iPhone, GPS and Doppler radar - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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iPhone, GPS and Doppler radar

I am considering capitulating to the iPhone temptation. I have been able to resist so far but the combination of having GPS and the rain radar on the bike as well as all the other stuff is tipping the scale in its favor.
In Canada,Rogers will be joined by Bell and Telus who will soon start selling the unit and data plans and hopefully there will be some sort of pricing competition emerging. There will also probably be some network differences as to geographic coverage as Bell has a better wireless network (I think) but may or may not have the same advantage in their 3G network. One of my questions is how the GPS works when it is outside the network coverage and is it a separate app or built in? I am not even sure if I am asking the right questions.
Anyone care to share their experience?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 08:14 AM
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I know that Verizon Wireless has over 5 times better 3G coverage than AT&T. iPhone is overrated...


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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 08:38 AM
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I am an avid mac / iphone user. I am now on my second phone. Once you go Mac you won't go back. It is the best phone I have owned. very useful. Yes the coverage is not as good as verizon. I use to have Verizon. when the iphone came out i switched. NO regrets. GPS is google maps which outstanding and has never failed me. I know it use to use wifi to locate your position but this has improved with the 3gs phone. go to mac forum.com for specific guru answers. Att recently purchased alltell to help improve coverage. hope this helps.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 08:50 AM
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actually, Verizon acquired Alltel...not AT&T. AT&T purchased Centennial Wireless and Cingular.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 09:01 AM
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AT&T purchased Unicell.


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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 09:07 AM
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and Centennial.

You should also check out the new Android 1.5 and 2.0 phones soon to be released Nov 6 at Verizon...very freaking cool. Basically created by Google, the OS works flawlessly and the transition from App store to Phone is seamless. The Motorola Device is called the Droid, huge display with a slide out keyboard. 5.0mp camera with 24fps video can capture images in very low light.

Google Maps works beautifully, it should...the phone was designed by Google!


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 11:21 AM
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unless the phone has a GPS built in then it will need a separate GPS device (eg a bluetooth dongle) to get the GPS fix. otherwise you are going to be using a triangulation appraoch based on signal strengths from cellphone transmissions. triangualtion may well give good results at low speed or stationary.

I'd be very surprised if the Iphone has an inbuilt GPS receiver

also I'd be very cautious untill I knew the charging model the the airtime provider is using for 3G services. some time the data is bundled, sometimes its chargeable and in those cases it can be very very expensive.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 11:28 AM
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Most cell phones don't keep maps in the phone itself, they download the maps as needed. This is OK for folks who only need GPS in urban areas or on major highways where there is almost always digital data coverage.

If you need GPS off the beaten path where there is no data service the phone GPS reverts to lat/long data.

I'm sure this will be resolved at some point in the nearish future. Flash memory is getting so cheap there will soon be room in the phone for plenty of preloaded maps. But without all maps preloaded on the phone I'd be wary when riding where I sometimes go.http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...itpost&p=57237

The other issue is whether or not you need your GPS to be waterproof. My cell phone works great as a GPS, but rain would destroy it.

I have a Garmin 2720. I'm considering using it on the bike, and using my cell phone GPS in the car.

I should add that I have an LG Dare under Verizon, and I have tried the GPS (VZ navigator) on a one month trial basis. My daughter has an LG Env2, also under Verizon, and she had VZNavigator all summer. She did really well using VZNavigator, although she had no point of comparison. I found that VZ Navigator was 90% as good as my Garmin for navigation, and otherwise better because the service includes traffic updates (Extra cost service from Garmin IF you have the right hardware, and I don't have that hardware.), the maps are always up to date (My Garmin costs over $60/year to buy new maps, so my maps are 1 or 2 years old most of the time.), and up to date listings for store, restaurants, and the like. The VZNavigator under Verizon was $10/month with no extra charge for navigation data. There is a charge for data if you have no data plan only for the download of the VZNavigator application.

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Originally Posted by healdem
I'd be very surprised if the Iphone has an inbuilt GPS receiver
In the US phones have been required to have GPS chips for a several years now, supposedly to allow emergency services to find you more easily if you need help (I think it's more big brotherish than that.) In the latest generation of phones there are applications, like the GPS programs, that allow you the phone owner to access the GPS.

Last edited by steven1955; 11-02-2009 at 11:48 AM.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 11:35 AM
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From what I've heard, the "Droid" should be a very capable and open phone. The android OS is made by google. Motorola makes the device and tweaks the OS to make it do what they want on their phone. If you get a Verizon branded Droid, Verizon gets to make their own tweaks/hacks to the OS since they are subsidizing it. Verizon has a bad reputation for disabling features on phones, like bluetooth file sharing, to force users to buy content. So in short the Droid could be a great phone but I'm holding my opinion until I see one out in the wild.

I personally use an unlocked Nokia E71 on AT&T, not the AT&T branded E71x. It's a pretty good phone but the symbian OS is somewhat clunky and is showing it's age. Since I bought the phone unlocked all I had to do was put in the sim card from my old phone and it works no problem. Since AT&T doesn't know I have a "Smart Phone" I don't have to pay the higher data rate. I also have discount from a previous job that saves me 21% on every bill. I don't like the lack of 3G service but the savings I get makes up for it.



Choosing a mobile phone and service provider is a very personal and regional decision. The quality and availability of cell service varies greatly across the country which makes it hard to make a blanket statement like "Verizon has the best coverage." Take your time and research. Here is a site the compares some of the most popular cell phone and their cost of ownership.


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 11:50 AM
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Carbo I just saw that you are in Montreal and from what I've heard you guys get screwed on cell service. Any way the iPhone has a built in GPS receiver. I believe it is considered A-GPS (assisted gps), which means it gets information from cell phone towers to assist with detecting your position. Some if not all A-GPS receivers will not work if you do not have cell service. I know my Nokia E71 can not display my location if I do not have cell service. 3G service only means that you get faster data rates. It's nice to have but isn't required.

I believe you can get google maps on the iPhone but it won't give turn by turn voice directions. You can purchase GPS apps from TomTom, Garmin and maybe others on the iPhone but they are not cheap.

I hope I answered some of your questions.


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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 12:49 PM
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Send a message via AIM to flyoguy
If you have an iPhone and want real routing capabilities look at an App called MotionX GPS Drive. Works great.

Dirt cheap
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 12:56 PM
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correct. the iphone does not give voice directions. it does give you turn by turn written directions , if you chose. I would imagine that there is or will be an app for voice directions. For me the best quality for the iphone is that there are no application lags (like in windows) and its seamless. To me it has one big downfall, which is battery life. There are numerous ways to extend your battery life. But still. its a downfall

if it were easy....everyone would do it!
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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To say Canadians' get screwed on cell service is a major understatement. I am trying to hold off committing to any of the providers as long as I can, but it is getting more and more like waiting for the washroom after that last beer.
Thanks for the posts however most of them apply to the US system. I am sure it is good information to have posted.
Any Canadians have any experience with what I am looking for? I am looking for info as to what happens north of Lake Superior and along the Trans Canada, up into Northern BC and Queen Charlotte Islands.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 01:46 PM
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oh man, sorry! I didn't even check to see that you were from Montreal...feel like a big idiot now.

JM
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-03-2009, 10:21 AM
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I have an iPhone and a TomTom GPS. I love my iPhone but as others have said it has crap coverage for the web-but does have a built in GPS regarless of cell coverage. I'm on a road trip from SEA, via ID, MT, WY to DEN and then on to Scottsdale AZ. There are a ton of places where ATT has no coverage as others have said.
iPhone is very susceptable to water and unless you have a clever waterproof case you can't interface with it. Go for a separate TomTom or Garmin biker product (waterproof) and get an iPhone for fun.

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmichael View Post
and Centennial.

You should also check out the new Android 1.5 and 2.0 phones soon to be released Nov 6 at Verizon...very freaking cool. Basically created by Google, the OS works flawlessly and the transition from App store to Phone is seamless. The Motorola Device is called the Droid, huge display with a slide out keyboard. 5.0mp camera with 24fps video can capture images in very low light.

Google Maps works beautifully, it should...the phone was designed by Google!

I just bought a droid to replace a Blackberry storm. I would say that if you have a Droid, there is no need for a separate GPS unit (like the nuvi 500 I just bought a few weeks ago ). The nice thing about it that there is no need to d/load maps, as it uses Google maps from the net. You can add layers like satellite view, street view, turn by turn, etc... Best thing about it is that the service is free, unlike the Iphone. Outside of the GPS capabilities, the browser speed is smoking fast, over 10,000 open source apps available, and most of all it's on Verizon! You seen the ads with the map comparison to AT&T. I love the phone. Hey Iphone!.....
here's a video of the GPS features. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D63jW...eature=related
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2009, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
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I just bought a droid to replace a Blackberry storm. I would say that if you have a Droid, there is no need for a separate GPS unit (like the nuvi 500 I just bought a few weeks ago ). The nice thing about it that there is no need to d/load maps, as it uses Google maps from the net. You can add layers like satellite view, street view, turn by turn, etc... Best thing about it is that the service is free, unlike the Iphone. Outside of the GPS capabilities, the browser speed is smoking fast, over 10,000 open source apps available, and most of all it's on Verizon! You seen the ads with the map comparison to AT&T. I love the phone. Hey Iphone!.....
here's a video of the GPS features. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D63jW...eature=related
I would still stick with a dedicated gps device if you plan on riding through ares with out cell service. Since no service means you can not download maps. There is also the issue of the phone not being water proof and is the touch interface glove friendly?


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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 01:05 AM
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You can always buy an Itouch and download one of the gps apps from the app store. If your near wifi you can use skype on your Itouch to make phone calls and buy a cheap verizon phone for other calls when you have no wi-fi
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 08:23 AM
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You can always buy an Itouch and download one of the gps apps from the app store. If your near wifi you can use skype on your Itouch to make phone calls and buy a cheap verizon phone for other calls when you have no wi-fi
Sounds like a lot of "buying" to do what the Droid "does".

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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 01:35 PM
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Sounds like a lot of "buying" to do what the Droid "does".
Well lets see how much it is:

Ipod Touch: $199.00
gps software:$100.00

cell phone contract 2years wit no data plan,including a free phone is on the average: $1200 over 2 years

So my way cost:$1500.00 over 2 years

Now let see about the droid: the droid phone is $199.00 with a two year contract and the average plan at verizon is $80.00 a month for a droid

Phone : $200.00
Plan : $1920.00 over 2 year contract

Your way cost: $2120.00 over 2 years
And that is not including any Apps or other stuff

Your way: $2120.00 over 2 years
My Way: $1500.00 over 2 years
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