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  1. #1
    LET'S RIDE!! IndianaRecRider's Avatar
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    Another Android/GPS question

    I didn't want to hijack the thread Winfried started, so I decided to start a new Android thread.

    Still very new to smartphones and apps and all that, so I hope this doesn't come across as a stupid (two part) question. What I'm trying to find out is this....

    1) When using just GPS on my Android phone ( a Samsung Stratosphere II), does that use anything my data plan? I'm on a 2 GB per month plan, and I don't want to use up all my data on my rides.

    2) Assuming that just GPS only does not use any data, if I toss an app into the mix, like Strava for example, will the combination of the two eat up my data plan? I'd like to give a riding app a try, but only if it doesn't use an excessive amount of data, or none at all.

    Thanks in advance for any information provided.

    My latest attempt at blogging...Big Guy On A Bicycle :~) (updated 5-30-14 with pics)


  2. #2
    Junior Member Blittz's Avatar
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    GPS alone doesn't use any data, but most likely your app will. Most tracking apps communicate with their servers back and forth saving your data, getting weather updates, etc... Also if you are looking at the map as you ride, it uses data to pull down the maps its showing you. Overall it doesn't really use much data, but it will use some.

    You can track how much data it uses by just going into Settings -> Data usage before you ride, then after and noting how much it used.

    FYI the only really nasty stinkers on data usage are things like Netflix, or Radio apps like Pandora, or watching YouTube videos, other than that 2 GB a month should be plenty even if you ride a lot.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    GPS does not necessarily use data, you just have to carefully examine the apps that are going to use the GPS and determine what they are going to do with that data. For instance, Google Maps will use the GPS data to determine what maps to download. It's the maps that eat up the data more than the GPS. So look for apps that cache data and/or have "wifi only" options on when they upload. You can still use and save GPS data without affecting you data plan as long as the app doesn't need to be in communication with the web to work. You may even be able to turn off cellular data to see if the app will function properly without internet access. I have been able to download maps to my iPad and use the GPS for mapping, and save my routes, even when my data was turned off or I was in a dead zone. I imagine the same thing can be done on Android. I just haven't needed to do that yet.

    I don't know about Strava. I assume it uploads your route info, and therefore uses your data plan, but I don't know how much data it uploads. And it might be able to save the relevant data to upload later, but it does seem like there's info online that Strava also will want to have access to.

  4. #4
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    Some mapping apps (including Google Maps) do have an option to download your local map data (presumably when you're on WiFi) so you don't have to download it via your data plan. You may be able to configure your app to not use any other data (eg not uploading anything until you're back on WiFi). You can also just switch off your data plan if you really don't want to use data. Some GPS apps will continue to work fine with the data switched off, especially if you have already downloaded the maps.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    For Android, the OsmAnd app allows you to download open source maps to your phone so you don't need a data connection for maps. Heck, you don't even need a phone plan. Just download the app and maps via Wifi.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Podagrower's Avatar
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    I have 3 Android phones, only 1 has service, but I use the other 2 for riding with GPS only. I haven't found an app yet that won't work without data, they will upload and convert data once I return home and they connect to the WiFi. If the cycling app uses too much data, turn off mobile data, and run the app without it.
    2015 TDC Lake Nona, who's going?

  7. #7
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider View Post
    I didn't want to hijack the thread Winfried started, so I decided to start a new Android thread.

    Still very new to smartphones and apps and all that, so I hope this doesn't come across as a stupid (two part) question. What I'm trying to find out is this....

    1) When using just GPS on my Android phone ( a Samsung Stratosphere II), does that use anything my data plan? I'm on a 2 GB per month plan, and I don't want to use up all my data on my rides.

    2) Assuming that just GPS only does not use any data, if I toss an app into the mix, like Strava for example, will the combination of the two eat up my data plan? I'd like to give a riding app a try, but only if it doesn't use an excessive amount of data, or none at all.

    Thanks in advance for any information provided.

    I use my Android Razor while doing my job almost everyday. I use my weather apps and GPS ( navigation/traffic ) app a whole lot. Using just these two on a regular basis I rarely go over 0.5GB per billing cycle. If you are into streaming music and video then your usage is going to go up. I don't play much streaming music or video on mine but on occasion I dabble. I did a lot of dabbling last month. I can't remember exactly how much it was but it was close to 0.75GB. That is the most I've every used as far as I know. If you're going to do streaming video and music best to use WiFi if you can. Personally I don't think you'll have any worries. If your service provider is Verizon you should have an app on your phone that will let you view your current data usage. I would imagine other providers would do the same. WiFi connections are of course free.
    Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 07-03-13 at 05:38 AM.

  8. #8
    LET'S RIDE!! IndianaRecRider's Avatar
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    A big "thank you" to everyone who replied. I really appreciate the information. Didn't have time to fiddle with my phone today, but I should be going out for a ride tomorrow morning, so I'm going to play with GPS and a couple of apps and see what happens.

    Thanks again.

    :~)
    My latest attempt at blogging...Big Guy On A Bicycle :~) (updated 5-30-14 with pics)


  9. #9
    LET'S RIDE!! IndianaRecRider's Avatar
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    Well, I've tried out both MapMyRide and Strava. Both seem like good apps. And neither seemed to use much data or eat up too much battery power. Granted, each ride was less than an hour, but I don't see either app being a problem on a longer ride (especially considering most of my rides don't exceed two hours).

    Last edited by IndianaRecRider; 07-07-13 at 09:39 AM.
    My latest attempt at blogging...Big Guy On A Bicycle :~) (updated 5-30-14 with pics)


  10. #10
    Junior Member Blittz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider View Post
    Well, I've tried out both MapMyRide and Strava. Both seem like good apps. And neither seemed to use much data or eat up too much battery power. Granted, each ride was less than an hour, but I don't see either app being a problem on a longer ride (especially considering most of my rides don't exceed two hours).
    You should also try out Endomondo. It's what I use and I know many others who also swear by it.

  11. #11
    LET'S RIDE!! IndianaRecRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blittz View Post
    You should also try out Endomondo. It's what I use and I know many others who also swear by it.
    I do have the Endomondo app downloaded. I'll be giving it a try in the next few days.

    My latest attempt at blogging...Big Guy On A Bicycle :~) (updated 5-30-14 with pics)


  12. #12
    Member rgilliam2004's Avatar
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    Endomondo

    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider View Post
    I do have the Endomondo app downloaded. I'll be giving it a try in the next few days.


    Endomondo is nice, I have been using it for a while but a lot of people are moving off it because they appear to be taking features away from the free version and making you use the pay version.

    I went to the pay version (mobile app) some time ago and like it. Works well and provides everything I need. I don't have access to the pay site, just the free features and that again works for me. My only miss is not having live tracking. MMR has this (for pay), Strava does not

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