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Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: December 13, 2011 09:39AM
One of the biggest things I lost when switching from Android to iPhone is Google's awesome, built-in and free GPS.

So, I'm in the market for a GPS and am confused as to whether I should go for an iPhone app vs. a standalone model.

Perusing the options they have for standalone models at Costco the other day left me dazed and confused. What are the things I should be looking for? What are "must have" features and what things are just fluff?

In terms of iPhone GPS apps, who are the big players? I think I saw mention of one the other day called "MotionX" or something like that. I didn't really look into the details but do remember it being relatively cheap.

Anyway, any advice pointing me in one direction or the other would be appreciated. And, once pointed, any specific model/app recs would be great.

By the way, I have a 4S, 64GB if that matters.



My daily record blog: [www.auditorymusings.com]






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2011 09:51AM by pinkoos.
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: graylocks
Date: December 13, 2011 09:49AM
i have both an iPhone and a Garmin stand alone. for just running around town the iPhone is sufficient: i use the NavFree app and the MapQuest 4 Mobile app.

for long trips i prefer to set up the garmin as i simply don't want my iPhone tied up doing navigation, the Garmin screen is larger (i think i have a 1390 or something like that) and i find the garmin easier to find what i'm looking for in.

i think anything besides navigation and phone book on steroids is fluff (mp3 player, photos) but you'd be hard put to find a gps unit that simple. voices streets is a given these days. i have free lifetime traffic which is nice but not essential to me especially since i found apps for that.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: December 13, 2011 09:53AM
Unless things have changed, if I recall, most phone-based GPS options rely on downloading maps as needed - if you happen to be without cell coverage, you no longer have maps. For most everyday commuting, this is fine - but if you plan on roadtrips away from civilization, you should bear this in mind.

For standalone GPS units, TomTom & Garmin are really the only names to consider. Lifetime map updates and lifetime traffic are de rigueur. With all the sales going on for the holidays, you should be able to nab one for less than $150 any day of the week, right around $100-$125 if you really dig and shop around...
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: graylocks
Date: December 13, 2011 09:57AM
NavFree downloads the map info;uses 1.9 GB. don't know about MapQuest 4Mobile.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: Spiff
Date: December 13, 2011 10:00AM
I second Mapquest 4 mobile for the iPhone. Yes, it will tie up your phone, you will need to have it plugged in constantly as it's a huge drain and the phone will get HOT as it's constantly processing information.

I like the Garmin series of GPS. Ignore Bluetooth capabilities as the voice commands and phone sync don't work in a car with road noise. Just doesn't. Don't argue.

[buy.garmin.com]

My wife has this series (the model above this with Bluetooth capabilities. A waste of $). I really like it a lot. Don't bother with the traffic mode, does a lousy job of predicting traffic. However, it is a bit pricey. OTherwise, the 2400 series GPSs look good as well, just not as flashy. Doing some research, looks like this is as simple as it gets!

[buy.garmin.com]

my 2 cents worth...
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: December 13, 2011 10:10AM
We had a pretty bad experience with a Garmin while on our summer trip to the Canadian Rockies:

[forums.macresource.com]

But, admittedly, we didn't have the manual and I really didn't have time to spend trying to figure it out. I was hoping that it would be pretty intuitive, but it wasn't. I'm sure it was a dated, el cheapo model provided by the rental company so maybe the ones available now and the ones being rec'd by you guys are much improved.
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: davester
Date: December 13, 2011 10:27AM
I use ALK CoPilot Live for a GPS app that has all the maps built into the phone and so works where there is no network, and I use MotionX GPS Drive if my entire trip will be in an area where I've got good cell coverage. Both are cheap and good. I've also heard good things about mapquest.

Bear in mind that the GPS receiver in any kind of phone is a lot less powerful than the receiver in a dedicated GPS unit, so the accuracy and position updating frequency are always going to be poorer with a phone.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: datbeme
Date: December 13, 2011 10:53AM
It would probably be most helpful to have both. A standalone unit is nice to have at times (when you are without cellular data or when you just don't want to tie up your phone), but if I had to pick, I'd prefer to have it in my phone. It's always with me, and maybe it's because my standalone unit is a few years old, but I find the interface much easier to work with when it comes to inputing addresses (cutting and pasting, links from emails and google searches or direct access to addresses of contacts.

Not saying it's the be all, end all, but you should at least try MotionX. The app is only $0.99 and it includes a 30 day trial. If you like it, grab the year of guidance which is on sale for $9.99 right now.

I did the trial of the latest Garmin app, and I did like the driving and prompts more than the MotionX Drive (looks to be similar to their current standalone units), but the data entry, manipulation and special features weren't as good as MotionX's. Was going to purchase it anyway but the price jumped from an introductory $15 to the standard $30 before I made up my mind.
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: December 13, 2011 10:55AM
Quote
graylocks
i have both an iPhone and a Garmin stand alone. for just running around town the iPhone is sufficient: i use the NavFree app and the MapQuest 4 Mobile app.

for long trips i prefer to set up the garmin as i simply don't want my iPhone tied up doing navigation, the Garmin screen is larger (i think i have a 1390 or something like that) and i find the garmin easier to find what i'm looking for in.

i think anything besides navigation and phone book on steroids is fluff (mp3 player, photos) but you'd be hard put to find a gps unit that simple. voices streets is a given these days. i have free lifetime traffic which is nice but not essential to me especially since i found apps for that.

