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Old 11-27-2011, 04:34 PM   #21
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

For years I tethered my laptop, then my iPad, via my iPhone; until I made a simple error and AT&T caught onto the fact. They sent me a polite letter asking me not to do it anymore, or they'd charge me extra.

My only internet connection now (home or otherwise) is a Sprint OverDrive Pro; 4G/3G unlimited for $49. It's on practically constantly and is mobile. Four hour time on battery, but works plugged into a/c and car's power point. You can use 8 devices off it at one time, it takes up to a 32gb MicroSD card, and functions as the hub of a network. My wireless printer connects to it, and it has an outstanding range. I've left it on in my car and accessed it from inside a restaurant. I can print from anywhere in the house - documents or photos.

For when there is no connection, and a boon to boondockers *groan* is an iPad app called Topo Maps. The app is $8 and lets you download topographical maps into your iPad and allows you to link them seamlessly as well. The downloads are fee.

My iPad is wireless only. No need for it's own 3G connection.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:50 PM   #22
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

Quote:
How many people buy iPads or any tablet computer for that matter without an accompanying ISP service to
go with them? Not many, I'd wager. But doubtless there are some.
Ebay figures from a couple of months ago show 60% of their iPad sales are wifi only units.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:07 PM   #23
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

There seems to be some confusion about ISP, Wifi, 3G, 4G and GPS.

1. You don't need an ISP (Internet Service Provider) if you are Wifi enabled which all iPads and iPhones are. Your service provider is providing cellular service which is voice, 3G and 4G. A wifi connection in literally thousands of places like McDonalds for one is all you need to access the internet. You can communicate via email with many different free addresses from MobileMe, Hotmail, AOL, GMail, etc.

2. In order to use GPS devices you can do so via a cellular connection or satellite GPS or a combination. You can even locate via wifi and map but you are not going to be able to real-time navigate moving around. If a GPS program utilizes a map such as Google Maps then you will need a cellular connection. Same goes for Mapquest. A device such as Tom Tom, Garmin, Magellan, Navigon use satellite GPS, not cellular, just like their standalone devices. They load their own built-in maps stored on the device. So, you could use any smartphone sans a cellular plan if you want. You could use a 3G/GPS iPad for GPS apps without signing up for the 3G service. I don't know the whys and details but the GPS enabled feature doesn't come on Wifi only iPads. That's the rub.

3. There are various cellular speed connections. The slowest is Evdo or 2G which is just about everywhere and about the equivalent of dial-up. Good for checking e-mail but not much else unless you have a lot of time. Next speed is 3G which varies with network traffic and I have clocked as high as 1.1 GBps which is not much slower than the slowest DSL at home. After that, 4G as they call it can be much faster than 3G. The only problem right now is 4G ins only in heavily populated core city areas. It is not much use for RVers on the road. Ironically though, it should be more reliable and cheaper than 3G once built out.

4. Since I own a smartphone (iPhone 4S) for many reasons I could buy the Tom Tom GPS app for $39 and use it to replace my old standalone GPS unit (a Garmin Nuvi). I just tested it out. It is fully featured. I drove to Target this afternoon and bought a cheap dashboard mounting bracket to hold it. The bracket cost me about $6.

5. If I want to use my wifi only iPad on the road to connect to the Internet I can do so via a mobile hotspot. I had been using VirginMobile Broadband2Go Mifi that has a no contract start and stop in 30 day increments unlimited data. Unfortunately, it uses the Sprint network which I found almost next to worthless in most of the southern United States and rural areas. I'll be better off hotspotting my AT&T iPhone (connect up to 5 devices) or getting a VerizonWireless hotspot device (the best solution for hotspotting). The other option is buy an iPad with 3G and use it. There is no contract required but you do have to choose your carrier when you buy the iPad. So you pay when you need it in 30 increments. Also, right now, it cannot be a hotspot for other devices. The cell phone companies have cracked down on tether hotspotting and unlimited data plans.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:18 PM   #24
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Gotcha. Admit it. You're "brandwashed" by Apple.
Ok, so you're navigating through a big city, with lane changes coming up, and you need your pricey
(but superior technology) smartphone to guide you effortlessly through it all, turn by turn, with brilliant
visual 3D on screen graphics and voice commands. Just as you reach a critical maneuver, the phone rings,
and it's one of your grandkids. Might be nice to have a separate standalone dinosaur on the dash then,
hmmmmm?
Maybe this might answer your concerns:

Seamless navigation while calling (iPhone 3GS/4 only)

You can see continuous visual instructions even when you are on a call, so you still find your way. Now making and answering calls safely won't slow you down.

