U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-11-2017, 12:59 PM
 
490 posts, read 240,336 times
Reputation: 285

Advertisements

Maybe a dumb question, but I'm thinking about buying a handheld GPS..my question is, once you purchase it, do you have to do anything else besides just use it?

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-11-2017, 04:08 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
4,695 posts, read 9,094,917 times
Reputation: 3341
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAZORAC View Post
Maybe a dumb question, but I'm thinking about buying a handheld GPS..my question is, once you purchase it, do you have to do anything else besides just use it?
Maybe not a dumb question if you never had one before, but it does pose another question and that is:
"Why spend so much money while you can install an APP on your smart phone that will cost you less then 10 green ones ?"
Unless you do not have a smart phone, which makes me wonder ...

Anyway, the best thing, if you do buy one (a self contained GPS Unit) is the cost comparison where you can buy one with *life-time* map-updates, or one, where you pay a fee every time you update.

First thing to do is install the batteries and fully charge it !
Then read the manual !
Next, how good is your eyesight ? The one you show on your post is rather smallish !?
Then, what are you planning to do with it.
Go somewhere or just let it show you where your were ?
If you want to go somewhere, how do you have to add the address ?
Punch in umpteen keys or can you just speak ?
Some units are *simple*, some are to the point of *complicated like hell* !

After you get some *feel* for it, you can then use it. Enter the address and then just go follow the instructions, whether spoken to you or written on the screen ! That is about it !
Often no need to download maps then install them, because some basic USA map is already installed.

On the other hand, if you have a good smart phone, which more than often has a pretty good sized screen, you can buy a good GPS APP, for less than 10 dollars, which more than often includes lifetime map updates and operating system updates.
Mine, called *GPS Waypoints Navigator* is an all-round system that lets me know how to get almost anywhere, whether I walk, drive, or fly (I am a recreational Pilot) !

It even helps me find my car on a huge parking lot ! I was three floors down a basement type car park.
I only had to remember the floor I was on, but three floors down would not let me find the satellites ... grrrrr

So read up on self contained GPS units, and on some apps that can be installed on your smart phone. Then decide what to get.
Once installed the operation of the GPS functions are very similar.
Load a map, punch in the address (I can talk to mine), press *go*.

By the way, my GPS App does not need *me* doing the updating, since it does it automatically !
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2017, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Front Range Colorado
237 posts, read 70,564 times
Reputation: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
Maybe not a dumb question if you never had one before, but it does pose another question and that is:
"Why spend so much money while you can install an APP on your smart phone that will cost you less then 10 green ones ?"
Does your GPS app work on your phone when out of cell range? Does your phone have the capability to also use a satellite signal as well? Reason I ask is I was on a trip driving from Craig, CO up into south-central Wyoming to interview a ranch family. We were navigating using the producer's cell phone but once we got out of cell service range that was it. Luckily I had a handheld Garmin in my camera kit and we used that to find the place.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2017, 05:42 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
4,695 posts, read 9,094,917 times
Reputation: 3341
Quote:
Originally Posted by twowilldo View Post
Does your GPS app work on your phone when out of cell range? Does your phone have the capability to also use a satellite signal as well? Reason I ask is I was on a trip driving from Craig, CO up into south-central Wyoming to interview a ranch family. We were navigating using the producer's cell phone but once we got out of cell service range that was it. Luckily I had a handheld Garmin in my camera kit and we used that to find the place.
Yes, it works without cell phone coverage, except it then does not *talk* to me anymore.
All I see then is the *instructions* on the screen. Not that much of a hassle !

I am not familiar if that is a function of the cell phone, or a function of the App or a function of both combined.
All I know is that I can use it in the middle of nowhere (I know because I have no bars to show ...).
So it must be using the built in GPS chip(s) or whatever it has to make it work.
I also know that when it (I can choose a *she or a *he*) talks to me, it uses data.
The APP even has a choice to NOT use data and it then states that it will NOT talk to me.
One thing is that without cell coverage, it uses a certain map which apparently does not need constant updating like Google maps ? There are deferent *maps* I can use with the APP, like a regular street map or a top map or a whole slew of other maps. The User manual suggests to use a map called *OpenStreetMap*. No idea who *owns* that map.

