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I feel technologically illiterate
ron4adams
I have been absent from this forum for only two years, but upon return I feel like an idiot. I was planning on purchasing a new GPS unit on which I can load pre-planned multi-stop trips. Looking as different threads I don't even understand most of the discussions. It seems like most guidance has been moved from stand along gps to smart phones. I don't think I want to do that, but maybe a small tablet would be a better choice. However, I still don't know what to do about pre planning without Tyre. I don't want to go back to in-putting 400 destinations on a smart phone, gps unit or tablet. Any suggestions? I have sampled most of the mapping programs, but none compare favorably with Tyre.
Boyd
I assume you want this for vehicle navigation? If so, you might look at Garmin's DriveSmart 61 (their premium automotive unit). You can use Basecamp, a free Garmin program to plan multi-stop routes on your computer. It will use the same map as the one installed on the GPS, so you avoid issues of using one map on the computer (Google) and a different one on the GPS (TomTom).

I am no longer interested in route planning, I just go where I want impulsively. but Basecamp is a pretty mature program now and many people seem happy with it. I have a DriveSmart 61 and it's very nice from a hardware standpoint - 7 inch glass capacity multi-touch screen with lots of features. And you can also add free user-contributed topo or other specialized maps from a site such as GPSFileDepot. Unfortunately the current version of Basecamp has a problem installing third party maps, but that's another issue and there are work-arounds.

If there's a big box store like Best Buy near you, they will probably have one on display that you can play around with.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/552113
https://www.garmin.com/en-US/learning-center/basecamp-pc

BTW, we have been discussing this on another forum. Garmin's site has been listing a 5 to 8 week delay in shipping the DriveSmart 61. Wonder if this means an updated model is coming? Garmin has not updated their automotive units for almost two years now.

The more cynical of us have suggested that they just don't care about automotive devices anymore.... something which this article might support. In 2015 25% of Garmin's income came from automotive devices. In 2017 it dropped to only 10%. Kind of shocking, although we probably shouldn't be surprised.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4204046-garmin-changed-destination



Whether you like it or not, the navigation market has moved to smartphones and I doubt that dedicated devices will ever make a comeback. Instead, we will just watch them die a slow death. Garmin is certainly positioned better than TomTom as they have very expensive specialized devices for commercial aviation and shipping, plus lots of fitness devices.
ron4adams
Thanks for the response. I have opened Basecamp while researching. I think I was either impatient or overwhelmed, because it seemed extremely user unfriendly. Is that a fair observation or should I reload the software and try again? I will definitely look at the Garmin Drive Smart 61.
Boyd
It takes some getting used to and is certainly not my favorite software. You will find a number of tutorials online, such as the ones in my link above.

But you will not be able to do route planning with Basecamp unless you have the Garmin map, and you have to buy a device to get that. The map that is included with basecamp is very crude and only contains low resolution versions of major highways.

You could use it with the free routable openstreetmaps, but if you're already confused.... then you probably won't want to do that.
ron4adams
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd
I assume you want this for vehicle navigation? If so, you might look at Garmin's DriveSmart 61 (their premium automotive unit). You can use Basecamp, a free Garmin program to plan multi-stop routes on your computer. It will use the same map as the one installed on the GPS, so you avoid issues of using one map on the computer (Google) and a different one on the GPS (TomTom).

I am no longer interested in route planning, I just go where I want impulsively. but Basecamp is a pretty mature program now and many people seem happy with it. I have a DriveSmart 61 and it's very nice from a hardware standpoint - 7 inch glass capacity multi-touch screen with lots of features. And you can also add free user-contributed topo or other specialized maps from a site such as GPSFileDepot. Unfortunately the current version of Basecamp has a problem installing third party maps, but that's another issue and there are work-arounds.

If there's a big box store like Best Buy near you, they will probably have one on display that you can play around with.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/552113
https://www.garmin.com/en-US/learning-center/basecamp-pc

BTW, we have been discussing this on another forum. Garmin's site has been listing a 5 to 8 week delay in shipping the DriveSmart 61. Wonder if this means an updated model is coming? Garmin has not updated their automotive units for almost two years now.

The more cynical of us have suggested that they just don't care about automotive devices anymore.... something which this article might support. In 2015 25% of Garmin's income came from automotive devices. In 2017 it dropped to only 10%. Kind of shocking, although we probably shouldn't be surprised.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4204046-garmin-changed-destination



Whether you like it or not, the navigation market has moved to smartphones and I doubt that dedicated devices will ever make a comeback. Instead, we will just watch them die a slow death. Garmin is certainly positioned better than TomTom as they have very expensive specialized devices for commercial aviation and shipping, plus lots of fitness devices.
I admit I am new to smart phones but I don't understand how a smart phone can navigate over a day which covers 50 miles with 15 or more stops in 5 or 6 different towns. Can multiple stop trips be loaded and will it navigate from one stop to the next? I guess I need to get in the car and do some experimenting.
Boyd
Since you like TomTom, have a look at their app. You get free maps for the whole world that are permanently installed on the phone so you don't need a cell signal to use it. Not sure if it supports that many stops however. I used to have a TomTom Go 920 (?) and it supported complex routes, but my understanding is that the new TomTom dedicated devices are much more limited.

