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Android and GPS
NewtoS&T
Has anybody tried to use the Navation GPS 168 that came with Microsoft S&T on a tablet running the Android O.S. with the app "WAZE"?

I have S&T 2009 and 2013. Microsoft has stopped supporting the product. No more updates, ie. maps. So I was looking to use the hardware, the GPS USB Dongle on a tablet . I can use a laptop in the car but they are bulky. A 8" tablet with a USB OTG cable should work as long as I can find a driver for the GPS stick for Android. Most tablets that claim to have GPS hardware build in are misleading. The tablet manufacturers are putting aGPS (assisted) hardware that only works as long as you also have an internet / WiFi connection. This may work fine at home where most people have internet service, but not when you are driving. The GPS Dongle I think is a sGPS which gets data directly from the satellites. No internet, WIFI, or data plan needed. Looking to have a 8" GPS with no extra connection costs. Any thoughts?? Thank you.
xPosTech
I've used a Garmin GPS 10X Bluetooth receiver for years on both laptops and Android tablets. No need for unnecessary USB cables. It's very accurate and can update up to 10 times per second IIRC. It retired my 353 dongle.

I can guarantee it works fine on a B&N nook HD+ (rooted CWM 4.2.2 ROM) and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0. You should be able to find one used for not much money.

Another solution is the several GPS sharing apps that use the GPS chip in your Android phone.

You might be able to find a driver for the GPS 168 for Android or adapt a Linux driver. Android is merely a modified Ubuntu OS.

Good luck.

Ted
NewtoS&T
Thanks. The suggestion about GPS sharing apps that use the GPS chip in my android phone. Let me clarify. I am trying to use a tablet which would give me a bigger screen for viewing a map. Now every time I try a tablet the device keeps telling me wifi signal needed. Will these sharing apps bypass requirement of a wifi signal (data plan) besides the GPS chip that is being built into devices these days. Do you have a name or two (GPS sharing apps)
xPosTech
I have used GPS Share BT from my Samsung GS5 to a rooted nook HD+, but rooting is not required. You just install it on the phone then pair it to the tablet. Search the Play Store for GPS sharing app.

WAZE won't run without online access. You could create a WIFI hotspot on the phone but WAZE would quickly eat gobs of data. A better solution would be to use an offline navigation app.

I use Mapfactor with Sygic as a backup. Mapfactor uses free OpenStreetMaps or Paid TomTom maps. Both are free apps that are only partially crippled from the paid versions. Sygic is uncrippled for the first 7 day trial period. I just happen to favor Mapfactor. Give both a try.

I also need the bigger screen. Looks like I'll be using two tablets; one for navigation and the other as an auxiliary dashboard running Torque.

EDIT: I also use Foxfi Bluetooth tethering if I absolutely positively have to get online with one of the tablets.

Ted
Ken in Regina
Let me start by saying that I have a Google Nexus 9 tablet and a Google Nexus 5 phone that both run Android, both have GPS chips built in, both have aGPS, and both are set up so I can do accurate navigation anywhere in North America with either one of them.

1. They can do this without any kind of data connection (neither WiFi nor cellular).

2. They can do it without an external GPS receiver.

3. There is absolutely nothing special about this. It's possible with any Android tablet that has a built-in GPS receiver, whether it has aGPS or not.

If you want the Reader's Digest version (TL;DR), just go to the Google Play store and install the appropriate version of ALK CoPilot on your tablet, download the maps you want onto your tablet, turn off the wifi, jump in the car and take a drive with it. It's that easy.

Okay, so here's the extended version. There appears to be a bit of confusion here about how stuff works so let's see if I can help clear things up a bit.

aGPS - Assisted GPS is real GPS, only better. A tablet that says "aGPS" in the specs simply means that there is a real GPS chip in the tablet and it also has the ability to occasionally download a small database that will use the tablet's "rough" location (figured out from wifi or cellular data connection) to assist the GPS to figure out where it is (get a fix) more quickly than it would on its own.

