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Well, I did attempt to search this section to see if this topic has been done to death already and didn't find anything, but maybe I'm just not searching well. Anyway, anybody have any opinions on what GPS to use? I looked on Amazon for specific GPS units but many had a lot of sub-optimal reviews - plus they were pretty expensive. I just use Google maps when I'm in the car but I plan to be riding in a lot of areas with no cell service on the bike and it cuts out when I don't have service, from what I remember. I'm not sure how smart phones work as compared to stand alone GPS units. Do the phones have the capability to latch on to the GPS system like a stand alone device does? If you guys are using phones, what app are you using? Thanks!
 

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For Android, one of the best options is OSMAnd. All the available regional maps are downloaded to the phone, so no Internet connection is required to use the app after installing the maps.
 

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In Google Maps, make sure you plan the route when still in Wifi/cellphone range. But once the route is planned it's perfectly OK to lose the signal - the route will stay loaded. You can even stray from the route: It will pick it up again once you're back on track.

Also, in Google Maps, you can download certain areas in advance. This will not just include the roads, but also points of interest and such. You can then track your progress and I think even plan a route, while offline.

Obviously live traffic information and similar will not be available when offline.
 

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I'm not sure how smart phones work as compared to stand alone GPS units.
Very well

Do the phones have the capability to latch on to the GPS system like a stand alone device does?
Of course ...they are a GPS

If you guys are using phones, what app are you using? Thanks!
That's a huge topic and of course evolving rapidly as new software comes out.

Now that GMaps allows regional downloads it is a player in offline routing.

I use TomTom mainly because it gives me Winding Roads ....some other Apps are out with a similiar feature.

If you search on TomTom or Garmin or Furkot https://trips.furkot.com you will come up with a number of threads.

Top of Beartooth Pass in 2015



3 weeks with phones only and many times away from cell network,
 

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^^^
What he said!
Smartphone all the way. I have never even owned a stand alone GPS.
Kyocera DuraForce Pro running OsmAnd for off line and Google Maps for online nav. I use ITN Converter to plan routes and can export to my phone as both .GPX for OsmAnd and Google Maps. Sweet setup!!! :thumbup:
 

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I have mapping/navigation apps for my cell phone and for my iPad's. They work okay, especially if sitting as a passenger in a car, but the challenge is that cell phones aren't designed to use on motorcycles.

I have two Garmin GPS units. a Garmin Zumo 660 and a Garmin Zumo 590. (The 590 was a gift from my wife, both are mounted on my bike.) Motorcycle specific GPS units are expensive since they are designed to be used in the conditions riders might encounter. They have mounts that keep them powered without worry about vibration wrecking the device or the USB connections. They have quick release mounts so that you can instantly take them off the bike and put them in a safe spot when untended. They have the ability to work in extreme conditions... my Garmin Zumo 660 experienced Death Valley at temperatures of 52°c/126°f in a clear sunny day with no issues. Both units have been used on the bike in temperatures near 0°f/-18°c with no issues. They fire up and work perfectly after being left overnight in the car in temperatures as low as -27°c/-17°f. They work in the pouring rain with soaking wet gloves.

The 590 has apps that connect with an app on my phone. It has weather radar and shows alerts on the screen. It has a traffic app that shows traffic and warns me of delays and asks me if I want to re-route if it sees big traffic issues. It also has an app that shows live traffic cameras (although these aren't all that useful for my normal riding. If I find something on my phone I can send the address to the GPS and set it as a destination. All this stuff is nicely integrated and presented to me in a useful way that works while riding.

I keep navigation on my cell phone (and on the iPad's if I bother to take them anywhere) as a backup and haven't needed them to navigate. I like the fact that if something should happen - say a crash that might destroy stuff on my handlebars or separate me from the bike - my cell phone is safely tucked away in my pocket within reach.


..Tom
 

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I use an android phone for voice nav, and I download areas in advance if I know I won't have service.

I also have a Garmin GPSMap78, which has been recording tracks since 2012. That alone makes it worth its weight in gold to me. It's also waterproof, powered off the bike, more readable in daylight, and operable with gloves while soaking wet. Far better overall as a GPS, even though it's slow to calculate long routes or reroute.
 

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I use both. I have a Garmin Nuvi 2455, and also a Droid Turbo loaded with OsmAnd. I prefer the Garmin, but it's not one of those "it has to be a dedicated GPS system or else you suck" type of preferences.

The Garmin is easier to see in the daylight than my phone. The Garmin screen is pressure sensitive, rather than inductive like my phone. Makes it easier to push a button on the GPS screen with gloves on (though I did sew conductive thread into the index fingers of my gloves so I could activate the cell phone screen).

I use the Tyre program to create routes. It's easy to load routes from Tyre onto both the GPS and the phone (OsmAnd will read a .gpx file created on Tyre and give you turn by turn directions just like a GPS will). The upside to using the phone is I can create a route on Tyre and email it to my phone, then open it in OsmAnd; no usb cable needed.

I still use a GPS, for much the same reason that some guys will wear a pair of boots long after their usable life span is ended; because it's comfortable to me. In the past I've bought used and refurbished Garmins on Amazon for a very decent price, but I've noticed lately that their used prices have increased to the point that they're now in the range of a used cell phone. My next GPS will be a an old smart phone. I'm not going to activate it; I'll just use the built in GPS and download a offline maps program like OsmAnd, or maybe Co-Pilot. I need to do additional research for an offline navigation app that can accept a premade downloaded .gpx file and can provide turn by turn directions. OsmAnd does fine with it, but I've never really grown to like it.
 

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I have tried the phone thing, was ok but not ideal IMHO......have a Garmin 390 now and am thrilled with it. I have my phone as backup should it be needed, and backup is exactly what it is.
 

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I wonder how much longer the automobile specific GPS units will even be around. When I'm traveling, I hardly ever see anyone younger than I am using a standalone GPS unit; it's always a smart phone. People the age of my step kid don't even see the point of the device ("why do I need that?", as they shake their phone in front of you like you're a moron).

Even for specialized applications, I don't know if GPS units are even the best choice. I remember when they first came out for backpackers, and they were great for that. I don't know of an app that allows a phone to use topo and trail maps for hiking, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was one. Put your smart phone in an armored, waterproof Lifebox, and it would be fine for hiking. Battery life might be an issue, compared to a handheld GPS, but I don't know for sure.

I can't really make a good case any more for a GPS over a phone, other than it's what I'm comfortable with, and it's what I'll probably keep using until my last two Nuvis go to that Circuit City in the Sky.
 

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I used a ZUMO 550 for quite a long time until just recently. The base is dying on it and they don't sell the bases anymore. I just switched to this unit and have been really happy with it. They sell a few different kinds on EBAY including some that run on an Android operating system.



And here's what I posted with a few more details as far as glove use and what not. The screen is very responsible even with gloves.

Works fine as a basic GPS unit. Compared to the old ZUMO 550 the screen is larger by about an inch with much better resolution.

I don't know what maps IGO uses for their GPS programs, they might use GOOGLE Maps to update their maps? I dunno. The seller says they will send out links annually to update the program on the device which will also update the maps at the same time.

Searching is as easy as on the Zumo.

One thing I liked about the Zumo that this unit doesn't have as far as I know is the ability to set it to show "large" buttons instead of standard size buttons. But the screen works very well with gloves.

Direct sunlight on the screen does not white it out. It's not quite as good as the ZUMO in that regard IMO but it is still very good. Night time vis is good and the unit will auto switch to night mode colors at sunset time. You can go in and manually turn on night or day mode as you wish as well.

Turn/exit alerting works great visually. I haven't been running it though my SR10 for sound so don't know how it does on the audio side yet. But it gives you plenty of warning of the upcoming events and will even alert you to curves and what not as well(the yellow advisory signs on the road). When you are on the highway it shows you the exit signs on the screen and gives you lane alerts to let you know what lane you need to be in for the exit or merge.
 

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I have both and prefer a GPS for "out of service" and trip situations for the reasons noted. I use a car grade GPS and ziplock bag for rain.

Assuming you have a phone give it a try. If it works well enough your done. If you get frustrated with the learning curve and/or performance of the phone solutions get a GPS.
 

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I use a refurb'd TomTom on my bike and in my truck. I prefer TomTom over Garmin. Maybe someday I'll get a smartphone plan with unlimited everything and use it instead. For now, the TomTom works for me.
 

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Performance???
Learning curve???

You mean standalones are simpler one trick ponies that you pay through nose for? >:)
 

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Maybe and maybe not, Randy. It depends on how profitable it is to maintain older technology, when they can dedicate their resources to developing newer products. The tech industry doesn't tend to look backwards; you don't see a lot of TRS-80 computers for sale any more. And while it's true that Panasonic is talking about reviving its Technics turntables because enough LP aficionados have asked for it (they haven't produced one since 2010), they can afford to do that because turntables aren't their only product. If your only product is a variety of standalone GPS units, and your sales are declining every year (as they are in the GPS industry), why would you keep making the same product for a continuously declining customer base?
 

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Performance???
Learning curve???

You mean standalones are simpler one trick ponies that you pay through nose for? >:)
Yeah you pay for waterproof, dust proof, fuel resistant, shock resistant, bright screen, don't need multiple apps to do navigation and trip planning. It's a to each their own situation, I use my iphone for in car navigation, but on a motorcycle I will take a motorcycle specific unit any day over a phone......any day. And unless you buy a spare phone as a GPS alone device and save your actual phone for being a phone and such, how is a GPS more expensive than a new iphone or the various droids? GPS units are also known for lasting a very long time on average, in particular the moto units....how about phones?

I agree that most NAV needs in a car are more than sufficient with a phone and the apps, but for hiking/exploring and motorcycles, phones just are not going to be superior......yet. :wink2:
 

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Maybe and maybe not, Randy. It depends on how profitable it is to maintain older technology, when they can dedicate their resources to developing newer products. The tech industry doesn't tend to look backwards; you don't see a lot of TRS-80 computers for sale any more. And while it's true that Panasonic is talking about reviving its Technics turntables because enough LP aficionados have asked for it (they haven't produced one since 2010), they can afford to do that because turntables aren't their only product. If your only product is a variety of standalone GPS units, and your sales are declining every year (as they are in the GPS industry), why would you keep making the same product for a continuously declining customer base?
more people have cell phones than land line, and I have heard the same rumor about land lines for several years, yet I don't see any poles coming down
 
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