OT: My personal test of 20 free offline Android gps map routing applications

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On 12/25/2013 06:48 PM, The Real Bev wrote:

You must have an older phone that can't run a newer version of Android. I think it was Ice Cream Sandwich (? not sure) that took away the ability to read both the phone's internal memory and the SD card over a USB connection. Now when you plug the phone in and go into the menu to change the USB connection type, the "mass storage" option isn't there anymore. There is a "Media Transfer Protocol" option, but that isn't always what I want (I may want to just back up the phone's files before doing something stupid; I may want to use the phone as a flash drive; I may want to poke around in directories that I shouldn't be poking around in, e.g. loading a custom color schema for Waze to match my car's dash lighting...)
nate
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On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 15:48:22 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

I never understood that stuff. If you can clarify, that would be useful.
For example, the Samsung Galaxy S3 I have seems to include an *internal* storage card, called, I think, /storage/sdcard0 (or something like that).
Since I have a lot of space, I don't move things around, but, be forwarned, all Android OS's up to (but not including 4.3) lie about the storage space.
There's an entire thread on this in comp.mobile.android, but, the punch line is that, at least T-Mobile, finally, at Android 4.3, started telling the truth about how much Internal storage you started with on your Android phone.
Here are all the memory apps I tested, by the way, and *every* one fails to tell you what Android 4.3 now tells you!
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5493/11271494805_85ea45a558_o.png
Here's are the two Android operating systems I tested:
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2888/11271563134_95aeab16d3_o.jpg
And, notice how they show the internal memory differently:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7387/11282708365_60a13e9fae_o.jpg
Basically, you don't get the truth until you move to Android 4.3, at least with my one test of the Samsung Galaxy S3 on T-Mobile.
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On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 07:50:49 -0500, Nate Nagel wrote:

Hi Nate, Android, at some point (4.1?) removed USB mass storage, and went to MTP mode. This screwed up all the Redhat Linux folks, who still don't have a way to install MTP easily.
But, the Google team gave Apple the MTP code, and I think there is opensource code for the rest of the Linux's, so, you *should* be able to read the SD Card.
At least, on my Samsung Galaxy S3, on Windows & on Ubuntu 13.10, I don't have any problem reading the SD Card when the phone is in MTP mode.
Note: You can only set the mode when you're plugged into a USB cable (just in case you're looking for the setting). The other choice is "Camera Mode", I think they call it PTP or something like that.
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On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 20:58:28 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

These <$200 LG phones are pretty good bang for the buck, but, they won't/can't compete with the $400 phones.
So, from that perspective, these LG phones are "cheesy". especially since most people still probably get their phones under contract, so, they don't physically "see" the $400 price tag, per se, of the smarter phones.
But I buy my phones outright, and use them as gifts, and, I've found you can't get a usable combination of the key things you need at lower than the $200 price tag: - You want at the very least a 1GHz single CPU - You want at the very least 1GB of system memory - You want at the very least 1/2GB of RAM - You want at least an 800x400 pixel display - You want at the very least a 4.X Android OS
Of course, for all those things, more is better; but, I've found (through experience) that, if you go below a single one of those minimums, you'll have problems with the phone running apps.
The cheapest you can get a phone that meets *those* minimums is about $179 (plus tax/shipping) so that's what I call a $200 phone.
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On 12/24/2013 12:33 PM, Danny D'Amico wrote:

The BLU Dash 4.5, my brand of poison, for $139 plus whatever Engadget <http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/11/blu-dash-4-5/ charges for tax+shipping has:

1.2GHz quad-core chip from MediaTek

4GB of storage, but a lot of that is already used

512MB of RAM

854 x 480

4.2

Could be worse...
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Cheers, Bev
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On Wed, 25 Dec 2013 01:20:02 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

That's a pretty good phone for that price!
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On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:40:41 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

I'm really liking that BLU Dash for bang for the buck: http://www.phonebunch.com/compare-phones/motorola_moto_x-1020-vs-blu_dash_4.5-1132/
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On 12/25/2013 10:52 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Serious drawbacks:
1. You can't get cases for it. It comes with a grey skin, which is fine, but I'd like something in a neon color that I could attach a neck-leash to. For this function, smaller would be better. It comes with a screen protector already attached, plus one still in its package. I'd rather have a frosted one, but I can order something from China that can be made to work when these are destroyed.
2. Needs more internal memory.
3. Inability to run apps on the external card. I don't want to use the phone as an mp3 player, so the utility of the external card is far less than I expected. This may be an Android rather than a BLU thing.
I'd like to NOT have to push the power button before I swipe to make the screen turn back on -- The fewer times I have to operate a mechanical switch the happier I am. Again, this may be an android thing rather than a BLU thing.
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On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 14:28:36 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

The 4GB of internal memory is rather puny. I've also been burned, by the LG Optimus F3 lack of internal memory.
It seems Android is really <really> lousy at allowing apps to be moved from internal memory over to the external SDcard. Sigh.
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On 12/25/2013 10:40 PM, Danny D. wrote:

It's got annoyances, but I've used it for nearly 2 months and am pretty satisfied so far. I've made two wifi calls and NO cell calls so far, which shows how much I really need a cellphone :-( It's basically a pocket-size tablet with phone capability. I should have chosen a smaller one, though.
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On Thu, 26 Dec 2013 14:21:18 -0800, The Real Bev wrote:

I'm buying one for a newly acquired stepkid (sort of), and will spend about $200 and simply want the most bang for the buck.
I was leaning toward the Google Motorola G; but will compare these: 1. Moto G ($200) 2. Blu Dash 4.5 ($140) 3. LG Optimus F3 ($180) 4. LG Optimus L9 ($180)
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On 12/28/2013 12:57 AM, Danny D'Amico wrote:

You may be able to get this at Staples using one of the discount coupons they so generously provide via paper or email. I think the price has dropped since I bought ours.

