Author Topic: GPS functions in mobile phones?  (Read 4339 times)

donpedro

  • ain`t haulin` any lambs to the marketplace anymore
    • But, I'm Swedish!
GPS functions in mobile phones?
« on: May 29, 2008, 10:30:17 am »
- The short: Worth the bother?  ???

- The long: My SonyEricson K810i was stolen and as my phone was tided to a operator so I need to pick a new one.

They just got the new weatherized C702 that has the same basic functions as my old phone, but with an added A-GPS function (don't think the Wayfinder-software is included!). It also have Google-maps, a basic weather function and some tracker for training data.

I realise that the A-GPS can't compete with stand alone units but would it be at all useful for audax, touring and hiking and what functions would I miss?

http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_ericsso...review-230.php
http://mobilearsenal.com/review/sony...roduction.html
http://www.gpsworld.com/gpsworld/art...l.jsp?id=12287

"A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy."

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 04:17:53 pm »
Prompted by this post I started up the Nokia Maps GPS thing on my N95 8gb for the first time to have a look. Takes a while to get a position but it looks pretty good. It gives latitude and longitude, altitude and current speed as well as plotting the position on the map.

I've not yet downloaded the maps so it downloads them on the fly using up my monthly data allowance, but once I get them loaded on the phone from the computer it'll be totally free unless I want to subscribe to the voice directions.

I've never used a proper GPS unit so can't compare them, but I'm pretty impressed.

donpedro

  • ain`t haulin` any lambs to the marketplace anymore
    • But, I'm Swedish!
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 06:31:55 pm »
Thanks kyuss! A serious piece of engineering that one but to much dosh for me! It's a "Smartphone" with Symbian OS where as the C702 is a "dumb" one so you have lots of different solutions to choose from. From the little info I can find on the C702, it seem it have to rely on a Wayfinder subscription type of service. Couldn't get a straight answer from the sales staff as I'm not after a gizmo to point me towards the nearest McDonald's. Biking, hiking and kayaking was all together a  foreign concept to him... ::-)
"A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy."

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 06:52:47 pm »
I've just got myself a "proper" GPS but I have been using an HTC 3300 PDA / phone with GPS for some time. Mapping is from Memory Map (great OS mapping), an A to Z London map (excellent), and CoPilot European maps for routing - all on one card! It was an extremely useful device in emergencies. Also, bike mounts are available on Ebay for virtually every phone that can possibly have GPS. I used mine quite a lot for this.

Drawbacks:
1. Not waterproof - the big downside.
2. Battery life: a few hours only really, although I was able to plug a USB battery holder in as charge-on-the-go power.
3. Memory Map is great for route planning but scaling is wrong for small devices.

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008, 10:26:07 pm »
I looked at adding a GPS "Enabler" to my phone, but no-one can answer the question about maps.

It appears tha the maps are downloaded which requires subscription and data costs

THe shortcut appears to be to contact Memory-Map etc and see which "Smartphones" work with their systems and save the data costs.

redshift

  • High Priestess of wires
    • redshift home
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2008, 10:14:43 am »
Memory Map's site has a technical support board, which might answer your map questions.

I've recently got a Nokia N82, which also has Nokia Maps on it.  It seems to contain a proper GPS receiver, not just a network-based system.  The Maps part is free apart from data download costs, and if you do that via your PC rather than over the mobile network, then you're not using up your data deal.  There's a three month trial of the Navigation option, but after that I'd have to pay.

I wasn't sure about its usefulness, but within a couple of days of getting it, I was using it to answer someone's 'how do I get to...?' query.  Lock up time is pretty good.  I'll give it a proper road test next week on my C2C, and compare it with the traditional paper maps system.  I suspect it's great for point to point, but I've not yet found a way of putting a route in to follow.