Same here! iPhone 4 and a Garmin 255W



Grateful11
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 13, 2011 11:00AM
I've been very happy with Navigon on my iphone but i use it very rarely since i live in nyc and rarely drive.



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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: ADent
Date: December 13, 2011 11:04AM
I have TomTom app on the iPhone and don't use my standalone TomTom at all.

TomTom is fully loaded onto the iPhone (1.5GB) and works like a standalone TomTom - not the greatest interface, but the wife and I are used to it.

I think the GPS on the iPhone is not quite as speedy and accurate as the standalone, but it is close. Not that the standalone was perfect either.

The reason I have an iPhone is so I don't need all the friggin cords and such I used to travel with. PalmPhone, TomTom, iPod with car cords for all three and wall charger for two. Now it is iPhone, cord, Wall adapter, Car adapter.

Which ever GPS app you use, plan on the iPhone being plugged in when using it.
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: neophyte
Date: December 13, 2011 11:49AM
I thought Google Navigation, which uses Google maps, provides audible GPS navigation for free on the 4s like it does on Android devices...
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: December 13, 2011 11:57AM
I have the Navigon App for my iPhone. Works great on the iPad as well. I like the fact that there is no cost to upgrade the app. Map updates are $15 every other year IIRC. I bought the Magellan Car Kit as it was the only one I found that will hold an iPhone while in its case. It also has a built-in gps receiver to improve satellite reception. I use this setup when I travel on business. It works really well. I've had no issues with accuracy or updating of data. Realize that the Navigon app includes maps for either all of the US or all of North America, depending on the version you buy. You can download as much or as little of the maps as you want or need (by state/province). So, it will work where there is no data service.

If you go the stand alone route, make sure that you buy one with lifetime map updates. Otherwise, the cost to keep the unit up to date may wind up making the purchase of a new unit a better choice.
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: testcase
Date: December 13, 2011 12:43PM
Stand alone GPS will have a larger screen which I find much easier to use. Although many / most now come with Lifetime Map Updates, not all do so, be careful to ensure that the model you buy has LMU included.


old fogey smiley
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: December 13, 2011 12:46PM
What would you all consider the best bang for the buck of those listed on Costco's site?:

EDIT (Costco link was not working): [bit.ly]

If I don't go the iOS route, I'll probably just buy from Costco b/c returns are so easy.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2011 12:47PM by pinkoos.
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: December 13, 2011 01:15PM
Quote
pinkoos
One of the biggest things I lost when switching from Android to iPhone is Google's awesome, built-in and free GPS.

Patience, Grasshopper...

[arstechnica.com]
[9to5mac.com]
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: December 13, 2011 01:17PM
Quote
Article Accelerator
Quote
pinkoos
One of the biggest things I lost when switching from Android to iPhone is Google's awesome, built-in and free GPS.

Patience, Grasshopper...

[arstechnica.com]
[9to5mac.com]

Interesting!
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: December 13, 2011 01:19PM
Quote
ADent
I think the GPS on the iPhone is not quite as speedy and accurate as the standalone, but it is close. Not that the standalone was perfect either.

I suspect that nothing is faster than the iPhone 4S at location acquisition. It is one of the few devices that uses both GPS and GLONASS for positioning.
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: AllGold
Date: December 13, 2011 03:46PM
Quote
pinkoos
What would you all consider the best bang for the buck of those listed on Costco's site?:

EDIT (Costco link was not working): [bit.ly]

If I don't go the iOS route, I'll probably just buy from Costco b/c returns are so easy.

I would say the 2360LMT if you want all the bells and whistles or the 1300LM if you want cheap.

LMT stands for Lifetime Maps and Traffic, LM stands for Lifetime Maps, so with either you will always have current map data. Obviously the 2360LMT also includes traffic information but I don't know how important that is to you.

Both speak street names. The 2360 adds some nice features like Lane Assist and Junction View. The other nice feature with the 2360 is it has voice recognition so you can control it by talking rather than messing with the touchscreen.



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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: December 13, 2011 05:24PM
Quote
AllGold
Both speak street names. The 2360 adds some nice features like Lane Assist and Junction View. The other nice feature with the 2360 is it has voice recognition so you can control it by talking rather than messing with the touchscreen.

If you frequently travel to areas that you're not familiar with, the Lane Assist is well worth it. Nothing like having to dodge multiple lanes in traffic.
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Re: Need GPS recs: iPhone GPS app vs. standalone GPS
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: December 14, 2011 06:34AM
Thanks for all the replies. Hope to make it to Costco today to check out some of the standalone options.
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