Husband just bought a Nexus 7 tablet (Asus) from Best Buy. It's godawful lovely, and based on that I'd be willing to buy a Nexus 5 phone if I were willing to spend $450. With that much internal memory, who needs an external sd card?
Best Buy included a code for $25 at the google play store. I told them I wanted it emailed to my public address because the guy said I could use it on any of our accounts/android devices. Almost true -- I had to log into the public account through the 'settings' on the phone before I could download a paid app, but it worked. I'll set up the Nexus when hubby decides if he wants to buy anything.
Thanks to Teresa on the google help line who suggested that, along with looking at wallet.google.com to make sure the $25 was actually there.
So far, so good.
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On 12/25/2013 4:20 AM, The Real Bev wrote:

Does it have a WiFi hotspot so I can use my WiFi only Tegra Note 7 tablet?
I love my Tegra, now with 4.3. KitKat seems to be a problem child for many, with bugs to be worked out.

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On Monday, December 23, 2013 1:36:29 PM UTC-5, Danny D'Amico wrote:

Are you sure it's just the gps itself and not something else going on when you're using for mapping? You've verified that by turning the GPS off? I just bought a ZTE AWE which is a fairly basic smartphone and I've used the gps and it doesn't get hot or seem to use a lot of power. The phone has an app that records power usage of various functions and after a recent 50 mile or so trip it showed "location services" using just a few percent of the power.

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On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 06:17:53 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You're on to something there ...
Actually, I have a long thread in the mobile phone groups trying to track down *why* my Samsung Galaxy S3 gets so hot when used with GPS in the car.
On some USB car chargers, it gets so hot as to shut down the phone, with a clear message that the battery temperature is too hot. This happened in two different vehicles, so, I narrowed that one down to the charger.
Then I bought the latest charger, and the phone still gets hot with GPS, but nowhere near the blazing shut-down hot that it got before.
So, as you surmised, the heat problem might not be as simple as "just" the GPS being on. The charger may play a role, but, I'm still confounded as to how.
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On Mon, 23 Dec 2013 08:27:26 -0800, SMS wrote:

This is a good point, which, I, not having a data plan (and therefore, never having worried about data usage), didn't realize until you had said that.
Q: Why bother with offline GPS freeware mapping programs? A: Saves on data usage if you don't have an unlimited data plan. A: Works when you have no data plan. A: Works when you have no cellular signal.
Q: What's the disadvantage of offline free GPS mapping programs? A: You have to be more clever about your choices. A: You have to download the state (or country) map online. A: Most aren't as accurate as Google Maps is. A: Most aren't as easy to use as Google Maps is.
Q: What's the advantage of these GPS mapping applications? A: Some have features that Google Maps doesn't have. For example, A: Some can search in the direction of the destination. A: Some allow dragging of routes & alternate route choices A: Almost all have more settings than does Google Maps A: Most display more information than does Google Maps (although Google Maps has perhaps the most intuitive display) A: Some (e.g., Sygic) have really really pretty displays!
Having said that, Google Maps is the standard by which all offline map programs must be compared, even as Google Maps is almost useless offline, except as preloaded static tiles.
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On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 08:19:42 -0800, SMS wrote:

This is a good point.
Luckily, the free OSM maps seem to cover the world, so, the many free OSM routing apps would only need a GPS signal to work anywhere in the world, for free.
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On Tue, 24 Dec 2013 08:19:42 -0800, SMS wrote:

Hi Steve, I love that Tap Plastics store on Blossom Hill Road, in San Jose. Soon, we'll be using a 3D printing shop, to make our assorted parts! :)
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On Sun, 22 Dec 2013 19:04:54 -0800, SMS wrote:

I just opened up my CoPilot trialware which confirmed your $7 "Holiday Sale" but I have a question, being a frugal consumer.
The offer doesn't explicitly state "TTS" (text to speech) road names. It talks about "voice guidance".
In the past, I've been burned by buying, for example, the Magellan Roadmate, which had the one but not the other; and I had to buy a Garmin nüvi just to get both.
So, I learned, if the box does not explicitly state TTS spoken street names, then the "voice guidance" isn't as useful.
Having said that, here's the exact words of the offer, which, to me, imply they don't have TTS spoken road names for that $7.
Worse yet, they "imply" that the $7 is for a one-year license only - albeit - I have to infer that from the blurb below ...
--- begin verbatim --- transcribed off my Android phone --- Holiday Sale - Up to 30% off CoPilot Start the New Year Headed in the Right Direction! Wherever you or your loved ones are driving in 2014, CoPilot's got you covered. With quality offline maps stored on your phone/tablet, and clear turn-by-turn directions, you cna navigate safely into the New Year.
30% off select CoPilot Premium apps from now until January 6th!
CoPilot GPS customers - Get 30% off (that's just $6.99!) unlimited use of voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation and 3D maps from now until January 6th!
Happy Holidays --- end verbatim --- transcribed off my Android phone ---
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