Personal Navigation Devices (PND's) versus Cell Phone GPS apps

 

I'm guessing that PND's will always be around for car navigation.

The cons of cell phones for navigation include the smaller size of the screen, less accurate routing, unreliable cell tower service, tying up the phone while the app is running, and the cost for the app.

And as far as I know, you can't save your own POI's in the phone as you pass a location. Maybe I'm wrong about this.

I'm guessing that PND's will never be overtaken by cell phones for serious navigation, although there may be some other technology on the horizon that replaces PND's. Who knows, maybe a heads up display on the windshield will replace PND's.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

--
Amazing GPS: I once was lost but now am found.

~

Your notions of the state of technology available in cell phones related to personal navigation are dated. It's nowhere near as dire as the picture you paint. My Nuvi 765t is the last stand-alone device I will ever buy.

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

Tested several Apps on Phone

I love my Nuvi 2460, but have been testing several applications on my smartphone, a Galaxy S4. The reason I am interested in using my smartphone for navigation, is because of the other abilities of the smartphone.

First I have an unlimited data plan from T-Mobile, I listen to internet radio stations using "TuneIn Radio". I want to be hands free, having messages from mail and text messaging read to me, using "Dragon Mobile App".

I use "Tasker" to recognize my connection to my car via bluetooth and automatically start and stop the various applications for me. This works pretty good.

I have tested Googles "Navigation", it requires a constant data connection, doesn't have a lot of the features you want in a GPS navigation, such as custom POIs, redlight and speed cameras, speed limit indicators and others. It has 2d and 3d capability but is kind of difficult to manage while in motion. It does have the ability to find locations very quickly and traffic notification is getting better because it is now using "Wase" data. The biggest problems is strange routing at times, and it insists my house is located on the street behind me, not the actual culdesac I live on.

"Mapquest" is gettig better has some neat capabilities, but only has 2d, lacks custom POIs, redlight and speed cameras, sped limit notifications and also requires a data connection. I need to test this more for a better evaluation.

"Wase", I like because of the accuracy of information supplied by members who report situations in real time, and the navigation performed is based on actual conditions. It requires a data plan, so once you loose your connectivity you are basically lost until you reconnect. There are no custom POIs, has limited redlight and speed cameras. I like this for around town and city driving, not out on the road. Oh yeah, it has the same problem as Google and insists my house is on the street behind me.

"Navigon", does not require a data connection, you can download maps by state or country has 2d and 3d, no custom POIs has limited redlight and speed cameras. Has lane assist and pretty accurate speed limit indicators. Great, but the display lacks a lot of detail and just aggravates me at times.

"CoPilot" also does not require a data connection, you download maps by region, has 2d and 3d, allows custom POIs, I loaded the redlight cameras from Poi Factory. Has Active Traffic. Lane assist and speed limit indicators are limited. I really like the display of the map on this application the best, I'm hoping there are future improvements to this one.

I forgot to mention that they all have some version of voice guidance, in some cases is very good and others is quite lacking.

I will keep testing and probably will use my smartphone and these apps more and more, especially when I travel and rent a car, easier to carry and mount on a vent with my "Kenu" mount.

PNDs are great and nothing will probably match their abilities completely, but there seems to be a need for more capability and they will probably begin a slow death, unless their makers realize this and begin to make changes.

Personal Navigation Devices (PND's) versus Cell Phone GPS apps

Vito wrote:

I'm guessing that PND's will always be around for car navigation.

The cons of cell phones for navigation include the smaller size of the screen, less accurate routing, unreliable cell tower service, tying up the phone while the app is running, and the cost for the app.

And as far as I know, you can't save your own POI's in the phone as you pass a location. Maybe I'm wrong about this.

I'm guessing that PND's will never be overtaken by cell phones for serious navigation, although there may be some other technology on the horizon that replaces PND's. Who knows, maybe a heads up display on the windshield will replace PND's.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Well, we have certainly discussed that very thing here in the past and I have chimed in with my thoughts. I think it will be similar to other devices that have multiple purpose items follow them.

For example, multi tools like Gerber and Leatherman make could be viewed as a replacement for single blade knives. I still have a single blade knife, but I also have a couple of Leatherman multi tools. So, did I quit using my single blade knife? No, it is in my pocket when I am at work when I need it.

Similarly, I have a Garmin Nuvi in all three vehicle I own. Their are three drivers in my family and usually there is a cell phone with the driver when driving. We still usually use a GPS for directions. I have GPS apps on my phone.

