Discussion:
OT: My personal test of 20 free offline Android gps map routing applications
(too old to reply)
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-22 18:48:33 UTC
Permalink
Wholly OT: I will respond to questions, and queries, but otherwise this
will be the only post on this topic for my friends on a.h.r who may be
interested in offline map routing programs.

I posted this to: alt.satellite.gps,alt.comp.freeware, & to
comp.mobile.android (which is a rather new newsgroup).

Here's my overall quick summary of 20 suggested free offline map apps:
(Please suggest any other offline map app you want tested!)

Top five *offline gps map routing Android free apps*:
1. MapFactor: Navigator, v1.0.35, Database = OSM
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapfactor.navigator&hl=en
PRO: By far, the most logically intuitive GUI for an automotive GPS navigation system.
PRO: Has a businessrivate odometer which might be handy for tax purposes.
PRO: Search has options for nearest to map center, gps position, or destination.
PRO: Map view is easily switched between close, medium, and full-trip views.
PRO: Navigate easily allows waypoints to be enabled or disabled
CON: Does not speak road names (if it only had TTS, it would negate the need for OsmAnd~)
CON: Printed guidance at the bottom of the display is far too small for automotive use
CON: Enabling "Save as .GPX" crashed my phone every time it was enabled

2. F-Droid: OsmAnd~, v1.5-ARM (X-86 & MIPS builds exist), Database = OSM
https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdfilter=osmand~&fdid=net.osmand.plus
PRO: Speaks road names! (TTS) in addition to spoken directions (British English)
PRO: Users are encouraged to add their own POIs, addresses, and map improvements!
PRO: Opensource plugins are readily available to enhance functionality
PRO: Has an easy to use recording mode to save & replay your tracks
PRO: Buttons click when you type them in a search
CON: Can't route greater than 100 miles without waypoints (and it won't tell you that it won't)
CON: Crashes a *lot* on my stock Samsung Galaxy S3 (Android 4.3)
CON: Impossible to set a Favorite from the Favorites menu!
Con: Direction guidance annoyingly says "milly" & "millies" instead of "miles")

3. Aponia: Be-On-Road, v3.9.26239 Database = OSM
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cz.aponia.bor3
PRO: Logical initial MAP display
PRO: Can find POIs that are along the route you've selected (more apps should have this!)
CON: Does not speak road names (TTS).
CON: Impossible to add a Favorite when in the Favorites menu!
CON: Impossible to change the name of a Favorite without first deleting it!
CON: Can't organize Favorites other than alphabetically!
IRK: Favorites=Map->Menu->POI->Favorites->FAVORITES->My POI->favorite
IRK: Menu->POI->Favorites->Favorites->My POI->SELECTION->Navigate

4. Geolife: NavFree USA, v2.1.17, Database = OSM
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.navfree.android.OSM.USA
PRO: Slick-looking GUI (but looks are deceptive)
CON: Does not speak road names (TTS)
CON: Impossible to add a Favorite when in the Favorites menu!
CON: Impossible to change the name of a Favorite without first deleting it!
CON: Miserable mechanism to rename favorites (basically it can't be done)
CON: Even after rebooting, and deleting, it wouldn't rename a favorite!
CON: Can't organize Favorites other than alphabetically!
CON: Adware is somewhat obtrusive (not horrid, but not good)
CON: POI search doesn't give street address (so they all look alike!)

5. Zoff, ZANavi, v2.0.19 (OSM maps)
http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zoffcc.applications.zanavi&hl=en
PRO: Speaks American English TTS road names beautifully in addition to spoken directions
PRO: The road-name display is the easiest of them all to read (outside of Google Maps)
CON: User interface must have been written on Mars, it's that unintuitive!
CON: No concept of favorites (they only have "Recent Destinations")
CON: Only accepts GPS coordinates in degrees-minutes-seconds (not decimal degrees)
CON: Many features are half baked so I must consider this beta software

Backup programs *to make up for offline deficiencies* in the above apps:
A. Alk: CoPilot GPS free, v9.5.0.400 Database = Navteq
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alk.copilot.mapviewer
PRO: One free Navteq map download is allowed (these maps are fantastic!)
PRO: Offline address search in Navteq maps works beautifully!
PRO: The Navteq POI even provides phone numbers
PRO: Logical initial MAP for a GPS navigation system.
PRO: Calculates alternative routes to destination.
PRO: Can easily drag route to change it as desired.
CON: Only one free Navteq map download is allowed.
CON: Voice guidance dies after 14 days (but the maps & routing still work in the crippleware)
IRK: Favorites=Map->Menu->Main Menu->My Places->Favorites

B. Google: Maps, v7.4.0 Database = Google
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.maps
PRO: Most accurate of all the maps; and fast drawing too!
PRO: Clearly shows the next turn and how far away it is.
PRO: Clearly shows each turn in sequence at any time.
CON: Directions and navigation are not available offline.
CON: Does not speak road names (TTS) when offline.
CON: Map cache tiling is not intuitive (typing "ok maps" for example)
CON: Can't create or change the route once you go offline.
CON: POIs & street addresses are not cached in the offline maps
HNT: Backup /sdcard/Android/data/com.google.android.apps.maps/cache/

Tested apps which *didn't make the top five* for a variety of reasons:
a. Sygic: GPS, v13.2.2 Uses TomTom maps
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sygic.aura
Note: Not freeware; so it shouldn't be on this list (7 day free trial only)
CON: After timing out, the program simply refused to run (so I deleted it)
PRO: POIs and street addresses are available offline
PRO: Phone numbers in POIs (and they're callable from the map app)
PRO: Locates POIs in the defined route, even offline.
CON: The next turn isn't shown until you're only a couple miles away!

b. MapsWithMe: Maps With Me Lite, OSM data
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapswithme.maps
PRO: I can't think of a single thing good about this program.
CON: Doesn't route; doesn't talk; doesn't do anything but show your postion.
CON: Crippleware does not have a search capability
CON: Half the icons on the front map don't work in the crippleware.
CON: Phones home by default unless you turn it off in the settings.

c. Telenav: Scout, v1.6.1.7610003
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.telenav.app.android.scout_us
Note: Complains "Unable to reach server"
Hint: Remove Sim card before installing & give it a bogus phone number.

d. CloudMade: MapDroyd, v2.0.4, OSM data
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.osa.android.mapdroyd
PRO: I can't think of anything good to say about this map application
CON: Really really really slow map drawing (I'm not sure why).
CON: Can't route; can't talk.

e. 66: Navigate 6, v5.13.46.DB3B2C1.73F9DB5
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.route66.maps5
Note: Uses TomTom maps; routing is not free & maps time out in 30 days

f. Prodevelop: gvSIG Mini Maps, v1.2.3
PRO: The route "to here" usability should be a nice feature
CON: The program crashed on me so many times I gave up.
CON: The maps wouldn't start downloading (and they were only tiles anyway)

g. Google Waze
PRO: Crowd-source up-to-date traffic information
CON: Does not work offline, so it was not tested

h. Mictale: GPS Essentials, v3.2.9
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mictale.gpsessentials
PRO: Automatically caches map tiles that you specifically have looked at.
PRO: Bills itself as the Swiss Army Knife of GPS applications
CON: You only see gray area for map tiles you haven't cached.
CON: Confusing interface. I just can't get it to do what I want.

i. Code Sector: Maverick Lite, v2.2, OSM & MapQuest & Microsoft & others
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.codesector.maverick.lite
PRO: Maps are great! (Microsoft & MapQuest at least)
PRO: Address search is pretty good but only works online.
PRO: Once you've found an address, you can auto-open in another program!
INF: It's good mapping software but I don't see any routing at all?
CON: Crippleware won't search POIs but will allow Lat/Lon entry.
CON: Won't save anything for future use other than saved wavepoints.
CON: Can't do an address search offline.
CON: Doesn't cache maps offline all that well (unreliable).

j. Ulmon, City Maps 2Go, v3.8.0.14, Database = OSM
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ulmon.android.citymaps2go&hl=en
PRO: The maps are readable and the POI search is easy to use
CON: Does not route! (Will only *show* your position on the map)
CON: Limited to 5 free maps but California itself has 58 counties!
CON: Crashed dozens of times on my Android 4.3 Samsung Galaxy S3

These *hiking apps* were tested off road off trail offline:
a. Google MyTracks, v2.0.5
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.maps.mytracks
PRO: Gorgeous and accurate topo maps
PRO: Tracks easily.
PRO: Exports KML nicely.
PRO: Nice distance, elevation, speed, time plots.
CON: Can't zoom to the level that you want to for off-trail hiking.

b. Atlogis, US Topo Maps Free, v1.1.0
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.atlogis.northamerica.free
PRO: You can pinch-zoom to the level that you need for offtrail hiking.
CON: Maps are older versions of USGS paper maps (not the newest versions).
CON: GUI for creating tracks and exporting them is not intuitive.

c. Asamm, Locus Free, v2.17.4
http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=menion.android.locus
PRO: You can pinch-zoom to the level that you need for offtrail hiking.
PRO: Shows GPS coordinates at all times
CON: Ads are a bit intrusive compared to the other free offline maps
SMS
2013-12-23 03:04:54 UTC
Permalink
On 12/22/2013 10:48 AM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> Wholly OT: I will respond to questions, and queries, but otherwise this
> will be the only post on this topic for my friends on a.h.r who may be
> interested in offline map routing programs.

<snip>

Nice job.

I decided to ante up for the paid version of
CoPilot when it was on sale (and it's on sale again now for $7 for USA
Premium).

One complaint I have about CoPilot is that while it speaks the street
names, it doesn't always speak the commonly used street name. I.e. I
once noticed that it told me to turn left on G2. No one calls the actual
road G2 (the county road number), it's Lawrence Expressway, and if you
asked 100 people where road G2 is probably only two or three would know.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_County_Routes_in_zone_G#G2>
Art Todesco
2013-12-23 14:19:51 UTC
Permalink
On 12/22/2013 10:04 PM, SMS wrote:
> On 12/22/2013 10:48 AM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>> Wholly OT: I will respond to questions, and queries, but otherwise this
>> will be the only post on this topic for my friends on a.h.r who may be
>> interested in offline map routing programs.
>
> <snip>
>
> Nice job.
>
> I decided to ante up for the paid version of
> CoPilot when it was on sale (and it's on sale again now for $7 for USA
> Premium).
>
> One complaint I have about CoPilot is that while it speaks the street
> names, it doesn't always speak the commonly used street name. I.e. I
> once noticed that it told me to turn left on G2. No one calls the actual
> road G2 (the county road number), it's Lawrence Expressway, and if you
> asked 100 people where road G2 is probably only two or three would know.
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_County_Routes_in_zone_G#G2>
>
Tried CoPilot and it really didn't match up with my way of use and
thinking. I've been using the google app in my android phone. I've
found that in many cases, they give several names of the streets,
including common name, state number, county number, etc. The only
complaint about the google app is that they changed the interface
without any notification. They uses to have a blue arrow icon which was
very easy and intuitive to use. One day it just .... disappeared. I
call Verizon because the google app was part of the original Verizon
load for the phone. They didn't even know about the change. Now,
google 'forces' you the use that maps icon, which was always there in
the pas, but is much more convoluted to get the same thing as before. I
rolled my app back to the original and have blocked future updates ....
maybe not a good idea, but it is sooooo nice, now to use it. BTW, we
just used it on a 600 mile trip/vacation from western NC to central FL.
We should have used it more, i.e. the times where we said, "oh yeah,
we know how to get there!" We got really lost trying to find an RV
campground in the south Atlanta area. Once we were there, we took the
car and went out shopping. The google app got us back with no trouble
... should have used it the 1st time. Of course, that not to say that
GPS apps are totally infallible. Any GPS app is just one more tool in
the toolbox.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-23 18:29:22 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:19:51 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:

> I've been using the google app in my android phone. I've
> found that in many cases, they give several names of the streets,
> including common name, state number, county number, etc.

Google Maps is fantastic, *if* you have a data plan
(and if you're traveling too far out in the boonies)!

Google Maps stink, if you don't have a data plan.
a) It's a pain to download tiles for offline use
b) They only last 30 days before Google deletes them
c) Even so, the program won't route offline
d) And it won't find POIs offline

So, I still recommend Google Maps for offline use, mainly for
the accuracy; but, it's only useful if you thought ahead enough
to download the tiles where you'll be away from data (which, for
me, is at the end of my driveway).

On the topic of usability, if you have a data plan, Google Maps
is very usable. The display is large and intuitive. About the
only thing missing is the ability to easily force it to remind
you about your next turn, even if it's 25 miles away, at the touch
of a button, like the dedicated GPS Nav apps do.

> The google app got us back with no trouble
> Of course, that not to say that GPS apps are totally infallible.
> Any GPS app is just one more tool in the toolbox.

Understood.

Note that you clearly have a data plan (I don't); so, I would
ask you what you use when you get too far from cellular signals?
Of course, you'll say paper maps - which I agree with - but, what
I'm saying is that these offline apps are still useful just in
case you go out of your carrier's signal area.

If you needed to download just one app for offline use, I'd
suggest CoPilot, but, since you don't like it, I'd suggest
MapFactor as your backup for when you don't have data signals.
Art Todesco
2013-12-24 12:50:45 UTC
Permalink
On 12/23/2013 1:29 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:19:51 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:
>
>> I've been using the google app in my android phone. I've
>> found that in many cases, they give several names of the streets,
>> including common name, state number, county number, etc.
>
> Google Maps is fantastic, *if* you have a data plan
> (and if you're traveling too far out in the boonies)!
>
> Google Maps stink, if you don't have a data plan.
> a) It's a pain to download tiles for offline use
> b) They only last 30 days before Google deletes them
> c) Even so, the program won't route offline
> d) And it won't find POIs offline
>
> So, I still recommend Google Maps for offline use, mainly for
> the accuracy; but, it's only useful if you thought ahead enough
> to download the tiles where you'll be away from data (which, for
> me, is at the end of my driveway).
>
> On the topic of usability, if you have a data plan, Google Maps
> is very usable. The display is large and intuitive. About the
> only thing missing is the ability to easily force it to remind
> you about your next turn, even if it's 25 miles away, at the touch
> of a button, like the dedicated GPS Nav apps do.
>
>> The google app got us back with no trouble
>> Of course, that not to say that GPS apps are totally infallible.
>> Any GPS app is just one more tool in the toolbox.
>
> Understood.
>
> Note that you clearly have a data plan (I don't); so, I would
> ask you what you use when you get too far from cellular signals?
> Of course, you'll say paper maps - which I agree with - but, what
> I'm saying is that these offline apps are still useful just in
> case you go out of your carrier's signal area.
>
> If you needed to download just one app for offline use, I'd
> suggest CoPilot, but, since you don't like it, I'd suggest
> MapFactor as your backup for when you don't have data signals.
>
Yes I have finally moved into the 2000s (this year) with a data plan. I
also do a little RV traveling, emphasis on little, and it comes in handy
when RV parks don't have wifi. I even used it at the Disney World
campground, even though I had one of their cable modems while staying
there, because I wanted to return the modem a day early so I didn't have
a lot to do on the last day there. I use an app to allow my laptop to
use the data plan via wifi. As for the Google app, I once set up a
destination which was about 20 miles away, up a mountain. It routed ok
because I was at the base of the mountain and had a cell signal, albeit
weak. But as I drove up the mountain, I lost the cell signal and, as
you indicated couldn't complete the route. But, once I approached the
town near the destination, it found a cell and completed with no
problem. As you indicated, you are at the mercy of having a cell
signal. The good thing is that when traveling, cell service is usually
quite good on the interstates, even though a half mile or so off the
interstate, there might be almost no cell signal in some areas. BTW, my
navigator (wife) likes to have a map of every area we go. I don't
usually bother. And, the reason we got lost trying to find an RV park
was because it looked so easy on the paper map ... should have used the
GPS, even if only a backup for 'paper' knowledge. That said, there are
plenty of RV campgrounds that have a statement in their ads that read
something like, "don't use GPS to get here, you'll get lost!"
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 17:09:44 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:50:45 -0500, Art Todesco <***@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>On 12/23/2013 1:29 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:19:51 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:
>>
>>> I've been using the google app in my android phone. I've
>>> found that in many cases, they give several names of the streets,
>>> including common name, state number, county number, etc.
>>
>> Google Maps is fantastic, *if* you have a data plan
>> (and if you're traveling too far out in the boonies)!
>>
>> Google Maps stink, if you don't have a data plan.
>> a) It's a pain to download tiles for offline use
>> b) They only last 30 days before Google deletes them
>> c) Even so, the program won't route offline
>> d) And it won't find POIs offline
>>
>> So, I still recommend Google Maps for offline use, mainly for
>> the accuracy; but, it's only useful if you thought ahead enough
>> to download the tiles where you'll be away from data (which, for
>> me, is at the end of my driveway).
>>
>> On the topic of usability, if you have a data plan, Google Maps
>> is very usable. The display is large and intuitive. About the
>> only thing missing is the ability to easily force it to remind
>> you about your next turn, even if it's 25 miles away, at the touch
>> of a button, like the dedicated GPS Nav apps do.
>>
>>> The google app got us back with no trouble
>>> Of course, that not to say that GPS apps are totally infallible.
>>> Any GPS app is just one more tool in the toolbox.
>>
>> Understood.
>>
>> Note that you clearly have a data plan (I don't); so, I would
>> ask you what you use when you get too far from cellular signals?
>> Of course, you'll say paper maps - which I agree with - but, what
>> I'm saying is that these offline apps are still useful just in
>> case you go out of your carrier's signal area.
>>
>> If you needed to download just one app for offline use, I'd
>> suggest CoPilot, but, since you don't like it, I'd suggest
>> MapFactor as your backup for when you don't have data signals.
>>
>Yes I have finally moved into the 2000s (this year) with a data plan. I
>also do a little RV traveling, emphasis on little, and it comes in handy
>when RV parks don't have wifi. I even used it at the Disney World
>campground, even though I had one of their cable modems while staying
>there, because I wanted to return the modem a day early so I didn't have
>a lot to do on the last day there. I use an app to allow my laptop to
>use the data plan via wifi. As for the Google app, I once set up a
>destination which was about 20 miles away, up a mountain. It routed ok
>because I was at the base of the mountain and had a cell signal, albeit
>weak. But as I drove up the mountain, I lost the cell signal and, as
>you indicated couldn't complete the route. But, once I approached the
>town near the destination, it found a cell and completed with no
>problem. As you indicated, you are at the mercy of having a cell
>signal.

