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Navigation on water: iPhone v. Garmin

 
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pet575
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PostPosted: Jun 04, 2009 1:45 pm    Post subject: Navigation on water: iPhone v. Garmin Reply with quote

Over the past few years, I've had a growing desire to get a Garmin or something along those lines for use with both my little fishing boat on local lakes here in KC and on my bowrider for use on my home lake and for use at other MO lakes that I might frequent from time to time. I know my own lake pretty well, but I'd like to have something that will give me depths of approaching waters-especially at unfamiliar lakes like Stockton Lake, Table Rock, or Beaver Lake in Arkansaw.

There is an iNAV application for my iPhone that is downloadable for $40-50 and then the South Region map for inland lakes/waterways that would go with it is something like $3-4. I'm thinking this would be a much better way to go than purchasing a Garmin or equivalent-especially since it seems to me that buying a Garmin at this point would be repeat spending on a cost I have already paid since my iPhone has GPS capability.

Anyone have any experience with the iNAV stuff in either iPhone or Crackberry application format? Thoughts on it v. a Garmin? I'm really thinking this is the way to go. Anyone think this is a bad idea?

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pet575
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobody? Nuttin?
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chavez
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pet575, I tried looking for the app with no success.

Linky?

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pet575
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.navionics.com/MobileLakeFeatures.asp

Apparently there is a new version launched on 5/20/09. If you click on "Catalog" tab it breaks out which one you need based on your state (including the subservient state of Canada). Once you click on your region, you can see if your lake is available and whether it is available in HD map.

Got some additional info on the Four Winns site I belong to. Right now you can buy the map for your region for $4.99 without having to buy the $50 application. I figure for $5 it is worth trying, so I got it. Heading to the lake late tonight so I'll get a chance to try it out tomorrow and see how it does.

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chavez
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No sh*t. For $5 I'm buying it just to have it!

I will let you know what I think of the West coast side of it. Looks really promising!

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pet575
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I figure it is worth $5 just to see. Looks like a pretty cool way to avoid having to buy a Garmin or something along those lines.
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chavez
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pet575, the only "catch" that I see is that it isn't live. It will locate via gps, but not track. Which is OK by me I'd mostly use it stopped anyhow.
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churchy
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I downloaded ViewTi as a golf GPS... I already have a SkyCaddie, so I didn't really need it. I was really impressed with it. In fact, I feel like I wasted a bunch of money on the SkyCaddie now. If your marine nav app is anything like the golf app, you should be good to go.
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pet575
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that thing looks sweet. I might have to buy the ViewTi as well. Jesus, this iPhone is going to bankrupt me. Very Happy
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pet575
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chavez, I'm interested to see how well it works to tell me what is coming up. I don't necessarily need to plot/record courses or anything like that. I'd just like to know when I'm approaching 3 foot depths full of rocks or submerged points before I get to them when I'm on a lake I'm not familiar with. Guess we'll find out how well it can do that (if at all) but I'm willing to take a shot for $5.
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churchy
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PostPosted: Jun 05, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pet575, make sure you get the ViewTi GOLF version... it is the best one, but onsale for half price... so, it is less expensive then the next version down.
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pet575
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PostPosted: Jun 11, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update time.

chavez, I was able to get it to work "live" on one of the local lakes here in KC. But, when I took to my home lake in rural MO, no dice. There are horrible coverage issues with 3G down there, so it didn't work "live." I'm not smart enough to know why, but apparently this app uses 3G, Wi-Fi, and GPS to orient itself. I figured that GPS capability meant that was all it used for live data but that does not appear to be the case.

So, within range, it worked better than expected. Out of range, it is basically a chart/map of your body of water-which can still be useful if you aren't familiar with that body of water. Doesn't do me much good on my home lake, since I know it pretty well, but it would probably be pretty decent to have at Table Rock Lake or Lake of the Ozarks (even thought I avoid LOTO whenever possible).

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wakeboarderdave1
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PostPosted: Jun 15, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How well does the GPS feature work in areas without 3G? Yesterday I saw that TomTom is coming out with an app that allows your iPhone to function like a true GPS.

http://iphone.tomtom.com/





Navigon is also coming out with a app.

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In an attempt to explore a new market for GPS software, and possibly to compete with their rival, TomTom, the new MobileNavigator app boasts many cool, typical Navigon features. For example, it sports Reality View Pro, Real Roadsign Pro, Lane Assistant Pro, Speed Assistant, Day & Night Mode, POI information, “updated map material and intelligent navigation,” as well as a few other undisclosed features.

You know how when you turn the iPhone 90 degrees, the orientation changes from portrait to landscape? Well the GPS app will also change based on your iPhone orientation for your viewing comfort. It is set to work “seamlessly” with the iPhone, in the sense it can navigate to an address saved in a contact, as well as stop when a call coming in, and then immediately resume after the call has ended. It would definitely be a pain if after every phone call, the GPS resets itself and has to start from the beginning.

As I previously mentioned, MobileNavigator will be made available later in June, presumably after the 3.0 software has been pushed out to all iPhones. In addition, Navigon is going to offer two versions of the app, one will be a LITE, free version, and the other will cost money. The LITE version comes with the core features but lacks active route guidance. Meanwhile, the paid version comes with all the features listed above. It will definitely be interesting to see how the Navigon app compares to the TomTom app and which of the two will prove to be more popular amongst the public.

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chavez
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PostPosted: Jun 15, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pet575, cool. It should work well on the Delta here which is pretty well covered by AT&T. Now I just need dad to get the boat fixed so I can try it!

wakeboarderdave1, I find it works pretty well. I have used it to pinpoint coordinates out in the boonies and it got within what seemed like feet of actual location.

I used the app "MotionX GPS Lite" to get coordinates, then checked them in Google Earth and it was pretty much on the money. This particular place would bounce between EDGE service and no service.

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pet575
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PostPosted: Jun 15, 2009 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wakeboarderdave1, it works "OK" but not great. Many times I get the "weak GPS signal" notification in Motion X GPS Lite and then it just sits and searches for a signal when I'm out in the middle of the lake I go to in rural MO. It can work if you're patient with it, though.
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Red57Bird
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PostPosted: Jun 15, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of the electronics are great to have and sure are convenient. In addition to your electronic nav gear, I'd recommend getting a good old waterproof paper map of any body of water you take you boat to. I don't recall the brand that I have for our lake, but I keep it with me at all times. It has all of the channels, stumps, mile markers, danger buoys, launch ramps, etc. clearly marked on the map. Hardcopy maps never crash, lose battery power, or rely on cell tower service.
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