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Old 06-23-10, 11:36 AM   #1
lembeh
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Best iPhone GPS app from your experience?

Hi guys Im looking to purchase a GPS for my iPhone so that I dont have to carry an extra GPS unit. For my research seems like TomTom and Navigon's GPS app are highly rated.

I am looking for opinions (bikers perspective) from tourers that have used any kind of GPS app on their iPhone. Let me know which ones you like, dont like, would recommend.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:12 PM   #2
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I bought Tom Tom but never actually used it on my recent tour up the Atlantic Coast. As long as you are within 3G network access, Google Maps works very well. What's more, Google Maps will route you, as well. Frankly, Tom Tom is so oriented to driving cars that accessing the features you might find useful on a bike are kind of a bother.

If you are going to be out of 3G range much of the time, Tom Tom might be useful.

I wrote an article about using the iPhone on a bike tour that you might find interesting.

Ray
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Old 06-23-10, 03:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for the article Raybo. I am currently on a cross country tour. Just started 4 days ago in NYC and going all the way to Seattle! I have my iPHone on me and in the last 2 days or so I have seen the dreaded E symbol on it. Yesterday for a good 2 hours I didnt have any phone service at all. I am carrying maps with me though so its not an issue but having a GPS on my iPhone would serve as a nice fall back to Google maps incase I run into a black zone again. Im pretty confident that I will hit black zones when I get into the Great Plains area but thats still a few weeks away. I will look into TomTom in some depth once more. Thanks.
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Old 07-08-10, 03:17 PM   #4
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att service is terrible outside major metro areas. Get Verizon service.
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Old 07-08-10, 05:26 PM   #5
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"Best" is going to depend on what your priorities are. I've been using Cyclemeter to log my routine training rides, and it's the best of several GPS apps I've tried for that purpose, but it's not really well-suited to touring.

I suspect that there's not going to be any one app that does everything you want, but that's OK. Apps are cheap. Some GPS apps have ancillary services like controlling music playback and shooting photos; with iOS4, if you have a newer phone, multitasking makes it less of an issue to have those features inside the app.

The one feature that would be desirable in a touring app would be map caching, so that you're not dependent on having a solid cellular connection. The only GPS apps I've looked at that can do this seem to be not so great in other ways—it's also worth knowing that Google's terms of use prohibit caching of their maps, so the apps that do this use Open Street Maps.

For route planning, the ideal would be to find an app that lets you import KML or GPX files, since you could upload other cyclists' routes, or Adventure Cycling routes, that sort of thing.

MotionX GPS does pretty much all of this, although in my experience it's awkward to use. I found its map-caching feature takes forever, and the whole design of the app is counterintuitive and overly complicated. But I'll give it credit for being a sort of Swiss Army Knife of GPS apps. But jack of all trades, master of none.

It hadn't occurred to me to use an app like TomTom because I would assume it would choose routings meant for cars, not bikes, and because I don't place a priority on having my app figure out the route for me.
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Old 07-09-10, 11:49 AM   #6
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I agree and I would have to say with the Droid X you would have GPS / My Tracks / and pandora music.... battery life for any smartphone will be an issue...

Good Luck
Mike

Last edited by n3vqh; 07-09-10 at 11:49 AM. Reason: add
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Old 07-09-10, 01:52 PM   #7
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I've used iMapMyRide on both iPhone and Android now, and I like it a lot.

Now that I have Android, I also have the Google turn by turn directions, which is cool too...
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Old 07-10-10, 11:35 AM   #8
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I just use Google Maps...free and works well enough...I don't want to stare at a GPS all day so I just pull it out for specific parts of a route.
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