New smart phone GPS - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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New smart phone GPS

Sorry if this has been covered already, but I can't keep up with technology.

It is time for me to get a new phone. I'm starting to think they program these things to crap out at 2 years, just as your contract is up.

I do not have a GPS on my Versys, nor to I really want one.

However, I do admit that there are times it would be nice to have some directions in front of me.

Therefore, I'm looking for advice from anyone who uses their phone for a GPS on their bike.

-What phone do you have?
-How is the battery life using the GPS?
-How easy is the display to read while riding?
-What mount do you have?

Also, is there any app that I can use to plan out a route and then export the route to the GPS?

Any general advice or experience you can share is welcome.

Thanks,

Mitch
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 01:03 PM
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I looked into this a few weeks back as I'm ready to upgrade my GPS and loathe to shell out $500+ for the Garmin Montana (the model that would best suit my needs). From what I could tell there is no app out there that allows you to plan a route on your computer and transfer it to your phone. Even the Garmin app for the iPhone won't work with the Garmin desktop programs like BaseCamp or MapSource. I read of folks planning routes on Google Maps and trying to transfer them over but were running into difficulty. In short it seemed like a world of pain.

GPS use on your phone is a battery hog so you would need to hook up a power source for anything other than short trips. Then you run into waterproof issues.

I ended up just sticking with my ancient Garmin C60. It's frustrating that my phone probably has 100 times the capabilities of that but I can't replicate its basic features (custom route planning). I would be very interested in hearing if someone has got this to work.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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I found this site. I think it is from the UK and geared toward bicyclists.

http://bedsforcyclists.co.uk/article...px-your-phone/

I made a route on google maps and then used the converter to make the GPX file and download it.

I have not yet installed the app on my phone to upload the GPX.

I don't think I should have to worry about downloading the maps because I should be able to run with my phone online (in most areas)

I'm going to keep looking and see what else I can find.

Mitch
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 05:02 PM
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I use the app maps.me, there is both a free and paid version. I went for the paid as I feel its worth it. It uses your phones GPS to locate you on the map, that you pre download so its great for bushwhacking in places with no service Using the website MapMyRide you can create custom routes that you can download as KML/KMZ files. There is no turn by turn directions using this method but if you can read a map your good to go
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow-Steady View Post
Sorry if this has been covered already, but I can't keep up with technology.



It is time for me to get a new phone. I'm starting to think they program these things to crap out at 2 years, just as your contract is up.



I do not have a GPS on my Versys, nor to I really want one.



However, I do admit that there are times it would be nice to have some directions in front of me.



Therefore, I'm looking for advice from anyone who uses their phone for a GPS on their bike.



-What phone do you have?

-How is the battery life using the GPS?

-How easy is the display to read while riding?

-What mount do you have?



Also, is there any app that I can use to plan out a route and then export the route to the GPS?



Any general advice or experience you can share is welcome.



Thanks,



Mitch

I Phone 6 with Ram mount hooked up to charger. Works well! (I can't take pictures and have the phone in the mount at the same time)
ImageUploadedByMO Free1431729872.702440.jpgImageUploadedByMO Free1431729896.342751.jpg


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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 10:40 PM
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timely thread. this product doesn't address the route planning question, but here is a (potential) development for navigating with an iPhone:
http://www.snowlizardproducts.com/pages/kickstarter

i'm hopeful that they pull this off, as i do not own a GPS unit nor am i eager to buy one. maps work, though it would be nice to use my phone to navigate in places where i do not have service.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
Seal/CRAZY/misquoted


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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 11:17 PM
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So this story is what set me off on thinking about using my phone (again)
http://www.advpulse.com/adv-products...orcycle-mount/

They use this product
https://www.twistedthrottle.com/sw-m...ca9a15b6153677

Which you can see from the pictures is a BioLogic case. The twisted throttle version looks to come with some additional mounting hardware and I could not find the exact same model on their website, but you could order the case direct from them and maybe save a few $$
http://www.thinkbiologic.com/category/weather-case

I was almost ready to give it a try but then found out programmable routes is not that easy (or maybe even possible) on a phone. No reason for it other than no-one has done it yet. Maybe the market is too small?

