Why do Android phones need a SIM card for navigation?

Igurisu

Active Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
680
Location
Lancashire
Car
911 Turbo
When I use my samsung tablet or my wifes HTC phone the SIM needs to be present in order to be able to use navigation. What I don't understand is why TomTom or Garmin (or other sat navs), only need the GPS locator that is also present in my tablet or the wifes phone.

Any takers? :)
 

KillerHERTZ

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
17,067
Location
Cambridge
Car
CLS63 AMG
Phone Sat Nav's use the GSM network to find its location initally, then GPS to actually confirm the posisiton.

Working this way is alot quicker and saves battery etc.
 

tor_ake

Active Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
81
Car
C180 Kompressor 2003
Plus, many android navigation apps use online address search and on-demand downloading of maps, making them pretty useless without a data connection.

Works ok unless you like navigation while abroad and data is a euro per meg...
 

RichAJ

Active Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
221
Location
Wigan
Car
2012 W207 E350cdi 265bhp Edition. 2001 W208 CLK 230K Tip Avantgarde-Brabus K3 Modified - UP FOR SALE
Its for data Pete, they are bringing out offline maps soon (theres a way to do it manually now but il leave that) but it uses GSM/3G signal a bit to download your route. Doesn't use loads but needs one all the same.

Rich
 
OP
OP
Igurisu

Igurisu

Active Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
680
Location
Lancashire
Car
911 Turbo
Thanks guys, now I understand :)

Its the data abroad matter you mention Tor, think I will invest in a sat nav, the charges can be quite expensive for long journeys in a rental car.
 

RichAJ

Active Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
221
Location
Wigan
Car
2012 W207 E350cdi 265bhp Edition. 2001 W208 CLK 230K Tip Avantgarde-Brabus K3 Modified - UP FOR SALE
Depending on your phone some come with an actual nav app. The Sony ones come with CoPilot which is a decent one. Albeit usually on a 30/60 day trial lol.
 

mattc

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 27, 2007
Messages
2,614
Location
Midlands
Car
Audi A4, 1994 E320 Coupe, 1995 E300 estate
As an aside my Windows phone (nokia Lumia 800) has Nokia Drive on it and I have used it abroad in US and Germany without data connection (I set it up that way at the outset and the phone itself always says "no Service" whilst I am away.

the GPS receiver on that seems to work just fine on its own.

p.s. Nokia Drive is free and so are the maps.
 

Dryce

MB Enthusiast
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
7,715
Car
..
Thanks guys, now I understand :)

Its the data abroad matter you mention Tor, think I will invest in a sat nav, the charges can be quite expensive for long journeys in a rental car.
This is one of the reasons I've stuck with Nokia for travelling. The maps on the phones that support GPS navigation work offline though the GPS takes longer to get a lock if it's not assisted. If you arrive in a foreign country and can't get online the offline maps still work if you download them before you leave.
 

KillerHERTZ

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
17,067
Location
Cambridge
Car
CLS63 AMG
My old NEXUS S has just been updated to JellyBean OS which has given me offline maps :D
 

RichAJ

Active Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
221
Location
Wigan
Car
2012 W207 E350cdi 265bhp Edition. 2001 W208 CLK 230K Tip Avantgarde-Brabus K3 Modified - UP FOR SALE
yeah you can turn it off and on in droid no bother.
 

spinaltap

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
280
Location
Chocolate-Central
Car
A180 Avantgarde (2009) A180 Avantgarde (2012)
FYI, the iPhone doesn't require an installed sim for gps to work.

Of all the available navigation apps, I use Co-Pilot Live on my iPhone - currently £20.

This will be even better on the iPad Mini when it emerges later this year.
 

Mr E

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
1,591
Location
Sussex
Car
57 W211 E280 AG
Mrs E's HTC Desire HD can use downloaded maps too - always has roaming data off when abroad and very useful for wandering around cities on foot, etc.
 

V12

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 17, 2002
Messages
5,610
Location
Southampton
Car
S320CDI LWB
iGo app for android works on a phone without network...

Offline maps with jelly bean doesn't equal offline navigation though...
 
OP
OP
Igurisu

Igurisu

Active Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
680
Location
Lancashire
Car
911 Turbo
Just a quick update, after some searching around and review reading I installed Navfree from the Android market. Its free and covers most of Europe, missing some east european countries.

You download and install the software, then there are map packs for each country that you download and install from within the software. This is all free, although there are premium options.

I've been trying it yesterday and today on routes I drive regularly and its very good. My only gripe so far would be that it seems slow to calculate a new route if you miss a junction or turning.

Overall, for a free GPS only package its good enough for the few times I will need it.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom