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I just wanted to share my experience with what I believe is a very good alternative to a Garmin or Tom Tom GPS. I bought a very good condition LG Volt smart phone for $20 on Amazon, and I bought a 16 GIG SD card to load all of my routes on. I have a RAM mount holder for my phone "it works amazing" and this particular phone has stellar battery time. I bought this phone for GPS only, it will never be activated or used for anything else. The GPS receivers in most phones now rival what the best GPS stand alone units have, and a used smart phone is much cheaper as well. There are so many great "off line" GPS apps, I have TomTom and OSMAnd loaded, as well as the very cool Ulysses speedometer. My LG Volt has a great rep as a phone for navigation, and a waterproof unit like a Samsung Galaxy series would be even better "they are still pricey". If I am in rain I will simply put a small ziploc bag over my phone, and I have a stylus to use for when I need to make a change on screen "can also get conductive tips for my gloves". Anyways..........I just wanted to share what I believe is a great option other than the very expensive motorcycle specific GPS units, and we all know that Garmin has the market and are always dangling a carrot in front of our faces to keep on spending more.

My equipment and apps:

Phone: LG Volt

Mount: https://www.rammount.com/part/RAM-HOL-PD3

Apps: TomTom for mobile, OSMAnd, Ulysses speedometer. I will likely download Back Country Navigator.
 

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Hi Brian....I've been wrestling with this same issue, and I'm curious as to how you were able to load the OsmAnd app on the phone, without the phone being active. Did you just use the wifi connection to download the app?
 

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Yay another convert to common sense. :wink2:

You do need a network connection to load maps and apps but do not need a phone plan.....any McDonalds will do it.
One caveat ....some phones require a sim inside to work even if it's a non active one

After that - you are network free if you choose even turn by turn. ( TomTom for free, CoPilot for pay )

One advantage with an iPhone is durability and TomTom only has Winding Roads on their iPhone version last time I checked. Worth the entry fee of $50 for lifetime maps for your general region ( North America ).

There are lots of 4s iPhones around $50-$100 that will give years of service.
We carry one as a spare in case our later models die....have not needed it yet.

It's a big race to see who has the best nav app and with Furkot knitting the bits together getting better and better.
 

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I just wanted to share my experience with what I believe is a very good alternative to a Garmin or Tom Tom GPS.
Totally agree. The phone is a very handy tool for riding.
I also have a iRadar detector that is run by the phone.(IOS and Android apps) It blue-tooths warnings and known speed traps and active enforcement areas into the helmet. These units have the same range / sensitivity as the high price brands. It also has a speedometer and voltage meter built in. Cobra Electronics Corporation | Cobra iRadar

Lots of useful applications like sopttify and best biker roads (downloadable routes).
 

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Skip the Iphone and find a Galaxy Note 2 or 3. Google maps is 100x better than Iphone, and the Galaxy Note 2 screen is huge. Bluetooth matches up to my headset perfect for directions and the buttons on the side are three times the siize of an Iphone. Much better when wearing gloves. We use them for reading pdf and gps in our HVAC vans. no need for sims for wifi and downloading apps. GPS works amazing, full directional voice straigh from google. no other software needed. best yet, I get 12 hours on a battery.
 

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You cannot use Googlemaps out side of cell range......it's effectlvely useless.
 

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Oruxmaps free app. Download whatever maps you want for offline/out of cell range use. I have installed it on two phones and a tablet. Great GPS/map reader app.
 

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For Aussies, try the MetroView app. It's $16 and includes regular free updates.

It's available for iPhone or Android. I use it on my iPhone (I have mobile data turned off).
 

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I use a 2012 nexus 7 and loaded Here on it. I like the bigger screen and use richlandricks dashboard ram mount. It can be tough to get below the windscreen and the nexus 7 costs about $100.
 

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The same question arises here as arises in every other "replace your GPS with a cell phone" thread: can you import a custom .gpx route into your phone (like the kind you'd create on software like Tyre), and then have your phone follow that route, give turn by turn directions, ETA, etc? For most of my rides, the shortest route isn't the one that I take. On the Google Maps app on my phone, it only allows you to input a starting point and end point. If you input a custom map you create on your computer, you can see the map, but the GPS won't follow it, and you don't get turn by turn directions.

So far, the only app I've seen that does what I need it to do appears to be OsmAnd, and the free version has its limitations. You only get seven free map downloads, you have to download each state separately (which I think means one download per state), and they take up memory space on your phone. From the reviews I've read, OsmAnd has a less than intuitive user interface and can be clunky to use. I did get a Google Play card so I could download the paid version and experiment with it, but just haven't done it yet.

I know that Macdoc has the impression that some of us are Luddites because we still use a GPS. Maybe so. However, I can create the most meandering route I can think of on my computer using Tyre, with 1000 different waypoints, plug the Garmin into my computer, press the "send to Garmin" button on Tyre, and the route is loaded onto my GPS. My GPS will then follow that route, calling out turn by turn directions, ETA, remaining miles, etc. So far, I haven't read about a single phone GPS app that will do all that, and do it that simply.

If I only ever wanted to go from Point A to Point B by the shortest possible way, I wouldn't bother with a GPS and I'd just use a phone. That's rarely the way I go. If there's a phone app out there that can do it as simply as the "push one button, send map to phone" process I use now, then I'm sold.

Note to Brian: Thanks for that speedometer app. When I have to use my tankbag, I need to extend my phone mount to the point that it blocks the speedometer display. This solves that problem.
 

