Navigation for Android

shad_68

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So, I've been looking at navigation apps for android, but haven't really found what I'm looking for so far. So I thought maybe there are some more knowledgeable people here.

I've been using the Google Maps navigation so far, but I'm not too happy with the changes in the last big update. Most importantly, the app doesn't recognise coordinates for waypoints or allows to set new ones for a route, which means it's of limited use to me atm.
See, I mostly want navigation for the times I'm out on a ride with my bike - so point-to-point navigation is less of a concern for me, I'm looking for a way to follow a specific, predefined route. Ideally I'd be able to plan a route on my PC using GMaps, and then transfer it to the app.
In short, what I'm looking for:
- a way to import or at least create specific routes using waypoints
- avoid specific types of roads (e.g. highways)
- log the actual route I'm taking (i.e. any detours taken)
- offline navigation
- moderate on the battery... the Maps navigation, with constant data connection and screen on full brightness empties my battery in less than three hours. Plus, the phone (HTC One S) gets insanely hot.

Doesn't necessarily have to be free, if there's an app that does what I want perfectly I'd be willing to pay for that. I've taken a look at Navigator and osmAnd, but neither seem to really do what I'm looking for.

Any ideas?
 

eltoro507

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Might be better of just getting a zumo :) Those things are great.
 

Electric-Mayhem

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Have you tried Oruxmaps? I know you can use both google earth kml files and .gpx ones too, and can make pre-downloaded maps. It can also record gps tracks so you can back track or do the same route again. I think they are working on turn by turn navigation with it, but for now it has a route alarm if you stray from the predesignated course. I use it all the time for offroad navigation when I go 4wheeling. Its free and open source too and has plenty of maps to choose from including topo and satellite maps.

I know google maps has a bike mode too, but like you said it will pick a route for you rather then following the one you want to do.
 

DanRoM

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I fear that it won't meet shad's requirements, but I tried Sygic for offline navigation and was satisfied with it. Just for future reference.
 

Matt2000

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I use Navfree, can't really fault it. Offline maps for the whole of Europe, used several times on the road trip without data.

I tried Sygic a couple of years ago and after seeing it used by a few people on the roadtrip, Navfree is just nicer to use. It doesn't handle waypoints though, or at least I haven't got them working.
 

shad_68

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I know google maps has a bike mode too, but like you said it will pick a route for you rather then following the one you want to do.

Yeah, most of what I do is basically a loop from and back to my home, so Maps is pretty useless for that. What I do atm is mostly just using it to find my way back once I've had enough.

I fear that it won't meet shad's requirements, but I tried Sygic for offline navigation and was satisfied with it. Just for future reference.

I actually tried Sygic a bit today, and it seems decent enough. You can even do your own routes with waypoints, and it seems like you can even import them from other sources, albeit with some hoops you have to jump through to get it to the right file format. I have to agree with Matt's sentiment though, somehow the UI just feels off. And having it run for 15 minutes drained 27% of my battery. :blink: I don't know, maybe that's just because a good part of that was spent downloading the maps... I'll have to test it properly in the next days.
 

KaJuN

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On the topic of navigation apps, does anyone know how to fix the voice direction in Google Maps? The voices are so quiet they're literally unusable and nothing I've tried (even standalone volume controlling apps) does anything to help.
 

shad_68

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You can even do your own routes with waypoints, and it seems like you can even import them from other sources, albeit with some hoops you have to jump through to get it to the right file format.

Experimented a bit with that yesterday, and it works indeed. You create the route in Tyre (or import it from GMaps), save it as a Garmin or TomTom route (*.gpx / *.itn) and then use this to convert it to *itf, the Sygic file format. :)

And having it run for 15 minutes drained 27% of my battery. :blink:

Ok, scratch that, I misinterpreted the information. The 27% don't refer to the overall charge, instead it means that the app is responsible for 27% of the missing charge. :hammer:

So far Sygic seems to do what I want pretty well, then. There even seems to be an option to track your actual route, but I'm not exactly sure how it works and if it really does what I think it does from the menus. Will have to read up on that. Plus, until the third, Sygic is 30% off. :think:
 
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Electric-Mayhem

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Seriously....try Oruxmaps. It does all the stuff you are saying you want and its free. You don't have to convert to a different file, it can use any of the main internet maps plus some custom topo and offroad/bike/hike ones too.
 
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rickhamilton620

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On the topic of navigation apps, does anyone know how to fix the voice direction in Google Maps? The voices are so quiet they're literally unusable and nothing I've tried (even standalone volume controlling apps) does anything to help.

Google removed separate navigation volume several versions ago, instead tying it to media volume. There is no fix, to the chagrin of many users...myself included, as Google insists this is the way it should have been from the start.

So you're stuck blasting music/podcasts just to hear your directions in a decent volume. Very annoying.
 

Electric-Mayhem

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Sounds like I should give Oruxmaps a try, I could really do with something that handles waypoints properly for off road stuffs.

It is as good as anything I have used really, and I've used it all over my region. We are lucky here in that there is a wealth of information for the trails and routes we do here, so I can find a .gpx file for just about anything I want. I usually use Satellite images for maps, since you can see the trails run through the trees and stuff.

If you want it to track your route, just press the "track my route" button. Use KML and GPX files unaltered, just download them to your phone and use the "import files" menu.

Want to do the reverse of your track, just check the "do this track in the reverse" button. Easy peasy.

Want to make an offline map? Cool, switch to whatever online map you prefer, use the onboard map creator, two clicks to designate the area, choose which zoom levels you want, and it downloads the tiles onto your phone. You can also use Mobile Atlas Creator (google it for more info) and just download the outputed files to the designated map file on your phone.

Lots of maps to choose from too, anything google makes including satellite and the "terrain" option. Same for the Microsoft maps. There are EU and US and a few other Topo options as well. They even have flight and naval chart options for air and sea (though I'd be reluctant to trust my phone for that stuff).

Oh, and they just implemented a 3d map option that makes it like google earth so you can see the hills and valleys and such and view from the side "birds eye" style (though it doesn't use the "45 degree" stuff yet I don't think).

Its one of those cool opensource projects that a bunch of people just get together and do it for fun/gratification and not for profit, which is another plus.
 
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