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Old 06-23-2019, 10:44 PM   #1
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GPS recommendations

I'm not a Luddite but I could be easily mistaken for one. I didn't get a smartphone until after I had retired. My Garmin 2595LTM (six years old) seems to be dying. Problems seem to have increased exponentially since I did a map update about a month ago. Since then I have reinstalled the maps two more times and if anything it has gotten worse.

Today I took a short trip and used my iPhone SE alongside the Garmin 2595 for comparisons. The phone worked without a hiccup. The Garmin, on the other hand, lost satellite frequently and was mostly useless the whole trip. At least the Garmin screen did not lock up or go black this time. While traveling in congested metro areas I do love the lane designator feature of the Garmin which I don't think is available on the iPhone maps.

So, I am considering upgrading my Verizon prepaid plan to add data and use my phone as the navigator or to purchase a new Garmin RV 780 ($400). My current phone prepaid plan is $30 a month with .5 gigabytes data which has worked well for me but won't if used as a navigator. Would someone who knows about these things provide some direction or advice? The navigation/GPS solution purchase is not imminent as it is prioritized after a new windshield and dental crown for a broken tooth but any advice is welcome.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:51 PM   #2
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Ever since I got my Google Pixel phone a few years ago, I've not touched a Garmin for road navigation. Google maps work great for me. I can plan a trip on my home PC, then send it to my phone, I can load maps when I'm on wifi for later offline use... only time this has failed me is when I deviated from my original plans and left the saved areas while in a region with no cellular service (vast rural spots in the mountain west), and even then it had major highway navigation.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:59 PM   #3
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I'm on my second TomTom. I am again advised that my device has run out of memory for new maps and I can get a new discounted device. I have no plans to replace it.
I'm just going to stay home and play with my smartphone.
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:20 PM   #4
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The guy that is going to install my windshield said that my phone has GPS navigation capabilities. That didn't sound right but I don't know enough to even discuss it with him. I'm thinking cell phones use cell towers to navigate. Or is my glass installer correct in saying a cell phone can use GPS to navigate?
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:27 PM   #5
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Can I push a button and get a phone to tell me how far it is to the next rest area? probably my favorite feature on the Garmin. Wish the hardware was built to last longer though, the last 2 only lasted 2 years each, this one is having problems booting along with a battery that won't hold a charge. I'll be looking for a new one before winter.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:09 AM   #6
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iPhone Google Maps

For GPS navigation, we have used both Garmins and our iPhones with Google maps.

The Garmins are nice in that the maps are always inside the unit. Some of the Garmin models receive current traffic data. However, it has been our experience with two of those models that the traffic updating works very poorly.

Thus, we now use the iPhone with Google Maps for navigation. Google seems to have the best, most up to date traffic and road conditions.

The one big problem with the iPhone / Google maps is when there is no cellular data service. However, one can download maps for offline use with iPhone’s Google Maps app. This way, you can have the maps with you at all times. (see this link for directions on how to download maps https://support.google.com/maps/answ...rm%3DiOS&hl=en )

However, you cannot download the whole US. You can download a map that vary in size, but the upper limit is somewhere around 100 miles by 100 miles or so. A map of the LA area is about 400-500MB in size.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farther View Post
I'm thinking cell phones use cell towers to navigate. Or is my glass installer correct in saying a cell phone can use GPS to navigate?
While mobile devices (phones) can use tower locations for approximate navigation, typical phones have had built-in GPS receivers for a long time; I doubt that you can buy a phone without GPS now.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:49 AM   #8
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I’ve gone the Garmin method, but have transitioned to phone navigation. The phones tend to have more current information. My Garmin once tried to take me to a campground over a gov’t dirt road that wouldn’t have gotten me there while the campground was connected with a newly repaved road. My first choice is Waze - current traffic conditions updated constantly. Second is Google maps. Third is Scout GPS - set up to use my Toyota screen but worst of the 3. I usually use the one that has my preferred route.
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:40 AM   #9
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How much data does using GPS on a phone use? I don't have unlimited data.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:32 AM   #10
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For a few years now I mostly use Google Maps. A lot of the reason for this is my 2015 truck has a very poor system. Google Maps is just so easy to use. I mostly just use speech to find my target, though with typing it works great too, narrowing down targets as you enter part of the address.

I don't usually leave it running while doing most of the driving, but do turn it on when there will be some turns to make. You still can follow your route with it turned off. I occasionally will download a map to use when there is no connectivity.

Google Maps does us up some data, but seeing we have 20 gigs per month we have never found it to be an issue when travelling.

Lots of constant updates to the maps too, unlike my truck where I need to spend a schwack on a new SD card to upgrade, though I understand the newer Fords have much better systems.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:47 AM   #11
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How much data does using GPS on a phone use? I don't have unlimited data.
A blogger did a test and found that on average Google maps for one hour of driving uses 5 MB of data, not much mobile data at all.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:56 AM   #12
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unlike my truck where I need to spend a schwack
is this between an arm and a leg or your first born?
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:38 AM   #13
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Maybe I'm just old fashion, but I still use a Garmin NUVI 3580. When I got the F 150, I decided to try a larger screened Garmin, bought a Garmin DriveSmart™ 65 & Traffic for the 7" screen, but, as Garmin seems to constantly do, found many of the features I depend on have been dropped in the newer model. I still use the 3580.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:54 AM   #14
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A blogger did a test and found that on average Google maps for one hour of driving uses 5 MB of data, not much mobile data at all.
With my current data plan that would mean about 1.5 days of travel before I was out of data. So to me that would be a lot and as in life it is all relative.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:03 AM   #15
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I only have 2gb, could probably bump it up for the travel months. something to think about.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:28 AM   #16
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I only have 2gb, could probably bump it up for the travel months. something to think about.
Rates for data have really improved lately. I am not paying much more for cell phones than before, and having actually 16 gigs of data now (20 in a couple months) along with unlimited phone and text is much better than what I once had. Plus, having this coverage North America wide is nice too for travelling.

I looked into getting a similar plan with less data and just adding when needed, but would not save much and the cost travelling using data would be higher, so I just stuck with the current plan when dealing with them later last week.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:45 AM   #17
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My current phone prepaid plan is $30 a month with .5 gigabytes data which has worked well for me but won't if used as a navigator.
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Originally Posted by Farther View Post
With my current data plan that would mean about 1.5 days of travel before I was out of data.
With .5 GB of data (500 MB) at 5 MB an hour driving usage rate you will get 100 driving hours if you use the .5 GB for GPS only. Assume you drive 7 hours a day 1.5 days of driving will use only 52.5 MB of data (1.5 x 7 x 5). Did I miss something?
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:30 AM   #18
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CoPilot GPS app

For several years now I've used the CoPilot GPS app, first on an Android smartphone and for the last few years on a Samsung Android tablet. It holds a map for the U.S. and Canada (about 2 GB) and does not need a cellular connection to operate. It is also available for Apple's iOS devices.

CoPilot's pricing plans have changed, but I think you still don't need a subscription; you just make a one-time purchase of the app & map. There are extra features that do require a subscription but I don't need them (traffic updates, etc.). Map updates are free but they are big downloads.

The only problem I have is that CoPilot drains my tablet's battery faster than its USB connection will charge it. The result is that after a long day of towing the tablet will shut down when I am in a strange location after dark; it's perfect timing. I've learned not to turn the thing on during a long drive until I really need it.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:45 AM   #19
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Rates for data have really improved lately. I am not paying much more for cell phones than before, and having actually 16 gigs of data now (20 in a couple months) along with unlimited phone and text is much better than what I once had. Plus, having this coverage North America wide is nice too for travelling.

I looked into getting a similar plan with less data and just adding when needed, but would not save much and the cost travelling using data would be higher, so I just stuck with the current plan when dealing with them later last week.
Runs me $26 USD a month for the 2Gb and more calls and texts then I could ever do. Highest I can get is 10Gb a month for $54 USD, I like that I can change it on a month by month basis and may try it come January.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:59 AM   #20
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The only problem I have is that CoPilot drains my tablet's battery faster than its USB connection will charge it. The result is that after a long day of towing the tablet will shut down when I am in a strange location after dark; it's perfect timing.
Wouldn't a USB battery pack help you out in that situation?
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