In my previous job I was in the car most of the 8 hour shift each work day. I did try a phone that had great navigation and tried to use it for entertainment, too. At first, it wasn't too bad. I was streaming audio and the Garmin voice would interrupt. I could handle it until I received a telephone call. Then, all bets were off!. The streaming audio stopped, which was fine, but if I was still driving to a location which needed GPS assist, I was out of business.

Also, to put things in perspective, the camera hobbyists have similar discussions. They wonder if single purpose cameras will survive with all of the smartphone cameras.

Even on a watch forum I am on they is similar discussion. I am old school and still wear a wrist watch. I could pull out my phone every time I want to check the time, but I like wearing a watch. My sons, however, who are 13 and 18 may or may not wear a watch as they get older. Now there are even stand alone cell phones to wear on your wrist, as well as Blue tooth connected devices to wear on your wrist that sync with your smartphone.

Keep in mind, too, that there are still some purists out there. They still have pure cell phones. My mother in law and father in law are examples of that. Even my oldest sister has a cell phone, but it won't do much other than make or take a call. Each of them has stand alone Garmin Nuvis, too.

So, in answer to your specific question, I think GPSs will be around for some time to come. Even if our transportation system changes dramatically in the future, there will still be some around for nostalgic purposes.

I mentioned that I own three vehicles. I also own two horses. Granted, I don't ride my horse to work everyday, I drive my car. I enjoy riding my horses for pleasure, even though automobiles are clear;y a better choice in most cases.

The GPS industry offers choices, but what sells and earns them a profit is what matters. I don't follow TomTom or Magellan that closely, but certainly Garmin seems to offer lots of choices in GPS devices for marine, aviation, automobile, and handheld choices. You might even see s choices. I think TomTom is much more popular in Europe than Garmin. I suspect Garmin is more popular than TomTom in the United States.

Another example of a "one trick pony" for entertainment is the AM/FM radio. Probably fewer people are listening to broadcast radio with so many other choices these days. Over the years we have seen 8 track tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, etc. Streaming audio through Pandora, Slacker, etc. are quite popular. Despite that. I still listen to some FM radio. It is simple for the end user. Simply turn it on and select your station. In most cases, it comes on automatically when you start your vehicle and is tuned to the last station that it was receiving. There are no subscription fees.

You could even make a similar argument with conventional over the air broadcast television. Sure, it changed from NTSC to ATSC, so some newer TVs were purchased and/or converter boxes attached. But, despite all of the Netflix and Hulu, the DISH and Direct DBS, DVD, Blu Ray,etc. some of us still watch some terrestrial broadcast TV.

I think that is the future of stand alone GPS based on what we have seen with other devices. Some will continue to use a stand alone GPS while others will use a cell phone app. I hope both methods continue to improve and flourish!

Phone apps vs PNDs Overseas

mblanc01 wrote:

"Navigon", does not require a data connection, you can download maps by state or contr......

"CoPilot" also does not require a data connection, you download maps by region, has 2d and 3d, allows custom POIs, .......

Are you saying that no data connection is needed for these apps to operate? Do they use their own satellite connections to determine where you are? So if I am in Europe I could just turn off cellular data and voice to save international charges. Doesn't it need some sort of way to determine where you are at any particular point in time, Right? Or am I missing something? Would love to have an app that would not incur international data charges and give me turn by turn directions and be able to alter my routes at will like my nuvi.

--
ChefDon

Navigon

Will work fine with no data connection. Will also work fine if the device is in Airplane mode with bluetooth on - provided you have a bluetooth GPS receiver to feed it location data...

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

Receiver

kch50428 wrote:

Will work fine with no data connection. Will also work fine if the device is in Airplane mode with bluetooth on - provided you have a bluetooth GPS receiver to feed it location data...

So I would need a separate GPS receiver in addition to my iPhone5? If so, what do they cost and any recommendations for one? Or should I just use my nuvi?

--
ChefDon

~

ChefDon16 wrote:
kch50428 wrote:

Will work fine with no data connection. Will also work fine if the device is in Airplane mode with bluetooth on - provided you have a bluetooth GPS receiver to feed it location data...

So I would need a separate GPS receiver in addition to my iPhone5? If so, what do they cost and any recommendations for one? Or should I just use my nuvi?

Use the Nuvi...