I just found that this isn't true, at least for Verizon's Google(?)
app. As long as you don't change the routing, it's fine. I've been
routed through the boonies before but never lost navigation. I
thought I had data coverage in the middle of nowhere but probably had
the same thing then.

>The good thing is that when traveling, cell service is usually
>quite good on the interstates, even though a half mile or so off the
>interstate, there might be almost no cell signal in some areas. BTW, my
>navigator (wife) likes to have a map of every area we go. I don't
>usually bother. And, the reason we got lost trying to find an RV park
>was because it looked so easy on the paper map ... should have used the
>GPS, even if only a backup for 'paper' knowledge. That said, there are
>plenty of RV campgrounds that have a statement in their ads that read
>something like, "don't use GPS to get here, you'll get lost!"

My wife can't read a map. I don't bother with them anymore because
the GPS apps are so good. With the GPS of a decade ago, I could
believe them. Not so much anymore.
Nate Nagel
2013-12-24 17:51:24 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/2013 12:09 PM, ***@attt.bizz wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:50:45 -0500, Art Todesco <***@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>
>> On 12/23/2013 1:29 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>>> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:19:51 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:
>>>
>>>> I've been using the google app in my android phone. I've
>>>> found that in many cases, they give several names of the streets,
>>>> including common name, state number, county number, etc.
>>>
>>> Google Maps is fantastic, *if* you have a data plan
>>> (and if you're traveling too far out in the boonies)!
>>>
>>> Google Maps stink, if you don't have a data plan.
>>> a) It's a pain to download tiles for offline use
>>> b) They only last 30 days before Google deletes them
>>> c) Even so, the program won't route offline
>>> d) And it won't find POIs offline
>>>
>>> So, I still recommend Google Maps for offline use, mainly for
>>> the accuracy; but, it's only useful if you thought ahead enough
>>> to download the tiles where you'll be away from data (which, for
>>> me, is at the end of my driveway).
>>>
>>> On the topic of usability, if you have a data plan, Google Maps
>>> is very usable. The display is large and intuitive. About the
>>> only thing missing is the ability to easily force it to remind
>>> you about your next turn, even if it's 25 miles away, at the touch
>>> of a button, like the dedicated GPS Nav apps do.
>>>
>>>> The google app got us back with no trouble
>>>> Of course, that not to say that GPS apps are totally infallible.
>>>> Any GPS app is just one more tool in the toolbox.
>>>
>>> Understood.
>>>
>>> Note that you clearly have a data plan (I don't); so, I would
>>> ask you what you use when you get too far from cellular signals?
>>> Of course, you'll say paper maps - which I agree with - but, what
>>> I'm saying is that these offline apps are still useful just in
>>> case you go out of your carrier's signal area.
>>>
>>> If you needed to download just one app for offline use, I'd
>>> suggest CoPilot, but, since you don't like it, I'd suggest
>>> MapFactor as your backup for when you don't have data signals.
>>>
>> Yes I have finally moved into the 2000s (this year) with a data plan. I
>> also do a little RV traveling, emphasis on little, and it comes in handy
>> when RV parks don't have wifi. I even used it at the Disney World
>> campground, even though I had one of their cable modems while staying
>> there, because I wanted to return the modem a day early so I didn't have
>> a lot to do on the last day there. I use an app to allow my laptop to
>> use the data plan via wifi. As for the Google app, I once set up a
>> destination which was about 20 miles away, up a mountain. It routed ok
>> because I was at the base of the mountain and had a cell signal, albeit
>> weak. But as I drove up the mountain, I lost the cell signal and, as
>> you indicated couldn't complete the route. But, once I approached the
>> town near the destination, it found a cell and completed with no
>> problem. As you indicated, you are at the mercy of having a cell
>> signal.
>
> I just found that this isn't true, at least for Verizon's Google(?)
> app. As long as you don't change the routing, it's fine. I've been
> routed through the boonies before but never lost navigation. I
> thought I had data coverage in the middle of nowhere but probably had
> the same thing then.
>
>> The good thing is that when traveling, cell service is usually
>> quite good on the interstates, even though a half mile or so off the
>> interstate, there might be almost no cell signal in some areas. BTW, my
>> navigator (wife) likes to have a map of every area we go. I don't
>> usually bother. And, the reason we got lost trying to find an RV park
>> was because it looked so easy on the paper map ... should have used the
>> GPS, even if only a backup for 'paper' knowledge. That said, there are
>> plenty of RV campgrounds that have a statement in their ads that read
>> something like, "don't use GPS to get here, you'll get lost!"
>
> My wife can't read a map. I don't bother with them anymore because
> the GPS apps are so good. With the GPS of a decade ago, I could
> believe them. Not so much anymore.
>

GPS systems are getting better, but the maps are still quite inaccurate
in some areas.

"online" maps like Google or even Waze's crowdsourced stuff is better,
but even then there can be problems e.g. I had an issue trying to find a
local store because Bing search results for that store had a nonexistent
street name for the address and instead of Waze coughing it sent me to
the geographic center of that zip code.

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 19:21:26 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 12:51:24 -0500, Nate Nagel <***@roosters.net>
wrote:

>On 12/24/2013 12:09 PM, ***@attt.bizz wrote:
>> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:50:45 -0500, Art Todesco <***@yahoo.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> On 12/23/2013 1:29 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>>>> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:19:51 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I've been using the google app in my android phone. I've
>>>>> found that in many cases, they give several names of the streets,
>>>>> including common name, state number, county number, etc.
>>>>
>>>> Google Maps is fantastic, *if* you have a data plan
>>>> (and if you're traveling too far out in the boonies)!
>>>>
>>>> Google Maps stink, if you don't have a data plan.
>>>> a) It's a pain to download tiles for offline use
>>>> b) They only last 30 days before Google deletes them
>>>> c) Even so, the program won't route offline
>>>> d) And it won't find POIs offline
>>>>
>>>> So, I still recommend Google Maps for offline use, mainly for
>>>> the accuracy; but, it's only useful if you thought ahead enough
>>>> to download the tiles where you'll be away from data (which, for
>>>> me, is at the end of my driveway).
>>>>
>>>> On the topic of usability, if you have a data plan, Google Maps
>>>> is very usable. The display is large and intuitive. About the
>>>> only thing missing is the ability to easily force it to remind
>>>> you about your next turn, even if it's 25 miles away, at the touch
>>>> of a button, like the dedicated GPS Nav apps do.
>>>>
>>>>> The google app got us back with no trouble
>>>>> Of course, that not to say that GPS apps are totally infallible.
>>>>> Any GPS app is just one more tool in the toolbox.
>>>>
>>>> Understood.
>>>>
>>>> Note that you clearly have a data plan (I don't); so, I would
>>>> ask you what you use when you get too far from cellular signals?
>>>> Of course, you'll say paper maps - which I agree with - but, what
>>>> I'm saying is that these offline apps are still useful just in
>>>> case you go out of your carrier's signal area.
>>>>
>>>> If you needed to download just one app for offline use, I'd
>>>> suggest CoPilot, but, since you don't like it, I'd suggest
>>>> MapFactor as your backup for when you don't have data signals.
>>>>
>>> Yes I have finally moved into the 2000s (this year) with a data plan. I
>>> also do a little RV traveling, emphasis on little, and it comes in handy
>>> when RV parks don't have wifi. I even used it at the Disney World
>>> campground, even though I had one of their cable modems while staying
>>> there, because I wanted to return the modem a day early so I didn't have
>>> a lot to do on the last day there. I use an app to allow my laptop to
>>> use the data plan via wifi. As for the Google app, I once set up a
>>> destination which was about 20 miles away, up a mountain. It routed ok
>>> because I was at the base of the mountain and had a cell signal, albeit
>>> weak. But as I drove up the mountain, I lost the cell signal and, as
>>> you indicated couldn't complete the route. But, once I approached the
>>> town near the destination, it found a cell and completed with no
>>> problem. As you indicated, you are at the mercy of having a cell
>>> signal.
>>
>> I just found that this isn't true, at least for Verizon's Google(?)
>> app. As long as you don't change the routing, it's fine. I've been
>> routed through the boonies before but never lost navigation. I
>> thought I had data coverage in the middle of nowhere but probably had
>> the same thing then.
>>
>>> The good thing is that when traveling, cell service is usually
>>> quite good on the interstates, even though a half mile or so off the
>>> interstate, there might be almost no cell signal in some areas. BTW, my
>>> navigator (wife) likes to have a map of every area we go. I don't
>>> usually bother. And, the reason we got lost trying to find an RV park
>>> was because it looked so easy on the paper map ... should have used the
>>> GPS, even if only a backup for 'paper' knowledge. That said, there are
>>> plenty of RV campgrounds that have a statement in their ads that read
>>> something like, "don't use GPS to get here, you'll get lost!"
>>
>> My wife can't read a map. I don't bother with them anymore because
>> the GPS apps are so good. With the GPS of a decade ago, I could
>> believe them. Not so much anymore.
>>
>
>GPS systems are getting better, but the maps are still quite inaccurate
>in some areas.

That statement implies that they all get their information from the
same place, which is nonsense.

>"online" maps like Google or even Waze's crowdsourced stuff is better,
>but even then there can be problems e.g. I had an issue trying to find a
>local store because Bing search results for that store had a nonexistent
>street name for the address and instead of Waze coughing it sent me to
>the geographic center of that zip code.

When we were house hunting (couple of years ago), several of the
mapping companies couldn't find various houses (including the one we
were/are selling). The free Verizon app found them all.
Nate Nagel
2013-12-25 12:47:44 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/2013 02:21 PM, ***@attt.bizz wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 12:51:24 -0500, Nate Nagel <***@roosters.net>
> wrote:
>
>> On 12/24/2013 12:09 PM, ***@attt.bizz wrote:
>>> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:50:45 -0500, Art Todesco <***@yahoo.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> On 12/23/2013 1:29 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>>>>> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:19:51 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> I've been using the google app in my android phone. I've
>>>>>> found that in many cases, they give several names of the streets,
>>>>>> including common name, state number, county number, etc.
>>>>>
>>>>> Google Maps is fantastic, *if* you have a data plan
>>>>> (and if you're traveling too far out in the boonies)!
>>>>>
>>>>> Google Maps stink, if you don't have a data plan.
>>>>> a) It's a pain to download tiles for offline use
>>>>> b) They only last 30 days before Google deletes them
>>>>> c) Even so, the program won't route offline
>>>>> d) And it won't find POIs offline
>>>>>
>>>>> So, I still recommend Google Maps for offline use, mainly for
>>>>> the accuracy; but, it's only useful if you thought ahead enough
>>>>> to download the tiles where you'll be away from data (which, for
>>>>> me, is at the end of my driveway).
>>>>>
>>>>> On the topic of usability, if you have a data plan, Google Maps
>>>>> is very usable. The display is large and intuitive. About the
>>>>> only thing missing is the ability to easily force it to remind
>>>>> you about your next turn, even if it's 25 miles away, at the touch
>>>>> of a button, like the dedicated GPS Nav apps do.
>>>>>
>>>>>> The google app got us back with no trouble
>>>>>> Of course, that not to say that GPS apps are totally infallible.
>>>>>> Any GPS app is just one more tool in the toolbox.
>>>>>
>>>>> Understood.
>>>>>
>>>>> Note that you clearly have a data plan (I don't); so, I would
>>>>> ask you what you use when you get too far from cellular signals?
>>>>> Of course, you'll say paper maps - which I agree with - but, what
>>>>> I'm saying is that these offline apps are still useful just in
>>>>> case you go out of your carrier's signal area.
>>>>>
>>>>> If you needed to download just one app for offline use, I'd
>>>>> suggest CoPilot, but, since you don't like it, I'd suggest
>>>>> MapFactor as your backup for when you don't have data signals.
>>>>>
>>>> Yes I have finally moved into the 2000s (this year) with a data plan. I
>>>> also do a little RV traveling, emphasis on little, and it comes in handy
>>>> when RV parks don't have wifi. I even used it at the Disney World
>>>> campground, even though I had one of their cable modems while staying
>>>> there, because I wanted to return the modem a day early so I didn't have
>>>> a lot to do on the last day there. I use an app to allow my laptop to
>>>> use the data plan via wifi. As for the Google app, I once set up a
>>>> destination which was about 20 miles away, up a mountain. It routed ok
>>>> because I was at the base of the mountain and had a cell signal, albeit
>>>> weak. But as I drove up the mountain, I lost the cell signal and, as
>>>> you indicated couldn't complete the route. But, once I approached the
>>>> town near the destination, it found a cell and completed with no
>>>> problem. As you indicated, you are at the mercy of having a cell
>>>> signal.
>>>
>>> I just found that this isn't true, at least for Verizon's Google(?)
>>> app. As long as you don't change the routing, it's fine. I've been
>>> routed through the boonies before but never lost navigation. I
>>> thought I had data coverage in the middle of nowhere but probably had
>>> the same thing then.
>>>
>>>> The good thing is that when traveling, cell service is usually
>>>> quite good on the interstates, even though a half mile or so off the
>>>> interstate, there might be almost no cell signal in some areas. BTW, my
>>>> navigator (wife) likes to have a map of every area we go. I don't
>>>> usually bother. And, the reason we got lost trying to find an RV park
>>>> was because it looked so easy on the paper map ... should have used the
>>>> GPS, even if only a backup for 'paper' knowledge. That said, there are
>>>> plenty of RV campgrounds that have a statement in their ads that read
>>>> something like, "don't use GPS to get here, you'll get lost!"
>>>
>>> My wife can't read a map. I don't bother with them anymore because
>>> the GPS apps are so good. With the GPS of a decade ago, I could
>>> believe them. Not so much anymore.
>>>
>>
>> GPS systems are getting better, but the maps are still quite inaccurate
>> in some areas.
>
> That statement implies that they all get their information from the
> same place, which is nonsense.

Well, they *may*, e.g. county GIS or whatever. If there's an error
there, it can be picked up by many different map providers.

I know that I had the same error on a Garmin GPS unit, Waze, and the
built in navigation in my BMW (I don't remember who BMW gets their data
from, anyone know?) I was able to fix the error in Waze, but not the
other two. I remember calling the store and asking for directions and
the lady that answered the phone was really nice and understanding and
said "yes, we get a lot of calls where peoples' GPSes have sent them to
the wrong shopping center"

Now I never did check the county GIS maps to see if that was the problem
or not. I'm not quite bored enough to do it now though :)

>
>> "online" maps like Google or even Waze's crowdsourced stuff is better,
>> but even then there can be problems e.g. I had an issue trying to find a
>> local store because Bing search results for that store had a nonexistent
>> street name for the address and instead of Waze coughing it sent me to
>> the geographic center of that zip code.
>
> When we were house hunting (couple of years ago), several of the
> mapping companies couldn't find various houses (including the one we
> were/are selling). The free Verizon app found them all.

I'm less annoyed with not finding the address at all, and putting up an
error, than directing me somewhere and *not* letting me know there's a
problem. Clearly if I'm using a GPS program it's likely because I don't
know where I'm going :(

nate



--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-26 16:26:52 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 07:47:44 -0500, Nate Nagel <***@roosters.net>
wrote:

>On 12/24/2013 02:21 PM, ***@attt.bizz wrote:
>> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 12:51:24 -0500, Nate Nagel <***@roosters.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> On 12/24/2013 12:09 PM, ***@attt.bizz wrote:
>>>> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:50:45 -0500, Art Todesco <***@yahoo.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> On 12/23/2013 1:29 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>>>>>> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:19:51 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I've been using the google app in my android phone. I've
>>>>>>> found that in many cases, they give several names of the streets,
>>>>>>> including common name, state number, county number, etc.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Google Maps is fantastic, *if* you have a data plan
>>>>>> (and if you're traveling too far out in the boonies)!
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Google Maps stink, if you don't have a data plan.
>>>>>> a) It's a pain to download tiles for offline use
>>>>>> b) They only last 30 days before Google deletes them
>>>>>> c) Even so, the program won't route offline
>>>>>> d) And it won't find POIs offline
>>>>>>
>>>>>> So, I still recommend Google Maps for offline use, mainly for
>>>>>> the accuracy; but, it's only useful if you thought ahead enough
>>>>>> to download the tiles where you'll be away from data (which, for
>>>>>> me, is at the end of my driveway).
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On the topic of usability, if you have a data plan, Google Maps
>>>>>> is very usable. The display is large and intuitive. About the
>>>>>> only thing missing is the ability to easily force it to remind
>>>>>> you about your next turn, even if it's 25 miles away, at the touch
>>>>>> of a button, like the dedicated GPS Nav apps do.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The google app got us back with no trouble
>>>>>>> Of course, that not to say that GPS apps are totally infallible.
>>>>>>> Any GPS app is just one more tool in the toolbox.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Understood.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Note that you clearly have a data plan (I don't); so, I would
>>>>>> ask you what you use when you get too far from cellular signals?
>>>>>> Of course, you'll say paper maps - which I agree with - but, what
>>>>>> I'm saying is that these offline apps are still useful just in
>>>>>> case you go out of your carrier's signal area.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> If you needed to download just one app for offline use, I'd
>>>>>> suggest CoPilot, but, since you don't like it, I'd suggest
>>>>>> MapFactor as your backup for when you don't have data signals.
>>>>>>
>>>>> Yes I have finally moved into the 2000s (this year) with a data plan. I
>>>>> also do a little RV traveling, emphasis on little, and it comes in handy
>>>>> when RV parks don't have wifi. I even used it at the Disney World
>>>>> campground, even though I had one of their cable modems while staying
>>>>> there, because I wanted to return the modem a day early so I didn't have
>>>>> a lot to do on the last day there. I use an app to allow my laptop to
>>>>> use the data plan via wifi. As for the Google app, I once set up a
>>>>> destination which was about 20 miles away, up a mountain. It routed ok
>>>>> because I was at the base of the mountain and had a cell signal, albeit
>>>>> weak. But as I drove up the mountain, I lost the cell signal and, as
>>>>> you indicated couldn't complete the route. But, once I approached the
>>>>> town near the destination, it found a cell and completed with no
>>>>> problem. As you indicated, you are at the mercy of having a cell
>>>>> signal.
>>>>
>>>> I just found that this isn't true, at least for Verizon's Google(?)
>>>> app. As long as you don't change the routing, it's fine. I've been
>>>> routed through the boonies before but never lost navigation. I
>>>> thought I had data coverage in the middle of nowhere but probably had
>>>> the same thing then.
>>>>
>>>>> The good thing is that when traveling, cell service is usually
>>>>> quite good on the interstates, even though a half mile or so off the
>>>>> interstate, there might be almost no cell signal in some areas. BTW, my
>>>>> navigator (wife) likes to have a map of every area we go. I don't
>>>>> usually bother. And, the reason we got lost trying to find an RV park
>>>>> was because it looked so easy on the paper map ... should have used the
>>>>> GPS, even if only a backup for 'paper' knowledge. That said, there are
>>>>> plenty of RV campgrounds that have a statement in their ads that read
>>>>> something like, "don't use GPS to get here, you'll get lost!"
>>>>
>>>> My wife can't read a map. I don't bother with them anymore because
>>>> the GPS apps are so good. With the GPS of a decade ago, I could
>>>> believe them. Not so much anymore.
>>>>
>>>
>>> GPS systems are getting better, but the maps are still quite inaccurate
>>> in some areas.
>>
>> That statement implies that they all get their information from the
>> same place, which is nonsense.
>
>Well, they *may*, e.g. county GIS or whatever. If there's an error
>there, it can be picked up by many different map providers.