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GPS is GPS .....yes you can use the EXACT GPX route on a smart phone ...period ....full stop.

My GPS will then follow that route, calling out turn by turn directions, ETA, remaining miles, etc. So far, I haven't read about a single phone GPS app that will do all that, and do it that simply.
Then you are not well informed - lead a horse to water n'all.
 

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The older smart phones used cell towers for coordinates. They would just stop at the edge of their world until coming back into cell phone range. The newer cell phones use real GPS technology and are not affected by cell phone tower range. I know this first hand. I have experienced both old and new cell phone GPS performance at the same time on a trip. My buddy had an older Apple and I had a Samsung S4. The S$ never quit, but the older Apple I phone was clearly reliant on cell phone technology.

I have used nothing but my cell phone for GPS since purchasing my 2014 Vee2. I have never been without GPS service even in the when the sign said next gas station 100+ miles.

+1 on the x-grip. Ram Mount Accessories - AdventureTech, LLC.

I suggest removing your cell phone if your going off pavement and a tether is a good idea, but I have done 40 miles of rough forest road (fast) and it held the cell phone fine.

I forgot to mention that I now have a new Apple 6S that stays in my pocket and the S4 is relegated to GPS duty.
 

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So far, the only app I've seen that does what I need it to do appears to be OsmAnd, and the free version has its limitations. You only get seven free map downloads, you have to download each state separately (which I think means one download per state), and they take up memory space on your phone. From the reviews I've read, OsmAnd has a less than intuitive user interface and can be clunky to use. I did get a Google Play card so I could download the paid version and experiment with it, but just haven't done it yet.
Yeah, I've tried several apps (Here, Google, Waze, Osm, Rever, and a few others that I'm forgetting) that really kind of fell short on turn by turn directions via uploaded GPX file. The closest one was Osm, but I noticed a few little quirks while riding, like sending me off on a short lollipop loop off the main route even though it wasn't mapped that way (happened 4 times on a 50 mile ride), as well as not being completely intuitive in it's UI. I'm guessing that the latter will hopefully improve over time as I get used to the app.

Having said that, if I was just wanting to go from point A-B, I think using Here or Waze are my weapons of choice, leaning more towards Here because it has offline maps as well as a speedometer.
 

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Oh, and for trip planning, I've been super impressed with furkot.com. I'll have to check out tyre as well.
 

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Yeah, I've tried several apps (Here, Google, Waze, Osm, Rever, and a few others that I'm forgetting) that really kind of fell short on turn by turn directions via uploaded GPX file. The closest one was Osm, but I noticed a few little quirks while riding, like sending me off on a short lollipop loop off the main route even though it wasn't mapped that way (happened 4 times on a 50 mile ride), as well as not being completely intuitive in it's UI. I'm guessing that the latter will hopefully improve over time as I get used to the app.

Having said that, if I was just wanting to go from point A-B, I think using Here or Waze are my weapons of choice, leaning more towards Here because it has offline maps as well as a speedometer.
That was really the biggest gripe I read about with OsmAnd; that it has a quirky user interface that made it difficult to use. I'll still download it and experiment with it to see if it's preferable to me than the setup I have now.
 

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I stopped bringing my GPS with me because the iPhone's maps app works just fine for me. I've never once had an issue with it and use it everywhere. The voice over works well through my Uclear headset as well.
 

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Oh, and for trip planning, I've been super impressed with furkot.com. I'll have to check out tyre as well.
I really like Tyre. It's easy to work with. It's biggest drawback is that is uses Google Maps, so you can't create a route on the program unless you have internet access. If you had to alter your route mid-trip and didn't have internet access, you'd have to make any route changes using the GPS itself, which can be a pain. Tyre is working on a phone app now.

I've read about other guys who use a combination of Furkot and OsmAnd for route creation, so I'll probably end up experimenting with that combination.
 

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I have use OsMand in my phone to help us get around cities. Worked pretty good. I played a bit with it last night again. I emailed myself a route I had created using Tyre. I then retrieved my email with my phone, opened/saved the .gpx attachment. It opened fine using OsMand. It appears to have created the route correctly as it showed accurately on the map, but I have not tried it out. It did direct me correctly (using street names, etc) for the first turn while sitting at my desk.

A bit finicky to have to email the routes but at least it opened and loaded the .gpx file. All you would have to do is send all the routes you wanted to use on a trip, as email attachments, to your phone, download them and then access them with OsMand as needed.

Rod
 

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I have use OsMand in my phone to help us get around cities. Worked pretty good. I played a bit with it last night again. I emailed myself a route I had created using Tyre. I then retrieved my email with my phone, opened/saved the .gpx attachment. It opened fine using OsMand. It appears to have created the route correctly as it showed accurately on the map, but I have not tried it out. It did direct me correctly (using street names, etc) for the first turn while sitting at my desk.

A bit finicky to have to email the routes but at least it opened and loaded the .gpx file. All you would have to do is send all the routes you wanted to use on a trip, as email attachments, to your phone, download them and then access them with OsMand as needed.

Rod
Thanks, Rod. That's good info.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi Brian....I've been wrestling with this same issue, and I'm curious as to how you were able to load the OsmAnd app on the phone, without the phone being active. Did you just use the wifi connection to download the app?
I use Wifi to do that, I am just going to the App store and downloading whatever my heart desires. I did purchase OSMAnd, and I have the entire USA loaded onto my SD card. I have probably 15 routes loaded as well "several for the Romney rally" and I did that through my computer.
 
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