Or - You can use your iPhone5 with cellular data turned off... or, get a prepaid SIM from a local cellular provider where you're vacationing - and use it as you would at home... and yet another option would be to put your iPhone in Airplane mode, then turn on wifi and bluetooth - wifi for data use where hotspots are available... and the bluetooth to connect to the external GPS receiver - BadElf makes one... Garmin makes the GLO... and there are plenty of others.

Options abound... smile

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

Thanks Keith

Thanks for the info.....I guess I will stick with the nuvi as I already have the maps installed for Europe. Trying to lighten the load.

--
ChefDon

Well OK then

kch50428 wrote:

Your notions of the state of technology available in cell phones related to personal navigation are dated. It's nowhere near as dire as the picture you paint. My Nuvi 765t is the last stand-alone device I will ever buy.

Please elaborate and enlighten those of us who have dated notions. By the way, the information that I used in my (very) limited research was from August of 2013.

mblanc01 wrote:

I will keep testing and probably will use my smartphone and these apps more and more, especially when I travel and rent a car, easier to carry and mount on a vent with my "Kenu" mount.

PNDs are great and nothing will probably match their abilities completely, but there seems to be a need for more capability and they will probably begin a slow death, unless their makers realize this and begin to make changes.

Great information. Thanks for the input!

--
Amazing GPS: I once was lost but now am found.

Thanks

Jim1348 wrote:

Well, we have certainly discussed that very thing here in the past and I have chimed in with my thoughts. I think it will be similar to other devices that have multiple purpose items follow them...

...Keep in mind, too, that there are still some purists out there. They still have pure cell phones. My mother in law and father in law are examples of that. Even my oldest sister has a cell phone, but it won't do much other than make or take a call. Each of them has stand alone Garmin Nuvis, too....

..."CoPilot" also does not require a data connection, you download maps by region, has 2d and 3d, allows custom POIs...

...I think that is the future of stand alone GPS based on what we have seen with other devices. Some will continue to use a stand alone GPS while others will use a cell phone app. I hope both methods continue to improve and flourish!

Whoops. I did a search before I posted this thread. Sorry if this has already been discussed.

I'm one of those "purists".

I hope both continue to improve as well. But now that I've learned that you can't add custom POI's to the phones (at least right now) with most of the apps I have no use for cell phone navigation whatsover at the current time.

Interesting enough, my truck came with "Co-Pilot" navigation installed. I use it along with my TomTom Pro 7150 to navigate to shippers/receivers. It's not bad, but I find that the TT has better routing generally, especially on local roads. Although both are not that great locally.

--
Amazing GPS: I once was lost but now am found.

~

Vito wrote:

Please elaborate and enlighten those of us who have dated notions. By the way, the information that I used in my (very) limited research was from August of 2013.

Read the thread... or any of the others on the same topic.

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

@Vito:

CoPilot and NavFree, among others, do not require a data connection to route, because their maps are stored on the device. I don't have CoPilot, but for NavFree, having an available data plan or WiFi makes it easier to select an address, since the app uses Google search to find addresses. Without a means to access the Internet, it's necessary to use the onboard address search, which is not nearly as good in NavFree's case.

The confusion and FUD here comes from the fact that Google Navigation and Apple Maps require a data plan to be able to download maps while travelling a route. Google Maps does have offline storage capability but it doesn't allow you to download anything more than the tiles along your route. Deviate from the route without a way to download new maps and Google Navigation will get confused.

The perception that all mapping software for smartphones requires a data connection persists because the included mapping apps for both Google and Apple require it. The reality is demonstrably different, and as Keith mentions, it's not as dire as you seem to think. Now, do I believe the smartphone will totally replace a portable navigation device? I don't think so. I believe that there will always be a market for such devices simply because not everyone is going to want to use a smartphone for navigation. Thus an alternative needs to be available.

That said, the smartphone apps will continue to improve as time marches on. What's interesting is that the majority of smartphone navigation apps still haven't totally duplicated all the functionality of Garmin Mobile XT, despite that software being discontinued for some five years now and apparently no longer available on the Garmin web servers.

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

GPSrs need to keep up

I use a Garmin 3790LMT, and the navigation provided by my "feature phone" does not compare.

BUT, there are things which are highly desirable for navigation which come more naturally to the smart phone navigation app world than the existing standalone GPSr world. To wit: prompt continuing map updates for the place you are actually viewing, and real-time traffic.

Done right, both applications need data download at rates far in excess of that available by the slothful channels so far exploited for the traffic function on some models of Garmin GPS (and I assume the competitors).