Yes, but not all use the same resources. Google relies on its
satellite surveys, IIRC.

>I know that I had the same error on a Garmin GPS unit, Waze, and the
>built in navigation in my BMW (I don't remember who BMW gets their data
>from, anyone know?)

I would bet they get their data from Garmin.

>I was able to fix the error in Waze, but not the
>other two. I remember calling the store and asking for directions and
>the lady that answered the phone was really nice and understanding and
>said "yes, we get a lot of calls where peoples' GPSes have sent them to
>the wrong shopping center"

Hmm, maybe a good marketing tool... ;-)

>Now I never did check the county GIS maps to see if that was the problem
>or not. I'm not quite bored enough to do it now though :)
>
>>
>>> "online" maps like Google or even Waze's crowdsourced stuff is better,
>>> but even then there can be problems e.g. I had an issue trying to find a
>>> local store because Bing search results for that store had a nonexistent
>>> street name for the address and instead of Waze coughing it sent me to
>>> the geographic center of that zip code.
>>
>> When we were house hunting (couple of years ago), several of the
>> mapping companies couldn't find various houses (including the one we
>> were/are selling). The free Verizon app found them all.
>
>I'm less annoyed with not finding the address at all, and putting up an
>error, than directing me somewhere and *not* letting me know there's a
>problem. Clearly if I'm using a GPS program it's likely because I don't
>know where I'm going :(

Just pointing out that the Verizon data was more up-to-date than the
companies in the business of selling map data. The house I was in a
development that was over five years old and it still didn't show on
the maps.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-26 19:34:51 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 11:26:52 -0500, krw wrote:

> Yes, but not all use the same resources. Google relies on its
> satellite surveys, IIRC.

The Google maps are fantastically accurate, so, they must
be putting resources to this, either via satellite, or by
actually driving the roads with that google car.

However, the Navteq maps (one of which comes free with CoPilot
trialware) seems pretty accurate also (and comes with POIs, which
offline, Google Maps does not).

I must say the OSM maps are a disappointment, at least in the
Silicon Valley - but they're "good enough" - and they can only
get better over time - so I still think OSM is useful.
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-27 00:18:24 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 19:34:51 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
<***@is.invalid> wrote:

>On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 11:26:52 -0500, krw wrote:
>
>> Yes, but not all use the same resources. Google relies on its
>> satellite surveys, IIRC.
>
>The Google maps are fantastically accurate, so, they must
>be putting resources to this, either via satellite, or by
>actually driving the roads with that google car.

Both, it would seem.

>However, the Navteq maps (one of which comes free with CoPilot
>trialware) seems pretty accurate also (and comes with POIs, which
>offline, Google Maps does not).

I certainly don't have any insight into their business but they may be
reselling Google data with the POIs, and such, as their value add.

>I must say the OSM maps are a disappointment, at least in the
>Silicon Valley - but they're "good enough" - and they can only
>get better over time - so I still think OSM is useful.

Not sure why. For personal use, there are many other free (to use)
sources of this data. I once bought Delorme mapping software but
there was never a reason to update it. The free stuff is so much
better (and free ;).
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-27 15:33:48 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 19:18:24 -0500, krw wrote:

> I once bought Delorme mapping software but there was never a reason
> to update it. The free stuff is so much better (and free .

I don't disagree.

The free stuff is often as good or better than the payware.
Besides, it's my modus operandi to learn on the free stuff, and then,
if necessary, when I buy the payware, I *know exactly what I need*.
That's why I'm a regular member of alt.comp.freeware & comp.mobile.android.

Funny thing, most of the time, you don't /need/ the payware!
It just makes you feel good to be paying someone for good software,
but it doesn't actually get you better software (in many cases).

About the only software I need to pay for to get good quality is
Adobe Acrobat & TurboTax & kid's PC games.

(Almost) everything else, I can get as-good-or-better stuff for free.

For example, name something you've paid for, on the PC, and I'll
let you know if I already have a decent freeware alternative.

PS: I still have DeLorme, CoPilot, Microsoft Maps, StreetSmart,
and other PC GPS software somewhere. I used to literally put
the laptop on my lap, drive somewhere, and use a serial-port
GPS device on the dashboard. My, how far we've come from that!
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-26 19:32:37 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 07:47:44 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:

> I'm less annoyed with not finding the address at all, and putting up an
> error, than directing me somewhere and *not* letting me know there's a
> problem. Clearly if I'm using a GPS program it's likely because I don't
> know where I'm going

I think the huge advantage of maps is outlying perspective.

If you find a street address but it's in the wrong part of town, then
you'll (likely) know that right away using a paper map.

But, on a puny telephone screen, it's more likely an error won't
get caught, with the result that we can end up in the wrong side of town.

Of the 20 free mapping applications I tested, there were really only
three map systems, namely (1) OSM, (2) Google, and (3) Navteq (for the
CoPilot maps).

Google and Navteq seemed accurate, and even the OSM maps seemed "good
enough" for government work...

The POIs were, however, highly incomplete in the OSM maps, and
non-existent in the Google Maps (offline searches don't exist); and
rather good in the Navteq maps.

So, that's why I recommend this combination:
a) An offline map app (like Navigator) which talks you through the route
b) CoPilot (trialware or payware) for map accuracy (and TTS if you pay)

In addition, I add Google Maps using the "OK MAPS" tile download cheat,
but, Google Maps doesn't really add much to that mix above, and, the
Google Map tiles are deleted every 30 days anyway (without heroics).
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-27 00:30:13 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 19:32:37 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
<***@is.invalid> wrote:

>On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 07:47:44 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:
>
>> I'm less annoyed with not finding the address at all, and putting up an
>> error, than directing me somewhere and *not* letting me know there's a
>> problem. Clearly if I'm using a GPS program it's likely because I don't
>> know where I'm going
>
>I think the huge advantage of maps is outlying perspective.

Sure. I think paper books beat eBooks, all to hell, for some
applications too. Others, not so much. At work I print
specifications as well as read the PDFs. I have both handy
simultaneously. It's much more efficient. For just getting from here
to there, (or searching for information) the 'e' variety is *far*
superior.

>If you find a street address but it's in the wrong part of town, then
>you'll (likely) know that right away using a paper map.

For glacial values of "right away". ;-)

Using the time or distance to destination gives a lot of information,
too.

>But, on a puny telephone screen, it's more likely an error won't
>get caught, with the result that we can end up in the wrong side of town.

...or on a one-lane country road in the middle of Southern Illinois.
:-(

It's really matter of not looking at the routing ahead of time,
though. You *can* see where it wants to take you.

>Of the 20 free mapping applications I tested, there were really only
>three map systems, namely (1) OSM, (2) Google, and (3) Navteq (for the
>CoPilot maps).
>
>Google and Navteq seemed accurate, and even the OSM maps seemed "good
>enough" for government work...
>
>The POIs were, however, highly incomplete in the OSM maps, and
>non-existent in the Google Maps (offline searches don't exist); and
>rather good in the Navteq maps.

Understand where they're making their money. It's not coming from
you.

>So, that's why I recommend this combination:
>a) An offline map app (like Navigator) which talks you through the route
>b) CoPilot (trialware or payware) for map accuracy (and TTS if you pay)
>
>In addition, I add Google Maps using the "OK MAPS" tile download cheat,
>but, Google Maps doesn't really add much to that mix above, and, the
>Google Map tiles are deleted every 30 days anyway (without heroics).

My cell phone will give me a listing of the routing, as well. I
generally don't look at it, though. I can also modify the routing,
fairly easily (drag the route). It does do some odd things so I just
have to be a little more vigilant on long trips.

The really nice thing about the phone app (that the Magellan I had
before didn't do) is pick up my alternate route very quickly. If I
"miss" one of its turns, it'll reroute to the one I've likely chosen
within a hundred yards. My Magellan would constantly nag about doing
a U-turn for many miles. It also had the nasty habit of showing one
route on the display and talking through a completely different
routing.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-27 15:35:59 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 19:30:13 -0500, krw wrote:

> For just getting from here
> to there, (or searching for information) the 'e' variety is *far*
> superior.

Heh heh... I've forgotten about those Brooklyn & Queens maps, where
the entire backside was tiny print indexing all the street names.

It would almost be like playing Battleship. E17. F34. etc. just to
find where a road was.

So, I fully agree, especially with my bad eyes lately, that searching
on the phone is far superior to searching on printed papyrus leaves!
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:14:50 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:50:45 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:

> Yes I have finally moved into the 2000s (this year) with a data plan.

I've got nothing against data plans, but, I'm retired, and spend
99% of my time at home, where I have WiFi.

So, I have all the data I want, except when driving, and I have free
unlimited minutes in effect, because of automatic WiFi calling.

> I use an app to allow my laptop to use the data plan via wifi.

Hmmm... I didn't think you need an app to use WiFi data.

> As you indicated, you are at the mercy of having a cell signal.

That's why I think everyone should, at least, put CoPilot on
their cellphone, even if they do have a data plan. Or Navigator.

Either one will work fine if/when they're out of cellular signal.

> BTW, my navigator (wife) likes to have a map of every area we go.

I recently asked AAA if they still give out maps and the guy
told me he didn't notice any change in the number of maps
sent out. I've got the entire state of California covered,
but, they're all (still) brand new.

> "don't use GPS to get here, you'll get lost!"

Heh heh ... GPS is like following the leader. If you know
better, don't follow. Otherwise, if you don't have a clue,
then follow at your own risk.
t***@optonline.net
2013-12-24 21:38:55 UTC
Permalink
On Tuesday, December 24, 2013 3:14:50 PM UTC-5, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:50:45 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:
>
>
>
> > Yes I have finally moved into the 2000s (this year) with a data plan.
>
>
>
> I've got nothing against data plans, but, I'm retired, and spend
>
> 99% of my time at home, where I have WiFi.
>
>
>
> So, I have all the data I want, except when driving, and I have free
>
> unlimited minutes in effect, because of automatic WiFi calling.
>
>
>
> > I use an app to allow my laptop to use the data plan via wifi.
>
>
>
> Hmmm... I didn't think you need an app to use WiFi data.
>
>

I don't know what carrier you have, but all the majors that I've
looked at, with the exception of I think one AT&T plan, require
you to have a data plan to be able to use wifi. How they do that
with the phones they supply is obvious. I don't know how they
disable wifi access if you bring over your own phone, but I think
they still do. That is one of the things that drove me from
Verizon. I probably could have lived with a smartphone with just
wifi, because I don't need to use it all that much, and when I
do, it's likely I'm near some wifi spot. But with Verizon, to
have any kind of internet at all, even wifi, you need at least
their minimum data plan which is $90/mth, before the taxes and fees.
You would think someone would bring a lawsuit to try to make these
carriers stop disabling what is in the native phone, but no one
has.



>
> > As you indicated, you are at the mercy of having a cell signal.
>
>
>
> That's why I think everyone should, at least, put CoPilot on
>
> their cellphone, even if they do have a data plan. Or Navigator.
>
>
>
> Either one will work fine if/when they're out of cellular signal.
>
>
>
> > BTW, my navigator (wife) likes to have a map of every area we go.
>
>
>
> I recently asked AAA if they still give out maps and the guy
>
> told me he didn't notice any change in the number of maps
>
> sent out. I've got the entire state of California covered,
>
> but, they're all (still) brand new.
>
>
>
> > "don't use GPS to get here, you'll get lost!"
>
>
>
> Heh heh ... GPS is like following the leader. If you know
>
> better, don't follow. Otherwise, if you don't have a clue,
>
> then follow at your own risk.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:36:22 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 12:09:44 -0500, krw wrote:

> I just found that this isn't true, at least for Verizon's Google(?)
> app. As long as you don't change the routing, it's fine.

With Google Maps, I've experienced the same thing on T-Mobile.

If you don't touch the phone after beginning the route on WiFi,
then it routes just fine, even if you have no data.

But, of course, you can't change anything so, it's a gamble
even on short trips. Since CoPilot or Navigator will work
as well, it's not really worth the risk, although I must
admit, the Google Map GUI is beautifully clear, if not all
that informative - and - the maps are the most accurate out
there (although the CoPilot Navteq maps are accurate too).

It's the OSM maps, that most of the freeware uses, that isn't
all that accurate; but in a few years, it might rival Google
Maps in accuracy.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 21:05:30 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 12:09:44 -0500, krw wrote:

> My wife can't read a map. I don't bother with them anymore because
> the GPS apps are so good. With the GPS of a decade ago, I could
> believe them. Not so much anymore.

Even with a paper map, what I love about GPS is that it tells you
*where* you are.

Once you know where you are, that's half the problem set.

Sometimes on a paper map, it's even easier to plan a route
(because you can see more of the area than on a phone screen).

Of course, the map has to be folded back, while driving ... :)
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 22:27:11 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 21:05:30 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
<***@is.invalid> wrote:

>On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 12:09:44 -0500, krw wrote:
>
>> My wife can't read a map. I don't bother with them anymore because
>> the GPS apps are so good. With the GPS of a decade ago, I could
>> believe them. Not so much anymore.
>
>Even with a paper map, what I love about GPS is that it tells you
>*where* you are.
>
>Once you know where you are, that's half the problem set.

You bet! It's often the hardest part of navigating.

>Sometimes on a paper map, it's even easier to plan a route
>(because you can see more of the area than on a phone screen).

Sure, though I find planning a trip on a computer, with a real display
and Internet connection is even better. ...unless it was a multi-stop
vacation, perhaps.

>Of course, the map has to be folded back, while driving ... :)

Yeah, reading a map while driving can be a problem.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-25 07:52:10 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 13:38:55 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> I don't know what carrier you have, but all the majors that I've
> looked at, with the exception of I think one AT&T plan, require
> you to have a data plan to be able to use wifi.

I have T-Mobile.
I definitely do not have a data plan.
I often see a message fleetingly that says I'm using WiFi calling,
although I'm not sure how to *test* or *prove* that is the case.

Googling for "T-mobile wifi calling", I find that T-Mobile advertises
that they're the only carrier that doesn't charge for WiFi calling:
http://how-to.t-mobile.com/wi-fi-calling-tips/

And, the video on that page says the phone is already enabled
for WiFi calling, by default.

However, I also find this FAQ:
http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-9997

Which repeats there's no "additional" charges to use WiFi calling;
but, it seems that it may or may not use up minutes. I can't tell.

At one point, that document says:
"Calls made from the US to US numbers use plan minutes."

But, just a few lines later, the same document says:
"All incoming calls received over Wi-Fi Calling are $0.00."
"Wi-Fi calls placed to the U.S. from anywhere are $0.00."

So, I'll have to call 611 to figure out whether WiFi calls to
and from the USA are charged minutes.
t***@optonline.net
2013-12-25 11:50:06 UTC
Permalink
On Wednesday, December 25, 2013 2:52:10 AM UTC-5, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 13:38:55 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > I don't know what carrier you have, but all the majors that I've
>
> > looked at, with the exception of I think one AT&T plan, require
>
> > you to have a data plan to be able to use wifi.
>
>
>
> I have T-Mobile.
>
> I definitely do not have a data plan.

I don't know what plan you have, but all the T Mobile
plans they currently offer on their website say they
include voice, text, and web. Web=data, so if you sign
up for any plan today, it sure looks to me like you have
a data plan.






>
> I often see a message fleetingly that says I'm using WiFi calling,
>
> although I'm not sure how to *test* or *prove* that is the case.
>
>

Every phone I've seen has a symbol at the top that changes to
show whether you're connected to the carriers data service, eg
3g, 4g, or wifi. They also show which wifi points the phone sees
and which one it's connected to. When you're at home you should
know if the phone is or isn't connected to your wireless router,
for example. Can you access the internet, or not? If you can
and you have an old Tmobile plan with no data, that's unusual.

Whether the phone uses the internet for wifi calling
is a secondary issue. There are lots of people using apps to make
wifi calls. I didn't know that any major carriers let you do
it using your existing phone number that you have with them.

And the carriers don't want you to be able to use wifi without a
data plan from them, because it forces you to buy a data plan
to have any internet capability at all.



>
> Googling for "T-mobile wifi calling", I find that T-Mobile advertises
>
> that they're the only carrier that doesn't charge for WiFi calling:
>
> http://how-to.t-mobile.com/wi-fi-calling-tips/
>
>

It's more than that. AFAIK, the other major carriers don't
allow you to make wifi calls using the same number, at all.
It looks like T-Mobile gives you the ability to either use the
voice network or VOIP with wifi. Lots of people are doing
VOIP over wifi with their cell phones, but they are doing it
by downloading apps that are independent of the carrier.
And AFAIK, with that arrangement, you have a separate number
for the wifi calls.


>
> And, the video on that page says the phone is already enabled
>
> for WiFi calling, by default.
>
>

And that makes sense, because all their plans current plans
include data.
What I said was, the only major carrier that I think lets
you use wifi with one of their phones *without* a data plan
is AT&T on one specific plan.



>
> However, I also find this FAQ:
>
> http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-9997
>
>
>
> Which repeats there's no "additional" charges to use WiFi calling;
>
> but, it seems that it may or may not use up minutes. I can't tell.
>
>

Yeah, that's typical carefully worded crap that doesn't answer
anything. They say wifi calls use plan minutes. What they
need is one additional word, either voice or data. To me it
doesn't make sense for it to be data. You're not on their data
network when you're making a wifi call. But you are using their
system/software to make a VOIP call, so I guess they mean it
applies to voice minutes. But since all their currently
offered plans today have unlimited voice, it doesn't matter,
the calls are free, unless you're on an older limited minute plan,
and then you're using voice minutes. I think that's what they
are saying.