If there's a link with Google Maps on the phone, could you do your route on the pc, then log into your Maps account using the phone and link to it that way?
L
:)
Windcheetah No. 176
The all-round entertainer gets quite arsey,
They won't translate his lame shit into Farsi
Somehow to let it go would be more classy…

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2008, 02:46:14 pm »
Phones like C702 and the N82 have A-GPS which is Assisted GPS.  Essentially the phone has a real GPS receiver in it, but also uses crude location information from the cell details to speed up locating the receiver.  A-GPS can also be used to offload processing onto systems on the network, as well as being able to deal with corrupted or fragmentary data, so it's better able to deal with GPS in an urban environment than non-Assisted devices.

It looks interesting, although I've found that my new Active-10 seems to be able to deal with London buildings pretty well most of the time anyway, the worst error I saw on my commute in was of the order of 10's of feet, and generally temporary.

Actually, it is rocket science.
 

donpedro

  • ain`t haulin` any lambs to the marketplace anymore
    • But, I'm Swedish!
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2008, 07:15:24 pm »
Went to the shop to drop of the police report and quickly checked out he Sony Ericsson C702 today. But I couldn't get much out of the sale staff on the navigation and training functions. So at home I checked the website again and realised there is no info there either!
I then tried to phone the shops support line but they could only guess, didn't even know it was released and in the shops here in Stockholm!

But it seems that the GPS OS that works with this phone and that might be included is called Wayfinder Navigator:
http://www.wayfinder.com/?sid=49
Probably OK for car drivers but not sure it works for cycling/audax. Anyone used the British version or have an opinion?

There is another interesting service called Wayfinder Activ that has a downloadable  free basemap.
Wayfinder Active is a way cool GPS app | CTIA show - Cell phone news from the CTIA 2008 show - CNET Reviews
You then buy and download topographic maps for a country or a certain area. This service has not been released in Britain yet but could become a big hit here in Sweden. It is a Java-application and the rout logs can then be uploaded to a community and sent home via e-mail There are some functions to evaluate and save training data to, a bit like Polar and Suunto.
http://www.activeoutdoor.com/
Looks a bit crude still and for some reason the manual is only available in English so far!
http://www.wayfinder.com/filearchive/5/5801/WF_Active_071130_FINAL_WEB.pdf

It also have geotagging of photos, Google maps and a weather service included but not much info on these features either...!
What's the point of constantly releasing new products if you cant provide customers and sale staff with information ahead of the release is what I'd like to know!  >:(

"A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy."

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2008, 11:23:37 pm »
I've just got myself a "proper" GPS but I have been using an HTC 3300 PDA / phone with GPS for some time.

Drawbacks:
1. Not waterproof - the big downside.

To weatherproof mine on the few times I've used it on the bike, I just got one of those resealable sandwich bags and popped it over the top of the phone and mount. It seemed to do the job  ;) mind you, I've only used it for fairly short journeys.

Oscar's dad

  • aka Septimus Fitzwilliam Beauregard Partridge
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008, 04:38:39 pm »
If you have got a Windows Mobile PDA with GPS built in you could go for CoPilot from ALK. 

If you have a BlackBerry with GPS built in you could go for Telmap.  This will also work on Windows Mobile units with GPS.

If you have a device with GPS built in you could use Google maps together with your device.  Download the client at Google Maps - its free.  It works very well if you're walking.  Might work just as well on a bike but i haven't tried it.

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2009, 07:29:44 pm »
I am looking at the Nokia 6210 Navigator for my Q-NT adventures, reason - it has voice directions which as I wear specs will enable me to keep moving instead of stopping to look at a screen all the time.
       Has anyone any experience with these and any idea of battery life, Vodaphone in Oxford say as GPS is an application it should have a good battery life (understanding that I am not phoning all the time of course), does this make sense ?
                                                                           Quint
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2009, 07:44:02 pm »
I cannot comment on the models specified but what I can say is that using the GPS/TomTom on my XDA Orbit will drain the batteries in a couple of hours which means that when using it in the car as a satnav it *must* be plugged in. My XDA is 2+ years old but I'd need a lot of convincing before I believed current gps phones have moved on significantly.

I'd be interested to hear from the iPhone brigade on their experiences.

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2009, 09:15:16 pm »
If I want to use the sat nav facilities on my gps mobile, I have to pay about £40 a year for the software licence.