Some day we shall all look back in amazement at the era in which we voluntarily subjected ourselves to hour or three exercises just to get our purchased maps "up-to-date" where the most recent data update was actually many weeks old. We'll also cackle at the idea that we thought that low-resolution, out of date, major artery only traffic data for just a few dozen metropolitan areas constituted satisfactory traffic.

Garmin CAN'T solve either of these without some kind of (almost) always available pretty high bandwidth data connection. Anytime soon, that likely means a connection using the cell-phone infrastructure, as purely satellite schemes would require excessive power output at the satellite, or excessively large (and pointing) antennas on the GPSr, or, more likely, both.

I don't see Garmin (or TomTom, or Magellan) moving that way in their personal GPSr products, while the smart phone offerings have steadily whittled away at their disadvantages in specific areas to the GPSr.

Already most have an actual GPS receiver built in, so most of the accuracy disadvantage is gone (even my feature phone has a genuine GPS receiver, though it is a bit inferior in adverse condition reception to recent standalone GPSr models, perhaps because of antenna or power consumption limitations). With the trend toward rather large smart phone screens with dazzling resolution, any GPSr display advantage is iffy. Functional feature differentiation disadvantages are just some weeks of coding time on the smart phone apps away from being fixed if someone thinks them important. Contrast that to the low probability of GPSr manufacturers making firmware updates to add significant features to existing models.

So I think in the cross-over space where the two compete, the GPSr will lose out, with narrower purpose GPSr's continuing where they need capabilities not readily located in a smart phone (applications requiring really large displays, for example).

This is similar to the camera situation, where smart phone cameras are chasing the cheap point-and-shoot off the market, while leaving the big-lens models in place with a real advantage in very low light levels, and some other applications.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

PND

I recently had to deal with a medical emergency in a remote area of West Virginia.
There was no cell coverage for many miles and I am not sure how that situation would have been handled, if at all , with a smart phone.

With my low end Nuvi 50 it was just a matter of punching the button for hospitals and crawling 30 miles through heavy fog to the hospital. There was no cell coverage on the route at any point.
While cell coverage has improved over the years I would not count on the phone if you go to remote areas.
I am sure that smart phones and built in navigation devices will have an affect on the sale of stand alone units but I would not declare them dead yet

FUD

k8doc wrote:

I recently had to deal with a medical emergency in a remote area of West Virginia.
There was no cell coverage for many miles and I am not sure how that situation would have been handled, if at all , with a smart phone.

With my low end Nuvi 50 it was just a matter of punching the button for hospitals and crawling 30 miles through heavy fog to the hospital. There was no cell coverage on the route at any point.
While cell coverage has improved over the years I would not count on the phone if you go to remote areas.
I am sure that smart phones and built in navigation devices will have an affect on the sale of stand alone units but I would not declare them dead yet

Even with no cell service, apps with maps and POI stored on device, you'd still have the ability to use the app just like a stand-alone device.

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

nothing stopping them from storing maps

k8doc wrote:

There was no cell coverage for many miles and I am not sure how that situation would have been handled, if at all , with a smart phone.

This goes in the category of things they can easily fix, should they see the need. I don't know whether they do so now, but the requirement would be to pre-download map data for nearby areas, with a more extensive buffer in directions spanning stretches with questionable cellular reception.

The required storage capacity for this scheme is tiny. The smarts required are not much compared to rather ordinary search schemes.

Cases like this may well be excellent reasons not to give up your current GPSr. But not a good reason to consider the future of the product well assured.

You do realize that most modern smart phones have actual GPS receivers aboard, thus don't need cell access to determine position, right? Yes, they lose reception in tunnels, but so does a GPSr.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

The Wrong App

k8doc wrote:

I am sure that smart phones and built in navigation devices will have an affect on the sale of stand alone units but I would not declare them dead yet

While I agree with you that PNDs aren't dead yet, you clearly were using the wrong app. Let me guess: Google Navigation?

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

Personal Navigation Devices (PND's) Versus Cell Phone GPS Apps

k8doc wrote:

.....There was no cell coverage for many miles and I am not sure how that situation would have been handled, if at all, with a smart phone.....While cell coverage has improved over the years I would not count on the phone if you go to remote areas.....

That is interesting. Is there no cell coverage on ANY carrier or just on the carrier that you have? Also, which carrier is it? I have T-Mobile, which is inferior to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in rural areas. In the past I had an old Verizon with no service just in case I had to call 911 in an area with no GSM coverage.