>
> At one point, that document says:
>
> "Calls made from the US to US numbers use plan minutes."
>
>
>
> But, just a few lines later, the same document says:
>
> "All incoming calls received over Wi-Fi Calling are $0.00."
>
> "Wi-Fi calls placed to the U.S. from anywhere are $0.00."
>
>

I think what they probably mean there is that there is no
additional charge for wifi calls beyond usage of voice minutes.
And since voice is unlimited on all their new plans, the calls
are free. In context, right after that they talk about international
wifi calls, where additional charges apply.


>
> So, I'll have to call 611 to figure out whether WiFi calls to
>
> and from the USA are charged minutes.

My bet is they are. But you can certainly put apps on a smart phone
that will let you do that without using any minutes, but with a
different number.
Danny D.
2013-12-25 22:33:19 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 03:50:06 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> I don't know what plan you have, but all the T Mobile
> plans they currently offer on their website say they
> include voice, text, and web. Web=data, so if you sign
> up for any plan today, it sure looks to me like you have
> a data plan.

I definitely do not have a data plan.
And, I'm just as definitely on T-Mobile.

I do know that the "kiosks" and other non-T-Mobile places
that sell the phones (e.g., Costco), do *not* allow you to
buy *just* the phone, nor do they sell non-contract plans.

However, that's only because that's how they make *their*
money.

You can easily go to T-Mobile and buy a phone outright from
them, or on a 2-year plan without contract (other than to
finish paying for the phone), as I've done that myself.

And, you can just as easily buy the phone at Target,
Amazon, Walgreens, Google Play, etc., and simply slip in
a T-Mobile SIM card, and you're good to go (as I've done
that too).

Neither of those two options requires either a contract,
nor a data plan. Having said that, *my* plan is one of
those family plans, which is still under contract - but,
that contract hasn't been extended by adding any of these
new phones that I recently did.

So, to summarize, if you buy your T-Mobile "stuff" at the
kiosks, or from any non-T-Mobile shop, I'm pretty sure
*they* will require the most expensive plan they can get
you to sign up for.

But, clearly, if you buy from Amazon and simply call up
T-Mobile to get a SIM card, you don't need data, nor do
you need a 2-year contract (I have 3 SIM cards they just
sent me, for free, for exactly this purpose.)
t***@optonline.net
2013-12-26 14:22:51 UTC
Permalink
On Wednesday, December 25, 2013 5:33:19 PM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 03:50:06 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > I don't know what plan you have, but all the T Mobile
>
> > plans they currently offer on their website say they
>
> > include voice, text, and web. Web=data, so if you sign
>
> > up for any plan today, it sure looks to me like you have
>
> > a data plan.
>
>
>
> I definitely do not have a data plan.
>
> And, I'm just as definitely on T-Mobile.
>
>
>
> I do know that the "kiosks" and other non-T-Mobile places
>
> that sell the phones (e.g., Costco), do *not* allow you to
>
> buy *just* the phone, nor do they sell non-contract plans.
>
>
>
> However, that's only because that's how they make *their*
>
> money.
>
>

It's also what Tmobile does directly. Go look.


>
> You can easily go to T-Mobile and buy a phone outright from
>
> them, or on a 2-year plan without contract (other than to
>
> finish paying for the phone), as I've done that myself.
>
>
>
> And, you can just as easily buy the phone at Target,
>
> Amazon, Walgreens, Google Play, etc., and simply slip in
>
> a T-Mobile SIM card, and you're good to go (as I've done
>
> that too).
>
>
>
> Neither of those two options requires either a contract,
>
> nor a data plan.


Slip in the SIM card and then what? The phone won't operate
without some kind of service from Tmobile. Go look at the Tmobile
website. I don't see a single offering that doesn't require
you to take data as part of it.



Having said that, *my* plan is one of
>
> those family plans, which is still under contract - but,
>
> that contract hasn't been extended by adding any of these
>
> new phones that I recently did.
>
>
>
> So, to summarize, if you buy your T-Mobile "stuff" at the
>
> kiosks, or from any non-T-Mobile shop, I'm pretty sure
>
> *they* will require the most expensive plan they can get
>
> you to sign up for.
>
>
>
> But, clearly, if you buy from Amazon and simply call up
>
> T-Mobile to get a SIM card, you don't need data, nor do
>
> you need a 2-year contract (I have 3 SIM cards they just
>
> sent me, for free, for exactly this purpose.)

Maybe I'm missing something, but show us the link to Tmobile
where you can buy this plan
with no data. I looked at buying a contract phone and
they all require a data plan. I looked at the section
of the website that covers if you already have a phone
and you're bringing it to Tmobile. I looked at
the pre-paid as well. I didn't see any offering that
allows you to use a smartphone without a data plan.
Every plan has data included.

Are you positive your phone has wifi access? Can you access
the web? I don't think that's been answered.

And even if you have some unique arrangement with Tmobile
where you have a smartphone with wifi without a data plan,
my main point is that every carrier I've seen for years has
not allowed wifi access without a data plan. This is a hot
topic that has been widely discussed, reported, etc because
most people think it's very unfair. IMO, it's beyond unfair and
a violation of anti-trust laws.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-26 19:37:34 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:22:51 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> It's also what Tmobile does directly. Go look.

I had forgotten that T-Mobile also will be glad to sign you up
for a contract. :)

I'm still on contract, but the last few phones I added didn't
extend it.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-26 19:45:25 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:22:51 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> Slip in the SIM card and then what? The phone won't operate
> without some kind of service from Tmobile. Go look at the Tmobile
> website. I don't see a single offering that doesn't require
> you to take data as part of it.

It's trivially easy but I agree, you have to call T-Mobile to
make the SIM card work with the phone (unless it's already
activated).

I've done this a few ways, but, here's one way I've done it:

0. Buy a Target T-Mobile phone (or Amazon unlocked, as it won't matter).
1. Grab an old T-Mobile SIM card you have lying around.
2. Call 611 and ask them to "activate" that SIM card.
3. They'll give you a new phone number (or you can pay for porting).

For me, adding a new line only cost me $5 extra per month (1,000
shared minutes, family plan).

But, I've done this different ways. For example, I bought a
pre-paid T-Mobile phone, which came with the SIM card. I just
called the contract folks, and they were glad to switch my kid's
line to the new phone. All over the phone. No change in anything,
other than the old SIM card no longer worked (it was a different
size anyway).

I've also ordered 3 additional microSIM cards, since most of my
spare SIM cards are the larger size. T-Mobile sent me three, for
free, and I've only used one so far. The other two are simply
waiting for me to buy the Moto G or other phone. Then I'll simply
slip the SIM card in, and either switch an existing line to it,
or, I'll add a new line.

It's really simple. Total cost to switch a phone is zero dollars
(most of the time they allow you to do it for free - but not always
in the past). Total cost to add a new phone is $5/month (for the
monthly service).

I've done this so many times, that I can say it's trivial.
t***@optonline.net
2013-12-27 14:04:13 UTC
Permalink
On Thursday, December 26, 2013 2:45:25 PM UTC-5, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:22:51 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > Slip in the SIM card and then what? The phone won't operate
>
> > without some kind of service from Tmobile. Go look at the Tmobile
>
> > website. I don't see a single offering that doesn't require
>
> > you to take data as part of it.
>
>
>
> It's trivially easy but I agree, you have to call T-Mobile to
>
> make the SIM card work with the phone (unless it's already
>
> activated).
>
>


Woooshhh....

The point wasn't how you install a SIM card. The point was
that from everything I've seen, when you call Tmobile to activate
that new SIM card, they are going to tell you that to use your smartphone
on their network requires a service that includes data. I don't
see anything on their website that does not include data.

Now if you have some older grandfathered Tmobile plan, that
could be a different story. I'm still trying to figure out if
you have wifi access on your phones. From what you've said, it
isn't clear to me. Can you access the web?
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-26 20:12:19 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:22:51 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> Maybe I'm missing something, but show us the link to Tmobile
> where you can buy this plan with no data.

Certainly I have no data on my family plan; but, I just went
to the T-Mobile site, and I see the current family plans
are different than mine is:
http://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans/family.html#tab-navigation

Of course, those 4-line plans are $100 while mine is about
$60, so, they may no longer offer the plan that I'm on ...

Thanks for letting me know, as I didn't realize they don't seem
to offer the no-data plan anymore ... (as far as I can see).
Danny D.
2013-12-25 22:35:18 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 03:50:06 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> I think what they probably mean there is that there is no
> additional charge for wifi calls beyond usage of voice minutes.
> And since voice is unlimited on all their new plans, the calls
> are free. In context, right after that they talk about international
> wifi calls, where additional charges apply.

My plan does *not* have unlimited voice, although I
do have unlimited texting (due to the kids on my plan).

My voice is limited to 1,000 minutes, which is about
900 more than I use in a month anyway.

I *do* see what you're saying about the WiFi in the US to the
US taking up no "additional" charges (other than minutes); but,
on my calls last night to 611, they insisted there were no
minutes used.

So, I'm still confused...
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-25 08:23:03 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 13:38:55 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> But with Verizon, to have any kind of internet at all,
> even wifi, you need at least their minimum data plan

I left Verizon because of funny business; then I left
AT&T for different funny business; and now I'm on
T-Mobile, and, so far, they haven't done anything
funny.

The cost for a t-mobile family plan (4 or 5 phones), is
about $60 a month for about 1,000 minutes (shared).

T-Mobile doesn't care what phone you put on that plan,
as it can be smart or dumb, locked (to them) or unlocked.

T-Mobile doesn't care whether you have a data plan or not,
and, they've *never* tried to upsell me on the data plan
(although I made it clear when I signed up with T-Mobile
that I didn't want any data as that was the reason I left
AT&T in the first place).

I just got off the 611 line with T-Mobile technical support.
They tell me the WiFi calling is already enabled on my
smartphone, by default (it's part of Android apparently);
and that it doesn't cost any minutes or dollars when I use
it.

I did ask them to fix their FAQ which "implies" that there
is no charge, and then that there is a charge (which, of
course, makes no sense).
http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-9997
t***@optonline.net
2013-12-25 13:44:48 UTC
Permalink
On Wednesday, December 25, 2013 3:23:03 AM UTC-5, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 13:38:55 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > But with Verizon, to have any kind of internet at all,
>
> > even wifi, you need at least their minimum data plan
>
>
>
> I left Verizon because of funny business; then I left
>
> AT&T for different funny business; and now I'm on
>
> T-Mobile, and, so far, they haven't done anything
>
> funny.
>
>
>
> The cost for a t-mobile family plan (4 or 5 phones), is
>
> about $60 a month for about 1,000 minutes (shared).
>
>
>
> T-Mobile doesn't care what phone you put on that plan,
>
> as it can be smart or dumb, locked (to them) or unlocked.
>
>
>
> T-Mobile doesn't care whether you have a data plan or not,
>
> and, they've *never* tried to upsell me on the data plan
>
> (although I made it clear when I signed up with T-Mobile
>
> that I didn't want any data as that was the reason I left
>
> AT&T in the first place).
>
>
>
> I just got off the 611 line with T-Mobile technical support.
>
> They tell me the WiFi calling is already enabled on my
>
> smartphone, by default (it's part of Android apparently);
>
> and that it doesn't cost any minutes or dollars when I use
>
> it.
>
>

Tmobile may have changed, but apparently they were counting as
voice mins any wifi calls in the past:

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/10/06/t-mobile-gets-voip-right/

A pre-installed application from T-Mobile will allow customers to make and receive voice calls and SMS over an accessible Wi-Fi connection. This provides customers with better indoor coverage and in some cases may provide the ability to make voice calls in locations where they weren't able to do so previously.

For consumers, Wi-Fi Calling for Android increases coverage and uses voice minutes. [NOTE: calls originate on Wi-Fi, but are carried across T-Mobile's network once beyond the initial Wi-Fi connection.]

Another thread where they discuss the confusion:

http://forums.androidcentral.com/t-mobile/296886-wifi-calling-what-does-prepaid-t-mo-have.html


The above thread brings out what I pointed out. With Tmobile, unlike
any other carrier I know of, there are two possible VOIP wifi calling
methods:

1 - Use what Tmobile provides, which lets you use your Tmobile phone
number.

2 - Load apps that let you make VOIP calls over wifi independent of]
Tmobile with a different phone number.

I think everyone agrees that #2 results in no charges. And it's only
possible if you have internet access on your phone. Again, AFAIK,
only AT&T allows you to have wifi access without a data plan. From
what you're saying, if you have an older Tmobile plan without data
and they still allow wifi, then you're in that group too.

#1 is Tmobile specific and from what it says on their website, and
the discussion threads, it does use your voice mins, unless something
has changed.

Maybe it makes no difference in how you're using your phone. Just
saying that before I made wifi VOIP calls on a Tmobile phone using
their software and phone #, I'd do some limited testing to make sure
you don't get a surprise. And if you do, whatever the tech support
told you isn't going to matter much, unless you have it recorded.
You've seen on their website where it says something different from
what the support person told you.




>
> I did ask them to fix their FAQ which "implies" that there
>
> is no charge, and then that there is a charge (which, of
>
> course, makes no sense).
>
> http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-9997
Danny D.
2013-12-26 06:05:51 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 05:44:48 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> Tmobile may have changed, but apparently they were counting as
> voice mins any wifi calls in the past:
> http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/10/06/t-mobile-gets-voip-right/

I have to agree with you, it's confusing as can be.
The T-Mobile help page says yes and no in the same page; while
the support guys said no. It's confusing. I admit.

> The above thread brings out what I pointed out. With Tmobile,
> unlike any other carrier I know of, there are two possible
> VOIP wifi calling methods.

I have no problem using Viber, so, I must say that I'm surprised
if any other carrier prevents you from using VOIP.

> AFAIK, only AT&T allows you to have wifi access without
> a data plan.

Hmmm... T-Mobile certainly "allows" me to have WiFi access sans
a data plan. How could *any* carrier stop you from connecting
via WiFi anyway? I mean, you could pull the SIM card, if you
had to be drastic. Then, it's just a hand-held computer. Right?

> I'd do some limited testing to make sure
> you don't get a surprise. And if you do, whatever the tech support
> told you isn't going to matter much, unless you have it recorded.

I fully agree with you. I'll try to get a record of what they
tell me the next time I call them.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-26 20:47:40 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 03:50:06 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> Can you access the internet, or not? If you can
> and you have an old Tmobile plan with no data, that's unusual.

I can certainly access the Internet, and I have no data.
So, I may be "grandfathered" in, under the old no-data plan.
Plus, what do they do with people who have dumb phones?
(I know ... I know ... few and far between.)

Here's what my phone screen looks like attached to WiFi.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7397/11361802725_76f349e1bb_o.gif

I just noticed that had no bars, so here's one with bars:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/11099154624_f8a05495cb_o.gif
t***@optonline.net
2013-12-27 14:41:23 UTC
Permalink
On Thursday, December 26, 2013 3:47:40 PM UTC-5, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 03:50:06 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > Can you access the internet, or not? If you can
>
> > and you have an old Tmobile plan with no data, that's unusual.
>
>
>
> I can certainly access the Internet, and I have no data.

OK, thanks for clearing that up.


>
> So, I may be "grandfathered" in, under the old no-data plan.

Yes, I think somehow you got lucky, because it's been a long
standing problem that people have been bitching about that
the carriers will not let you use a smartphone on their networks
without a data plan.



>
> Plus, what do they do with people who have dumb phones?

With Tmobile, since I don't see anything on their website today
but plans with data, I would guess that you'd have to take
the plan with the least data, whether you use it or not. But it
would be an interesting question to ask them.




>
> (I know ... I know ... few and far between.)
>
>
>
> Here's what my phone screen looks like attached to WiFi.
>
> http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7397/11361802725_76f349e1bb_o.gif
>
>
>
> I just noticed that had no bars, so here's one with bars:
>
> http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/11099154624_f8a05495cb_o.gif


The funnel shaped thing to the left of the signal bars is
the wifi symbol. On my Android, if I'm on the carrier's data
network, instead of the wifi symbol, I get 3g, or 4g, together
with tiny up/down arrows if data is actually being transferred.
DerbyDad03
2013-12-23 11:56:26 UTC
Permalink
Danny D'Amico <***@is.invalid> wrote:
> Wholly OT: I will respond to questions, and queries, but otherwise this
> will be the only post on this topic for my friends on a.h.r who may be
> interested in offline map routing programs.
>
...Lots of good info snipped...

Can you explain the purpose of an offline map routing program?

I use the Google Navigation app and my issue isn't data usage, it's how
badly the GPS sucks the life out of the battery.

What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?

BTW...I was in NYC for a business trip last year. While walking through
Central Park, I saw a sign for an app that allowed you to take a walking
tour of the park, with GPS. It opens with a map of the park, and when you
choose My Location it pinpoints where you are in the park, right down to
the walking path level. Well, a few months later SWMBO and I were walking
through a park while on vacation in California. We came to a T in the path
we weren't sure which way to go. I opened the Central Park app, which
opened with a map of Central Park, as expected. I tapped My Location and
the map changed to our exact location and we figured out which way to go.
Since that time I've used the app a number of times when walking in
unfamiliar locations.
Art Todesco
2013-12-23 14:00:42 UTC
Permalink
On 12/23/2013 6:56 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
> Danny D'Amico <***@is.invalid> wrote:
>> Wholly OT: I will respond to questions, and queries, but otherwise this
>> will be the only post on this topic for my friends on a.h.r who may be
>> interested in offline map routing programs.
>>
> ...Lots of good info snipped...
>
> Can you explain the purpose of an offline map routing program?

Offline map routing is used if you don't have a data plan or you are in
an area with no cell service. You typically get the map before leaving,
using wifi.
>
> I use the Google Navigation app and my issue isn't data usage, it's how
> badly the GPS sucks the life out of the battery.
Yes, that's true. But that's what car chargers are used for. If I'm
going to use it for a long time, I plug in.
>
> What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?
>
> BTW...I was in NYC for a business trip last year. While walking through
> Central Park, I saw a sign for an app that allowed you to take a walking
> tour of the park, with GPS. It opens with a map of the park, and when you
> choose My Location it pinpoints where you are in the park, right down to
> the walking path level. Well, a few months later SWMBO and I were walking
> through a park while on vacation in California. We came to a T in the path
> we weren't sure which way to go. I opened the Central Park app, which
> opened with a map of Central Park, as expected. I tapped My Location and
> the map changed to our exact location and we figured out which way to go.
> Since that time I've used the app a number of times when walking in
> unfamiliar locations.
>
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-23 18:43:24 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:00:42 -0500, Art Todesco wrote:

>> Can you explain the purpose of an offline map routing program?
>
> Offline map routing is used if you don't have a data plan or you are in
> an area with no cell service. You typically get the map before leaving,
> using wifi.