Here's a thread on the TomTom app. You can use it free for 50 miles/month to evaluate it.

http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/5660-new-tomtom-gps-navigation-android-ios-app
ron4adams
I feel like a pest, but started thinking that if I need to upgrade my GPS perhaps I should consider using a tablet and inputting my routes into it directly rather than using the laptop to build the trip and exporting to a GPS. What should I look at to make comparisons.
Boyd
Do you want an Android tablet or an iPad? Rumors are that Apple will discontinue their current smaller tablet - the Mini 4 - which hasn't been updated since 2015 and seems very overpriced for what you get (the full sized 2018 iPad only costs $30 more). But if you go with Apple, the regular wifi iPad does not have an internal GPS chip, you need to get the cellular (LTE) version for that. I have one of these and it's very nice, but rather large for vehicle use.

I also have an 8" Samsung Android tablet that is several years old. Most, but not all Android tablets have internal GPS chips however it's very poor on my mine. Takes a long time to get satellite lock and loses signal at times. I don't know if their newer tablets are better. You need to carefully check the specs on any Android tablet you buy, if it doesn't have an internal GPS you will not even be able to install some of the navigation apps.

There are endless choices for software on phones and tablets. HERE WeGo is a popular one, ALK CoPilot and also TomTom as mentioned above. Garmin StreetPilot was almost the same as their dedicated GPS units, however they have discontinued it. Garmin also had the Navigon app but discontinued it also. They are desparately trying to protect sales of their dedicated devices.

All of the above-mentioned software uses maps that are permanently installed on the tablet. If you get an iPad, be sure to get enough memory to hold the maps for all the apps you want because it cannot be upgraded. Android tablets should have a SD memory card slot that allows you to upgrade later.

Of course there is also Google Maps, but you can't install the map permanently so you would need a tablet with cellular capability and purchase a data plan. With any of the GPS software, if you want additional features such as traffic reports, you would need a cellular capable tablet with a data plan.
ron4adams
Great information. I really appreciate the feedback. I would definitely not want to be using a data cellular plan since I think over time the cost for cellular service would drive me crazy, and I already understood about making sure the device has a GPS chip. I have "tested" some mapping software over the last three days and find most lacking. I am using random addresses from our last trip and find some are very inconsistent in proper location, some lack sufficient zoom capabilities to even read the street names (Tomtom's version), or does not accept lat/log addresses (AAA). But I am moving more toward a small tablet (if I can find where and how to mount it in my Class C MH) rather than a dedicated GPS.
Boyd
I would not reject getting a cellular capable tablet out of hand. For starters, there is no requirement to actually purchase a data plan, you can use it on wifi like any other tablet. But at least you will have data capability when you need it.

T-Mobile has some very inexpensive pre-paid options (in other words, make a one time payment and just keep using it until a fixed expiration date, or a data limit).

I have AT&T for my iPhone and also for my iPad. I got an AT&T pre-paid plan that offers 2gb data for 90 days. This is handy for times when I’m out of wifi range on my own property (which is heavily wooded). Also, if you use the tablet in public places, it’s much more secure to use your own cellular data connection. I almost never use public wifi anymore. So if I renew my AT&T plan 4 times I have cellular data available for $100/year (or ~$8/month). That is less expensive than any of the monthly plans I looked at and you have the flexibility to stop and start anytime you want (At the end of 90 days, it’s just over and you have to purchase a new plan to continue)

I think this especially makes sense for a GPS application, otherwise you won’t have access to traffic data or other special features like online searching (which is MUCH faster and better than using the built-in POI database). But you could also tether your tablet to your smartphone (use your phone’s data connection) with a wifi-only tablet. I just think it makes much more sense for the tablet to have its own data connection. IMO, the only reason NOT to get a cellular capable tablet would be if you really can’t afford the additional purchase cost (the cost of the tablet itself, not the data plan because that is optional).
ron4adams
I agree. I will be looking at only tablets which are both cellular capable and have gps. We have been traveling for the past three years with a hot spot from Straight Talk, so I understand the flexibility of have easily accessible secure internet connections. I hope to find a 6 or 7 in tablet and have seen some low cost mounting devices which would work in my RV without obstructing my windshield.
Boyd
Regarding technological literacy.... a 6" tablet is called a phone today. There are several that are even larger....
tcassidy
Until you said inexpensive, I was going to suggest checking out the RAM mounting stuff at https://www.rammount.com/

They are not inexpensive but provide a wide variety of mounting setups.



This is a 10" tablet mounted in a RAM-HOL-UN9U in my truck. The tablet and program would be no interest to you as it is Win 10 with an old Garmin program no longer available.

Terry
tcassidy



It is easy to rotate too. The same tablet and mount with Maps Pro (I think).


Terry
ron4adams
I think my wife would kill me if I mounted one of these in our RV. She takes a lot of photos out of the windshield and gets really irritated when I forget to clean the windshield after filling up with diesel. I just made a mistake by visiting with Best Buy personnel. They were pretty sure navigating with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A would require either cellular or internet connection even if the device had a GPS chip. Are they correct?



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