It's time to buy a new GPS, or should I just use the iPhone?

sixxmum

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
601
56
My old GPS isn't cutting it any longer. It has no (none) battery life, so it has to be plugged in constantly. The maps are 2 years out of date, so there are a good number of places it just can't get me to. I got the spouse a Garmin with lifetime maps, so doing that is one option. Or, I could get some sort of mount (?) for the iPhone and use that. What are your thoughts?
 

KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
I always use my iPhone. No point in having a second device when the first one can do it just fine (and arguably better)!

Plenty of holders/stands out there for the iPhone. Plenty of good GPS applications too! I personally use MapQuest because it's free, but there're others too.
 
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184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,980
2
Last year I sold my stand alone Garmin and bought a car mount and the Garmin App. I've had zero problems using it along the East Coast.
 
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sixxmum

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
601
56
Depends if you value precise GPS info. If not, use the iPhone.
Is the iPhone itself not precise, or are you saying that the Maps program isn't? Would you suggest a 3rd party app instead?
 
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TM WAZZA

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2010
1,967
0
Hamilton, New Zealand
For me there is absolutely no need for a stand alone GPS device.

I bought the Sygic app long before there was turn by turn in the default Maps app. And it's been perfect.
 
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jester0723

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2011
156
0
Virginia
If you use a GPS all the time, you might want to look into buying the Garmin app. Especially while Maps is still ironing out issues. I usually only use GPS on my phone for short trips. I have an old Garmin but it takes forever to turn on and it's annoying to stick it to the windshield and everything.

Also, I would only do this if you have a charger in your car. Otherwise it'll just wipe out your battery.
 
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Deacon-Blues

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2012
570
638
California
Last Christmas I had an iPod integration kit connected to my car stereo, including a cradle that charges my phone as well. Once I had this, there was no point in using the Garmin any longer. The iPhone is all the navigation I need. Until iOS 6 I was using the MapQuest app, but now I'm just using Maps.

I wouldn't do this if you don't at least have a continuous power source for your iPhone, because using it for navigation remorselessly murders your battery. Also of course you need a cradle of some sort for safe navigation.
 
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sixxmum

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
601
56
Thanks, everyone. I have a car plug USB adaptor, so I think I should be able to use a lightning cable (have to get one first, of course).
 
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jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2009
4,913
1,837
Upstate NY
Do remember that if the map is not downloaded to your phone, the minute you're out of cell coverage, you'll have no GPS. That's why I still have a Garmin.
 
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Nicksd84

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2010
547
695
Atlanta, GA
I use map quest cuz it's free and has turn by turn. I'm on an iPhone 4 so I won't be getting the integrated solution for turn by turn. I love it, but the only reason I can see getting a stand alone device is if you want the visual displayed all the time. If you're on the phone, using the iPod, etc. you'll just be getting the audio tirn by turn. This isn't a problem for me, but may be something to consider.
 
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KoukiFC3S

macrumors 6502a
Jul 4, 2010
535
1
I bought Navigon a couple years ago and it's been great. Went on many road trips and it never let me down. It can store offline maps so it will still work without a network connection.

If you are ok with streaming the maps, try out Waze. It has amazing traffic rerouting.
 
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F123D

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2008
3,776
16
Del Mar, CA
I bought Navigon a couple years ago and it's been great. Went on many road trips and it never let me down. It can store offline maps so it will still work without a network connection.

If you are ok with streaming the maps, try out Waze. It has amazing traffic rerouting.
Love my Navigon app.
 
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rocksyoursock

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2011
159
77
I live in a town where things are laid out very weird. The Apple Maps app and TomTom GPS units (maybe because Apple sources data from TomTom) have my home address about a mile and a half away from where I actually live, along with most POI's being extremely off. I have had great success with standalone Garmin units for accuracy in my town and surrounding area.

I decided a few months ago to buy the Garmin app for the iPhone. It's really great and has replaced my Garmin Nuvi standalone unit. The Garmin app loses a couple features of my standalone unit (the app doesn't let you eliminate a specific road from route calculation, for example), but overall, I just use the iPhone Garmin app and its great. The maps are downloaded to the phone so it won't use or need data and I get a solid GPS fix. However, I do not live in a city with skyscrapers so I cannot comment on GPS signal strength in the urban jungle which is the biggest challenge for GPS chips.
 
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Norcalchavo

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2007
108
0
Santa Clara, California
My old GPS isn't cutting it any longer. It has no (none) battery life, so it has to be plugged in constantly. The maps are 2 years out of date, so there are a good number of places it just can't get me to. I got the spouse a Garmin with lifetime maps, so doing that is one option. Or, I could get some sort of mount (?) for the iPhone and use that. What are your thoughts?
If you do a lot of driving I would recommend buying a GPS app. I'veused TomTom for years and it works great
 
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1rottenapple

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2004
2,632
801
I use waze for traffic/commuting, but I also bought a Tom Tom app like 3 yrs ago that is in my iTunes/laptop. Lets say its time for a road trip with periods of no signal then maybe ill install it (car has factory GPS-though).

Tom Tom, garmin, navigon, can't hold a candle to Waze. Waze's crowd source data is amazing. People point out road hazards, cop (hidden and visible), etc.... Top it off its free! Mind you I commute 110 miles/day, 4-5 days a week. Hence my love for this app.
 
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HCO

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2011
153
18
Memphis,Tenneessee
i live in memphis, Tn and the maps app has been great to me. it got me all the way to tulsa, OK with out a single problem i trusted it for 6 and 1/2 hours and it worked great and also helped me find an awesome restaurant while there. so i trust it.
 
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Ntombi

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2008
3,395
1,164
Bostonian exiled in SoCal
I bought Navigon a couple years ago and it's been great. Went on many road trips and it never let me down. It can store offline maps so it will still work without a network connection.

If you are ok with streaming the maps, try out Waze. It has amazing traffic rerouting.
+1

I bought the Navigon app shortly after it was released, and I have never regretted it. I it was good enough that I sold my stand alone GPS after I bought it, and it's only gotten better over time. Now, you can even access Navigon's directions through Maps.

I do like Apple Maps, but I'm aware that it doesn't work well for everyone, not to mention the need for a constant data connection. Navigon doesn't have those restrictions.
 
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rusty2192

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2008
997
81
Kentucky
For me, the cons of using my phone as a GPS device just aren't worth it. You can get a good dedicated unit with lifetime map updates for under $100 now. Then you don't have to worry about cell coverage or taking up a ton of your phones (expensive) storage with map data. Plus then you have full access to your phone while using the navigation.

The iPhone works nicely for little things here and there where it isn't worth pulling out the GPS unit, but that's all I care to use it for.

Any yes, these are my opinions and I know many others are happy using their phone as their only navigation device. To each his own. :D
 
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jeblis

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2012
214
103
Do remember that if the map is not downloaded to your phone, the minute you're out of cell coverage, you'll have no GPS. That's why I still have a Garmin.
If you use a 3rd party app like navigon, garmin, or tom tom, it will download the map data.
 
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norwegian wood

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2010
180
0
If your phone constantly rings with calls, you will want a stand alone unit or what I do is turn off notifications if I'm relying on GPS to guide me.

Another vote for navigon

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Do remember that if the map is not downloaded to your phone, the minute you're out of cell coverage, you'll have no GPS. That's why I still have a Garmin.
Navigon maps are downloaded onto your iPhone. You even pick what states you want to download so you don't waste space or time downloading them.
 
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