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I just stumbled across an article highly suggesting to use tablets as a GPS unit as opposed to spending hundreds of dollars for a dedicated GPS unit (i.e. Garmin/TomTom/etc.).

The article had me at "save money"!!! LOL

And seeing how I had a brand new unopened Samsung Tablet I had bought last year just laying around I knew this was destiny.

But the downside to my tablet is it's only WiFi and a HotSpot feature is not available on my phone.

Fortunately, there's a work around and that's to download FREE offline maps. So the million dollar question is...

Which FREE Offline Map are you using?
 

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Unless the tablet has a GPS receiver it is not much good to you without some sort of connection. It just means you have free offline maps which are fairly pointless. I use the free co-pilot which uses your phones GPS receiver and no local wireless or mobile data connection is required. I think you can download one free region but can buy others at a modest price. A similar product is GPS Navigation by the German firm "Scout", it works in the same way and uses "Open Street Maps". https://www.skobbler.com/
 

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I purchased a Garmin Montana earlier this year with plans to mount in on my bike, I used it a few times and decided that it sucks. I have started using an app by GAIA Gps on my IPhone with a RAM X mount and I've been impressed with it. It still accesses the gps function of the phone even if there is no service or its in airplane mode. I think that it cost about 20.00 Usd. You just have to remember to download the maps that you need while your connected to the internet. The app also synchronizes with with my iPad so that I can plan my trips with the bigger screen. I don't have a tank bag yet but I will probably start using my tablet for navigation when I get one.
 

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I downloaded UK and Europe Google maps into my iphone 7 plus for free and that's a big improvement on waiting for the grey and white cross hatched areas to fill in when working on line.
However a few things have been holding me back from using it as my satnav of choice rather than a backup. Firstly I was worried about it switching out of Maps at a critical time when text messages or calls came in, but your comment above about the GPS still working in airplane mode is reassuring.
With previous models I would have had to use a case but the iphone 7 is reasonably waterproof so yes the Ramx mount would be good (how waterproof is the power feed cable BTW?)
But the killer is surely the touch sensitive screen and the need to restart stuff with a fingerprint (actually I have just realised that I could switch off security locking before mounting it so it would solve the second problem .... but the only 'solution' I have found for the touch sensitive screen would be to stitch conductive threads into all my gloves - which would defeat the goretex presumably?
Sorry about making this post all about iphones but some of the points may be relevant to the OP.
Mike
 

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Hi Mike, I stand to be corrected but I am pretty sure google maps only uses your phone wireless or data connection and not any GPS in your phone. In that case if you have an unlimited data phone plan that would be fine, go abroad however and you will run up a big phone bill on data.

That is why the OP is looking at Nav software that uses the GPS built into the phone because it costs nothing to use the GPS connection.
 

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Hi Mike, I stand to be corrected but I am pretty sure google maps only uses your phone wireless or data connection and not any GPS in your phone. In that case if you have an unlimited data phone plan that would be fine, go abroad however and you will run up a big phone bill on data.

That is why the OP is looking at Nav software that uses the GPS built into the phone because it costs nothing to use the GPS connection.
Wow - that is surprising. Why on earth would Google do that ..... ah yes .... they wouldn't be able ti deliver ads if they did the obvious (or I suppose up to date traffic stuff).
I will do some experimenting and report back
Mike
 

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Nah ..... I just put the phone into airplane mode then fired up Google maps (with the downloaded maps already in the phone). At first I thought you were correct as it put me in the right place, but it looked a bit static and wrong. Then after about 20 seconds it repositioned me and the blue ball thing began twitching - surely that must have been via GPS satellite only?
Mike
 

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Nah ..... I just put the phone into airplane mode then fired up Google maps (with the downloaded maps already in the phone). At first I thought you were correct as it put me in the right place, but it looked a bit static and wrong. Then after about 20 seconds it repositioned me and the blue ball thing began twitching - surely that must have been via GPS satellite only?
Mike
Then I stand corrected! Good going. One thing I found useful with the free Nav apps is that you can create a proper route by setting your start and end point as normal, then create waypoints inbetween to force a route, like a coast road, mountain road etc. I know you can do this with decent Sat Nav's with Tyre to Travel and other stuff etc but I am just talking with my phone. Create your Nav route on the free app on your phone, i.e. the end destination, go to google maps on your PC, click on the roads you want to hit inbetween on that route, read off the longitude/latitude from google maps, enter that long/lat as a waypoint on your phone Nav app, you can add loads forcing your preferred path instead of "shortest or fastest route". You will find your app will not let you save the whole path permanently as a route (some might for more money!) but if you dont close the nav app it will still be there the next day/week (in the background) for when you want to head off. I have used this many times on 100km-300km routes, no bother.
 