If you don't have the little database, or if it's out of date, it does not affect your ability to navigate. It simply means that in some cases - typically if you haven't used the GPS for a long time - it might take a bit longer for it to get it's initial location fix before you can start navigating. This is no big deal.

Requirement for a data connection (wifi or cellular) - This has nothing to do with GPS, assisted or otherwise. This has to do with where the maps are located. Many navigation programs available for Android have the maps on a server. The most obvious example would be Google Maps. These programs require that you always have a data connection to use them because it's the only way you can access the map data.

There are navigation programs that allow you to download the maps onto your phone or tablet so they will always be available, whether you have a data connection or not. xPosTech mentioned a couple.

I mentioned ALK CoPilot above. I've tried a number of navigation apps, including the ones xPosTech mentioned, but I prefer CoPilot for a number of reasons. Among other things, I can download the maps I need onto my phone and tablet plus I get a lifetime subscription to them, so I can download updated maps as they become available (about every three months or so). This is not free but it's really cheap for a powerful nav program with continuously updated maps.

So, if you want to be able to navigate without a wifi or cellular data connection it's up to you to choose a navigation app that allows you to download the maps to your phone or tablet. As long as the tablet you choose has GPS or aGPS built in (most of them do), that's all you have to do. It's no more complicated than that.

...ken...
Boyd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
just go to the Google Play store and install the appropriate version of ALK CoPilot on your tablet
We discussed this before. I was new to Android and bought a Dell tablet on sale at Best Buy that seemed great. Best Buy's specs didn't indicate whether any of their tablets had internal GPS.

I already had a Garmin GLO bluetooth GPS which worked fine, so I thought it wouldn't matter. But some developers have indicated their apps are not compatible with tablets that don't have an internal GPS. So I was not even able to download ALK and several other popular apps from the Google Store. But I was able to download some others.

I went back to Best Buy and exchanged the Dell tablet for a Samsung that did have an internal GPS. Getting back to the original question, I also have one of the Streets and Trips Navation GPS dongles and we've discussed them here in the past. I'd say that it's one of the WORST gps devices I've ever used.
Ken in Regina
Yes, I recall those discussions. I agree about the dongles that came with Streets & Trips. Both the original and the newer 168 are not very good. In any case I wouldn't want to fight with trying to get a USB GPS dongle to work on an Android tablet. Many of them are quite limited in what you can connect through the OTG (On-The-Go) cables.

And, as you say, even if you can connect an external GPS receiver via OTG or Bluetooth, the desired app may just ignore it anyway.

...ken...
Boyd
AFAIK, you can use any navigation app with an external GPS. It's a hack since Android doesn't directly support external devices. You go into the developer settings and enable mock gps locations. I guess this feature was intended for developers who want to test their apps at specific locations.

But you use a free program called Bluetooth GPS. This program just reads location data from the Bluetooth device and constantly writes it as a mock location. An app shouldn't know the difference between a "real" location and "mock" location. I have not run into any software that doesn't work like this.

The problem is that certain developers have specified that the tablet needs a built-in GPS. So even though the app would work fine with an external device, Google Play won't let you download it!
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd
The problem is that certain developers have specified that the tablet needs a built-in GPS. So even though the app would work fine with an external device, Google Play won't let you download it!
Oops, I forgot about that wrinkle.

It catches me on other things, too. There are a number of apps that will run just fine on a tablet but some developers have not done anything specific to optimize them for tablets so they think they need to flag them as "phone only" which results in Google Play blocking me from downloading them on my tablet.

...ken...
xPosTech
Yeah Google Play thinks it's doing you a favor by blocking apps that need certain hardware. It doesn't want you to install apps that require hardware you don't have. But there is usually a workaround. I installed navi apps on my nook by pairing it to my BT receiver before installing MF. No mock location needed.

However I had an AARP (briefly) tablet that Walmart advertised as having GPS when it in fact didn't. Pairing with a BT GPS still would not let me install offline navigation apps. I returned it within 24 hours. That was a shame; the AARP subsidy brought it down to $99.

Using one of the phone GPS sharing apps might confuse the Play store into allowing offline GPS apps to load.

Ted
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