Actually, I do go to remote areas for ATVing in east central Minnesota and western Wisconsin. I find no coverage in those areas and I have actually considered buying a used satellite phone just to have for emergencies.

Now, assuming that your screen name is your amateur radio call sign, did you have any amateur equipment with? Would there have been any repeaters within range?

The west Va. situation is a

The west Va. situation is a little unique because there is a government mandated radio "quiet zone" which includes the areas around the Greenbank Radio Astronomy area and also the Sugar Grove Naval Station. There is very little radio activity( including cell system) in this area other that public safety because of the possibility of interfering with the government installation. Green bank only allows diesel vehicles on the grounds because of the possibility of spark plug interference. The carrier in this instance is Verizon but I was told by the campground host that ATT didn't work either. There was no verizon coverage from our location on rt 150 to Marlington WV and roaming coverage was not picked up until 20 miles from Lewisburg, WV. Ham radio of course could be a communication option although at 1 am in the morning the likely hood of some one monitoring the local repeater ( if any) is not that good. I don't actually know what the repeater situation was in the area. There were other options like waking the campground host, but in this instance the GPS did the job.
I have encountered other no coverage areas in eastern KY, and southern , OH but there it is usually a case of driving up the next hill.
I would suspect that there is still a lot of no coverage areas in the west as well.
I do have ham gear covering from 3.5 to 440 mHz in both the truck and the trailer providing other communications options.
I guess my point is that perhaps we are putting too much faith in the Cell phone system. At least if you wander too far from civilization.
K8DOC is my call sign, since 1956

wrong App

Strephon_Alkhalikoi wrote:
k8doc wrote:

I am sure that smart phones and built in navigation devices will have an affect on the sale of stand alone units but I would not declare them dead yet

While I agree with you that PNDs aren't dead yet, you clearly were using the wrong app. Let me guess: Google Navigation?

Actually I don't have a smart phone. Do any of the apps store poi file like hospitals on the device itself so that you could route to a hospital when in a no coverage area? Are any able to locate you on the route from the GPS feature on the phone. I really don't know.
Rick

Yes

k8doc wrote:

Do any of the apps store poi file like hospitals on the device itself so that you could route to a hospital when in a no coverage area? Are any able to locate you on the route from the GPS feature on the phone. I really don't know.
Rick

Certainly... Navigon's main menu has a "SOS" option... Tells you direction and distance from nearest road intersection... And direct links for nearest police, hospital, pharmacy, and roadside assistance. And Navigon does not require a data connection... I use it on my wifi iPad... With a GPS receiver... It functions every bit as good as my Nuvi765t.

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

NavFree has hospitals as

NavFree has hospitals as part of its on-board POIs. In fact, the latest version of the app has made searching a lot easier, though the way addresses are entered is odd: street, house number - in order.

Navmii has been working on reducing the need for Google over the app's last couple updates. I'm pleased with the results.

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

Well...

POI can be saved as you pass a location in the phone. On the Garmin app, select "Where Am I?", then save the location. It will be saved in the Favorites. This is equivalent to POI.

The heads up display is out there, Garmin has it available, uses navigation data from a smartphone.

The comparison of PND vs smartphone will rage on. It is a matter of user requirements and what meets those requirements. These devices - PND and smartphone - will continue to evolve.

I'm not sure what you mean by "serious navigation", but I don't see a smartphone being used as the primary certified navigation system of marine or aviation needs. But for the general public, the present smartphone is just as capable at getting people around as the PND.

I think both options, smartphone or PND, have the features anyone could want. For me, I need environmental robustness to tolerate being dropped, dirt, moisture, etc.

Vito wrote:

I'm guessing that PND's will always be around for car navigation.

The cons of cell phones for navigation include the smaller size of the screen, less accurate routing, unreliable cell tower service, tying up the phone while the app is running, and the cost for the app.

And as far as I know, you can't save your own POI's in the phone as you pass a location. Maybe I'm wrong about this.

I'm guessing that PND's will never be overtaken by cell phones for serious navigation, although there may be some other technology on the horizon that replaces PND's. Who knows, maybe a heads up display on the windshield will replace PND's.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

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

well ...

Well stated Diesel. Each system will have their proponents and critics. As you state it's a matter of both convenience and flexibility. Like any tool, each has its place and while both are not perfect, they both function as designed within their own limitations.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

To clarify...

diesel wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean by "serious navigation", but I don't see a smartphone being used as the primary certified navigation system of marine or aviation needs. But for the general public, the present smartphone is just as capable at getting people around as the PND.