The choices I have are:
OpenStreetMap - World Atlas - Topographic Map - NASA Satellite - Google Maps - USGS Topo Map - USGS Topo satellite - Vector Map - Nautical Chart - Hike/Bike - Operational Charts - Canada Toporama - Europe.
After I choose certain map, it tells me to download it for the trip.

I do however have to load ALL the maps of the complete route before I want it to work without cell coverage.
One reason why the APP suggests to have all the maps on a separate card (built in).

As a matter of fact, I have another phone, that does not have a SIM card, and I use the same app on that phone. It still has all the GPS stuff needed. Just lucky I guess ...!

Last edited by irman; 03-11-2017 at 05:51 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2017, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Virginia
26 posts, read 7,435 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by twowilldo View Post
Does your GPS app work on your phone when out of cell range? Does your phone have the capability to also use a satellite signal as well? Reason I ask is I was on a trip driving from Craig, CO up into south-central Wyoming to interview a ranch family. We were navigating using the producer's cell phone but once we got out of cell service range that was it. Luckily I had a handheld Garmin in my camera kit and we used that to find the place.
A Motorola g4 play can be had for $99 and used without a sim card or contract. You would want to download maps to the device on WiFi for use out in the wild when no service is available. The GPS sensors in smartphones are pulling the same satellite signals as Garmin or anyone else.

This way you also get a great music player and camera as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2017, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Front Range Colorado
237 posts, read 70,564 times
Reputation: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabaman View Post
You would want to download maps to the device on WiFi for use out in the wild when no service is available. The GPS sensors in smartphones are pulling the same satellite signals as Garmin or anyone else.

This way you also get a great music player and camera as well.
Yeah, we thought if only... on downloading maps for the area we were traveling into first... That would have been the smart thing to do, but it never occurred to him. Fortunately we had a backup.

I just did an update on the maps on my Garmin which has a 64GB accessory card in it. All the data/favorites/waypoints in half a dozen states are unavailable and in fact the entire state of Florida (where I used it extensively) is unavailable (as in doesn't exist on the device, cannot even search for cities on it). Called them and they said I need to have a card in it to get all the update info. Except that there was a card in there already and checked it in another device where it works just fine. Still trying to get that worked out with them before our next trip. I think the device itself was hosed during the update maybe? So much for "free lifetime updates."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2017, 09:41 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
4,695 posts, read 9,094,917 times
Reputation: 3341
Quote:
Originally Posted by twowilldo View Post
All the data/favorites/waypoints in half a dozen states are unavailable and in fact the entire state of Florida (where I used it extensively) is unavailable (as in doesn't exist on the device, cannot even search for cities on it).<<<snipped>>> I think the device itself was hosed during the update maybe? So much for "free lifetime updates."

If your unit is *hosed*, and if you do have a good *smart phone* that is about as big as your Garmin (mine is), why not get a GPS App for your phone ?


My wife has a Garmin Nuvi something, that has Traffic and Lifetime updates. Close to 180 dollars !!
Comparatively, she and I like my GPS App on my phone better, since it is so much easier to add a way point. Just say it and then it asks for verification.

For points of *interest* (available on my wife's Garmin) I can use the Google *Find* function on my phone.

Some people have mentioned that they do not like to use their phone as a GPS, but that is now, since you must use hands free (!!), a moot statement.
When I use mine, it sits in a cradle that I can easily see (just make sure it is not in sunlight, else you can not see anything ...) and when I am driving, and I get a phone call, the phone switches to phone use, and I can then talk while still driving (hands free talking !!).
What is happening is that my phone also pairs with my radio in the car which then puts voice over the speaker system. My radio has a small external microphone somewhere in the top left of the windshield which is then used as the phone mike.
When I am done talking, the phone automatically switches back to GPS.

Personally , I think the self contained GPS units are going south sooner or later, when you can get a phone App for very little money !