Yup. He said it better than I did.

Luckily, for almost all the offline apps, the entire state of California
is a single one-time download.

There's one other advantage, but it's not due to the offline nature.
Most of the offline-map programs are OSM.
OSM maps can be modified by you.
If you like tinkering with your maps, maybe the OSM maps are the way to go.

>> I use the Google Navigation app and my issue isn't data usage, it's how
>> badly the GPS sucks the life out of the battery.
> Yes, that's true. But that's what car chargers are used for.

Indeed. I researched car chargers, and, after testing a few, I only
suggest the dual-port 3.1 Amp chargers. You can't go by price (e.g.,
Apple single-port 2.1 Amp chargers cost twice what I paid for my 3.1
Amp dual-port charger).

The reason for the funny amperage numbers is that an Ipad takes 2.1
Amps while most heavy duty smart phones take about 700mA to about 1 Amp.

So, a 3.1 Amp charger is typically a 2.1 Amp port plus a 1 Amp port.

Caveat: Watch out when you buy the USB car charger. The lousy ones
are really sneaky about how they define the amperage as "total"
amperage, which means that, even if it has two ports, you can't
get the advertised amperage unless you use only one of those two
ports and leave the other one empty.

As always, price is no indication of quality. You have to know
what you are buying ... caveat emptor.
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 01:27:24 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:00:42 -0500, Art Todesco <***@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>On 12/23/2013 6:56 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
>> Danny D'Amico <***@is.invalid> wrote:
>>> Wholly OT: I will respond to questions, and queries, but otherwise this
>>> will be the only post on this topic for my friends on a.h.r who may be
>>> interested in offline map routing programs.
>>>
>> ...Lots of good info snipped...
>>
>> Can you explain the purpose of an offline map routing program?
>
>Offline map routing is used if you don't have a data plan or you are in
>an area with no cell service. You typically get the map before leaving,
>using wifi.

I just discovered (having driven 600mi yesterday) that even on-line
routing doesn't require cell service the entire route. It seems to
download the maps needed for the entire trip at the beginning. My
cell phone doesn't connect to the data network when it's plugged into
USB. I didn't pay attention and plugged in the power before waiting
for it to connect to the cell network so didn't have a data connection
all day. I still had navigation the entire trip, though.


>>
>> I use the Google Navigation app and my issue isn't data usage, it's how
>> badly the GPS sucks the life out of the battery.
>Yes, that's true. But that's what car chargers are used for. If I'm
>going to use it for a long time, I plug in.

Sure. The more the phone does, the more power it sucks down. Data
service and the display are big power consumers. My phone won't last
a half hour in navigation mode if it's not connected to power.

>> What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?

Doesn't require *any* data connection. The maps are self-contained,
just like a stand-alone GPS unit.

>> BTW...I was in NYC for a business trip last year. While walking through
>> Central Park, I saw a sign for an app that allowed you to take a walking
>> tour of the park, with GPS. It opens with a map of the park, and when you
>> choose My Location it pinpoints where you are in the park, right down to
>> the walking path level. Well, a few months later SWMBO and I were walking
>> through a park while on vacation in California. We came to a T in the path
>> we weren't sure which way to go. I opened the Central Park app, which
>> opened with a map of Central Park, as expected. I tapped My Location and
>> the map changed to our exact location and we figured out which way to go.
>> Since that time I've used the app a number of times when walking in
>> unfamiliar locations.
>>
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 01:51:12 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:27:24 -0500, krw wrote:

> I still had navigation the entire trip, though

What program were you using for that navigation?

If it was Google Maps, it can route, if you start with routing,
but it can't change that route, nor do a POI or address search
once you're on the route.

If it's some other program, it might have the state map already
downloaded, which is what all the offline programs do.
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 02:17:24 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 01:51:12 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
<***@is.invalid> wrote:

>On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:27:24 -0500, krw wrote:
>
>> I still had navigation the entire trip, though
>
>What program were you using for that navigation?

The Google (I think) app that comes on my (Verizon) Droid Razr.

>If it was Google Maps, it can route, if you start with routing,
>but it can't change that route, nor do a POI or address search
>once you're on the route.

I checked the route beforehand and knew where I was going. No need to
update it. Well, until I got is "lost" out in the middle of Southern
Illinois. Dumb program! YOY do they even *think* about routing
people, driving cross-country, down one-lane county cow paths?!

>If it's some other program, it might have the state map already
>downloaded, which is what all the offline programs do.

No, just the normal maps. I was worried about losing data connection
in the middle. Turns out that it doesn't matter if you're not
changing anything. The point being that "online" navigation isn't as
fragile as I (and many others, I'm sure) suspected. It works quite
well (above exception noted).
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 01:52:16 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:27:24 -0500, krw wrote:

> The more the phone does, the more power it sucks down. Data
> service and the display are big power consumers. My phone won't last
> a half hour in navigation mode if it's not connected to power.

Hmmm... I didn't realize data service consumes power.

Are you sure about that?

Certainly, on my Samsung Galaxy S3, the GPS consumes the power
so much that the battery won't last 2 hours with GPS running
and no external source of power.
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 02:19:52 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 01:52:16 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
<***@is.invalid> wrote:

>On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:27:24 -0500, krw wrote:
>
>> The more the phone does, the more power it sucks down. Data
>> service and the display are big power consumers. My phone won't last
>> a half hour in navigation mode if it's not connected to power.
>
>Hmmm... I didn't realize data service consumes power.

>Are you sure about that?

Sure, if it's transferring data, it's consuming power. The processor
is also working harder.

>Certainly, on my Samsung Galaxy S3, the GPS consumes the power
>so much that the battery won't last 2 hours with GPS running
>and no external source of power.

GPS, alone, shouldn't take that much power. My next phone (probably
at the end of next month) will be a RAZR MAXX, for that reason,
though.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 04:57:42 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 21:19:52 -0500, krw wrote:

> My next phone (probably
> at the end of next month) will be a RAZR MAXX, for that reason,
> though.

I'm gonna buy the Moto G, for a nephew, for a belated
Christmas gift.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it
doesn't have an external SD card slot.

Sigh... Google.
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 05:24:01 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 04:57:42 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
<***@is.invalid> wrote:

>On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 21:19:52 -0500, krw wrote:
>
>> My next phone (probably
>> at the end of next month) will be a RAZR MAXX, for that reason,
>> though.
>
>I'm gonna buy the Moto G, for a nephew, for a belated
>Christmas gift.
>
>The only thing I don't like about it is that it
>doesn't have an external SD card slot.

There's that but worse, the Droid Razr doesn't have a replaceable
battery. It's only a couple of years, but still.

>Sigh... Google.

Indeed.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:15:40 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 00:24:01 -0500, krw wrote:

> the Droid Razr doesn't have a replaceable
> battery. It's only a couple of years, but still.

That's criminal. I always faulted the iPhone for that.
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 22:30:29 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 20:15:40 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
<***@is.invalid> wrote:

>On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 00:24:01 -0500, krw wrote:
>
>> the Droid Razr doesn't have a replaceable
>> battery. It's only a couple of years, but still.
>
>That's criminal. I always faulted the iPhone for that.

They're trading off the replaceable battery for the sleek case. It's
not a terrible tradeoff since the things generally last only two
years. It's fairly rare for a LiIon battery to fail in that two
years. They will lose some capacity but the Razr MAXX (most likely my
next phone) that covered with *huge* capacity.
Nate Nagel
2013-12-25 12:48:51 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/2013 03:15 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 00:24:01 -0500, krw wrote:
>
>> the Droid Razr doesn't have a replaceable
>> battery. It's only a couple of years, but still.
>
> That's criminal. I always faulted the iPhone for that.
>

yes, Motorola who has always been my favorite cell phone manufacturer
has gone to the dark side... still good phones though.

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
t***@optonline.net
2013-12-24 14:11:22 UTC
Permalink
On Monday, December 23, 2013 9:19:52 PM UTC-5, ***@attt.bizz wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 01:52:16 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
>
> <***@is.invalid> wrote:
>
>
>
> >On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:27:24 -0500, krw wrote:
>
> >
>
> >> The more the phone does, the more power it sucks down. Data
>
> >> service and the display are big power consumers. My phone won't last
>
> >> a half hour in navigation mode if it's not connected to power.
>
> >
>
> >Hmmm... I didn't realize data service consumes power.
>
>
>
> >Are you sure about that?
>
>
>
> Sure, if it's transferring data, it's consuming power. The processor
>
> is also working harder.
>
>
>
> >Certainly, on my Samsung Galaxy S3, the GPS consumes the power
>
> >so much that the battery won't last 2 hours with GPS running
>
> >and no external source of power.
>
>
>
> GPS, alone, shouldn't take that much power. My next phone (probably
>
> at the end of next month) will be a RAZR MAXX, for that reason,
>
> though.

My new Android has detailied info recorded on what percentage
of power is being used by what. GPS as I recall when I used it on a
recent trip of 50 miles or so only used 2%. I was using Maps/routing
for just the trip, but have gps turned on all the time.
Nate Nagel
2013-12-24 14:20:21 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/2013 09:11 AM, ***@optonline.net wrote:
> On Monday, December 23, 2013 9:19:52 PM UTC-5, ***@attt.bizz wrote:
>> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 01:52:16 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
>>
>> <***@is.invalid> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:27:24 -0500, krw wrote:
>>
>>>
>>
>>>> The more the phone does, the more power it sucks down. Data
>>
>>>> service and the display are big power consumers. My phone won't last
>>
>>>> a half hour in navigation mode if it's not connected to power.
>>
>>>
>>
>>> Hmmm... I didn't realize data service consumes power.
>>
>>
>>
>>> Are you sure about that?
>>
>>
>>
>> Sure, if it's transferring data, it's consuming power. The processor
>>
>> is also working harder.
>>
>>
>>
>>> Certainly, on my Samsung Galaxy S3, the GPS consumes the power
>>
>>> so much that the battery won't last 2 hours with GPS running
>>
>>> and no external source of power.
>>
>>
>>
>> GPS, alone, shouldn't take that much power. My next phone (probably
>>
>> at the end of next month) will be a RAZR MAXX, for that reason,
>>
>> though.
>
> My new Android has detailied info recorded on what percentage
> of power is being used by what. GPS as I recall when I used it on a
> recent trip of 50 miles or so only used 2%. I was using Maps/routing
> for just the trip, but have gps turned on all the time.
>

My first smart phone was a HTC Evo, the one thing I really, really hated
about that phone was that the current draw while running Waze or
Trapster in vehicle mode (screen always on) was more than the charge
current from the car charger. So on a several hour trip I would need to
take several spare batteries with me...!

Fortunately, my subsequent phones (Motorola Photon and Photon Q) do not
have that issue...

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:58:04 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 06:11:22 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> GPS as I recall when I used it on a
> recent trip of 50 miles or so only used 2%. I was using Maps/routing
> for just the trip, but have gps turned on all the time.

That seems insanely low, compared to what my Samsung Galaxy appears
to use. I didn't check with the battery app though, so, I should
find a power application that tells me how much power each service
is using so I can compare with your results.

I do know that the battery dies in 2 hours if I use GPS, so,
I simply *assumed* it was the GPS that was killing it.

Bear in mind, you *might* be using cellular triangulation for your
location services - in which case it wouldn't be using the GPS...
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 21:03:38 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 09:20:21 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:

> the current draw while running Waze or
> Trapster in vehicle mode (screen always on) was more than the charge
> current from the car charger.

Hi Nate,
I see you've replaced that phone, but, that's exactly why I recommend
the dual-port 3.1 Amp USB car chargers.

One port is 2.1 Amps (strange number is due to the iPad requirement);
and the other port is 1 Amp.

In my experience, most smartphones nowadays will outstrip their charger
once you get lower than about 850mA, and, it's very important to note
that the USB standard is only 500mA.

So, if your car charger doesn't actually *say* it's 1Amp, it's probably
only about 500mA, which is far too low (IMHO) for a smart phone.

So I don't doubt your results.

Bear in mind, in my experience looking at every USB car charger I
could find in stores (mostly Frys), if they don't say what their
current is, then they're 500mA. If they say the amperage, but don't
say how much is in each slot, then you can really only get that
amperage out of only one slot at a time.

And, if they say just the watts (which is the amperage times the
5 volts), then usually they're very low because wattage sounds
bigger than amperage.

In the end, since they're all 5 volts, the *amperage* you can get
out of *each slot* (at the same time!) is what you want to aim for.

The funny thing is that it doesn't cost more to get a better charger,
other than the time to make the selection based on the amperage.
Nate Nagel
2013-12-25 13:00:36 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/2013 04:03 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 09:20:21 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:
>
>> the current draw while running Waze or
>> Trapster in vehicle mode (screen always on) was more than the charge
>> current from the car charger.
>
> Hi Nate,
> I see you've replaced that phone, but, that's exactly why I recommend
> the dual-port 3.1 Amp USB car chargers.
>
> One port is 2.1 Amps (strange number is due to the iPad requirement);
> and the other port is 1 Amp.
>
> In my experience, most smartphones nowadays will outstrip their charger
> once you get lower than about 850mA, and, it's very important to note
> that the USB standard is only 500mA.
>
> So, if your car charger doesn't actually *say* it's 1Amp, it's probably
> only about 500mA, which is far too low (IMHO) for a smart phone.
>
> So I don't doubt your results.
>
> Bear in mind, in my experience looking at every USB car charger I
> could find in stores (mostly Frys), if they don't say what their
> current is, then they're 500mA. If they say the amperage, but don't
> say how much is in each slot, then you can really only get that
> amperage out of only one slot at a time.
>
> And, if they say just the watts (which is the amperage times the
> 5 volts), then usually they're very low because wattage sounds
> bigger than amperage.
>
> In the end, since they're all 5 volts, the *amperage* you can get
> out of *each slot* (at the same time!) is what you want to aim for.
>
> The funny thing is that it doesn't cost more to get a better charger,
> other than the time to make the selection based on the amperage.
>

You're right, and I knew that, but it's good info that a lot of people
*don't* know.

Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes when a phone uses a
micro USB port for both data transfer and charging (as many do) the
phone will use two pins connected together or something to determine
charge rate; that is, it can tell the difference between plugging into
the USB port on your laptop (in which case it will charge at 500 mA) and
plugging into a wall wart or a 12V to USB adapter in which case it will
charge at whatever the device's maximum charge rate is.

In the case of the Evo, after some research online I found out what the
actual issue was; I was curious if something was wrong with my phone
because the very first road trip I took with it it worked fine, but
subsequently every trip thereafter I needed a new battery about every 90
minutes. Sprint was clueless and basically just shrugged and said "GPS
takes a lot of power." I wasn't real happy as I'd paid retail price for
what was at the time a highly rated smart phone and I wanted to play
with it and do all the stuff I'd been told a smart phone could do. What
I read online however was that a new firmware was pushed out for that
phone that reduced the max charge current due to thermal management
issues, and that I believe - another issue that I had with that phone
was that if run in a windshield mount on a sunny day with GPS app
running, it really could overheat and shut down, I ended up moving it so
that it was in front of an A/C vent. So in an effort to fix one
problem, they created another...

The real solution to the problem was to buy a used Motorola phone which
worked great until Sprint dropped WiMax and went to 4G LTE, then I
bought another Motorola phone with a "free with two year contract" deal.
I gifted the Evo to a friend who doesn't have a car or driver's
license so it all worked out well for everyone :)

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
Danny D.
2013-12-26 06:10:30 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 08:00:36 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:

> Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes when a phone uses a
> micro USB port for both data transfer and charging (as many do) the
> phone will use two pins connected together or something to determine
> charge rate; that is, it can tell the difference between plugging into
> the USB port on your laptop (in which case it will charge at 500 mA) and
> plugging into a wall wart or a 12V to USB adapter in which case it will
> charge at whatever the device's maximum charge rate is.

Something like that has always confounded me, both on my Motorola
RAZR V3, which would never charge on USB car chargers, but, had
no problem charging on PCs with the same cable - and - on my
Samsung Galaxy S3, which practically burned up on some car
chargers.

So, I don't doubt funny business goes on in some of these setups.
SMS
2013-12-26 19:53:20 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/2013 10:10 PM, Danny D. wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 08:00:36 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:
>
>> Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes when a phone uses a
>> micro USB port for both data transfer and charging (as many do) the
>> phone will use two pins connected together or something to determine
>> charge rate; that is, it can tell the difference between plugging into
>> the USB port on your laptop (in which case it will charge at 500 mA) and
>> plugging into a wall wart or a 12V to USB adapter in which case it will
>> charge at whatever the device's maximum charge rate is.
>
> Something like that has always confounded me, both on my Motorola
> RAZR V3, which would never charge on USB car chargers, but, had
> no problem charging on PCs with the same cable - and - on my
> Samsung Galaxy S3, which practically burned up on some car
> chargers.

It should not confound you. On a computer the PC must have had the
Motorola driver installed which allows charging (if you ever installed
Motorola Phone Tools then the driver was installed). On a car charger
you must have the proper resistor between two of the pins.

See <http://pinoutsguide.com/ChargersAdapters/razrv3_charger_pinout.shtml>.

You couldn't just modify a USB-A to Mini-USB cable because the fifth
wire wasn't present inside the cable.

