What Smartphones & Tablets Do You Think Are Good For Running GPS Applications?

 

As posted above, what smartphones and tablets do you think are good for running GPS applications? With Garmin Viago now available, I have a renewed interest in this topic. I have used a number of different smartphones with Garmin software in the past. My first one was a Pharos GPS Phone 600 with Garmin Mobile XT. It was replaced with a Garmin Nuvifone G60. Next was the Garminfone A50. One of the things in common with all of the above is I had a windshield mount for each of them.

I now have a Google LG Nexus 4 smartphone and a Google Nexus 7 tablet. I don't have a windshield mount for either one of them.

I have given some thought regarding what smartphone or tablet I might get in the future. It looks like the Apple iPhone might be a great choice for the ultimate in use of the Garmin Viago app. I see that Urban Guidance is only available for iPhone. I also see that there are some windshield mounts available for this.

There are many more Android smartphones to choose from. Does anybody know which of these has good windshield mounts available for them? I am not a big fan of universal mounts. I prefer mounts that are made for specific phones.

Aside from the automobile use of a smartphone, I also would like to get a phone that is waterproof and rugged. I have been looking at the Samsung Galaxy S5. Is anybody here using that phone?

With regard to tablets, a 7 inch may be a bit big for most vehicles, but if it is mounted properly, it may be a viable option. Does anybody happen to have any experience using either an Apple iPad Mini or an Android tablet in a vehicle? Are there any suitable mounting options that are safe and secure?

I do know about the RAM Mounts http://www.rammount.com/newproducts/googlenexus7mounts/tabid... but I am open to other suggestions, also.

Samsung S4

When I'm traveling where cell data is available, the Android "Map" and "Waze" are both good Apps. Not as good as a dedicated GPS, but they'll handle Traffic alerts and show alternative routes.

My girlfriend has an iPhone4 and we've compared capabilities. I'd never buy one of those. Android has it hands down over iOS for features.

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Zumo 550 & Zumo 665 My alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.

With the right app...

Any mobile device can be very suitable for use a a personal navigation device.

I'm quite pleased with results using an iPad and iPhone with Navigon as an app as Navigon will work fine when you have no cellular network available...don't believe anyone that says a cellular connection is required to use a mobile device as a GPS. It's simply not true.

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

Off Line new Garmin Viago

kch50428 wrote:

Any mobile device can be very suitable for use a a personal navigation device.

I'm quite pleased with results using an iPad and iPhone with Navigon as an app as Navigon will work fine when you have no cellular network available...don't believe anyone that says a cellular connection is required to use a mobile device as a GPS. It's simply not true.

I have the new Garmin Viago and I bought the Off Line Maps.
They work great, as far as the maps off line it is just like my Nuvi. I did have to also buy the 3D with voice to get the street names.
I have just used it a little and no data was needed. Totally off line worked great.
This is on my Nexus 7

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Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

My Two Cents

Jim1348 wrote:

I have given some thought regarding what smartphone or tablet I might get in the future. It looks like the Apple iPhone might be a great choice for the ultimate in use of the Garmin Viago app. I see that Urban Guidance is only available for iPhone. I also see that there are some windshield mounts available for this.

There are many more Android smartphones to choose from. Does anybody know which of these has good windshield mounts available for them? I am not a big fan of universal mounts. I prefer mounts that are made for specific phones.

I do know about the RAM Mounts http://www.rammount.com/newproducts/googlenexus7mounts/tabid... but I am open to other suggestions, also.

As a partial response to your post, I have an iPhone 5S running the Garmin Smartlink and Waze apps. My impression of navigation via the smartphone is mixed. While I like the online functionality for traffic and weather, the small smartphone reminds me of the older Nuvi's with a 4.3 inch screen. Over the last few years, I have replaced my older Nuvi's with 5" and 7" models due to readability issues. The iPhone screen is a step backward for me. I'm going to try an iPad Mini next for use with Viago and will comment on it in the future.

I am a big fan of the RAM mounting system and use the RAM universal mount for the iPhone. Like you, I normally don't care for the universal types but this one performs far better than expected. Coupled with the RAM suction cup mount, it holds the phone firmly in place while making it very easy to install and remove. RAM cradles specifically designed for the iPhone are available but won't fit the Otter Box protective case I'm using.

Usually I Just Use My Smartphone

I think the ideal device is a 7" tablet for longer trips because of the screen size. I usually just use my smartphone for shorter trips though since it is always with me anyway. When I use the tablet it's another thing I have to carry around and worry about.