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Then I stand corrected! Good going. One thing I found useful with the free Nav apps is that you can create a proper route by setting your start and end point as normal, then create waypoints inbetween to force a route, like a coast road, mountain road etc. I know you can do this with decent Sat Nav's with Tyre to Travel and other stuff etc but I am just talking with my phone. Create your Nav route on the free app on your phone, i.e. the end destination, go to google maps on your PC, click on the roads you want to hit inbetween on that route, read off the longitude/latitude from google maps, enter that long/lat as a waypoint on your phone Nav app, you can add loads forcing your preferred path instead of "shortest or fastest route". You will find your app will not let you save the whole path permanently as a route (some might for more money!) but if you dont close the nav app it will still be there the next day/week (in the background) for when you want to head off. I have used this many times on 100km-300km routes, no bother.
Google maps on the desktop is very easy to force a route as you can add any waypoints (even very approximate ones whereas with my Garmin I have to put a house and a street in if I want to go via a town). However, I couldn;t find any way to add waypoints or further destinations on the Google maps iphone app. If anyone knows can they post here
Mike
 

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That's the trouble with google maps, it is easy to plot a start/end route and drag the route around to desired roads on the pc. What you can't to then is transfer that to your google maps on your phone as a navigable single route. If you send it to your phone from the pc it just ends up as a pile of points. Doing as I mention above gives you a single navigable route from start to end for the whole trip. You can skip waypoints and reorder them to if you want. None of this is news to anyone with a decent bike sat nav of course, I am just talking about plotting a customisable "single route" on a cheap/no-cost Nav App on the phone, a bit long winded I agree but achievable if you don't have a topend bike sat nav.
 

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I just worked out how to insert waypoints in the googlemaps app on the phone. It's a cinch. My iphone is the 7Plus so it's big and quite easy to use to plot a complete route without resorting to the desktop. It's MUCH easier to use than the Garmin Zumo 220 on its own and doesn;t care whether I just put a town in (for instance Alston) and it will route me via it or if I put the name of a pub out in the wilds somewhere, it finds it within half a second whereas the Zumo spends 10 minutes trawling it's entire database and then tells me no results.
I'm going to buy the ram X mount, and I will see if it's useable without touch sensitive gloves (I mean by stopping and taking gloves off if I have to)
Mike
 

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I did this once, forcing a route with waypoints in Google maps to functionally create a track. However, the app pauses navigation when you reach each waypoint, requiring you to resume navigation manually. For me, that was way too distracting on a ride and I never tried it again.
 

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Theres a huge thread on this topic on advrider.

I have osmand+ installed on my cheap android phone. But I've just been typically using my iPhone 7 with google maps. I typically download offline maps when I know i'm going into areas with spotty reception
 

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I did this once, forcing a route with waypoints in Google maps to functionally create a track. However, the app pauses navigation when you reach each waypoint, requiring you to resume navigation manually. For me, that was way too distracting on a ride and I never tried it again.
That's worth knowing. Because if you are just driving past or through a waypoint, it would mean pressing 'start' on the nav screen again, but with ordinary gloves on, I would have to stop.
Mike
 

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Exactly! PITA.
There must be a way of cracking this.
Maybe I could make a conductive finger cap that slipped over the end of the gloves index finger (because I don;t want to stitch conductive thread through the goretex)
Maybe I could glue something cunductive to the end of the finger?
Possibly tether a stylus in the Ram X cradle
Persuade Apple to go back to resistive screens for iphones.

Mike
 

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There's that conductive paint but it has to be reapplied often, and, well, it's adding paint to your gloves. I have a friend who's attached a stylus to his bike.
I did some digging and Google maps no longer allows uploading any data (I was hoping there would be some sort of process with which I was not familiar).
I've been using OsmAnd, which does work. However, the software does not recognize some turns, so if you're not paying attention, you'll miss a turn such as getting onto the interstate. It also recognizes some curves on twisty roads as turns, so you'll get instructions to turn by going through a curve. I'm also going to turn off certain warnings like "railroad crossings" because sometimes they don't shut up. That being said, it works offline and I've taken many trips with it, and never gotten seriously lost.
 
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