You used to be able to buy little adapters that were Mini-USB female to
male that had the resistor built into the adapter
<http://dx.com/p/mini-usb-5-pin-charger-adapter-for-moto-v9-32597>. I
had several of these.
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-26 16:36:47 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 08:00:36 -0500, Nate Nagel <***@roosters.net>
wrote:

>On 12/24/2013 04:03 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 09:20:21 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:
>>
>>> the current draw while running Waze or
>>> Trapster in vehicle mode (screen always on) was more than the charge
>>> current from the car charger.
>>
>> Hi Nate,
>> I see you've replaced that phone, but, that's exactly why I recommend
>> the dual-port 3.1 Amp USB car chargers.
>>
>> One port is 2.1 Amps (strange number is due to the iPad requirement);
>> and the other port is 1 Amp.
>>
>> In my experience, most smartphones nowadays will outstrip their charger
>> once you get lower than about 850mA, and, it's very important to note
>> that the USB standard is only 500mA.
>>
>> So, if your car charger doesn't actually *say* it's 1Amp, it's probably
>> only about 500mA, which is far too low (IMHO) for a smart phone.
>>
>> So I don't doubt your results.
>>
>> Bear in mind, in my experience looking at every USB car charger I
>> could find in stores (mostly Frys), if they don't say what their
>> current is, then they're 500mA. If they say the amperage, but don't
>> say how much is in each slot, then you can really only get that
>> amperage out of only one slot at a time.
>>
>> And, if they say just the watts (which is the amperage times the
>> 5 volts), then usually they're very low because wattage sounds
>> bigger than amperage.
>>
>> In the end, since they're all 5 volts, the *amperage* you can get
>> out of *each slot* (at the same time!) is what you want to aim for.
>>
>> The funny thing is that it doesn't cost more to get a better charger,
>> other than the time to make the selection based on the amperage.
>>
>
>You're right, and I knew that, but it's good info that a lot of people
>*don't* know.
>
>Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes when a phone uses a
>micro USB port for both data transfer and charging (as many do) the
>phone will use two pins connected together or something to determine
>charge rate; that is, it can tell the difference between plugging into
>the USB port on your laptop (in which case it will charge at 500 mA) and
>plugging into a wall wart or a 12V to USB adapter in which case it will
>charge at whatever the device's maximum charge rate is.

Yes, though it's a little more complicated than shorting two pins. The
data pins are tied up, or down, with resistors of a particular value.
The charging device then reads these resistors to program its charging
rate. If the charger doesn't recognize these, it'll only charge at
the USB rate (.5A). If a charger is smart enough, it'll read these
resistors and know what is on the other end so can charge it faster.

>In the case of the Evo, after some research online I found out what the
>actual issue was; I was curious if something was wrong with my phone
>because the very first road trip I took with it it worked fine, but
>subsequently every trip thereafter I needed a new battery about every 90
>minutes. Sprint was clueless and basically just shrugged and said "GPS
>takes a lot of power." I wasn't real happy as I'd paid retail price for
>what was at the time a highly rated smart phone and I wanted to play
>with it and do all the stuff I'd been told a smart phone could do. What
>I read online however was that a new firmware was pushed out for that
>phone that reduced the max charge current due to thermal management
>issues, and that I believe - another issue that I had with that phone
>was that if run in a windshield mount on a sunny day with GPS app
>running, it really could overheat and shut down, I ended up moving it so
>that it was in front of an A/C vent. So in an effort to fix one
>problem, they created another...

Doesn't make sense. The charge rate doesn't affect the battery's
capacity, only its charge time.

>The real solution to the problem was to buy a used Motorola phone which
>worked great until Sprint dropped WiMax and went to 4G LTE, then I
>bought another Motorola phone with a "free with two year contract" deal.
> I gifted the Evo to a friend who doesn't have a car or driver's
>license so it all worked out well for everyone :)
Nate Nagel
2013-12-26 21:22:01 UTC
Permalink
On 12/26/2013 11:36 AM, ***@attt.bizz wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 08:00:36 -0500, Nate Nagel <***@roosters.net>
> wrote:
>
>> On 12/24/2013 04:03 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>>> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 09:20:21 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:
>>>
>>>> the current draw while running Waze or
>>>> Trapster in vehicle mode (screen always on) was more than the charge
>>>> current from the car charger.
>>>
>>> Hi Nate,
>>> I see you've replaced that phone, but, that's exactly why I recommend
>>> the dual-port 3.1 Amp USB car chargers.
>>>
>>> One port is 2.1 Amps (strange number is due to the iPad requirement);
>>> and the other port is 1 Amp.
>>>
>>> In my experience, most smartphones nowadays will outstrip their charger
>>> once you get lower than about 850mA, and, it's very important to note
>>> that the USB standard is only 500mA.
>>>
>>> So, if your car charger doesn't actually *say* it's 1Amp, it's probably
>>> only about 500mA, which is far too low (IMHO) for a smart phone.
>>>
>>> So I don't doubt your results.
>>>
>>> Bear in mind, in my experience looking at every USB car charger I
>>> could find in stores (mostly Frys), if they don't say what their
>>> current is, then they're 500mA. If they say the amperage, but don't
>>> say how much is in each slot, then you can really only get that
>>> amperage out of only one slot at a time.
>>>
>>> And, if they say just the watts (which is the amperage times the
>>> 5 volts), then usually they're very low because wattage sounds
>>> bigger than amperage.
>>>
>>> In the end, since they're all 5 volts, the *amperage* you can get
>>> out of *each slot* (at the same time!) is what you want to aim for.
>>>
>>> The funny thing is that it doesn't cost more to get a better charger,
>>> other than the time to make the selection based on the amperage.
>>>
>>
>> You're right, and I knew that, but it's good info that a lot of people
>> *don't* know.
>>
>> Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes when a phone uses a
>> micro USB port for both data transfer and charging (as many do) the
>> phone will use two pins connected together or something to determine
>> charge rate; that is, it can tell the difference between plugging into
>> the USB port on your laptop (in which case it will charge at 500 mA) and
>> plugging into a wall wart or a 12V to USB adapter in which case it will
>> charge at whatever the device's maximum charge rate is.
>
> Yes, though it's a little more complicated than shorting two pins. The
> data pins are tied up, or down, with resistors of a particular value.
> The charging device then reads these resistors to program its charging
> rate. If the charger doesn't recognize these, it'll only charge at
> the USB rate (.5A). If a charger is smart enough, it'll read these
> resistors and know what is on the other end so can charge it faster.
>
>> In the case of the Evo, after some research online I found out what the
>> actual issue was; I was curious if something was wrong with my phone
>> because the very first road trip I took with it it worked fine, but
>> subsequently every trip thereafter I needed a new battery about every 90
>> minutes. Sprint was clueless and basically just shrugged and said "GPS
>> takes a lot of power." I wasn't real happy as I'd paid retail price for
>> what was at the time a highly rated smart phone and I wanted to play
>> with it and do all the stuff I'd been told a smart phone could do. What
>> I read online however was that a new firmware was pushed out for that
>> phone that reduced the max charge current due to thermal management
>> issues, and that I believe - another issue that I had with that phone
>> was that if run in a windshield mount on a sunny day with GPS app
>> running, it really could overheat and shut down, I ended up moving it so
>> that it was in front of an A/C vent. So in an effort to fix one
>> problem, they created another...
>
> Doesn't make sense. The charge rate doesn't affect the battery's
> capacity, only its charge time.
>
>> The real solution to the problem was to buy a used Motorola phone which
>> worked great until Sprint dropped WiMax and went to 4G LTE, then I
>> bought another Motorola phone with a "free with two year contract" deal.
>> I gifted the Evo to a friend who doesn't have a car or driver's
>> license so it all worked out well for everyone :)
>

I can't find a link because the phone's been long discontinued, but I
remember reading that the max charge current was limited by a firmware
change to 700-something mA. Apparently the phone was *using* more than
that when I had my usual suite of in the car apps running.

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
The Real Bev
2013-12-25 23:15:54 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/2013 01:03 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:

> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 09:20:21 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:
>
>> the current draw while running Waze or
>> Trapster in vehicle mode (screen always on) was more than the charge
>> current from the car charger.
>
> Hi Nate,
> I see you've replaced that phone, but, that's exactly why I recommend
> the dual-port 3.1 Amp USB car chargers.
>
> One port is 2.1 Amps (strange number is due to the iPad requirement);
> and the other port is 1 Amp.
>
> In my experience, most smartphones nowadays will outstrip their charger
> once you get lower than about 850mA, and, it's very important to note
> that the USB standard is only 500mA.
>
> So, if your car charger doesn't actually *say* it's 1Amp, it's probably
> only about 500mA, which is far too low (IMHO) for a smart phone.

As in "won't work at all" or "just takes a lot longer"?

--
Cheers, Bev
=====================================================
"It's too bad stupidity isn't painful." - A. S. LaVey
Nate Nagel
2013-12-26 00:02:57 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/2013 06:15 PM, The Real Bev wrote:
> On 12/24/2013 01:03 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>
>> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 09:20:21 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:
>>
>>> the current draw while running Waze or
>>> Trapster in vehicle mode (screen always on) was more than the charge
>>> current from the car charger.
>>
>> Hi Nate,
>> I see you've replaced that phone, but, that's exactly why I recommend
>> the dual-port 3.1 Amp USB car chargers.
>>
>> One port is 2.1 Amps (strange number is due to the iPad requirement);
>> and the other port is 1 Amp.
>>
>> In my experience, most smartphones nowadays will outstrip their charger
>> once you get lower than about 850mA, and, it's very important to note
>> that the USB standard is only 500mA.
>>
>> So, if your car charger doesn't actually *say* it's 1Amp, it's probably
>> only about 500mA, which is far too low (IMHO) for a smart phone.
>
> As in "won't work at all" or "just takes a lot longer"?
>

Depends on how you use it. I haven't tried, but I'm guessing a 500 mA
charger would allow the same issue I originally described (battery
slowly draining while running a navigation app) on many phones.

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
Danny D.
2013-12-26 06:15:30 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 19:02:57 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:

>> As in "won't work at all" or "just takes a lot longer"?
> Depends on how you use it. I haven't tried, but I'm guessing a 500 mA
> charger would allow the same issue I originally described (battery
> slowly draining while running a navigation app) on many phones.

I'm gonna haf'ta agree with Nate.

I can only see two outcomes if the charger can't keep up with
the current draw of the phone.

1. The phone battery will have to supply the missing current,
which, will drain the battery, only slower than without the
charger.

2. The charger is going to heat up, and might even blow its
fuse (most have them, but not all). Most fuses are something
like 2 or 3 amps, and they're on the 12 volt side, so, that's
24 to 36 Watts.

The *simple* answer is always get at least a dual port, 2 Amp
USB charger, that can put out at least 1 amp from each port.

Personally, the best I've found are 2.1Amp (for the iPad)
on one port, and 1 Amp on the other.

The funny thing is that they don't cost any more; but you
have to read all the writing on the package and throw down
(with disgust) any that don't say the amperage clearly, and
whether it's concomitant or not.
The Real Bev
2013-12-26 22:18:02 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/2013 10:15 PM, Danny D. wrote:

> On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 19:02:57 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:
>
>>> As in "won't work at all" or "just takes a lot longer"?
>> Depends on how you use it. I haven't tried, but I'm guessing a 500 mA
>> charger would allow the same issue I originally described (battery
>> slowly draining while running a navigation app) on many phones.
>
> I'm gonna haf'ta agree with Nate.
>
> I can only see two outcomes if the charger can't keep up with
> the current draw of the phone.
>
> 1. The phone battery will have to supply the missing current,
> which, will drain the battery, only slower than without the
> charger.
>
> 2. The charger is going to heat up, and might even blow its
> fuse (most have them, but not all). Most fuses are something
> like 2 or 3 amps, and they're on the 12 volt side, so, that's
> 24 to 36 Watts.
>
> The *simple* answer is always get at least a dual port, 2 Amp
> USB charger, that can put out at least 1 amp from each port.
>
> Personally, the best I've found are 2.1Amp (for the iPad)
> on one port, and 1 Amp on the other.

I just ordered one like that from buy.com for $6.99 (free, actually,
they gave me $10 and no tax or shipping). Was that a good price?

I also got a nice pink microUSB cable for 99 cents at the 99-Cents-Only
Store.

> The funny thing is that they don't cost any more; but you
> have to read all the writing on the package and throw down
> (with disgust) any that don't say the amperage clearly, and
> whether it's concomitant or not.

2.1A duals are ~$4, so I blew the extra $3!


--
Cheers, Bev
=====================================================================
A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is it such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet?
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 01:54:06 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:27:24 -0500, krw wrote:

>>> What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?
>
> Doesn't require *any* data connection.
> The maps are self-contained,
> just like a stand-alone GPS unit.

Yup!

In a couple of years, I can't imagine Garmin, TomTom, & Magellan
still selling tons of dedicated GPS units.

They'll need to either go where the money is (e.g., aviation,
military, commercial, automotive assembly, etc.), or, write
kick-butt Android/iPhone apps.

I can imagine the marketing guys saying "We don't want to go
the way of Kodak, now do we?" ...
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 02:23:57 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 01:54:06 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
<***@is.invalid> wrote:

>On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:27:24 -0500, krw wrote:
>
>>>> What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?
>>
>> Doesn't require *any* data connection.
>> The maps are self-contained,
>> just like a stand-alone GPS unit.
>
>Yup!
>
>In a couple of years, I can't imagine Garmin, TomTom, & Magellan
>still selling tons of dedicated GPS units.
>
>They'll need to either go where the money is (e.g., aviation,
>military, commercial, automotive assembly, etc.), or, write
>kick-butt Android/iPhone apps.

Already been done.

>I can imagine the marketing guys saying "We don't want to go
>the way of Kodak, now do we?" ...

Any company, if it doesn't reinvent itself will go that way. The
question is when, and are they willing to compete against themselves
(and their sacred, i.e. milk, cows) to delay the inevitable.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 04:58:28 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 21:23:57 -0500, krw wrote:

>>They'll need to either go where the money is (e.g., aviation,
>>military, commercial, automotive assembly, etc.), or, write
>>kick-butt Android/iPhone apps.
>
> Already been done.

Well then, we should all short the Garmin (et. al.) stock!

:)
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-24 05:26:01 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 04:58:28 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
<***@is.invalid> wrote:

>On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 21:23:57 -0500, krw wrote:
>
>>>They'll need to either go where the money is (e.g., aviation,
>>>military, commercial, automotive assembly, etc.), or, write
>>>kick-butt Android/iPhone apps.
>>
>> Already been done.
>
>Well then, we should all short the Garmin (et. al.) stock!

I certainly wouldn't own stock in a company that's lost it's primary
market. Only a few have recovered.
SMS
2013-12-23 16:27:26 UTC
Permalink
On 12/23/2013 3:56 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
> Danny D'Amico <***@is.invalid> wrote:
>> Wholly OT: I will respond to questions, and queries, but otherwise this
>> will be the only post on this topic for my friends on a.h.r who may be
>> interested in offline map routing programs.
>>
> ...Lots of good info snipped...
>
> Can you explain the purpose of an offline map routing program?
>
> I use the Google Navigation app and my issue isn't data usage, it's how
> badly the GPS sucks the life out of the battery.
>
> What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?

Data usage. Personally we have four Android phones on Verizon's network
and pay about $70 per month (total, not per phone). But the plans that
these phones are on don't come with a lot of data so we are careful with
data usage. Online mapping uses a tremendous amount of data.

Both online and offline use the GPS so battery life isn't different, but
the GPS does use a lot of power.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-23 18:17:40 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 22 Dec 2013 19:04:54 -0800, SMS wrote:

> No one calls the actual road G2 (the county road number), it's
> Lawrence Expressway, and if you asked 100 people where road G2
> is probably only two or three would know.

Hi SMS,
Long time, no see. (Someday, we should meet, face to face,
mano e mano)...

Anyway ...

I know Lawrence Expressway rather well, having worked at NSM
in my earlier days, over by Kifer. I agree. Nobody would call
it G2, just like nobody in California seems to know what a
mile marker is nor what an exit number is (nor the direction
that all exits count in). They *do* call it "the" 101, though.
:)

Regarding the tools ...

That you sprung for CoPilot is interesting, as, it's the *only*
one tested worth paying for (IMHO), since, the Navteq maps are great;
and hthe POIs work offline nicely so do the phone numbers
integrate nicely with the phone (try that you dedicated portable
GPS units!); and the CoPilot routing allows easy alternates
from the start. You can even *drag* routes with your fingers!

The only thing lacking in the CoPilot freeware is the TTS and
Voice Guidance.

SMS:
I have one bit of confusion about CoPilot speech.
It seemed to me, that during my 14-day trial, it only spoke
spoken directions (i.e., turn left, turn right, etc.); but
not TTS road names (i.e., turn left onto G2, turn right onto
Lawrence Expressway, etc.).

Can you confirm that the payware CoPilot does both the spoken
directions (aka "voice guidance") and spoken street names
(aka Text-to-Speech)?

Danny

PS: The Pool Guys, in Saratoga, changed their chlorine policy
due to HASA changing the way they reimbursed them ... (I tried
to hail you on that when it happened.) It's now buy 6 gallons,
get two free (plus coupon incentives). FYI ...
sms
2013-12-24 00:04:20 UTC
Permalink
On 12/23/2013 10:17 AM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Sun, 22 Dec 2013 19:04:54 -0800, SMS wrote:
>
>> No one calls the actual road G2 (the county road number), it's
>> Lawrence Expressway, and if you asked 100 people where road G2
>> is probably only two or three would know.
>
> Hi SMS,
> Long time, no see. (Someday, we should meet, face to face,
> mano e mano)...
>
> Anyway ...
>
> I know Lawrence Expressway rather well, having worked at NSM
> in my earlier days, over by Kifer. I agree. Nobody would call
> it G2, just like nobody in California seems to know what a
> mile marker is nor what an exit number is (nor the direction
> that all exits count in). They *do* call it "the" 101, though.
> :)

I was at NSM for many years too, 1993-2000. And I never use "the." I'm
not from Southern California.

> SMS:
> I have one bit of confusion about CoPilot speech.
> It seemed to me, that during my 14-day trial, it only spoke
> spoken directions (i.e., turn left, turn right, etc.); but
> not TTS road names (i.e., turn left onto G2, turn right onto
> Lawrence Expressway, etc.).

Interesting you should mention that because I found that on my tablet it
speaks street names and my phone it doesn't. I need to check that again
as perhaps a recent update removed the TTS.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 01:55:20 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 16:04:20 -0800, sms wrote:

> I was at NSM for many years too, 1993-2000. And I never use "the." I'm
> not from Southern California.

I was in building D. I won't say no' more, otherwise the NSA will be
on to me ... Too bat TI took 'em over ... and Burr Brown ... sigh.
All the analog icons ... dead. Turned into CAD departments. :)
SMS
2013-12-24 16:05:15 UTC
Permalink
On 12/23/2013 5:55 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 16:04:20 -0800, sms wrote:
>
>> I was at NSM for many years too, 1993-2000. And I never use "the." I'm
>> not from Southern California.
>
> I was in building D. I won't say no' more, otherwise the NSA will be
> on to me ... Too bat TI took 'em over ... and Burr Brown ... sigh.
> All the analog icons ... dead. Turned into CAD departments. :)

I was in building 16 (gone) and then building M (which almost no one has
heard of but it's still there). The strangest building was the back part
of Home Depot, but they finally got rid of that as well.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 01:58:18 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 16:04:20 -0800, sms wrote:

> Interesting you should mention that because I found that on my tablet it
> speaks street names and my phone it doesn't. I need to check that again
> as perhaps a recent update removed the TTS.

