Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

One big reason to keep using a dedicated GPS is offline support—as far as I know, both iOS and Android require an internet connection to calculate a route, so if you don't have cell service, you're out of luck. Since dedicated GPS devices have everything locally, they just do all that work without having to talk to a server.

The upcoming Maps update for Android will have offline support so you can pre-cache a selected area.


Will it support offline navigation? Map caching has been available as an experimental feature for quite a long time.

I can't imagine that navigation will work offline. Currently the directions and rerouting are calculated by Google's servers, not on the client device. Obviously trivial routing can be done on the device, but proper routing would need a lot more data to be present, and cover the whole route.

Exactly. Urban navigation, solid, universal navigation, no so much. What is worse is that navigation 'sketchyness' from the likes of signal drop outs. Trying to use my Nexus to navigate from Sacramento CA to San Jose, several complete blackouts along the way, map just goes blank.

And of course its a huge data consumer if its throwing map tiles at you constantly. Clearly local storage is so cheap and geo data changes so slowly that it seems ridiculous that the phone doesn't just keep a cache and save you the net charges but that doesn't seem to be in the plans.

Buy a dedicated navigation app. The Navigon and TomTom iOS apps are every bit as capable as a dedicated GPS, but cost $50.

I use the NDrive app for offline mode (pay-per-country-map). Never had a problem with it in several countries, and I go back to Google Navigation when I'm back where data access is. I couldn't imagine using a second GPS unit now after how well the Android is working for me.

Don't quote me on this but I believe Google Maps on Android has an offline mode where you can select a desired area to be cached for offline use.

EDIT: it is currently a "Labs" feature but it is being officially released soon along with the 3D mapping.

I've been using the lab feature, but I was hoping for a bit more.

I would like to be using a web browser on a desktop, perform a search, get directions, and then choose to have the entire route's tiles sent to my phone. (Along with hotel, gas, emergency responder, restaurant place information.)

I've also found that I am usually lost where there is poor cellular reception!

I'm surprised Google didn't announce offline support for Navigation as well. I wonder if it's a technical issue or they'd rather keep as much as possible online, so they can keep pushing ads.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact