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Thread: Using an iPhone instead of a GPS???

  1. #1
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    Default Using an iPhone instead of a GPS???

    Hey folks. So....it's time for a new phone. Which saddens me. I have a Samsung Rugby (old version that is now 4 years old) that I have really liked. Waterproof. Shockproof. Dustproof. etc, etc. It's a flip phone. My students laugh at me. Anyway, it's dying. ringer works intermittently causing missed calls, voice quality intermittent bla bla bla. Guess there really is no such thing as a durable phone.

    I could probably do with a new handheld GPS, too. My current GPS is a Garmin GPSMap 76, bought in 2006. It works fine and I'm not really thinking seriously of replacing it except for the fact that it's old, and I have to keep a an XP laptop around just to use the old map source software for it. (and I've lost the cable for that as well lol)

    To that end, I am considering, and only briefly, an iPhone. It's really not on the top of my list. The only reason I am considering an iPhone is I've noticed a couple folks here post now and then they use their iPhones with some sort of GPS app instead of a handheld GPS. If I could go to an iPhone and get the equivalent of a new gps, say something similar to whatever the new version of the 76 is (I forget the model number), then it might be worth it. Sort of two new toys at one price.

    Do these newer iPhones use actual GPS satellite signals, just like a Garmin, or are they just triangulating your cell towers or using whatever your wifi hot spot is to fix your location? To be honest, I have a hard time believe that a phone will match a GPS. Which of the apps seems to be best for hunting/fishing etc. (I could give a crap about turn by turn driving directions.) What kind of accuracy circles do you guys see? How well do they work in tree cover/overcast days? What do you guys use for mapsource type map data? Anyway to sync to a Macbook Pro and see a full size map ont he screen for trip planning? Set points, routes, wypts etc and transfer from MacBook to iPhone?

    Lastly, how reliable are they as a GPS and how long does your phone battery last when using it as a GPS???

    PS: obviously, I'm a Mac user so I'm not really interested in Android stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Hey folks. So....it's time for a new phone. Which saddens me. I have a Samsung Rugby (old version that is now 4 years old) that I have really liked. Waterproof. Shockproof. Dustproof. etc, etc. It's a flip phone. My students laugh at me. Anyway, it's dying. ringer works intermittently causing missed calls, voice quality intermittent bla bla bla. Guess there really is no such thing as a durable phone.

    I could probably do with a new handheld GPS, too. My current GPS is a Garmin GPSMap 76, bought in 2006. It works fine and I'm not really thinking seriously of replacing it except for the fact that it's old, and I have to keep a an XP laptop around just to use the old map source software for it. (and I've lost the cable for that as well lol)

    To that end, I am considering, and only briefly, an iPhone. It's really not on the top of my list. The only reason I am considering an iPhone is I've noticed a couple folks here post now and then they use their iPhones with some sort of GPS app instead of a handheld GPS. If I could go to an iPhone and get the equivalent of a new gps, say something similar to whatever the new version of the 76 is (I forget the model number), then it might be worth it. Sort of two new toys at one price.

    Do these newer iPhones use actual GPS satellite signals, just like a Garmin, or are they just triangulating your cell towers or using whatever your wifi hot spot is to fix your location? To be honest, I have a hard time believe that a phone will match a GPS. Which of the apps seems to be best for hunting/fishing etc. (I could give a crap about turn by turn driving directions.) What kind of accuracy circles do you guys see? How well do they work in tree cover/overcast days? What do you guys use for mapsource type map data? Anyway to sync to a Macbook Pro and see a full size map ont he screen for trip planning? Set points, routes, wypts etc and transfer from MacBook to iPhone?

    Lastly, how reliable are they as a GPS and how long does your phone battery last when using it as a GPS???

    PS: obviously, I'm a Mac user so I'm not really interested in Android stuff.
    I think the effectiveness of my iPhone gps
    depends on the cell coverage. I've used mine down south but not up here. Granted I'm in the bush and the data connection sucks outside the wifi zone in my house. I don't even get 2g coverage. However I'm giving my gps
    app trial run this week. I'll let you know how it works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    I think the effectiveness of my iPhone gps
    depends on the cell coverage. I've used mine down south but not up here. Granted I'm in the bush and the data connection sucks outside the wifi zone in my house. I don't even get 2g coverage. However I'm giving my gps
    app trial run this week. I'll let you know how it works.
    That's what I see as a, if not THE problem. You can't have a GPS in Alaska that is dependent upon a cell signal or a data network or a wifi. It has to be 100% stand alone. It needs to be put the phone in airplane mode, turn off the data, turn off the wifi, and it should still function fully as a GPS. Both because a.) there are no wifi/data/cell signals where you hunt or hike and b.)you'll get more battery life with all oft he transmit functions turned off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    That's what I see as a, if not THE problem. You can't have a GPS in Alaska that is dependent upon a cell signal or a data network or a wifi. It has to be 100% stand alone. It needs to be put the phone in airplane mode, turn off the data, turn off the wifi, and it should still function fully as a GPS. Both because a.) there are no wifi/data/cell signals where you hunt or hike and b.)you'll get more battery life with all oft he transmit functions turned off.
    Yep. I'm not even sure if the GPS app I have works when in airplane mode. I'm taking canoe out this coming week and I plan on experimenting with mine to see how it works. I do not have high expectations though.

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    http://adventurealan.com/iphone4gps.htm

    This was a helpful article when I was researching the same thing, I use MotionX-GPS app, but I am sure there are far better ones out there.
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGAKSTUFF View Post
    http://adventurealan.com/iphone4gps.htm

    This was a helpful article when I was researching the same thing, I use MotionX-GPS app, but I am sure there are far better ones out there.
    Thanks for the link; it was very useful. For example, I didn't know the iPads had GPS in them. My girlfriend has an iPad so I can experiment with that before I decide.

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    Sure thing, just note it is an older article, so if you get the Iphone 5c or 5s you will have to play around with the battery life configs. But it gives you the general idea of what to expect.
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGAKSTUFF View Post
    Sure thing, just note it is an older article, so if you get the Iphone 5c or 5s you will have to play around with the battery life configs. But it gives you the general idea of what to expect.
    Yeah. Battery life. That was pretty depressing. Then again my Garmin is under 12 hours, but I could drop in AA batteries almost all day long.

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    http://www.amazon.com/Levin-trade-Ra...s_2407762011_2

    Yeah....batteries. Something like the link above could help out, but then you start getting into how much crap do you wanna be carrying around? Only reason I would do this setup is for music, alarm clock, and making sure my iphone was still somewhat charged for the camera.
    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGAKSTUFF View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/Levin-trade-Ra...s_2407762011_2

    Yeah....batteries. Something like the link above could help out, but then you start getting into how much crap do you wanna be carrying around? Only reason I would do this setup is for music, alarm clock, and making sure my iphone was still somewhat charged for the camera.
    Ummmmm....no. LOL

    Since you mentioned alarm...I would LOVE to find wind-up analog wrist watch with an alarm loud enough to wake me up. I currently use my cell phone. Which brings me back to the whole "new phone" thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Ummmmm....no. LOL

    Since you mentioned alarm...I would LOVE to find wind-up analog wrist watch with an alarm loud enough to wake me up. I currently use my cell phone. Which brings me back to the whole "new phone" thing.
    Amen on the watch. Lol.
    Inused my iPhone last year as an alarm and camera. While in airplane mode the battery pasted for 5'days. It was in most nights and I turned it off during bulk of the day.

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    iPhone doesnt need cell or wifi signal to use gps, i haven't used my gps in years, phone app is just better, you can download all of the 7.5" topos and even satellite imagery if you want...

    If you want the ability to charge your phone with batteries just get a phone charger that takes AA batteries...2 AA will charge your phone while you sleep...
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

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    Wife just got a 5S and it works fine in the wilds of ID and I have a G2 pad and G3 phone and they both work great without cell service. I bought the pad to use nav apps in the plane in the back country...gives real time nav and weather but not traffic alerts without cell. AK should work fine too. I use 12 volt plug in to recharge and in the plane, otherwise pad lasts about 4-5 hours with everything running.Good chance you really don't need the nav feature full time anyway so turn it off when you don't need it and put it to sleep when you use the alarm.

    BTW, I use an eagle screech for an alarm which wakes my Lab and he wakes me up barking at it.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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