Instead I spent the £40 on a navigo sat-nav unit, hacked it, and it now functions as a £100 Tom Tom  ;)

Very occasionally I use the map facility in unfamiliar towns when on foot.

Richard Fairhurst

  • on the trail of the little blue stickers
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2009, 11:41:22 pm »
Mrs F has just downloaded Trails and installed it on her iPhone. Very nice - shows you a full-fat OpenCycleMap background (and you can download the tiles first, so no need for reception while you're on the move), saves a GPX track, draws a lovely elevation profile, and so on. Eats battery, though.
cycle.travel - maps and route-planner

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2009, 07:16:05 pm »
When I spoke in the vodaphone shop I was assured that as GPS is an application it shouldn't eat the battery and would give a reasonable battery life JUST using GPS, I shall try to get hold of Nokia and ask as otherwise it will be a waste of money
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2009, 04:14:47 pm »
I use sport tracker and google maps simultaneously on my Nokia E71 when on new routes. I only use it a couple of hours a day at most, but it's not had a noticeable effect on battery life at that level of usage.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2010, 10:31:54 am »
Anybody been playing with the iPhone's GPS lately?

A vague thought is dynohub charging iPhone with weather protection.  Possible or silly?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

border-rider

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2010, 10:34:22 am »
It's def. possible

On the last Easter Arrow I did, 4 years ago, we were discussing this.  It'd be trivial for someone like Solidlights to fit a USB power socket onto their light to allow it to power a GPS.  I'm surprised no-one does it.  Yet.

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2010, 10:49:41 am »
They do:
   Busch and Muller E-WERK Power Supply - £135.28 | Dotbike


It's ball-twistingly expensive though.
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2010, 11:43:25 am »
I keep on meaning to have a look at this, but I don't currently have a dynamo on a bike, so it's not too big an issue.

If I was going to build one, I'd probably use some sort of switching regulator to bring it down to 5V, with a crowbar on the output to protect the device if anything went wrong.  I need to pin down our power supply bod, and pick his brains!

One issue could be that many of the devices which you would want to power, have their USB connectors hidden behind rubber, waterproof covers.  Having them plugged into a power connector, whilst in use, will negate the waterproofing quite seriously.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

border-rider

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2010, 11:47:59 am »
it's one where you'd ideally want an inductively coupled charger, isn't it ?

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2010, 11:58:48 am »
it's one where you'd ideally want an inductively coupled charger, isn't it ?

Yep, although I do wonder what a wet case would do to all the stray field near to the inductive coupling point, I guess it would just soak up a bit more energy.

You would really still want something which mechanically connected the charger and chargee, so that you could design a system which had the minimal amount of field "exposed".

I have my suspicions that some of the suggested designs for this sort of thing use a charging mat, and you just plonk the device on there when you want it to charge.  This would obviously be horribly inefficient, but in a mains powered environment, it would loose so little it wouldn't really matter.  Trying to apply the same technology to a bike mounted devices could be "interesting".
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

border-rider

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2010, 12:04:26 pm »
Yep, although I do wonder what a wet case would do to all the stray field near to the inductive coupling point, I guess it would just soak up a bit more energy.

Should be fine; it'd be a low-enough frequency magnetic field that the water would have no effect.  It needs to be MHz before it's an issue.

Quote
You would really still want something which mechanically connected the charger and chargee, so that you could design a system which had the minimal amount of field "exposed".

Our electric toothbrush is inductively coupled, it sits on a peg to charge, and I guess that the coil is in the peg

A couple of planar coils in close proximity should allow decent coupling for a boxy device.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2010, 12:13:09 pm »
Bicycle Dynamo Phone charger, Home for the charging side of things.  They've got reduced prices currently, so noticeably under 100 GBP.

A better option is possibly Dahon's Reecharge and Bike Mount, which appears to offer waterproofness and recharging in one package.  The cost is higher though.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: GPS functions in mobile phones?
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2010, 01:42:07 pm »
A better option is possibly Dahon's Reecharge ...

Except it doesn't actually appear to be available (yet?)
Actually, it is rocket science.