Hmm, wasn't very impressed with Google Navigation on android

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by spinedoc77, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #1
    I've been using iOS Maps since release, I really love the functionality and overall program. It has been hit or miss in terms of directions, but this has seemed to improve over time. Once it guided me to an offroad area with a stream and told me to get out and "proceed on foot" to get to the babies r us up the road, lol.

    Anyhow I have a brand new shiny Note 2 and was excited to use that huge screen as a GPS. Well I was working at a remote office 2 hours away and needed GPS function, the Android version totally failed me. It navigated a route which was indeed the shortest, but gave me no alternate routes and only gave me the route which was on a very heavily traveled 2 lane road instead of the nearby major highway which showed no traffic. I kept trying all night to get it to reroute or show an alternate, but nothing. I ran the iphone next to it and it gave me 3 alternate routes.

    This was only one incident but I was kind of bummed since I had high hopes for it. I'm going to play with it a bit more before I pass any final judgements though.

    As an aside I WISH google maps or apple maps had the function that I think google had (or was it mapquest?) where you could look at a proposed route and just drag the route around the map and it would automatically reroute where you placed it. Anyone know if there is a navi out there with this function?
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
    Hmm, interesting. I have been using my iPhone for navigation since it was possible - owning TomTom, Navigon and other paid GPS services, and on iOS, the latest Google maps iteration is so good that it is my first stop for navigation. It offers several choices of routes, although I don't think you can drag to change them - never tried. Surprised that the Android experience isn't better.
     
  3. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #3
    Strange, may be they broke it in the latest update.

    When I had the gs3 I got alternate routes. But I think there was a couple steps to be taken for it. May be the alternate routes show up in the navigation app, not maps.
     
  4. siiip5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    #4
    Well, one problem might be you were using Google Maps and not Google Navigation. ;)

    This is what Google Nav gives you, once you put in your destination. I direct your attention to the top right tabs.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California
    #5
    Maps from any source can be hard for some people to use. In AppleLand it's fashionable to trash anything Google or Samsung.

    While I prefer Google Maps as implemented on my Nexus 4 and Galaxy Note II, I have noticed a definite improvement in Apple Maps on my iPhone 5.

    I happen to enjoy both iOS & Android. The differences are significant & quite enjoyable.
     
  6. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #6
    You have to use the navigation mode before it shows alternate routes. I always use the navigation icon when planning my route. I can get alternate routes to choose from.
     
  7. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #7
    I've had the opportunity to use several navigation devices for this one destination for work. TomTom, Magellan and the Android navigation. Of the three, the Android navigation gave the most logical route, as discovered once it was traveled. I no longer have that destination and the route was SO logical I had no need for navigation the last half dozen times I had to go there so i can't compare later versions.
     
  8. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #8
    Use google maps to find what your looking for and then within the app click on latitude to give you the directions. The bottom right hand "button" is where you then have options to customize the map setting for that trip.
     
  9. KentuckyHouse macrumors 68020

    KentuckyHouse

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Lexington, KY.
    #9

    He was, wasn't he? :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. spinedoc77 thread starter macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #10
    No I was using Google navigation. Just to clarify I didn't think Google navigation sucked at all, I just expected to be wowed after reading so many people saying it was so much better than apple maps, and my own mediocre experience with apple maps.

    I do know that Google nav offers a choice of routes, but for my route it was offering only one where apple was offering 3, in reality going from one major city to another there are probably 5 or 6 viable routes.
     
  11. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #11
    I switch between Google, apple and my garmin and they are all hit or miss. I actually have the best luck with garmin most of the time. I use a navigation system of some sort about 8 - 10 hours a day 5 - 6 days a week so I find a lot of errors. But for the most part the roads are fairly accurate but garmin exceeds at pinpointing addresses the best. TomTom was by far the worst apple might use some of their maps but apple maps is far better at pinpointing then TomTom which I believe uses teleatlas maps. At least for my area.
     
  12. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #12
    Well then, google maps comes short in that area i guess. Hopefully they will fix it.

    I have seen my share of the blunders from google maps too. And i have seen Apple maps excel at lots of stuff too.

    Bottom line is, neither is perfect and in some areas one might just out do the other. Simple reality. So in your case apple maps did a better job and outdid google. Good job from them! :)

    The only issue i do have is the way your title is worded as it is a huge flamewar bait. Generalizing leads to almost all the pointless bickering we have in most threads.

    Oh and report the nav issue to google as well so hopefully they can take it into account on the next update.
     
  13. knucklehead, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013

    knucklehead macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #13
    If you could manage to pull your face out of your palm for a minute, perhaps you could tell me how anyone could get even one route while being in Google Maps. As far as I can tell, by the time you have any route, you've moved into the navigation app.

    Edit: OK - Looks like you can just get directions in Google Maps, that only present one option. When you move to Navigation, you have to go through extra steps to see alternative routes.
     
  14. Tinmania, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013

    Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aridzona
    #14
    Google Navigation shows me alternate routes when I tap Menu->Route and alternates and then tap the alternate routes icon. It does this even on a trip less than 2 miles. About the only time I couldn't get it to show an alternate route was when I chose to navigate 3/4 mile down the road (with no traffic).

    I believe it is just trying to get navigating ASAP, without having to have you stop and look at the screen to choose a route. I didn't like that, most of the time, when using Navigon on my iPhone.