Interesting.

I scanned the CoPilot advertisement, and, it *might* be that you have
to pay *twice* to get *both* the spoken directions and street names.

It seems, but I'm not sure, that the spoken directions come first,
and, then, if you pay more? ... Then you get the spoken street names.

It's all so confusing ...

What I *do* know is that, in my first 14 days of testing CoPilot on
Android, it did NOT speak street names. It only spoke directions.

voice guidance => turn left in 500 feet
TTS => turn left in 500 feet onto Lawrence Expressway
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-23 18:36:29 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:56:26 +0000, DerbyDad03 wrote:

> Can you explain the purpose of an offline map routing program?

To do map routing when (a) you don't have a data plan, or (b) when
you're far from a cellular signal.

I don't have a data plan on my cell phone.

So I have to be a bit more clever about how to get my map
directions once I get passed, oh, about the end of my driveway.

> I use the Google Navigation app and my issue isn't data usage,
> it's how badly the GPS sucks the life out of the battery.

Agreed. GPS sucks that power, making my phone hot!

I have to keep my Samsung Galaxy S3 on the cigarette lighter
3.1 Amp dual-port USB charger when the GPS is turned on; otherwise,
that puny battery is dead within a couple of hours.

> What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?

Only two that I can think of:
a) Works for people (like me) who don't have a data plan
b) Works when you're out in the boondocks

> Since that time I've used the app a number of times when walking in
> unfamiliar locations.

You have to try the Google "My Tracks" hiking app! It's really
nice for topographical hikes, like those SMS and I have out here
in the mountains.
The Real Bev
2013-12-23 19:14:40 UTC
Permalink
On 12/23/2013 10:36 AM, Danny D'Amico wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:56:26 +0000, DerbyDad03 wrote:
>
>> Can you explain the purpose of an offline map routing program?
>
> To do map routing when (a) you don't have a data plan, or (b) when
> you're far from a cellular signal.
>
> I don't have a data plan on my cell phone.

If you don't use the phone much, T-Mobile gives you a pre-paid plan for
$10/year which gives you ~30 additional minutes which roll over every
year once you've bought $100 worth of time. Talkatone gives you VOIP to
any ordinary phone as long as you have wifi (that doesn't block VOIP, of
course). Not good for compulsive babblers, of course, but perfect for
people who only make "I'll be there in 5 minutes, don't leave" etc.
calls. I've got something like 700 minutes and I'll get 30 more in
February. My greatest fear is that T-Mobile will be absorbed by
somebody who eliminates the $10 plan :-(

> So I have to be a bit more clever about how to get my map
> directions once I get passed, oh, about the end of my driveway.
>
>> I use the Google Navigation app and my issue isn't data usage,
>> it's how badly the GPS sucks the life out of the battery.
>
> Agreed. GPS sucks that power, making my phone hot!
>
> I have to keep my Samsung Galaxy S3 on the cigarette lighter
> 3.1 Amp dual-port USB charger when the GPS is turned on; otherwise,
> that puny battery is dead within a couple of hours.

I can run GPS on my BLU Dash 4.5 all day. I hate seeing remaining
battery power less than 50%, but it's not a problem as long as I can
recharge it overnight.

Worst problem is the minimal internal storage and refusal to use the
external card to store/run apps :-(

>> What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?
>
> Only two that I can think of:
> a) Works for people (like me) who don't have a data plan
> b) Works when you're out in the boondocks
>
>> Since that time I've used the app a number of times when walking in
>> unfamiliar locations.
>
> You have to try the Google "My Tracks" hiking app! It's really
> nice for topographical hikes, like those SMS and I have out here
> in the mountains.

I tried using that, but it seemed to drop out quite a bit. 'GPS Status'
seems to help maintain GPS contact, as well as showing which satellites
are being used, but I have no explanation for why that might be.

Real nuisance to have to wait for the first fix, which takes between 2
and 5 minutes :-(

--
Cheers, Bev
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
"With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However,
this is not necessarily a good idea...."
Danny D.
2013-12-23 23:50:27 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:14:40 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

> If you don't use the phone much, T-Mobile gives you a pre-paid plan for
> $10/year which gives you ~30 additional minutes which roll over every
> year once you've bought $100 worth of time.

I've had that T-Mobile plan in the past, and it's pretty good.

In fact, I had Verizon for my first (analog) phone, and, used
Verizon for years - that is - until they thought it was funny
to restart my 2-year contract under different terms simply
because I had a broken phone swapped out under their repair
plan.

So, I had moved to AT&T - whom I had for a few years - until they
thought it was funny to charge me for a data plan I didn't want on
what they arbitrarily call a smart phone.

So, I moved to T-Mobile, and have been using them ever since,
without a data plan, and buying my smart phones on the net. I've
studied them extensively, and know exactly which Android phones
are the best value under $200 total cost brand new, taking into
account variant system memory, RAM, display, and CPU power:
- Nexus 4 (at the $200 price drop)
- Moto G (orders taking now)
- LG Optimus L9
- LG Optimus F3

T-Mobile also allows automatic WiFi calling when you're at
home, but you need a good antenna inside the house (which is
the topic of a different thread on alt.internet.wireless that
I'll tell you the punch line, which is the Ubiquiti UniFy
access point:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aelectronics%2Ck%3Aunifi+access+point&keywords=unifi+access+point&ie=UTF8&qid=1387842268

> Talkatone gives you VOIP to any ordinary phone as long
> as you have wifi

I have Talkatone but the only time *I* use it is when
my niece, studying overseas, uses it to call from her
cell phone to mine. College kids always know how to save
money!

> My greatest fear is that T-Mobile will be absorbed by
> somebody who eliminates the $10 plan :-(

When I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile, I was worried AT&T
would swallow T-Mobile and we'd lose the ability to to not
have to have a data plan!
The Real Bev
2013-12-24 04:58:28 UTC
Permalink
On 12/23/2013 03:50 PM, Danny D. wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:14:40 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:
>
>> If you don't use the phone much, T-Mobile gives you a pre-paid plan for
>> $10/year which gives you ~30 additional minutes which roll over every
>> year once you've bought $100 worth of time.
>
> I've had that T-Mobile plan in the past, and it's pretty good.

Except for the coverage :-( Minimal inside my house (sometimes none),
but OK out in front of my neighbor's house. Perfect, right?
Fortunately I don't need it at home. Also nothing on my favorite ski
slope, although my friend's Verizon works fine. Oh well.

> In fact, I had Verizon for my first (analog) phone, and, used
> Verizon for years - that is - until they thought it was funny
> to restart my 2-year contract under different terms simply
> because I had a broken phone swapped out under their repair
> plan.
>
> So, I had moved to AT&T - whom I had for a few years - until they
> thought it was funny to charge me for a data plan I didn't want on
> what they arbitrarily call a smart phone.

I canceled AT&T LD when they wanted to charge me for NOT using it.
Ultimately we canceled their land line and bought an Ooma device. Screw
you, AT&T. Been a long time since you were a reputable organization.
Decades.

> So, I moved to T-Mobile, and have been using them ever since,
> without a data plan, and buying my smart phones on the net. I've
> studied them extensively, and know exactly which Android phones
> are the best value under $200 total cost brand new, taking into
> account variant system memory, RAM, display, and CPU power:
> - Nexus 4 (at the $200 price drop)
I think I rejected Nexi because of missing external SDcard slot.
Probably a bad mistake.

> - Moto G (orders taking now)
> - LG Optimus L9
> - LG Optimus F3

I always thought LG was cheesy. Is this a mistake too?

> T-Mobile also allows automatic WiFi calling when you're at
> home, but you need a good antenna inside the house(which is
> the topic of a different thread on alt.internet.wireless that
> I'll tell you the punch line, which is the Ubiquiti UniFy
> access point:
> http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aelectronics%2Ck%3Aunifi+access+point&keywords=unifi+access+point&ie=UTF8&qid=1387842268
>
>> Talkatone gives you VOIP to any ordinary phone as long
>> as you have wifi
>
> I have Talkatone but the only time *I* use it is when

Not much use for it since all the people I know have free LD and would
let me use their phone if I had to make an LD call. Good on vacation,
though.

> my niece, studying overseas, uses it to call from her
> cell phone to mine. College kids always know how to save
> money!

I knew somebody who was friends with Captain Crunch.

>> My greatest fear is that T-Mobile will be absorbed by
>> somebody who eliminates the $10 plan :-(
>
> When I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile, I was worried AT&T
> would swallow T-Mobile and we'd lose the ability to to not
> have to have a data plan!

I really hate AT&T.

--
Cheers, Bev
========================================================
If I gave a shit, you'd be the first one I'd give it to.
Danny D.
2013-12-26 06:21:37 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

>> I've had that T-Mobile plan in the past, and it's pretty good.
>
> Except for the coverage

I've had all three (Verizon, AT&T, & T-Mobile), albeit sequentially,
in that order.

IMHO, they're about the same with respect to coverage in the
Silicon Valley.

I'm positive they differ elsewhere, but, at least where *I* travel,
the coverage is about the same. They even share antennas, I'm told.
SMS
2013-12-26 19:47:12 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/2013 10:21 PM, Danny D. wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:
>
>>> I've had that T-Mobile plan in the past, and it's pretty good.
>>
>> Except for the coverage
>
> I've had all three (Verizon, AT&T, & T-Mobile), albeit sequentially,
> in that order.
>
> IMHO, they're about the same with respect to coverage in the
> Silicon Valley.
>
> I'm positive they differ elsewhere, but, at least where *I* travel,
> the coverage is about the same. They even share antennas, I'm told.

Five or six years ago T-Mobile and AT&T were hopeless in parts of
Silicon Valley, including Cupertino. I recall city council meetings
where the city was pushing to allow cell phone towers in parks because
there was just no other way for Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T to increase
coverage to match Verizon. And of course since the iPhone was originally
only on AT&T there were lots of complaints that iPhones worked so poorly
in the city where Apple is located.

Things have improved somewhat, but I'd still avoid T-Mobile because
there are lots of non-urban areas that I go to where T-Mobile has no
coverage at all and no roaming onto AT&T. Some of those areas have no
Verizon native coverage, but there is roaming onto other CDMA carriers
for Verizon and Pageplus users (but no data roaming on Pageplus). For
example, in Yosemite the best coverage is via Golden State Cellular,
onto which Sprint, Verizon, and Pageplus customers can roam. AT&T (no
T-Mobile roaming) has coverage in Yosemite Valley but not in other areas
of the park.

If I had a T-Mobile account like their $30 unlimited data plan then I'd
have to carry along a Pageplus phone on trips outside urban areas just
so I'd have at least voice and text service.
k***@attt.bizz
2013-12-26 23:41:23 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:21:37 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."
<***@nowhere.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:
>
>>> I've had that T-Mobile plan in the past, and it's pretty good.
>>
>> Except for the coverage
>
>I've had all three (Verizon, AT&T, & T-Mobile), albeit sequentially,
>in that order.
>
>IMHO, they're about the same with respect to coverage in the
>Silicon Valley.

They all cover large cities pretty well. Got outside of a
metropolitan area and the difference gets quite clear. Verizon is the
only one with true nation-wide coverage. They're the only one who
will even sell me service in my area and I live in a major
metropolitan area.

>I'm positive they differ elsewhere, but, at least where *I* travel,
>the coverage is about the same. They even share antennas, I'm told.

I'm sure they share towers in some areas but antennas?
t***@optonline.net
2013-12-24 14:37:31 UTC
Permalink
On Monday, December 23, 2013 6:50:27 PM UTC-5, Danny D. wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:14:40 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:
>
>
>
> > If you don't use the phone much, T-Mobile gives you a pre-paid plan for
>
> > $10/year which gives you ~30 additional minutes which roll over every
>
> > year once you've bought $100 worth of time.
>
>
>
> I've had that T-Mobile plan in the past, and it's pretty good.
>
>
>
> In fact, I had Verizon for my first (analog) phone, and, used
>
> Verizon for years - that is - until they thought it was funny
>
> to restart my 2-year contract under different terms simply
>
> because I had a broken phone swapped out under their repair
>
> plan.
>
>
>
> So, I had moved to AT&T - whom I had for a few years - until they
>
> thought it was funny to charge me for a data plan I didn't want on
>
> what they arbitrarily call a smart phone.
>
>
>
> So, I moved to T-Mobile, and have been using them ever since,
>
> without a data plan, and buying my smart phones on the net. I've
>
> studied them extensively, and know exactly which Android phones
>
> are the best value under $200 total cost brand new, taking into
>
> account variant system memory, RAM, display, and CPU power:
>
> - Nexus 4 (at the $200 price drop)
>
> - Moto G (orders taking now)
>
> - LG Optimus L9
>
> - LG Optimus F3
>
>
>
> T-Mobile also allows automatic WiFi calling when you're at
>
> home, but you need a good antenna inside the house (which is
>
> the topic of a different thread on alt.internet.wireless that
>
> I'll tell you the punch line, which is the Ubiquiti UniFy
>
> access point:
>
> http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aelectronics%2Ck%3Aunifi+access+point&keywords=unifi+access+point&ie=UTF8&qid=1387842268
>
>
>
> > Talkatone gives you VOIP to any ordinary phone as long
>
> > as you have wifi
>
>
>
> I have Talkatone but the only time *I* use it is when
>
> my niece, studying overseas, uses it to call from her
>
> cell phone to mine. College kids always know how to save
>
> money!
>
>
>
> > My greatest fear is that T-Mobile will be absorbed by
>
> > somebody who eliminates the $10 plan :-(
>
>
>
> When I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile, I was worried AT&T
>
> would swallow T-Mobile and we'd lose the ability to to not
>
> have to have a data plan!

Check out Zact. They are one of the new cheap, flexible companies
that ride on the Sprint network. Similar to Ting. It's prepaid,
you can dial in the amount of call minutes, data, text that you
want for the month. If you go to their website and click on the
order now button, it will bring up a cell phone where you can
dial in and play with the numbers you want and it shows on the
right the monthly cost, which is very reasonable. If you select
to much of anything, they give you a $$ credit back, instead of
rolling them over. And if you go over, you can add to it during
the month.

I got a ZTE AWE smartphone for $100 at BestBuy Mobile (not regular BB),
with 4 months of service for free. The free service includes 300 mins voice,
500 txts, 500mb data. To get any kind of smart phone on Verizon would
cost me $90+ taxes/fees per month.

After that I figured the way I use the phone, I probably need:

500 min voice
25 txts
100 MB data

That works out to $21 month. I think the calculator on their website
shows $13, then there is a $5/line monthly charge and $3 in tax/fees.

You could increase those usages by quite a lot and still it's a
really good deal. For example, 700v, 100t, 250d is still just $30 a
month. They are similar in price to Ting, but with Ting the blocks
of mins come in bigger increments, more like a regular carrier, and
the prices jump in bigger increments accordingly. If you actually
use all the Ting mins in the Ting bundle, then their price is close
to Zact. Other difference is with Zact you need to buy a Zact phone.
With Ting you can bring over most phones that will work on Sprint.

I've had it a week now and am very happy with both the phone and
service. The call quality isn't as good on it as on Verizon, and
Verizon has the best coverage, at least here in the NJ/NYC area.
But it's good, I haven't had any dropped calls, etc. A lot would
depend on what Sprint coverage is like in any given area.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:22:17 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

> I canceled AT&T LD when they wanted to charge me for NOT using it.
> Ultimately we canceled their land line and bought an Ooma device.

Heh heh ... I have an Ooma also. It's nice. I even googled for
the cheapest 911 zip code so that I could pay only the $3.71/month
tax for life instead of the $5 or so that it is for the Silicon
Valley.

The only problem with the Ooma is that I get my Internet over
the air, and, unfortunately, my "jitter" is greater than 9ms,
so, every once in a while, the conversation gets funky.

But, the wife calls Germany all the time, & at 2 cents a minute
(for landlines anyway), it's just the same as Skype but she gets
to use a real telephone with Ooma (instead of a Skype phone).
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:26:16 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

> I think I rejected Nexi because of missing external SDcard slot.
> Probably a bad mistake.

It's a trade off. I wish Google would just put the
SDcard slot in, and then it would be a no brainer.

But, apparently they want to push you toward their
cloud services.

Sometimes a card slot isn't as useful as you would think
though, simply because some apps (and cellular providers)
force certain apps to run from system memory.

But, I found that this free app is pretty good at
moving things from system memory to the SDcard:
Advanced SD Card Manager
Nate Nagel
2013-12-25 12:50:49 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/2013 03:26 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:
>
>> I think I rejected Nexi because of missing external SDcard slot.
>> Probably a bad mistake.
>
> It's a trade off. I wish Google would just put the
> SDcard slot in, and then it would be a no brainer.
>
> But, apparently they want to push you toward their
> cloud services.
>
> Sometimes a card slot isn't as useful as you would think
> though, simply because some apps (and cellular providers)
> force certain apps to run from system memory.
>
> But, I found that this free app is pretty good at
> moving things from system memory to the SDcard:
> Advanced SD Card Manager
>


It used to be more useful before Android took away the ability for you
to read the SD card directly from a PC through a USB connection. Now I
have to physically remove the SD card, and I think the slot on my phone
is starting to get funky as sometimes I have to insert it twice before
it's recognized :(

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
The Real Bev
2013-12-25 23:48:22 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/2013 04:50 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:

> On 12/24/2013 03:26 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:
>>
>>> I think I rejected Nexi because of missing external SDcard slot.
>>> Probably a bad mistake.
>>
>> It's a trade off. I wish Google would just put the
>> SDcard slot in, and then it would be a no brainer.
>>
>> But, apparently they want to push you toward their
>> cloud services.
>>
>> Sometimes a card slot isn't as useful as you would think
>> though, simply because some apps (and cellular providers)
>> force certain apps to run from system memory.
>>
>> But, I found that this free app is pretty good at
>> moving things from system memory to the SDcard:
>> Advanced SD Card Manager

As usual, it can't move anything to the external card if the card is
known as /storage/sdcard1.

