I'm experimenting with using an Android phone with NO cell service as a dedicated combination GPS and dashboard camera. Because it has no cell service tied to it I can't download maps via mobile data (and you can't count on WiFi on the highway).
This means that I need an Android GPS app that downloads the complete maps to the phone's SD card.
I just tried Navfree. Downloaded the map for my state. It uses open-source map data from OpenStreetMap. Unfortunately, it routes incorrectly AND it doesn't speak street names.
Does anyone know of any good free Android mapping programs that speaks street names and can use POI Factory POI files?
Based on a variety of claims I have heard -- including from my provider -- you should be able to cache your entire route using the Google Maps application. Just enter your start and destination while you are in range of a WiFi connection.
Locus Pro is supposed to allow you to do that but I haven't tried the navigation itself.
Personally, I'm convinced a real GPSr is still the best solution.
Keep us informed. I just got my hands on a galaxy s3. Best phone I ever had.
That is true. I have a Galaxy player 5.0 and it only has wifi with no cell capability. If I enter a destination in Google Maps while connected to wifi it downloads the entire route and gives turn by turn navigation. You just have to connect to wifi source to set the next destination.
I thought that Google Maps only lets you download six tiles. So if I want to drive from Boston to New York, I'm not going to get the full route. Correct?
I'm not 100% sure but since there haven't been any replies.
You can download 6 tiles, really cities. Those will always be available. You're flying to Europe. You can D/L 6 different cities.
You can use Wireless when you set up your route (navigation). Your entire route can be "cached".
Two different activities.
I have not run across a limit on a route length downloadne when connected to wifi.
Well, this is interesting...
It's been reported that it looks like sometimes Google maps doesn't like it when you don't have cell service. Without cell service Maps keeps crashing the phone.
Without cell service, Maps is more limited as to the information it can harvest from you and that makes you less interesting to push advertising to.
Maps used to have a popup telling you that you need cell service. Now it just locks up the phone to the point where you gotta pull the battery. This is what is happening to me.
No input, going to watch this thread.
Well, I have an update on NavFree. Seems it only doesn't speak street names on some local areas. But the program really excels when using it on the freeway. On a drive from Boston to NYC, navigation was flawless and it spoke street names for exits.
It still needs work but I have to say I'm very happy with the program. With my experimental cell that has no cell service I use it as a combination navigation device, dashboard camera, and mp3 player w/Bluetooth.
Now, when you enable GPS on a mobile phone, what you are really doing is enabling "location-based services".
A mobile phone uses three services to find your location:
Now, check this out: this phone is a CDMA phone tied to Virgin Mobile. Even though the phone has no paid cell service, it still gets it's location from the cell towers. There is an Android app called GPS Essentials that will tell you the "location provider" used to determine your position - GPS, Cell, or WiFi.
And hey - get this - I can use my main cell phone, for PHONE CALLS! Imagine that!
I'm installing NavFree on my older Gingerbread phone... it will be interesting to see how it works, compared with MapQuest's OSM implementation.
I definitely will second GPS Essentials as a very good troubleshooting tool/"swiss army knife" for GPS--it and TurboGPS 2 have been my standbys for generalist tools, but anymore I tend to use GPS Essentials for testing functionality and u-center or GPS Status for just testing if it can get a fix.
(The sole thing I've not seen GPS Essentials to do yet is differentiate GPS and GLONASS sats on a fix--but unless you have an HTC One series or a Samsung Galaxy series built in the past year or so, you won't notice this. I mostly notice it because apparently the GS3 relies primarily on sat fixes, and does tend to use "assisted GLONASS" along with a-GPS fixes. Most folks will just notice 20-odd sats on a fix, though, not "Why are half my sats Russian?" )
Getting back to the original subject--encouraging news endeed re NavFree, now that I have room to play around with multiple GPS apps I might well have to play with this one
Personally I don't find any phone app that can easily replace my Garmin. There's always a shortcoming in a feature.
The thing about Navfree is that the interface takes some getting used to.
Important - you need to set a Home location or you might have problems.
To see a map without navigation, from the main menu you press Home. Now you see the map and it shows your home location. To see your present location, you then press the blue navigation arrow on the right. Now you see your present location.
Again, the UI isn't intuitive, but once you figure it out it's a nice program.
@ BillG. That's what I want. Your avatar that is. What year?
Wow, I changed my avatar ten minutes before I saw your post!
I have an '89 SHO, original owner. over 273,000 miles on it. All black.
1989 was the fastest year for the Taurus SHO. Yamaha over-designed the engine and it's good for 500,000 miles. Still speeds like a bat of out hell!
Try CoPilot. The only thing I don't like about it is that you can't pinch to zoom, but you can use your POIs if they are in ov2 (TomTom) format. It's a reasonable price too, imo.
Google maps works, but as stated before you have a limited ability to cache tiles (although they can be large) and you cannot plot a new route unless you have cell or wi-fi, and you cannot get built-in Google poi info unless you have a live connection. The size and number of tiles in the latest version should be enough to get you from Boston to NY, but I'd try CoPilot first.
CoPilot looks nice. The free version doesn't have voice navigation, though.
If you keep watching the web, CoPilot has a practice of running "sales" periodically that actually drop the price to a very reasonable level. That when I bought my copy of their Android app, and I suspect that the major of their customers also came through the "sales". Just wait a couple of months and they will probably have another one. (Edit: They might even have one going on now - I didn't check before I wrote this.)
FWIW, although I think that it is a reasonably good (but not perfect) product overall, over the holidays I was quite disappointed when I was using it in conjunction with my TomTom GO LIVE 1535 on a trip. At one point I attempted to plan a route for guidance to the home of some friends who had moved to Palm Springs, CA, early last year.
CoPilot did not list the street on which their home is located, even though the homes had been built several years ago. The TomTom 1535 took me to the front door of our friends' house.
With best wishes,
- Tom -
Thanks, Tom. I should have clarified - as I stated in my OP, this project is for Android phones with no cell service. Without cell service I can't charge the cost of a paid app to my cell bill. The alternative is a Google Wallet account tied to the phone's Gmail account, but for multiple phones that gets complicated.
The preceding discussion may also apply to Tablets with Wi-Fi & GPS capability. I have used Google Maps to navigate from Home to a Store in a large shopping center and the tablet gave voice guidance.
There is -or- was a free app called
It was for the pc so that you can do almost anything you wanted to your phone, Even take and put app (apk files) on your phone. It really is a great app and does not need a data data plan to work. you should look into that maybe?!? BTW you can get all your photo, messages off it too. Alos edit on the fly your contacts. A great peace of free software.
Please note, I went to this site the other day and now looks like they want $$ for it. but still might be worth it. Oh yea, I still have the free verison of it..
I know how to take any APK from my daily Android phone and extract it to another phone - it's easy to do. But I'm not going to pirate paid apps. Remember, apps you buy are tied to your Google account, and paid apps do a Google License Check. Pirating paid apps runs the risk of being denied access to Google Play, or even suspension of your Gmail account.
I'm already using CyanogenMod 7 (CM7) on my experimental Androids. A lot of what I'm doing involves hacking Android anyway.
So instead of finding a way to hack paid apps, I'd rather stick with totally free apps like NavFree which seem to work fine. And the app GPS Essentials is invaluable.
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