Author Topic: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?  (Read 931 times)

Genosse Brymbo

  • Ostalgist
Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« on: June 08, 2019, 02:45:25 pm »
What is the current favoured solution for navigation by mobile phone in foreign lands?

I've loaded GPX tracks onto my Garmin for a trip to Germany next week.  (Worryingly, when previewing the tracks the Etrex 20 acted like a snake which had swallowed an elephant.)

I'd like to have a backup means of navigation on my mobile phone, without the need for mobile data, if possible.  I have a Xiaomi A2 Lite (so Android One) with 64GB of on-board storage and a 64GB SD card.  I'd be happy to convert the GPX tracks (yes XML trk elements).
The present is a foreign country: they do things differently here.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 04:19:50 pm »
OsmAnd is good. Lets you download maps for the whole country, all works offline. Can load a GPX track to follow.
The free version has a limit on how many maps you can download, I think its worth paying a few quid for OsmAnd+.

Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 06:18:01 pm »
If you can waive your "No Data" requirement (get a local Vodafone prepaid sim-with-data that you just chuck away when you're done) just use Google Maps. We use GM when abroad; the destruction of the street name pronunciation when Mrs Google navigates makes it all worthwhile.

Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 06:33:50 pm »
Google maps with offline maps can still do driving instructions (for cars) without data being on.  You'd have to check the roads it picks, but in an emergency may get you to where you need to be.

Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 06:38:07 pm »
OSMand was always crashing on my android phone but you may get better mileage

Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2019, 07:39:11 am »
maps.me is quite reasonable. It also uses OpenStreetmap data and is free for any number of maps. The cycle routing sometimes needs a little circumspection, particularly in countries with a lot of unmade roads, though they have just announced that the latest version has a setting for avoiding them.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2019, 04:30:59 pm »
OsmAnd is good. Lets you download maps for the whole country, all works offline. Can load a GPX track to follow.
The free version has a limit on how many maps you can download, I think its worth paying a few quid for OsmAnd+.

OsmAnd+ is free from f-droid but you can make a donation if you like.

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 06:02:48 pm »
OsmAnd is good. Lets you download maps for the whole country, all works offline. Can load a GPX track to follow.
The free version has a limit on how many maps you can download, I think its worth paying a few quid for OsmAnd+.
You can download the maps to a pc then copy them to your phone without running into the free download limit.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2019, 09:07:42 pm »
I've used both OSMAnd and Viewranger, both can load GPX tracks and work offline, not much to choose between them. I used Ride with GPS android app for a while, functionally the best cycling specific GPS app, but it started not displaying downloaded maps offline, even though it said it had downloaded them.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2019, 09:22:12 pm »
You can download komoot areas offline. I've grown to like komoot a lot. It costs money but I think it's good vfm.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


Genosse Brymbo

  • Ostalgist
Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2019, 11:48:41 am »
Thanks for all the replies.  I've downloaded offline Google maps for the areas I'm visiting.  I've installed OSMAnd, installed/enabled the appropriate map sections, and opened the GPX files I prepared for the Garmin.

I've attempted to preview the GPX tracks in OSMAnd and must admit I find its UI a little strange.  Also, it shows a .gpx file which contains 5 trk elements (named A to E) as a single "route".  It should be good enough as a backup.

OSMand was always crashing on my android phone but you may get better mileage
So it has a least one bug, then.  Hopefully it's related to the execution environment or data   :D
The present is a foreign country: they do things differently here.

Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2019, 09:08:13 am »
I have used OSMAnd+ a lot.  I have bought the premium version.  I really like it.  Never had any problems.
Phone battery life is the only issue - having the phone screen on all the time means I only get c.5 hours of battery life.  But that would be the same with any phone navigation.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Current preferred solution for navigation by mobile phone?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2019, 12:16:39 pm »
I have used OSMAnd+ a lot.  I have bought the premium version.  I really like it.  Never had any problems.
Phone battery life is the only issue - having the phone screen on all the time means I only get c.5 hours of battery life.  But that would be the same with any phone navigation.

Wonder if this could be substantially improved by the use of an OLED[1] screen and a map theme that keeps as much of the screen as black as possible?


[1] Unlike the traditional LCDs, these only use power for the pixels that are actually lit up.  Unintuitively, there can be a substantial power saving when watching video compared to browsing white-background webpages, for example.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...