One thing you have to do with (at least my phone) is to have it plugged in while using it as a GPS. Else you will have a dead phone upon arrival ...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2017, 03:54 PM
 
169 posts, read 43,591 times
Reputation: 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
Yes, it works without cell phone coverage, except it then does not *talk* to me anymore.
All I see then is the *instructions* on the screen. Not that much of a hassle !

I am not familiar if that is a function of the cell phone, or a function of the App or a function of both combined.
All I know is that I can use it in the middle of nowhere (I know because I have no bars to show ...).
So it must be using the built in GPS chip(s) or whatever it has to make it work.
I also know that when it (I can choose a *she or a *he*) talks to me, it uses data.
The APP even has a choice to NOT use data and it then states that it will NOT talk to me.
One thing is that without cell coverage, it uses a certain map which apparently does not need constant updating like Google maps ? There are deferent *maps* I can use with the APP, like a regular street map or a top map or a whole slew of other maps. The User manual suggests to use a map called *OpenStreetMap*. No idea who *owns* that map.

The choices I have are:
OpenStreetMap - World Atlas - Topographic Map - NASA Satellite - Google Maps - USGS Topo Map - USGS Topo satellite - Vector Map - Nautical Chart - Hike/Bike - Operational Charts - Canada Toporama - Europe.
After I choose certain map, it tells me to download it for the trip.

I do however have to load ALL the maps of the complete route before I want it to work without cell coverage.
One reason why the APP suggests to have all the maps on a separate card (built in).

As a matter of fact, I have another phone, that does not have a SIM card, and I use the same app on that phone. It still has all the GPS stuff needed. Just lucky I guess ...!
No you are not lucky, LOL. It's coz your app has the data it needed which is the map. I actually want to ask what app is that.

Also this:

I do however have to load ALL the maps of the complete route before I want it to work without cell coverage.

I actually always do that when I go to IA, coz for some reason tmobile has no data coverage there, WTF. So what I do is, connect a public wifi and map my destination and leave it on. So even after the wifi connecton is lost and I have no data coverage, my GPS/google maps already have my route and works.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2017, 05:07 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
4,695 posts, read 9,094,917 times
Reputation: 3341
Quote:
Originally Posted by shailene View Post
I actually want to ask what app is that..
Mentioned in my *first* post.
*GPS Waypoints Navigator*

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...avigator&hl=en

Sadly not available for the I-phone crowd ...


About having maps pre-loaded, I invested in a larger SD card and now have almost all of the USA installed, including some European countries.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2017, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Front Range Colorado
237 posts, read 70,564 times
Reputation: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
If your unit is *hosed*, and if you do have a good *smart phone* that is about as big as your Garmin (mine is), why not get a GPS App for your phone ?


My wife has a Garmin Nuvi something, that has Traffic and Lifetime updates. Close to 180 dollars !!
Comparatively, she and I like my GPS App on my phone better, since it is so much easier to add a way point. Just say it and then it asks for verification.

For points of *interest* (available on my wife's Garmin) I can use the Google *Find* function on my phone.

Some people have mentioned that they do not like to use their phone as a GPS, but that is now, since you must use hands free (!!), a moot statement.
When I use mine, it sits in a cradle that I can easily see (just make sure it is not in sunlight, else you can not see anything ...) and when I am driving, and I get a phone call, the phone switches to phone use, and I can then talk while still driving (hands free talking !!).
What is happening is that my phone also pairs with my radio in the car which then puts voice over the speaker system. My radio has a small external microphone somewhere in the top left of the windshield which is then used as the phone mike.
When I am done talking, the phone automatically switches back to GPS.

Personally , I think the self contained GPS units are going south sooner or later, when you can get a phone App for very little money !

One thing you have to do with (at least my phone) is to have it plugged in while using it as a GPS. Else you will have a dead phone upon arrival ...
Yeah, you're right... I'll go ahead and look at an app for my Galaxy, sigh. There is a data usage component to that, however we have unlimited data on our new plan so that shouldn't be an excuse.

I'll keep my handheld for geocaching though, has many features that tie in with the chase and I want to keep all that.

In your car, don't that require bluetooth? I have an FJ with an upgraded Toyota radio, it has an aux cord jack though... need to investigate that I guess.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $99,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top