    I usually use S-Voice to start navigating so it works well for me like that. I'd rather it choose a route and start telling me where to go right away. Sometimes I am right about at the point I will either have to make a turn or not and looking at the screen to choose something is not an option.

    But the feature for alternate routes is definitely there, at least for me.




    Michael
     

    Attached Files:

  15. spinedoc77 thread starter macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #15
    Yeah I didn't mean it to sound like I was flaming Google, I LOVE my Note 2, but I also love my IP5, so much that I kept them BOTH !!

    ----------

    Funny thing with Google navigation is if you enter in an address it automatically forces a route on you, especially if you use S voice. You can then go into a submenu and display alternate routes and switch if you like, but it's one extra step. With apple maps when you enter or say an address if automatically gives you 3 routes.

    And yeah, google only gave me one route, I even stayed on the route I thought was better and google kept trying to pull me away onto that first route it thought was best, until I just gave up and turned it off. Really weird, maybe it was just a fluke and somehow the stars were not aligned, I'll be doing the same commute tonight so I'll try it again and I'll post up screen shots.
     
  16. abthegreat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    #16
    was fine on a Nexus in a country that just got navigation. Loads of alternates usually 2-3. Only issue is the amount of time samsung phones take for a GPS lock. Maybe it was just mine :( Amazed with the google maps on iOS and the iP5 and its lightning quick GPS lock.
     
  17. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aridzona
    #17
    Yea GPS nav can be like that.

    I was in GPS nav hell one time trying to get to the airport in Nashville when the highways were just re-routed. Good lord I almost threw the thing out the window when it told me to make a "u-turn" on a six-lane divided highway lol. Meanwhile the sign--the actual sign on the highway--said "Airport Next Exit."



    Michael
     
  18. matttye macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, England
    #18
    My TomTom does that until I select "find alternative" - if I don't select that it takes quite a while to get the picture that I don't want the other route :(
     
  19. knucklehead macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #19
    Is there a simple reverse route option for Google Navigation on Android that I'm missing? This is one thing I could really use -- otherwise I really prefer Google Maps and Navigation on Andriod over iOS.
     
  20. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #20
    There's alternate routes.[​IMG]

    You are using navigation right? Not directions.
     
  21. spinedoc77 thread starter macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #21
    You should read the thread. :)

    ----------

    Reverse navi would be awesome. Also is there any kind of way to save navi sessions in either apple or Google?

    Also in Google any way to display total miles left to destination? In apple maps you just hit the screen and the top bar displays miles to destination which is nice.
     
  22. knucklehead macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #22
    Today, I've been able to replicate Google Navigation on Android offering only one route, when there are obviously other good options available. You just need to try it more -- it doesn't do it all that often ... but not all that rarely either.
     
  23. knucklehead, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013

    knucklehead macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #23
    Just playing around with it inside today, I've found you can reverse ... somewhat awkwardly. You need to hit the back button to exit navigation, and get back to maps. Go to layers, and the directions you have recently searched are at the bottom (I don't yet know how those are stored or cleared). Select the directions you want, and choose "Directions List" at the lower left corner. Once there select the three dot menu pop up in the lower right corner - "Reverse" will be at the top of the list. Select reverse and then the navigation arrow to get back into the navigation app ... and I guess it will work -- I haven't tried it in use yet.

    Edit: Well, scratch the above. The reversed directions don't transfer to the Navigation app in use. I'm guessing a workable way to do it would be to remember to do a pin drop before you leave your origin point, and navigate back to that -- should be an easy way to do this -- for some reason setting up a home location seems to require typing in a address ...
     
  24. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #24
    I have used Ovi Maps on the Nokia N97 3 years ago and Google Maps on various Android phones the last 2 years. What I have discovered is that my knowledge of my city trumps both mapping apps in finding the best route from A to B. I noticed that these mapping apps give a certain weight to different streets. When they try to find a route for you, they generally only look at the highest weighted roads. If a more minor or side road is a better route, the mapping app may not weight it high enough for it to consider.

    The quality of the algorithm and how the map data weighs different routes will vary from region to region. It may get better with time or may not. I have no insight to how Google or Nokia codes their maps and routing algorithms. I do recall studying graphy theory in my Computer Science courses in university. My understanding of routing algorithms is that it is a complex enough problem that requires an unreasonable amount of computing power or time to find the absolute best route. In order to find a route within a reasonable amount of time, the algorithm must make certain assumptions to eliminate many potential routes quickly and then concentrate on a small subset of routes to find the best route amongst those. It is quite possible that the assumptions may eliminate some fast routes. The result is that sometimes, it will not find the best possible route.

    In terms of alternative routes, Google Maps' algorithm may have assumptions that eliminated other possible alternative routes that as a local, you may know is viable. It is a tradeoff between finding the best possible route and the amount of time it takes to find it. If it took a minute to find good alternative routes, the time it takes to do that may be unreasonable for the user. By putting a limit on the amount of time an algorithm has to provide an answer will possibly eliminate some routes from consideration.

    It just so happens that for your particular area, Apple Maps' algorithm does find alternative routes where as Google Maps' algorithm does not. Results between different mapping apps will vary and will also vary from region to region.
     

Share This Page