Best (no data) GPS program?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Wolfpup, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    So I'd like to buy a GPS program for my (3G) iPad that works without a cell connection.

    Looks like there are at least four programs out there, including ones from TomTom, Garmin, and Magellan...but I have no clue what's best.

    Weirdly, it looks like almost all those programs aren't formatted for the iPad's screen...which is lame when buying a $50 program or whatever, but I assume it's "good enough" to use the 3.5" version on the iPad.

    I know Garmin's the biggest company, so my first instinct was to use them, but it looks like TomTom has voice navigation while Garmin doesn't (not sure about Magellan). There's a fourth one who's name escapes me that DOES support the iPad's screen, but it turns out it's owned by Garmin, and the program's been discontinued in the U.S., like it won't be getting support, so that's out.

    So...any experience with this stuff or thoughts?

    I think AOL's MapQuest program actually does provide voice navigation, but it requires a data connection, which normally I won't have. (Heck, the Google Maps program does a nice job with navigation I'd assume, except it needs data AND a second person as navigator! :D)
  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    Navigon looks awesome on the iPad. It's a universal application so it works on your iPhone in Retina Display resolutions as well.

    If you live in the US, you can buy the third of the US that you travel most, and do an in-app purchase for the other thirds as needed.

    Protip: If you need Hawaii or Alaska maps, you need to purchase the FULL version of Navigon. Hawaii and Alaska are not available as in-app purchases for some strange reason. Found that out the hard way. :(
  3. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Thanks, but that's the program I thought was discontinued...I couldn't think what it was called! I mean it's not supported going forward in the U.S. apparently?

    I'd assume because Garmin doesn't want to confuse the market offering two products (although their own product is apparently new this year, and doesn't yet match that...)

    Unless I'm confused about does look like a good program!
  4. danderton macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2010
    i use navfree. its a free universal sat nav, using open source maps i believe. Works well.

    Im unsure if they do other countries but works great in the UK
  5. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Thanks! I'd never heard of that. I'll give it and that "You need a map" program a least I'm not out anything if they don't work for me!
  6. dustinl4m3 macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    MotionX GPS is an amazing app and does exactly what you want.

    It lets you pre-download map tiles (at resolutions that you choose) and use them offline.

    It's very well written and very cheap. I use it whenever I am going to be out of the country, and will have limited access to data. Lets me bring maps with me.

    Check it out. I think it was $4 or something else ridiculously cheap for how useful it is.
  7. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I don't know about Garmin's super long term plan, but NAVIGON has announced 2.0 upgrade coming this fall, featuring better UI, cockpit view, map management, and more. I suspect Garmin will leave NAVIGON alone as long as the app is doing well and profitable.
  8. emuyshondt macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Garmin bought Navigon earlier this year, but that doesn't mean they will discontinue the program. Navigon has good products of it's own and is likely to be around for a while. I prefer it over the Garmin products.

    I owned Garmin and TomTom when I had a Windows Mobile phone and now have Navigon and Destinator on my iPhone 3GS and iPad. I don't like Destinator (got it free during a special promotion), but I would be hard pressed to say one of the other three is a clear winner. Navigon, Garmin and TomTom are all pretty good. Each has it's quirks and advantages. I happen to like the Navigon user interface right now. Garmin and TomTom have older roots so look a bit more dated. However, I would be happy with any one of them. Which interface is best is up to personal preference and past experience. If you have been using Garmin or TomTom standalone units, you might prefer to get that software for your iPad so you don't have to learn a new program.
  9. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    I've never used a GPS unit at all (I'd been thinking maybe I should get one though).

    Well thanks for all this additional info too guys!

    I really, really should have gotten a 32GB iPad...I'm going to have to juggle programs just to get ONE of these map programs on there, it turns out! :eek:
  10. urbanj macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2008
    LOL! you should put this quote in the "should I get 16gb or 32gb" threads :D

    Chalk another one up for 32gb :cool:
  11. chmorley macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO

    I use Navigon and love it.

    Not only is it not being discontinued, but they have been touting a big update they have coming up.

    It's a great app. I have used it since it came out. It typically wins the head-to-head comparison of other "no data" apps--often handily.

  12. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Try to try it out before dropping money on an app.

    I found that it was much easier to use my iphone for GPS than my ipad due to glare/reflections from the sky. This could probably be handled with an ipad mount of some sort to hold it at the proper angle, but my usage was when on business travel to a new city and I found no good place to put the ipad in rental cars. An iphone tucks into a cupholder or console much more easily.

    I don't mean to dismiss the idea of using an ipad for GPS nav, just pointing out something to consider from my experience with it.
  13. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    MotionX Drive looks incredible on the iPad. I am amazed how they have kept the new features coming at a maddening pace. And every new features looks amazing.

    It does download data, but can pre-cache it.

    I use Navigon on an iPhone 4 in my car, though, and I have to say I am disappointed with the latest version. It does some things that are just plain stupid. In particular, it now calls-out what lane you should be in on the freeway by reading EXIT signs. You think you are going to exit, but... nooooooo.... they just want you in the lane that has the exit sign! (Hard to explain, maybe I should call these "pre-exit signs"...) So, I might be traveling north on I-5 and it wants me in the right lane. The announcement makes it sound like I am going to exit onto I-8. But then.... continue on I-5....

    Also, their data quality is poor. I've been given left turns for right, etc.

    Updates are few and far between, as well.
  14. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Okay, that's more like the reviews I've been reading of it.

    I've got Navfree downloaded (finally) to my iPod, so just need to get it on the iPad tonight...

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