What I'm referring to as "serious navigation" is navigation that has to be very accurate and dependable, for safety sake. While driving a big rig, one requires navigation that takes you along the fastest routes, notifies you of traffic and quickly offers good alternatives, keeps you off restricted routes, and has good local routing for the pickup/delivery (keeping in mind that you've got a 53' trailer and probably shouldn't be on certain roads even though it's "legal").

In the old days before GPS, drivers had the map, experience, CB's, and used their eyes for all of the above. But a good GPS not only takes away a lot of stress, makes the driver and trucking company more profitable, it enhances SAFETY.

I suppose the case could be made for traveling salesmen needing the same, but having a good database of restricted roads/bridges is really the major difference.

And again, I'm not sure if cell phones currently provide this type of "serious" navigation. Perhaps the "Co-Pilot" app does, and that's the navigation I use in my company provided truck GPS (along with my personal truck TomTom). But the Co-Pilot for trucks, the one loaded into the GPS, is not really as good as my TT in my opinion. In many instances I've deemed it horrible, whereas I've been very satisfied with the TT. Many/most drivers don't bother using the company GPS and go out and buy a Rand, Garmin, or Cobra (basically in that order). So I'm pretty sure that Co Pilot for the cell phone is the same or worse than Co Pilot loaded into the GPS.

--
Amazing GPS: I once was lost but now am found.

I have a nuvi 650 and this

I have a nuvi 650 and this will be my last gps. In my cell phone, samsung note 11, I have the Navigon and tom tom software for android. My Tom Tom has a life map. When renewing the cell. I'll keep the old one as a gps without service connected for use in the car.

The other cell will follow me in my walk on foot or by bicycle.

I am retired and I do not need to know if there is traffique.

Personal Navigation Devices (PND's) Versus Cell Phone GPS Apps

k8doc wrote:

.....I guess my point is that perhaps we are putting too much faith in the Cell phone system. At least if you wander too far from civilization.....

That is a point well taken. I can still recall being in Duluth MN at least 40 years ago, looking at a car parked on Superior Street, and seeing a telephone in a car! It was likely the IMTS type, hard wired to the vehicle, and permanently mounted with a VHF antenna.

Fast forward to today and many people in the United States have a cell phone. Many people may incorrectly assume that they work everywhere in the United States, but they don't.

I do think about other methods of staying in touch and you do make a good point about amateur radio. I was unaware of the "quiet zone" even though I went to Mount Weather Training Facility for training a while back. I Will have to check on-line and see if that is close to the area you are referring to.

I also might do some research and see if satellite phones will pass 911 calls even without a subscription. I know that the FCC requires the terrestrial carriers to do this, but I don't know if satellite providers are required to do this. In either case, it might be worth while to get a used satellite phone and just keep it with when traveling in areas with no coverage.

Some people miss the days of the 3 watt AMPS phones that could use an external antenna. Supposedly some people were able to get 20 miles from an AMPS tower and still make a call!

Jim
NØJS

quiet zone

At risk of pulling the thread too far off topic I will fade back into the background.
Here is a link for more info

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Radio_Qu...

What device people use to

What device people use to navigate from point A to point B isn't really the issue here. The real issue is the misconception that smartphones require data plans to be able to navigate. They don't, but the perception is there because Google and Apple both offer navigation packages that leverage their online map servers to provide routing. So k8doc's point is a valid one, but is based on a flawed perception.

Using my install of NavFree as an example, I have maps of all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil all loaded on my device. NavFree's built-in database allows me to search by address or point of interest. As a convenience they include Google search which does require the Internet, but Navmii themselves will tell you up front that NavFree will work without a data plan.

As I often say when I get into these discussions, I have both PNDs and a smartphone. I prefer the PNDs because of the extra features they have compared to smartphone apps, but both do have their place and everyone using them has a preference that should be respected. For me, the smartphone app is a backup to the PND. The app doesn't have the bells and whistles like Lane Assist, Junction View, and landmark navigation ("turn right at the next light" instead of "turn right onto Main St."), but it can get me home in an emergency.

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

basecamp mobile

basecamp mobile is now available for the iPhone

GPS

Just about all smartphones have built in gps. With these applications you use the pre downloaded maps that are on the phone. Yes you can turn off your data and voice.