Maybe the above info will be of use to someone.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 06:42 AM
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What are programable routes?
Routes you program in on a computer then upload to the GPS. Not that any of them work very well...even those specifically made for a GPS.

If one is going to use a GPS to find their way about town, I can see using a phone. For doing any travel, fugetaboutit. Many places I like to go have no phone reception. Pretty sure something using a constant data upload would eat a lot of data time too. And then there's rain.

You boyz can keep your smartphones. I'll stick with my old flip phone and a real GPS.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saddlebag View Post
Routes you program in on a computer then upload to the GPS. Not that any of them work very well...even those specifically made for a GPS.

If one is going to use a GPS to find their way about town, I can see using a phone. For doing any travel, fugetaboutit. Many places I like to go have no phone reception. Pretty sure something using a constant data upload would eat a lot of data time too. And then there's rain.

You boyz can keep your smartphones. I'll stick with my old flip phone and a real GPS.
+1
My two big gotchas on using a smart phone... I've been caught in the rain... lots... and data consumption. I'm on a 2GB plan, and I'm navigationally challenged (I need a map to get to the bathroom from the bedroom). I'd blow through my month's quota in no time. And, of course, reception in the mountains I ride in is... meh...

So, I bit the bullet on a ridiculously overpriced Zumo. But, it has *none* of the above issues, can be used with any gloves, is customized and ruggedized for riding, and doesn't require a new contract and new hardware in two years...

So, to the OP's original question -- I'm a down vote for using a phone as a riding GPS... maybe in a cage, with someone else navigating, and unlimited data time...

Ride safe...

Barry
2015 Versys 650 Pearl White
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Last edited by BKP; 05-16-2015 at 07:01 AM.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 07:18 PM
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The best waterproof case I've ever used cost all of $0.01. A sandwich bag and a wire bread tie have worked well for the last twenty years. Keep a few extras in case you tear one. You're welcome.
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 08:14 PM
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Your smartphone can also download GEO tagged PDF files or images and then display your position on them as you move around. The US Forest Service has these types of PDF files available to download for free. So if you go deep into National Forests where the "roads" are not on your standard street map, this is invaluable. Also plenty of enthusiasts out there have created their own geo tagged maps with all sorts of information on them, like single track trails through the woods. There are GPS unit out there that can display these files also (like the Montana I mentioned), but these are $600+ where the phone in my pocket can do the exact same job today.
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 09:00 PM
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Software you ask??? I'm running the full version of Garmin StreetPilot ap on my phone. (among others including a few topographical maps) This is the same software used on most Garmin GPSs. But I paid $29.99 for it.
hey mate, does this app offer international maps?

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 11:30 PM
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The best waterproof case I've ever used cost all of $0.01. A sandwich bag and a wire bread tie have worked well for the last twenty years. Keep a few extras in case you tear one. You're welcome.

Plus one!


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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 03:20 AM
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found this: http://www.sygic.com/gps-navigation/features

and another: http://offmaps.com/en/

i've also learned that you can download/save small areas of gmaps for offline usage:
Quote:
Cache map data by moving your map to your destination. If you’re on Android, hit the search field and scroll down past the search suggestion. Then select the 'make this map area available offline' option. For iOS, hit the search field and clear X on the previous entry. Type 'ok maps' into the search box and hit Search. A screen with a Google icon will process and confirm offline maps caching. iOS and Android.
not all areas are available with each app, but i don't think i'll be needing a GPS unit...

