Can Dataless Smartphones Still Use GPS Navigation Apps?

 

tl;dr

>> Can Dataless Smartphones Still Use GPS Navigation Apps?

Yes. Depends on the app.

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

Was it necessary to copy and

Was it necessary to copy and paste the entire article after providing the link?

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"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

And the phone

Depends on the phone also - I used to have a Galaxy Tab 4.0 and it worked well, but that has an embedded GPS chip.

Some phones won't have that and some phones will have it locked or disabled.

even prepaid "feature", sometimes

I am at the bargain-basement end of cell phone usage, spending $100 a year to keep my prepaid phone alive. When my first one died, I noticed that the ZTE F160 I got as my second one has a navigation icon on the screen. My carrier is AT&T and nothing on their website even hints that you can use the GPS function on any of their prepaid phones, but to my surprise I was able to navigate the screens and use the function.

Of course the rub is that without a data plan active, I was paying the retail price for data, which on the AT&T prepaid plan is extremely high per byte. However, for occasional use just turning it on in the remote city on a trip, it actually turned out to be practical.

The rub was that just having the GPS enabled on the device incurred a five dollar per month charge, and it just was not worth it, as my normal practice is just to pack one of our Garmin vehicle machines (currently 3790 LMT) on trips. I had trouble getting the subscription turned off. Not even the helpful friendly counter person at our local AT&T wireless store could do it--and the telephone help number she referred me took quite a while and some puzzlement before succeeding.

I think officially an F-160 is considered a "feature phone" not a smart phone, which seems mostly to be a term limited to Android and iPhone models.

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personal GPS user since 1992

Can Dataless Smartphones Still Use GPS Navigation Apps?

Strephon_Alkhalikoi wrote:

Was it necessary to copy and paste the entire article after providing the link?

Good point. I removed it.

Google navigation will work

Google navigation will work with GPS chip in the phone using WiFi to load the maps.

Navigation apps which let you download the maps to your memory card will work even better.

The big issue

Jim1348 wrote:

Some people here may find this CNET article interesting.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57573976-94/can-dataless-smartphones-still-use-gps-navigation-apps/

I get the teckie aspect of using GPS apps and Smartphone --- okay, I don't understand it. To me Garmin's market share is under assault from cell phones... would love to see Garmin develop a GPS that is also a cell phone and fight back.

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Garmin Drive Smart 61 NA LMT-S

Been there, done that, failed

Garmin Gal wrote:
Jim1348 wrote:

Some people here may find this CNET article interesting.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57573976-94/can-dataless-smartphones-still-use-gps-navigation-apps/

I get the teckie aspect of using GPS apps and Smartphone --- okay, I don't understand it. To me Garmin's market share is under assault from cell phones... would love to see Garmin develop a GPS that is also a cell phone and fight back.

Google "Garminfone".

The future for Garmin's automotive PND sector is their stand alone devices and apps for smartphones & pads/tablets...

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

Garmin Can Not Go Up Against Apple and Google

The smartphone market is owned by Apple and Google, and they are slogging it out for dominance. No way a company like Garmin can compete against Apple and Google. Look at how Blackberry and Windows are relegated to insignificant. Where would a Garmin smartphone fall in that pecking order?

Clearly Garmin's products will address very specific markets, as far as hardware. General markets will probably by addressed by apps that run on smartphones. Look at what has happened and happening to the photography industry. Smartphones are taking the place of standalone cameras, except for very high end cameras. I use my iPhone as the go-to camera and rarely pull out the dSLR nowadays. I use the Garmin app on my iPhone and am very impressed. I run the Garmin iPhone app and Montana with City Navigator side-by-side and they are essentially identical twins.

Garmin Gal wrote:

I get the teckie aspect of using GPS apps and Smartphone --- okay, I don't understand it. To me Garmin's market share is under assault from cell phones... would love to see Garmin develop a GPS that is also a cell phone and fight back.

--
GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

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Indeed. Why create a device when you can write an app? Devices are an incredibly finicky market these days.

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nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

Smartphone Market is Way bigger than just Apple and Google.

Samsung, currently world #1, is consistently expanding their lead. I feel sorry for those who think apple is the be-all and end-all with their products.
They have their target markets, as do all the others. I've found that way too often apple products are purposely built incompatible with other devices to force their market in one direction .... theirs! No wonder they lost their top ranking. My friends who once adored their iphones are fed up with pairing and compatibility problems.
Looks like Android products are in ....for the time being .... until a great new color comes out with another product! /sarc off

Personally, I prefer a dedicated device for GPS. As others have mentioned here, cell phones GPS are nice in an occasional jam, but I wouldn't want to use it for serious circumstances.