> It used to be more useful before Android took away the ability for you
> to read the SD card directly from a PC through a USB connection. Now I
> have to physically remove the SD card, and I think the slot on my phone
> is starting to get funky as sometimes I have to insert it twice before
> it's recognized :(

You can still read the internal storage via USB, but wifi sees only the
external card. I use ES File explorer on the phone to transfer files
to/from the computer, but haven't figured out how to do that from the
computer, which would be a LOT easier. Something via the router, but...

Still, via USB I just cleared out some cruft from internal storage (each
empty subdirectory uses 16K, not a big deal, but garbage is garbage :-(
At one point I didn't know you were supposed to clear the data before
you uninstall an app.

There's a 'Magix' subdirectory which contains 6 MB of stuff, but I don't
know what uses it so I left it alone.

--
Cheers, Bev
=====================================================
"It's too bad stupidity isn't painful." - A. S. LaVey
Nate Nagel
2013-12-26 00:10:19 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/2013 06:48 PM, The Real Bev wrote:
> On 12/25/2013 04:50 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:
>
>> On 12/24/2013 03:26 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
>>> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:
>>>
>>>> I think I rejected Nexi because of missing external SDcard slot.
>>>> Probably a bad mistake.
>>>
>>> It's a trade off. I wish Google would just put the
>>> SDcard slot in, and then it would be a no brainer.
>>>
>>> But, apparently they want to push you toward their
>>> cloud services.
>>>
>>> Sometimes a card slot isn't as useful as you would think
>>> though, simply because some apps (and cellular providers)
>>> force certain apps to run from system memory.
>>>
>>> But, I found that this free app is pretty good at
>>> moving things from system memory to the SDcard:
>>> Advanced SD Card Manager
>
> As usual, it can't move anything to the external card if the card is
> known as /storage/sdcard1.
>
>> It used to be more useful before Android took away the ability for you
>> to read the SD card directly from a PC through a USB connection. Now I
>> have to physically remove the SD card, and I think the slot on my phone
>> is starting to get funky as sometimes I have to insert it twice before
>> it's recognized :(
>
> You can still read the internal storage via USB, but wifi sees only the
> external card. I use ES File explorer on the phone to transfer files
> to/from the computer, but haven't figured out how to do that from the
> computer, which would be a LOT easier. Something via the router, but...
>
> Still, via USB I just cleared out some cruft from internal storage (each
> empty subdirectory uses 16K, not a big deal, but garbage is garbage :-(
> At one point I didn't know you were supposed to clear the data before
> you uninstall an app.
>
> There's a 'Magix' subdirectory which contains 6 MB of stuff, but I don't
> know what uses it so I left it alone.
>

You must have an older phone that can't run a newer version of Android.
I think it was Ice Cream Sandwich (? not sure) that took away the
ability to read both the phone's internal memory and the SD card over a
USB connection. Now when you plug the phone in and go into the menu to
change the USB connection type, the "mass storage" option isn't there
anymore. There is a "Media Transfer Protocol" option, but that isn't
always what I want (I may want to just back up the phone's files before
doing something stupid; I may want to use the phone as a flash drive; I
may want to poke around in directories that I shouldn't be poking around
in, e.g. loading a custom color schema for Waze to match my car's dash
lighting...)

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
Danny D.
2013-12-26 06:33:26 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 15:48:22 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

> As usual, it can't move anything to the external card if the card is
> known as /storage/sdcard1.

I never understood that stuff.
If you can clarify, that would be useful.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy S3 I have seems to include
an *internal* storage card, called, I think, /storage/sdcard0
(or something like that).

Since I have a lot of space, I don't move things around, but,
be forwarned, all Android OS's up to (but not including 4.3)
lie about the storage space.

There's an entire thread on this in comp.mobile.android,
but, the punch line is that, at least T-Mobile, finally,
at Android 4.3, started telling the truth about how much
Internal storage you started with on your Android phone.

Here are all the memory apps I tested, by the way, and
*every* one fails to tell you what Android 4.3 now tells
you!
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5493/11271494805_85ea45a558_o.png

Here's are the two Android operating systems I tested:
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2888/11271563134_95aeab16d3_o.jpg

And, notice how they show the internal memory differently:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7387/11282708365_60a13e9fae_o.jpg

Basically, you don't get the truth until you move to
Android 4.3, at least with my one test of the Samsung
Galaxy S3 on T-Mobile.
Danny D.
2013-12-26 06:25:16 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 07:50:49 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:

> It used to be more useful before Android took away the ability for you
> to read the SD card directly from a PC through a USB connection. Now I
> have to physically remove the SD card, and I think the slot on my phone
> is starting to get funky as sometimes I have to insert it twice before
> it's recognized

Hi Nate,
Android, at some point (4.1?) removed USB mass storage, and went
to MTP mode. This screwed up all the Redhat Linux folks, who still
don't have a way to install MTP easily.

But, the Google team gave Apple the MTP code, and I think there
is opensource code for the rest of the Linux's, so, you *should*
be able to read the SD Card.

At least, on my Samsung Galaxy S3, on Windows & on Ubuntu 13.10,
I don't have any problem reading the SD Card when the phone is in
MTP mode.

Note: You can only set the mode when you're plugged into a USB
cable (just in case you're looking for the setting). The other
choice is "Camera Mode", I think they call it PTP or something
like that.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:33:02 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

> I always thought LG was cheesy. Is this a mistake too?

These <$200 LG phones are pretty good bang for the buck,
but, they won't/can't compete with the $400 phones.

So, from that perspective, these LG phones are "cheesy".
especially since most people still probably get their phones
under contract, so, they don't physically "see" the $400 price
tag, per se, of the smarter phones.

But I buy my phones outright, and use them as gifts, and,
I've found you can't get a usable combination of the key
things you need at lower than the $200 price tag:
- You want at the very least a 1GHz single CPU
- You want at the very least 1GB of system memory
- You want at the very least 1/2GB of RAM
- You want at least an 800x400 pixel display
- You want at the very least a 4.X Android OS

Of course, for all those things, more is better; but,
I've found (through experience) that, if you go below
a single one of those minimums, you'll have problems
with the phone running apps.

The cheapest you can get a phone that meets *those*
minimums is about $179 (plus tax/shipping) so that's
what I call a $200 phone.
The Real Bev
2013-12-25 09:20:02 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/2013 12:33 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:
>
>> I always thought LG was cheesy. Is this a mistake too?
>
> These <$200 LG phones are pretty good bang for the buck,
> but, they won't/can't compete with the $400 phones.
>
> So, from that perspective, these LG phones are "cheesy".
> especially since most people still probably get their phones
> under contract, so, they don't physically "see" the $400 price
> tag, per se, of the smarter phones.
>
> But I buy my phones outright, and use them as gifts, and,
> I've found you can't get a usable combination of the key
> things you need at lower than the $200 price tag:

The BLU Dash 4.5, my brand of poison, for $139 plus whatever Engadget
<http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/11/blu-dash-4-5/> charges for
tax+shipping has:

> - You want at the very least a 1GHz single CPU

1.2GHz quad-core chip from MediaTek

> - You want at the very least 1GB of system memory

4GB of storage, but a lot of that is already used

> - You want at the very least 1/2GB of RAM

512MB of RAM

> - You want at least an 800x400 pixel display

854 x 480

> - You want at the very least a 4.X Android OS

4.2
>
> Of course, for all those things, more is better; but,
> I've found (through experience) that, if you go below
> a single one of those minimums, you'll have problems
> with the phone running apps.
>
> The cheapest you can get a phone that meets *those*
> minimums is about $179 (plus tax/shipping) so that's
> what I call a $200 phone.

Could be worse...


--
Cheers, Bev
=================================================================
"A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person
or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even
possibly incurring losses." -- C.M.Cipolla
Danny D.
2013-12-26 06:40:41 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 01:20:02 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

> The BLU Dash 4.5, my brand of poison, for $139

That's a pretty good phone for that price!
Danny D.
2013-12-26 06:52:16 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:40:41 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

>> The BLU Dash 4.5, my brand of poison, for $139
>
> That's a pretty good phone for that price!

I'm really liking that BLU Dash for bang for the buck:
http://www.phonebunch.com/compare-phones/motorola_moto_x-1020-vs-blu_dash_4.5-1132/
The Real Bev
2013-12-26 22:28:36 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/2013 10:52 PM, Danny D. wrote:

> On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:40:41 +0000, Danny D. wrote:
>
>>> The BLU Dash 4.5, my brand of poison, for $139
>>
>> That's a pretty good phone for that price!
>
> I'm really liking that BLU Dash for bang for the buck:
> http://www.phonebunch.com/compare-phones/motorola_moto_x-1020-vs-blu_dash_4.5-1132/

Serious drawbacks:

1. You can't get cases for it. It comes with a grey skin, which is
fine, but I'd like something in a neon color that I could attach a
neck-leash to. For this function, smaller would be better. It comes
with a screen protector already attached, plus one still in its package.
I'd rather have a frosted one, but I can order something from China
that can be made to work when these are destroyed.

2. Needs more internal memory.

3. Inability to run apps on the external card. I don't want to use the
phone as an mp3 player, so the utility of the external card is far less
than I expected. This may be an Android rather than a BLU thing.

I'd like to NOT have to push the power button before I swipe to make the
screen turn back on -- The fewer times I have to operate a mechanical
switch the happier I am. Again, this may be an android thing rather
than a BLU thing.

--
Cheers, Bev
=====================================================================
A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is it such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet?
The Real Bev
2013-12-26 22:21:18 UTC
Permalink
On 12/25/2013 10:40 PM, Danny D. wrote:

> On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 01:20:02 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:
>
>> The BLU Dash 4.5, my brand of poison, for $139
>
> That's a pretty good phone for that price!

It's got annoyances, but I've used it for nearly 2 months and am pretty
satisfied so far. I've made two wifi calls and NO cell calls so far,
which shows how much I really need a cellphone :-( It's basically a
pocket-size tablet with phone capability. I should have chosen a
smaller one, though.

--
Cheers, Bev
=====================================================================
A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is it such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet?
t***@optonline.net
2013-12-24 14:17:53 UTC
Permalink
On Monday, December 23, 2013 1:36:29 PM UTC-5, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 11:56:26 +0000, DerbyDad03 wrote:
>
>
>
> > Can you explain the purpose of an offline map routing program?
>
>
>
> To do map routing when (a) you don't have a data plan, or (b) when
>
> you're far from a cellular signal.
>
>
>
> I don't have a data plan on my cell phone.
>
>
>
> So I have to be a bit more clever about how to get my map
>
> directions once I get passed, oh, about the end of my driveway.
>
>
>
> > I use the Google Navigation app and my issue isn't data usage,
>
> > it's how badly the GPS sucks the life out of the battery.
>
>
>
> Agreed. GPS sucks that power, making my phone hot!
>
>
>
> I have to keep my Samsung Galaxy S3 on the cigarette lighter
>
> 3.1 Amp dual-port USB charger when the GPS is turned on; otherwise,
>
> that puny battery is dead within a couple of hours.
>
>

Are you sure it's just the gps itself and not something else going
on when you're using for mapping? You've verified that by turning
the GPS off? I just bought a ZTE AWE which is a fairly basic smartphone
and I've used the gps and it doesn't get hot or seem to use a lot of
power. The phone has an app that records power usage of various
functions and after a recent 50 mile or so trip it showed "location
services" using just a few percent of the power.






>
> > What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?
>
>
>
> Only two that I can think of:
>
> a) Works for people (like me) who don't have a data plan
>
> b) Works when you're out in the boondocks
>
>
>
> > Since that time I've used the app a number of times when walking in
>
> > unfamiliar locations.
>
>
>
> You have to try the Google "My Tracks" hiking app! It's really
>
> nice for topographical hikes, like those SMS and I have out here
>
> in the mountains.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:50:47 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 06:17:53 -0800, ***@optonline.net wrote:

> Are you sure it's just the gps itself and not something else going
> on when you're using for mapping? You've verified that by turning
> the GPS off?

You're on to something there ...

Actually, I have a long thread in the mobile phone groups trying
to track down *why* my Samsung Galaxy S3 gets so hot when used
with GPS in the car.

On some USB car chargers, it gets so hot as to shut down the
phone, with a clear message that the battery temperature is too hot.
This happened in two different vehicles, so, I narrowed that one
down to the charger.

Then I bought the latest charger, and the phone still gets hot
with GPS, but nowhere near the blazing shut-down hot that it got
before.

So, as you surmised, the heat problem might not be as simple
as "just" the GPS being on. The charger may play a role, but,
I'm still confounded as to how.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-23 18:53:42 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 08:27:26 -0800, SMS wrote:

>> What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?
>
> Data usage.
> Online mapping uses a tremendous amount of data.

This is a good point, which, I, not having a data plan (and therefore,
never having worried about data usage), didn't realize until you had
said that.

Q: Why bother with offline GPS freeware mapping programs?
A: Saves on data usage if you don't have an unlimited data plan.
A: Works when you have no data plan.
A: Works when you have no cellular signal.

Q: What's the disadvantage of offline free GPS mapping programs?
A: You have to be more clever about your choices.
A: You have to download the state (or country) map online.
A: Most aren't as accurate as Google Maps is.
A: Most aren't as easy to use as Google Maps is.

Q: What's the advantage of these GPS mapping applications?
A: Some have features that Google Maps doesn't have.
For example,
A: Some can search in the direction of the destination.
A: Some allow dragging of routes & alternate route choices
A: Almost all have more settings than does Google Maps
A: Most display more information than does Google Maps
(although Google Maps has perhaps the most intuitive display)
A: Some (e.g., Sygic) have really really pretty displays!

Having said that, Google Maps is the standard by which all
offline map programs must be compared, even as Google Maps
is almost useless offline, except as preloaded static tiles.
SMS
2013-12-24 16:19:42 UTC
Permalink
On 12/23/2013 10:53 AM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 08:27:26 -0800, SMS wrote:
>
>>> What is the advantage of an offline navigation app?
>>
>> Data usage.
>> Online mapping uses a tremendous amount of data.
>
> This is a good point, which, I, not having a data plan (and therefore,
> never having worried about data usage), didn't realize until you had
> said that.
>
> Q: Why bother with offline GPS freeware mapping programs?
> A: Saves on data usage if you don't have an unlimited data plan.
> A: Works when you have no data plan.
> A: Works when you have no cellular signal.

When traveling outside the U.S., where data roaming is extremely
expensive and even prepaid SIM card data is expensive, it's really nice
to have an offline GPS mapping program where you can download maps for
the area you're traveling in (even if the maps aren't free). Even if
you're not driving in these other countries, and traveling by some other
means, a mapping app is very useful, especially when you're not on a
gawd-awful organized tour.

Incidentally, that's one reason to be selective when choosing a tablet.
The Wi-Fi only iPads don't have a GPS chip, nor do the el-cheapo Android
tablets sold in drugstores for $79 or so. But once you reach the $129
level you can get Android tablets with a GPS. The Nexus 7 has one. The
Asus MeMo has one. We also have two $109 Lenovo tablets that have one. A
7" tablet is also a much nicer GPS replacement when driving than a 3.5"
screen phone. On one vehicle I installed a holder for my Nexus 7 using a
Panavise mount
<http://www.panavise.com/index.html?pageid=1&id1=30&--wosectionsdatarq=30&indashaction=-->,
some plastic from Tap Plastics, and some bits of hardware. No suction cups!
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:45:28 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 08:19:42 -0800, SMS wrote:

> When traveling outside the U.S., where data roaming is extremely
> expensive and even prepaid SIM card data is expensive, it's really nice
> to have an offline GPS mapping program where you can download maps for
> the area you're traveling in (even if the maps aren't free).

This is a good point.

Luckily, the free OSM maps seem to cover the world, so, the many
free OSM routing apps would only need a GPS signal to work
anywhere in the world, for free.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-24 20:47:11 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 08:19:42 -0800, SMS wrote:

> Panavise mount
> <http://www.panavise.com/index.html?pageid=1&id1=30&--wosectionsdatarq=30&indashaction=-->,
> some plastic from Tap Plastics, and some bits of hardware. No suction cups!

Hi Steve,
I love that Tap Plastics store on Blossom Hill Road, in San Jose.
Soon, we'll be using a 3D printing shop, to make our assorted parts!
:)
SMS
2013-12-25 04:36:01 UTC
Permalink
On 12/24/2013 12:47 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 08:19:42 -0800, SMS wrote:
>
>> Panavise mount
>> <http://www.panavise.com/index.html?pageid=1&id1=30&--wosectionsdatarq=30&indashaction=-->,
>> some plastic from Tap Plastics, and some bits of hardware. No suction cups!
>
> Hi Steve,
> I love that Tap Plastics store on Blossom Hill Road, in San Jose.
> Soon, we'll be using a 3D printing shop, to make our assorted parts!
> :)

I'm a member of Tech Shop but I haven't taken the classes yet to operate
the CNC machines or the laser cutter. They have 3D printers there too.
So far I'm not all that impressed with Tech Shop though.
Danny D'Amico
2013-12-23 19:21:03 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 22 Dec 2013 19:04:54 -0800, SMS wrote:

> I decided to ante up for the paid version of
> CoPilot when it was on sale (and it's on sale again now
> for $7 for USA Premium).

I just opened up my CoPilot trialware which confirmed
your $7 "Holiday Sale" but I have a question, being a frugal
consumer.

The offer doesn't explicitly state "TTS" (text to speech)
road names. It talks about "voice guidance".

In the past, I've been burned by buying, for example, the
Magellan Roadmate, which had the one but not the other; and
I had to buy a Garmin nüvi just to get both.

So, I learned, if the box does not explicitly state TTS
spoken street names, then the "voice guidance" isn't as useful.

Having said that, here's the exact words of the offer, which,
to me, imply they don't have TTS spoken road names for that $7.

Worse yet, they "imply" that the $7 is for a one-year license
only - albeit - I have to infer that from the blurb below ...

--- begin verbatim --- transcribed off my Android phone ---
Holiday Sale - Up to 30% off CoPilot
Start the New Year Headed in the Right Direction!
Wherever you or your loved ones are driving in 2014,
CoPilot's got you covered. With quality offline maps stored
on your phone/tablet, and clear turn-by-turn directions,
you cna navigate safely into the New Year.

30% off select CoPilot Premium apps from now until
January 6th!

CoPilot GPS customers - Get 30% off (that's just $6.99!)
unlimited use of voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation and
3D maps from now until January 6th!

Happy Holidays
--- end verbatim --- transcribed off my Android phone ---
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