Background navigation instructions (iPhone 3GS/4, iPad & iPod touch 3rd Gen. only)

Provides continuous spoken turn-by-turn instructions to driver, even when navigation app is in the background. This frees up your phone to run other apps, giving you more flexibility to tailor your experience.

Automatic Music fading

Listen to music without worry while navigating with TomTom. The app will automatically reduce the volume of your music while TomTom provides driving instructions, and return the music to normal volume between prompts.

BTW, the ear buds that come with an iPhone allow you to listen and talk hands free.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:32 PM   #25
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

Quote:
Originally Posted by recumbentfalcon
For years I tethered my laptop, then my iPad, via my iPhone; until I made a simple error and AT&T caught onto the fact. They sent me a polite letter asking me not to do it anymore, or they'd charge me extra.
I don't think you're alone. I believe many people "tethered" and were asked to desist when discovered. I meant tethered in the sense that, your machine is only usable on a specific wireless network be it Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, or whatever. Then cell tower location becomes important for use as a phone (if they work like that?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by recumbentfalcon
My only internet connection now (home or otherwise) is a Sprint OverDrive Pro; 4G/3G unlimited for $49. It's on practically constantly and is mobile. Four hour time on battery, but works plugged into a/c and car's power point. You can use 8 devices off it at one time, it takes up to a 32gb MicroSD card, and functions as the hub of a network. My wireless printer connects to it, and it has an outstanding range. I've left it on in my car and accessed it from inside a restaurant. I can print from anywhere in the house - documents or photos.
Alas, I live in the land of excessively exorbitantly priced data plans (Canada) where every nano-bit transferred is billed. I would go broke using a wireless cell tower plan, although a prepaid plan int he US might work once in a while, but probably not worth the effort if regular wifi stops were plentiful. That's basically what we do now with our laptops. "Unlimited data plan" is not in the vocabulary of Canadian carriers (although it was for a while a few years back - then they figured it out$$$$).

Quote:
Originally Posted by recumbentfalcon
For when there is no connection, and a boon to boondockers *groan* is an iPad app called Topo Maps. The app is $8 and lets you download topographical maps into your iPad and allows you to link them seamlessly as well. The downloads are fee.

My iPad is wireless only. No need for it's own 3G connection.
I would probably go with a wifi version, as the least costly option. I'm still doing the research, but I'm finding it's
become an overloaded sector of the mobile computing market in the last 12 months, with all sorts of new hardware and software combos out there in a variety of prices ranging from low $400s to over $700. I would definitely shop in the USA next trip south for my tablet, if we do go that way.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:36 PM   #26
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Gotcha. Admit it. You're "brandwashed" by Apple.
Ok, so you're navigating through a big city, with lane changes coming up, and you need your pricey
(but superior technology) smartphone to guide you effortlessly through it all, turn by turn, with brilliant
visual 3D on screen graphics and voice commands. Just as you reach a critical maneuver, the phone rings,
and it's one of your grandkids. Might be nice to have a separate standalone dinosaur on the dash then,
hmmmmm?
Maybe this might answer your concerns:

Seamless navigation while calling (iPhone 3GS/4 only)

You can see continuous visual instructions even when you are on a call, so you still find your way. Now making and answering calls safely won't slow you down.

Background navigation instructions (iPhone 3GS/4, iPad & iPod touch 3rd Gen. only)

Provides continuous spoken turn-by-turn instructions to driver, even when navigation app is in the background. This frees up your phone to run other apps, giving you more flexibility to tailor your experience.

Automatic Music fading

Listen to music without worry while navigating with TomTom. The app will automatically reduce the volume of your music while TomTom provides driving instructions, and return the music to normal volume between prompts.

