google Nav completely, we would have been lost.

We are on T-Mobile and I'm giving them the remainder of my contract to get those additional towers from the aborted ATT deal to improve their coverage or I'm switching to Verizon.

I love Google Nav when we are within data coverage areas but will make sure i have paper maps and pre-printed directions for all future trips, just to back up the "nav lady" as we call her.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:29 PM   #5
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There is a pretty long stretch in Missouri between St Louis and Iowa where there is little to no coverage from Verizon and I am sure there are many more.

I travel for a living. I use the Google Maps feature about 50% of the time, the rest of the time I depend on a Garmin. Another issue I have had is when a call comes in you lose the Google maps feature unless you are on 4G. Then you have to reset the maps and start routing over from your current location.

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Old 09-04-2012, 08:32 PM   #6
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Never been much of a fan of GPS (except in a boat). I try and use Google maps as I preplan a trip and put them in order in a loose leaf folder. Got lost a couple of times in metro areas and used the Google maps app on my iPad. Enlarge it instantly and get some quick directions. Best part of the iPad is no whiney voice to tell you where to go!
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:41 AM   #7
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I'm an Apple guy, but I must say, I rely on Google Maps Navigation a lot now that I have an Android phone. I don't use the voice part of it, so I'm not bothered by that. I used to use a TomTom when I lived in the UK, and I must say I am truly too reliant on technology. They are right though, no data can mean no routing. Unless you're fancy and have a Jelly Bean device.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:07 AM   #8
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We have been using the GPS Maps HD app on the ipad for the past six months and like it a lot. We don't like or use GPS that talks to us, other than on the rare occasion, because of course there is always someone in the copilot seat to navigate.

This app gives a broad or very localized map of wherever you choose, allowing me to find our way through anything qt any time. You can also pin specific addresses.

The only drawback is the lack of real-time location---the little blue ball doesn't update as quickly as I would like.

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Old 10-25-2012, 06:29 AM   #9
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Also look at the 'Scout' app for Iphone & Ipad, perhaps Android. It takes voice direction (and gives it if you want) and will let you download sections of the country for off line use. It is free for a year, then there is a fee. I am hoping the Apple maps improves enough in that time to make me not have to pay the fee.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
We have been using the GPS Maps HD app on the ipad for the past six months and like it a lot. We don't like or use GPS that talks to us, other than on the rare occasion, because of course there is always someone in the copilot seat to navigate.
That is where we differ. I usually travel solo, and the Garmin GPS built into my dashboard is a lifesaver! The "Traffic Ahead" warning, together with the on-screen estimate of the delay time, helps me to decide whether to detour around accidents or construction zones, or just wait it out. And if I decide to detour, a couple taps of the screen put it to work finding an alternate route for me.

A GPS is no substitute for common sense, however. On my last trip, my GPS tried to route me the wrong way on a one-way street, and only paying close attention to the street signs kept me from making a mistake.

Still, reading about these useful smartphone apps is making me consider trading in my dumbphone for a smartphone once my two-year commitment is up.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:28 AM   #11
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We find it to be an excellent (albeit smart phone cost excluded) alternative to the additional subscription services offered by "horizon" and use it in our non-GPS equipped jeep.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:28 AM   #12
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I use google on my android smart phone and my tablet and it works, but my go to app for gps is Co-Pilot live usa. My Garmin was great but I got tired of having to purchase expenisive map up grades and did not want to purchase a lifetime map for the old Garmin. So I downloaded the Co-pilot app for $9.99 and love it. It has a RV setting in it that you can set the height up to 13'. You don't needa data connection as the maps are loaded onto the devise. It has lane change and youcan get live traffic with data connection. The thing I like is you can transfer the app if you get a new devise. I also like using it on my Galaxy Tab because ofthe larger screen. I see no need to purchase another stand alone gps if you have a smart phone of tablet. If you don't I would consider buy one of them before a gps only because of howmuch more you can do with it.

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Old 10-25-2012, 08:28 AM   #13
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I've found Google Maps to be a reliable back up when my Tom Tom won't recognize an address, which happens rather frequently.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:25 PM   #14
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I have not found a way to adjust the route in Google. You don't know how far out of the way it is going to take you. It will reroute as you leave the planned route. I just use Google maps so I know where I am and the Navigator thing takes too much trust for me. I take strange route sometimes to avoid down town traffic while towing a trailer. When I go through Montgomery, AL. I bypass most of the town and it is not a bad drive. If I listen to Google it would take me right through town. I love the phone when trying to find a store or gas station etc. The phone can cash a good bit of data so you don't need 100% data coverage.


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