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If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem quickly resembles a nail. (Maslow's Hammer)

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diesel wrote:

Where would a Garmin smartphone fall in that pecking order?

I guess that they would fall in the Android market seeing as that's the OS Garmin uses.

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If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

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pb46 wrote:

Samsung, currently world #1, is consistently expanding their lead. I feel sorry for those who think apple is the be-all and end-all with their products.
They have their target markets, as do all the others. I've found that way too often apple products are purposely built incompatible with other devices to force their market in one direction .... theirs! No wonder they lost their top ranking. My friends who once adored their iphones are fed up with pairing and compatibility problems.

READ THIS Yes it's the Apple Insider web site, but they're quoting someone else. Pairing and compatibility problems? Can you expand on this? I sure don't have these problems and I'm 78 years old. ;)

I'm even pairing and receiving messages on my Pebble.

Other things I've paired my iPhone with and not had a problem.

AudioCube
Garmin760
My iPad
TuneLink Bluetooth link to my car stereo

--
If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

Have they really lost their top ranking?

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If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

I hope Garmin does not get

I hope Garmin does not get any ideas of getting into the smartphone side of things with a device. The way it is now, the general public expects devices to come out one after another. Garmin would get killed churning one after another, even without any sales growth to go along with it. Getting into apps, Garmin might have a chance.

Yes most phones should be

Yes most phones should be able to access GPS while off data. You just need to have the certain app installed and offline maps for this to be the case.

It can provided the app

It can provided the app stores its maps locally on the phone.

Dataless GPS

pilothaz wrote:

Yes most phones should be able to access GPS while off data. You just need to have the certain app installed and offline maps for this to be the case.

I have NavFree off line maps installed but what would the "certain app" be for an iPhone to get dataless gps to work?

--
ChefDon

Been there, done that, Failed.

team.rocket wrote:

I hope Garmin does not get any ideas of getting into the smartphone side of things with a device.

Google "garminfone".

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

Depends on what you mean by "off data"...

pilothaz wrote:

Yes most phones should be able to access GPS while off data. You just need to have the certain app installed and offline maps for this to be the case.

If you mean in Airplane mode, the GPS receiver likely will not work as it's a part of the cell phone's radio internals that gets turned off when in Airplane mode. The app won't matter.

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

NavFree Rocks

I put NavFree on an LG Optimus V bought on eBay for $35. NavFree is a free app, the phone has no cell service. I installed a custom version of Android (CM7) to overclock the phone and get rid of the bloatware.

NavFree has turn by turn navigation, speaks street names, and works terrifically. And even though it has no cell service, it still uses the Verizon towers to help find its location to supplement the GPS signals.

--
Re-CAL-culating... "Some people will believe anything they read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

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kch50428 wrote:

If you mean in Airplane mode, the GPS receiver likely will not work as it's a part of the cell phone's radio internals that gets turned off when in Airplane mode. The app won't matter.

This is incorrect. My Nexus 4 will get a GPS signal in Airplane mode, and is not dependent on the cell radio to do so. So will my Nexus S.

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nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

Still depends...

Juggernaut wrote:
kch50428 wrote:

If you mean in Airplane mode, the GPS receiver likely will not work as it's a part of the cell phone's radio internals that gets turned off when in Airplane mode. The app won't matter.

This is incorrect. My Nexus 4 will get a GPS signal in Airplane mode, and is not dependent on the cell radio to do so. So will my Nexus S.

It's a crapshoot to guess... will it? won't it?

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

I've found this more of a telco than a device thing

kch50428 wrote:
Juggernaut wrote:
kch50428 wrote:

If you mean in Airplane mode, the GPS receiver likely will not work as it's a part of the cell phone's radio internals that gets turned off when in Airplane mode. The app won't matter.

This is incorrect. My Nexus 4 will get a GPS signal in Airplane mode, and is not dependent on the cell radio to do so. So will my Nexus S.

It's a crapshoot to guess... will it? won't it?