BTW, the ear buds that come with an iPhone allow you to listen and talk hands free.
DNT TXT N DRV!!!!!! Always stay safe while driving.
It looks like a cool app. If I decide to go iPad, after my trek through the documentation (there are a ton of tablets out there?????? I don't recall seeing all these variations!!!!) and a visit to my nearest Best Buy for a hands on, I'll be looking into something like that, although I doubt mine will be a "phone". Too expensive up here (probably).
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:43 PM   #27
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
There seems to be some confusion about ISP, Wifi, 3G, 4G and GPS.

1. You don't need an ISP (Internet Service Provider) if you are Wifi enabled which all iPads and iPhones are. Your service provider is providing cellular service which is voice, 3G and 4G. A wifi connection in literally thousands of places like McDonalds for one is all you need to access the internet. You can communicate via email with many different free addresses from MobileMe, Hotmail, AOL, GMail, etc.

2. In order to use GPS devices you can do so via a cellular connection or satellite GPS or a combination. You can even locate via wifi and map but you are not going to be able to real-time navigate moving around. If a GPS program utilizes a map such as Google Maps then you will need a cellular connection. Same goes for Mapquest. A device such as Tom Tom, Garmin, Magellan, Navigon use satellite GPS, not cellular, just like their standalone devices. They load their own built-in maps stored on the device. So, you could use any smartphone sans a cellular plan if you want. You could use a 3G/GPS iPad for GPS apps without signing up for the 3G service. I don't know the whys and details but the GPS enabled feature doesn't come on Wifi only iPads. That's the rub.

3. There are various cellular speed connections. The slowest is Evdo or 2G which is just about everywhere and about the equivalent of dial-up. Good for checking e-mail but not much else unless you have a lot of time. Next speed is 3G which varies with network traffic and I have clocked as high as 1.1 GBps which is not much slower than the slowest DSL at home. After that, 4G as they call it can be much faster than 3G. The only problem right now is 4G ins only in heavily populated core city areas. It is not much use for RVers on the road. Ironically though, it should be more reliable and cheaper than 3G once built out.

4. Since I own a smartphone (iPhone 4S) for many reasons I could buy the Tom Tom GPS app for $39 and use it to replace my old standalone GPS unit (a Garmin Nuvi). I just tested it out. It is fully featured. I drove to Target this afternoon and bought a cheap dashboard mounting bracket to hold it. The bracket cost me about $6.

5. If I want to use my wifi only iPad on the road to connect to the Internet I can do so via a mobile hotspot. I had been using VirginMobile Broadband2Go Mifi that has a no contract start and stop in 30 day increments unlimited data. Unfortunately, it uses the Sprint network which I found almost next to worthless in most of the southern United States and rural areas. I'll be better off hotspotting my AT&T iPhone (connect up to 5 devices) or getting a VerizonWireless hotspot device (the best solution for hotspotting). The other option is buy an iPad with 3G and use it. There is no contract required but you do have to choose your carrier when you buy the iPad. So you pay when you need it in 30 increments. Also, right now, it cannot be a hotspot for other devices. The cell phone companies have cracked down on tether hotspotting and unlimited data plans.
Thanks for the breakdown. Now I'll go and have one over which tablet to get.
There seem to be more than just the iPad out there. I've seen about 15 different manufacturers, each with more than one model, so this might take me a while to sift through and see what's what.
Appreciate you taking the time to describe the ins/outs/pros/cons of the permutations.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:42 PM   #28
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

Thanks for the wealth of information, Nice references. Have been to a couple of site that list thing we would like to see, waterfalls, covered bridges, etc and list them by county. I am looking for maps showing roads, cities/towns, and counties so I can find and plot such sights. Really like Google maps and searched to find a way to overlay county lines with no success, so I though I'd throw this out here to find out what the wise forum users here know.

thanks
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #29
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

I (still) think that your best solution is either a standalone GPS unit like Garmin or TomTom,
or a tablet computer, although the suggestion that the US may enact a global law eliminating
the use of hand held devices while driving, may significantly change the playing field,
especially if you travel solo.
I have a (almost completely) hands free GPS (voice recognition) unit, but I'm not sure if I'll
even be able to use it if USA hands free laws are passed.
If someone wants to use Google anything as a means of planning trips and routes, I would
think a tablet with GPS might be the best solution, but it isn't a hands free solution.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #30
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Default Re: Online maps and travel guides

Here's a campground search map:

http://www.epgsoft.com/CampgroundMap/
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