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 08:25 AM
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The best waterproof case I've ever used cost all of $0.01. A sandwich bag and a wire bread tie have worked well for the last twenty years. Keep a few extras in case you tear one. You're welcome.
Hard to see and hear thru a sandwich bag, no?
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post #16 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 08:36 AM
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Data? Constant Data Upload? As long as you have downloaded (offline maps) your data usage is Zero. Zero.
Reception? Satellite Reception? You always have a GPS Signal.
This is good info. I didn't realize they had a real GPS in them. I thought I remembered them using cell towers to triangulate position.

My wife's silly phone was $800+ and another $40 a month for the upcharge on phone bill for data. She does pay another $10 or so a month as insurance in case the delicate thing experiences shock or vibration.

BTW, my $500 Zumo also gets XM, plays MP3s, and can get weather and traffic info too, for those who want to pay for it. And when my last one gave up the ghost (~10 years), I sent it to Garmin and for $150, they sent me a new one with the latest software.

I also have a camera that takes nice pics. I'll buy a GoPro if I get the desire to start filming stuff.
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post #17 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 05:52 PM
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Oh well OK then. I will find a flip phone in a pawnshop somewhere, buy a $600+ Zumo, and a camera. I won't forget the bread bags for the flip phone. Then I will REALLY be set. Besides, the silly delicate thing that cost me $800+ then $40+ a month then $10 a month (?) will disintegrate anyway as soon as I start my motorcycle. Right? Thanks for the advice.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/1817429...lpid=82&chn=ps
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post #18 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 06:52 PM
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Whew... quite a bit of sarcastic venom over this topic... You'd think the subject was the 2016 election...

If you prefer using your phone as a does-it-all, In-Like-Flint device, have at it... Different strokes and all that. In this case, I personally tend to prefer a use-purposed device, designed for the singular objective of navigation in sometimes harsh outdoor conditions. But that's me.

It also appears the nav device is a bit more hardened than my phone. This may not be important to anyone that mounts their phone (as I do), or never drops their bike.
This is (was) my phone, after a teen texter recently decided to launch me (and my Strom) into orbit from behind. The Zumo has a slight scuff on one heavily rubberized side, never lost a beat, and is now happily mounted on the new Versys. The phone... well...:


[IMG][/IMG]

Ride safe...

Barry
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post #19 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-18-2015, 03:52 AM
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here is my humble recommendation tested in a 15000km trip in europe:

1- go to ebay
2- search for iphone 4 (they are around 50 usd) with any carrier
3- buy one
4- go to ram mount site: buy the mounting for iphone 4 (around 20 bucks)
5- buy usb socket and install it in your bike (10 bucks)
6- fron your iphone 4 go to vshare.com website and donwload it
7- open vshare app, search for "navigon usa" and donwload it
8- once installed select all US maps and download them
9- no need for a sim card or any data plan for your iphone 4, all the maps are off-line usable, just need gps signal
10- put some music in the iphone 4
11- use sena bluetooth communciation device in your helmet(I used the smh-10)
12- ride any endless road!!! and enjoy!!!

total bill: 80 USD
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post #20 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-18-2015, 06:50 AM
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Don't even bother Purifcator, the experts have spoken. Get a Zumo.
This "expert" dug into my wife's phone last night. Gawd do I despise those things. I think Apple probably enforces a little consistency, but this Android sh*t is for the birds.

We got it to sync to a PC without having to go thru that I-tunes crap. And that it does well. It's everything else. Even the apps that come standard with the POS have no consistency. Go to the web to try and find how to use anything, fugetaboutit, it's been changed.

After a long, arduous battle, I finally found out that it does have a GPS receiver, but uses cell towers too, if available, so will download data. It would also require a 12 Vdc battery charger as both the GPS and the Bluetooth to the helmet drain battery life quickly. Phone does have the benefit of full Bluetooth. GPS will Bluetooth, but its XM won't.

After much aggravation, I also downloaded an app that will let my wife unlock her car's doors. Of course her key fob does the same thing...
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