Most Android phones (so long as the actual cell-telco provider hasn't deliberately crippled the functionality) can and DO use GPS (and GLONASS as well, for devices made in the past six months or so) in airplane mode. It may take a bit longer to get a first fix in airplane mode if the phone hasn't used GPS in a bit (all aGPS does is pull the ephemerides for the GPS--and yes, there's an "aGLONASS" for the Russki sats, all it does it pull the ephemerides) but it is quite possible--and pretty much every Android phone I've run into from three of the four big providers can do this (GS3 from Sprint does it, Nexus devices will do it because it's pretty much required in the Nexus standard, HTC devices will do it, I even think the LG Nexus devices will do it).

The ONLY exceptions I have seen to this is when a cellphone company has deliberately crippled this functionality so as to force you to use their preferred subscription solution. Verizon in particular is pretty damn notorious in messing about with the firmwares of its phones in this manner (a LOT of Verizon branded phones tend to link GPS functionality to having the other radios turned on, and in fact in past Verizon deliberately broke GPS functionality on its phones to ONLY work with the crappy VZ Navigator (took a class action lawsuit from Blackberry and WinMo users to stop that sillyness, and even then their "opened" GPS drivers for the Omnia never quite worked right); Verizon is also pretty notorious for locking its bootloaders even when the stock phones from other providers don't do so).

I've heard a VERY few reports that some Motorola Droid devices lock GPS to having the cell radio on, but (again) most of those reports have been from Verizon customers, and I'd actually suspect that (again) it's a case of Verizon doing hinky things with their phones. razz

(Of note--keep in mind I'm discussing Android devices, as that's my personal preference in smartphone platforms and what I've had experience with. Apple tends to have rather a bit more control to prevent Verizon messing with iDevice firmware TOO much, but I don't know whether Apple links GPS functionality to cell radio/wifi being on; if so, however, that's probably an explicit design decision from Apple.)

Again, depends on telco and POSSIBLY on platform

kch50428 wrote:
pilothaz wrote:

Yes most phones should be able to access GPS while off data. You just need to have the certain app installed and offline maps for this to be the case.

If you mean in Airplane mode, the GPS receiver likely will not work as it's a part of the cell phone's radio internals that gets turned off when in Airplane mode. The app won't matter.

Again, this is not true for a lot of smartphones--both my old HTC Desire Z (Android running Gingerbread, T-Mo) and my present Samsung Galaxy S3 (Android running stock Jellybean, Sprint) do GPS access whilst in airplane mode just fine. (Yes, I've tested; I'll also note that both these phones can actually turn just GPS on in airplane mode, or GPS and wifi.)

There are really only a few phones where GPS radios cannot be turned on when the cell radio is off:

a) Verizon has a bad habit of deliberately mucking with GPS functionality in its phones (and has been sued at least twice over this), and at least some Verizon phones are known to turn GPS off in airplane mode (and do not enable its being turned on) whilst the same device sold by other telcos has full GPS functionality.

(I suspect Verizon does this, and the general locking down of its firmware far more than other providers, specifically to force folks into crappy VZ Navigator. Yet another reason I'll not deal with Verizon ever again as a cell provider if I can keep from it.)

b) Possibly some Motorola Droid devices may have GPS functionality tied to the cell radio being turned on--again, though, this may be Verizon-specific (as most Motorola Droid devices have been Verizon phones).

c) Apple MAY have linked GPS functionality to the cell radio or wifi being on in its iDevices, but as I don't have an iDevice (and actually don't know anyone who still does--most everyone I know who had one has since gone to the GS3, oddly) I can't confirm whether Apple borked this or whether (yet again) this is a case where Verizon deliberately borked functionality. (I REALLY don't put this past Verizon, frankly. I'd be interested to know if your iDevice that turns GPS off when the cell radio is off is Verizon-branded or with a different telco--if it's an AT&T or Sprint or US Cellular iDevice, we know Apple dun it, otherwise, Verizon is doing its usual Very Bad Things with GPS.)

Verizon Android Firmware Stinks

kusuriurikun wrote:

There are really only a few phones where GPS radios cannot be turned on when the cell radio is off:

a) Verizon has a bad habit of deliberately mucking with GPS functionality in its phones (and has been sued at least twice over this), and at least some Verizon phones are known to turn GPS off in airplane mode (and do not enable its being turned on) whilst the same device sold by other telcos has full GPS functionality.

Installing a custom version of Android fixes that fast.

--
Re-CAL-culating... "Some people will believe anything they read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln