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Google Maps to include offline search and navigation
GoneNomad
"Google I/O 2015 developer conference: ...you will soon be able to take the Mapsí search and turn-by-turn navigation feature offline. Google hasnít given an exact date as to when this feature will begin working on Maps. According to Google, even for Maps that you have taken offline, you will get the turn by turn voice navigation feature."

http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/google-io-maps-to-include-offline-search-and-navig...-smarter-268803.html


There goes Here's primary advantage over google maps/nav.

But neither Here nor google maps allow route alteration (by dragging) in the mobile apps (or the mobile websites) as they do in their desktop sites (which can't be used directly for navigation).
Ken in Regina
If you have a Windows laptop or convertible you can use Google Maps for navigation.

It's unfortunate that dragging to change the route isn't currently possible on touch devices. It's pretty tough to implement in a touch-only interface. But it's not difficult to use the word "via" in the query to force the route where you want it to go. And once you have a route it's not difficult to add intermediate points to further refine it.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
If you have a Windows laptop or convertible you can use Google Maps for navigation.
Yes, it is possible to use the website www.google.com/maps to see where you are while traveling, but when I stated that

'the desktop sites can't be used directly for navigation'

what I meant was they do not directly provide the basic functionality most people associate with mobile navigation (turn-by-turn' directions, etc.).

A route planned on www.google.com/maps must be exported for something else to use to provide this functionality, either by saving the trip to an account, or by exporting waypoints.

You might find this interesting:
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/maps/7RRJ2sLtN2M
Apparently, google removed the ability to save routes from www.google.com/maps
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/maps/7RRJ2sLtN2M

"Saving custom routes is currently not a supported feature in the new Google Maps. The new Google Maps has a limit of about 10 custom points you can add to a route."
...and a lot of people are (understandably) unhappy with the removal of this and other key features:
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/maps/Zgqoqsvfipc

According to this:
https://support.google.com/mymaps/answer/3502610?hl=en&ref_topic=3024924
"Save driving, bicycling, or walking directions, then share them with others, or view them later on the go from your phone with the My Maps mobile application for Android."
...you can now save routes to "My Maps" but it sure doesn't seem to work as well as www.google.com/maps did before, especially for finding POIs.


BTW, I just spent some time trying to figure out how the new google mapmaker ("My Maps") works, and I have these observations:
1. You can plan a route and it automatically saves every change you make to the "google drive" associated with you google account. You have to be logged into google account to use it. So google is (as usual) tracking every step you make. You can see the route but you do not see any driving directions in google's mapmaker website.

2. Once you've saved a uniquely named route (otherwise you end up with a long list of "untitled" ruotes), you can open it into google maps. The waypoints and the route is visible but if you click on the driving directions icon, it presents blank start and endpoints, just as it normally does. In other words, it doesn't load that saved route into the normal google maps website.

3. All in all, it looks like the complaints here are at least mostly justified. The mapmaker site adds the ability to do things most people will never use, and in the process sacrificed usability for more common tasks. Sound familiar?
Ken in Regina
Very familiar. Google giveth and Google taketh away. That's why their products are always labelled "beta".

For what it's worth, I mostly use dedicated navigation devices: Garmin Nuvi in the car and Garmin eTrex Legend on the motorcycle and mountain bike.

I use ALK CoPilot on my Android smartphone. It's fully featured and the maps are on the phone so I don't need an internet connection to use it. I'm hoping ALK will do a modern app for Windows 10 so I can use it on my Surface Pro tablet.

In fairness to Google, Bing, and [Navteq/Nokia/HERE] I don't think they ever envisioned that anyone would want to use their online map services for realtime navigation. Google's was initially set up as just another search service to complement their text and image searching functions. Adding a static route calculation feature allowed them to grab a bit of traffic from MapQuest. Bing and HERE have simply followed/copied what Google was doing, treating it pretty much like just another online search engine that would give you a visual of where the target of the search is located on the face of the planet and, optionally, giving you directions how to get there.

They'll get the other stuff figured out eventually. Or not. In the mean time I'll stick with products that are designed intentionally to do what I want them to and are most likely to continue to do that for as long as I need them to.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
...I use ALK CoPilot on my Android smartphone. It's fully featured and the maps are on the phone so I don't need an internet connection to use it. I'm hoping ALK will do a modern app for Windows 10 so I can use it on my Surface Pro tablet.
For simple trips, HERE Drive+ (which is free) beats CoPilot hands down. Of course, the free version of CoPilot that omits voice guidance and traffic info is another option.

I've tested all the standalone Android nav apps that have locally stored maps, I'd have to rate CoPilot the worst, especially in terms of local search and routing accuracy. CoPilot's voice guidance isn't that great either. But for people who need truck-specific features or need voice-guided nav on a Windows laptop/tablet, there aren't any real alternatives at this time.

Between the alternatives (Navigon & TomTom) I tested, each has their advantages but TomTom had better map accuracy and noticeably better voice guidance, and I weigh that feature heavily, because if it works well, it allows the driver to keep his eyes on the road.
tcassidy
I have never used either of those systems, only Garmin's devices mainly because they had semi-accurate maps in my area of the world back when I needed them. However, while the voice guidance is good to remind me a turn is upcoming, I really need to look at the device to determine what to do.

Terry
GoneNomad
Except for situations where Lane Assist or Junction View are really needed, if the voice guidance is good enough, the driver usually doesn't need to look at the display. The devil is in the details. CoPilot, Navigon & TomTom apps all have very similar voice guidance, but the pronunciation, timing and specific wording of the TomTom app put it above Navigon, and well above CoPilot. Map accuracy and detail is also involved, of course, and that's one area where Google Maps usually is head and shoulders above the others (though HERE is catching up). For quite a while now, google maps has shown the buildings and lanes inside large shopping centers or office complexes, where the others (CoPilot, Navigon, TomTom & MapQuest) have just a large blank space. HERE is starting to catch up with google in this respect, but the others have not (despite MapQuest's claims over the past few years).
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