Even when I use the tablet or my Garmin I usually still have my smartphone set up for traffic using Waze and weather or radar if it's stormy.

I use a magnetic mount located on the dash of my truck which makes it easier. I simply touch the phone to the mount and it stays there with no problems. It never moves, vibrates or falls off, and I don't have to worry about clips or snapping it into anything. It even works well with my heavier Nexus 7 tablet.

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Live every day like it's your last. Some day you'll be right - Benny Hill

Magnetic mount?

Could you post more details about this mount?

Michael

--
:260W, 50LM

I bought the Garmin Viago app for a buck

mgarledge wrote:

I have the new Garmin Viago and I bought the Off Line Maps.
They work great, as far as the maps off line it is just like my Nuvi. I did have to also buy the 3D with voice to get the street names.
I have just used it a little and no data was needed. Totally off line worked great.
This is on my Nexus 7

I bought the Garmin Viago app for a buck and seems to work very well on my Samsung Note 8.0, have not opted for the downloaded maps yet for $9.99 but may do it.

It appears all the upgrades including the entire NA map download all run ten bucks. I could not see the value for most of the other upgrades to make the investment worth while.

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GM Built-in Navigation system - Samsung S6 Edge+ Smartphone with Garmin Viago, Google Maps & HERE Apps

Galaxy Note 8.0

@rjrsw ... I will be interested to read about your experience with Viago on the Note 8. I have considered trying it but haven't taken the plunge yet. Can the Map data be installed on the micro SD card or does it take space out of the 16 GB internal storage?

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Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

The maps are installed to the SD card

alandb wrote:

@rjrsw ... I will be interested to read about your experience with Viago on the Note 8. I have considered trying it but haven't taken the plunge yet. Can the Map data be installed on the micro SD card or does it take space out of the 16 GB internal storage?

The maps are installed to the SD card and they give you that choice when you first run it.

I also have MapFactor Navigator that is a free turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for Android phones and tablets using OpenStreetMaps data. Maps are also installed on the SD card so there is no need for an Internet connection when traveling. Map and app updates are FREE every month. I have found the maps to be very accurate and work great on my note 8.0. The app and the maps are free and you only need to download and install the state maps that you feel you will need to use.

I also will mention that I have Kit Kat 4.4.2 installed and have had no trouble with apps writing to the SD card. The Note 8.0 was fast already but with Kit Kat it is even faster.

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GM Built-in Navigation system - Samsung S6 Edge+ Smartphone with Garmin Viago, Google Maps & HERE Apps

Thanks rjrsw

Thanks rjrsw for the quick follow-up ... good information and gives me some things to try on my Note 8. I applied the Kit Kat upgrade on Saturday, but haven't used it enough yet to notice a difference.

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Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

The mount is from Amazon

mldorsey wrote:

Could you post more details about this mount?

Michael

I purchased it from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/iMagnet-Cradle-less-Quick-snap-Technol...

It has a small metal plate which can go under your battery cover or inside your phone case. It can also mount on the back of the phone with an attached adhesive pad if you want. The small plate on the phone and the magnet which is in the mount have not interfered with any of the phone functions.

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Live every day like it's your last. Some day you'll be right - Benny Hill

Nexus 7 LTE

I own a Nexus 7 LTE and am pleased with it. Though I do not use it for GPS capabilities at this time.

IPhone Map apps

Waze is a nice app with the best real-time info on traffic & speed traps, but it is hard on the battery & needs to constantly communicate with the network. I use a 7" tablet for Waze - would not recommend using a mobile phone based GPS app unless you are a passenger with reading glasses!

A good navigational app is "MapsWithMe." It has the same features as other apps, but it lets you download the state maps you need when you have good data coverage. It is one of the few apps that will work when you are out of provider coverage.

I still prefer using the Garmin (or other dedicated GPS unit) in the car. The mobile phones & tablets can have nice features, but if you are the driver, they will distract you.

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GO

My take on screen size

My Nuvi 760 has a screen size of 2.25 inches high x 3.81 in. wide. It will not display in the portrait mode therefore while navigating I only have 2.25 inches of usable road ahead mapping information. What's to the right and left other than street names is not important for navigating.

My iPhone 5s has a screen size of 3.49 inches high x 1.96 inches wide. That is 3.49 inches of usable road ahead display vs 2.25 that the Nuvi gives me. I always use the iPhone in the portrait mode while navigating with it and street names display just fine.

One reason I find the iPhone better for navigating than my Nuvi 760.

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