GPS app that will allow maps/routing without a signal

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by ghanwani, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. ghanwani macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    When driving around signal strength can sometime vary. What I've found is that this confuses the mapping program (I use Google maps) and it gives voice prompts based on the old location which in turn is confusing for the driver.

    Are there any apps that can compute a route online but then.provide directions based on current location even in the absence of signal strength? If the 5s has a true GPS receiver (does it?), then it should be possible. (FWIW I have a 5s.)

    Slightly off topic. I started using Google Maps because I had an iPhone 4 previously and Apple didn't have turn-by-turn directions. Now that I have a 5s, I'm quite disappointed with Apple maps and I'm still forced to use Google. Hopefully Apple's recent acquisition will help.
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Only car navigations (built-in) are able to account for lack of GPs signal.
  3. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    I probably should have clarified better, but I meant lack of a cell phone signal rather than lack of a GPS signal...the GPS signal should be much more prevalent, right?
  4. takeshi74, Dec 23, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Any nav app that doesn't need data for maps such as TomTom, Navigon, etc. This is a very common topic so don't overlook prior discussions.

    It's in the specs:

    OP isn't referring to dead reckoning and there's no reason an app couldn't perform dead reckoning.
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I had the TomTom app on my iPhone and loved it. It worked great on a couple of trips I took where I had no signal from AT&T. It is expensive but worth it.
  6. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008

    OP, yes the iPhone does have a GPS radio. I primarily use mine for back country adventures where there is no cell service.

    Tom Tom, garmin and others provide the service you're looking for.
  7. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    GPS app that will allow maps/routing without a signal

    Zoom out of Google maps to engulf the area you'll be driving. In the search field type "ok maps" (minus quotes).

    The area on screen will be cached.
  8. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    There is a free app in the app store that does exactly what you want. It is Called NAV Free GPS it stores the map on the phone which makes it a large app. Obviously it is not as good as Tom Tom but I found it quite useful.
  9. jdecosta macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2012
    +1 great app and the database in on your phone. No need to data connection.
  10. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    Thanks for all the responses.

    I guess I'll do some research on the various navigation apps. How does Waze size up?

    One more thing regarding Apple maps vs Google maps. With Google maps the directions always go to my car's speakers via Bluetooth. For some reason, with Apple maps, the turn by turn directions come out of the phone's speakers. Has anyone else had this issue?

    My car DOES NOT support Bluetooth streaming of music; it just supports Bluetooth for the phone functions. My guess is Apple's directions use the music player's functions, whereas Google sends them to the phone's functions?

    I'm concerned I may face a similar issue with the other apps so looks like I may have to email the app's customer service to double-check on that. If directions aren't sent to the car's speakers via Bluetooth I am probably not going to use the app.


    Thanks for the tip. Will the turn-by-turn directions also work in the absence of cell phone signal?
  11. ratsg macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2010
    another +1 for tomtom

    my wife has it on her cellular+wifi+GPS iPad. No data plan.

    Does great with just GPS.
  12. mpantone, Dec 23, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013

    mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Waze is an excellent free GPS navigation app, particularly the crowd-sourced traffic incidents. This is my default navi app. However, Waze does require a cellular data connection as it does not have downloadable maps for local storage. To calculate a route, the app talks to the Waze servers which returns the proposed route. It will not calculate/re-calculate a route in the absence of an adequate cellular data signal.

    Both CoPilot Premium and Navigon/Garmin are paid apps which offer local map storage (like the aforementioned TomTom and a few others); these are more useful in the absence of an adequate cellular data signal although naturally real-time traffic reports will go missing.

    Payware app MotionX GPS Drive can preload maps, although I am not sure if the app can recalculate routes in the absence of a cellular data signal.

    The aforementioned Navfree GPS app also works with a GPS signal only (no cellular data), although it is based on the OpenStreetMap project and some of the directions are bad, and the map itself has a rather unpolished, amateur appearance.

    Telenav and Scout GPS are two apps made by the same developer (Telenav), but I don't like Scout much since there's no easily accessible plain map mode.
  13. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    I don't see how an app could have dead-reckoning, short of having a hook-up to the vehicle's OBD.

    I know it's not what OP was asking but- never used a factory navigation system, I take it? Those systems can function without a GPS signal, e.g. in tunnels, by using the vehicle's speed sensor & steering input sensor.
  14. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Dec 26, 2009
    No, only viewing will work. This feature is pretty much useless, since it only allows caching for small areas, just a few miles across.

    And the design decision by Google to invoke this feature by typing a command, instead of providing a button, is incredibly stupid. Or they are trying to train us like Pavlov dogs to say commands like ok google, ok glass, ok maps? Idiots. :rolleyes:
  15. c0LdFire macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2013
    ...or the feature is in beta, as it says right in the app's documentation, so they don't want average users trying to use it and running in to problems? Don't get your head stuck too far up your ass.
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012

    You'll need to cache the Google map when you do have a data connection. So before your trip....
  17. BenDoobyDoo macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2016
    Doesn't work these days :( Search "ok maps" and you get Oklahoma! Caching works with Waze (though not 100% reliable and, of course, without real-time updates) and much better with – even at 30,000 feet!
  18. HEK, Apr 24, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016

    HEK macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2013
    US Eastern time zone
    #18 app has worldwide maps you can load directly into phone. Can load areas or section or countries as you need. Then no cell connection needed as detailed maps stored right on phone. GPS signal to get you current location and you good to go anywhere you can get GPS. Cellular and wifi not needed. They update their maps regularly as well.
  19. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    That was a long time ago. Now just click on "offline areas" to download sections of Google Maps for offline use.
  20. rovolisgiorgos macrumors newbie


    Jun 29, 2015
    Noone has stated the obvious, HERE Maps. You can download whole countries offline, with resonable storage amount. Internet (cell signal) not required. Not to mention, totally free.
  21. gaanee macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2011
    I used Navigon app sometime back on my 3GS, it worked without needing data while driving. However in later versions of iOS and the app, they or Apple made changes in how the GPS works and it stopped working without data. I went to the Apple store and the genius there told navigation apps require data connection to work and wasn't aware of any apps that navigate off-line.
    Now many apps allow you to download off-line maps, but does it work for navigation while driving?
  22. HEK macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2013
    US Eastern time zone
    #22 does
  23. pacorob macrumors 68000


    Apr 8, 2010
    the Netherlands
    A few great apps with offline navigation are:
    - Galileo
    - Here Maps
  24. fricotin macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2011
    Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

Share This Page