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Old 05-18-2014, 01:30 AM   #1
evermore OP
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Question adventure travel using t-mobile/smartphone?

Since T-mobile offers unlimited international data (at 2G speed but still), has anyone gone with the t-mobile plan/smartphone over a dedicated GPS for traveling across multiple countries?
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Old 05-20-2014, 04:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evermore View Post
Since T-mobile offers unlimited international data (at 2G speed but still), has anyone gone with the t-mobile plan/smartphone over a dedicated GPS for traveling across multiple countries?
You know cellular signal and data isn't needed for mapping operations or navigation, right ?

If you were planning on making a bunch of phone calls and sending kick ass pictures of your exploits, yes, you'll want data or to find a WiFi location to leach.
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scrolling through the words to get to the pictures is cool, but i'm really just here for the tracks and waypoints... post some ok ?
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
You know cellular signal and data isn't needed for mapping operations or navigation, right ?

If you were planning on making a bunch of phone calls and sending kick ass pictures of your exploits, yes, you'll want data or to find a WiFi location to leach.
For dedicated navigation units or specialized nav software for smartphone, sure, no data connection is necessary but for Google Maps it is as I would not rely on its offline mode. Having a smartphone with a data plan that works everywhere is an intriguing set of capabilities:

Pros:
- built in navigation, no need to buy separate navigation unit
- ability to make calls and use internet anywhere in the world without having to look for wifi or go through the hassle of buying a SIM card in each country.
- no need to buy a SPOT unit (if you are so inclined)
- ability to do short posts of blog entries and photos etc. on the fly (without waiting for the next time you are in range of wifi).

Cons:
- $50 a month...

That seems worth it to me so I wonder if anyone has tried this and has some experience with it...
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:17 AM   #4
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T-mobile doesn't even connect a few miles from my house.
You expect to be able to rely on the data connection from country to country?
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evermore View Post
For dedicated navigation units or specialized nav software for smartphone, sure, no data connection is necessary but for Google Maps it is as I would not rely on its offline mode. Having a smartphone with a data plan that works everywhere is an intriguing set of capabilities:

Pros:
- built in navigation, no need to buy separate navigation unit
- ability to make calls and use internet anywhere in the world without having to look for wifi or go through the hassle of buying a SIM card in each country.
- no need to buy a SPOT unit (if you are so inclined)
- ability to do short posts of blog entries and photos etc. on the fly (without waiting for the next time you are in range of wifi).

Cons:
- $50 a month...

That seems worth it to me so I wonder if anyone has tried this and has some experience with it...
Look past Google maps, the world awaits.
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scrolling through the words to get to the pictures is cool, but i'm really just here for the tracks and waypoints... post some ok ?
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by worwig View Post
T-mobile doesn't even connect a few miles from my house.
You expect to be able to rely on the data connection from country to country?
Since T-mobile wont administer those services but has contracts with the local providers, yes! =)
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
Look past Google maps, the world awaits.
Well, it's free and and gets me from A to B. I did my trip from California to Patagonia using a Garmin Nuvi 500 and maps from OSM which worked (despite the occasional error in the map data) but eliminating another device to charge would be worthwhile.

What is the killer feature that Google Maps lacks?
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evermore View Post
Well...

What is the killer feature that Google Maps lacks?


A whole bunch:
It navigates and searches very well, until the cellular signal drops...

After that, it doesn't record tracks, allow for offline navigation, tracking, waypoints, route planning, sharing of waypoints, maps are very limited, and a bunch more fun features.


In not knocking your setup at all, but there is so much more that offline applications can do for you.
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scrolling through the words to get to the pictures is cool, but i'm really just here for the tracks and waypoints... post some ok ?
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worwig View Post
T-mobile doesn't even connect a few miles from my house.
You expect to be able to rely on the data connection from country to country?
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
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Since T-mobile wont administer those services but has contracts with the local providers, yes! =)
Being a CBOA, I used Tmobile prepaid for 5+ years, until I couldn't stand it any longer. The data coverage is abysmal, once you're off a Tmobile tower. Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma... forget about any reliable coverage on the freeway, city streets and out in the woods. It just sucks...

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Old 05-21-2014, 10:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
A whole bunch:
It navigates and searches very well, until the cellular signal drops...

After that, it doesn't record tracks, allow for offline navigation, tracking, waypoints, route planning, sharing of waypoints, maps are very limited, and a bunch more fun features.


In not knocking your setup at all, but there is so much more that offline applications can do for you.
well Google Maps does have an offline feature and your phone tracks your location history. Preloading waypoints might be something something I might miss...

One remedy is to load a separate navigation map application as a backup.

Also, when I used the Garmin, the software for Mac OS was absolutely atrocious..
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:35 AM   #12
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I would not rely on Tmobile connection. I have it, once contract is over I'm gone.
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by evermore View Post
One remedy is to load a separate navigation map application as a backup.
.
That is the correct answer. Do not rely on online only, or you will be caught without anything.

While I use Googles online tracks, I would not rely on that either when I am keeping a detailed log of where I am.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evermore View Post
well Google Maps does have an offline feature and your phone tracks your location history. Preloading waypoints might be something something I might miss...

One remedy is to load a separate navigation map application as a backup.

Also, when I used the Garmin, the software for Mac OS was absolutely atrocious..
I've removed Google maps, nav, etc and the only thing i miss is.... I forget. :

I can remember finding lots of bugs with Google maps and their offline cache, like directions being repeated for the same road over and over... Missing tiles, corrupt data bases, etc

I agree about the Garmin software on Mac os, it's terrible. My friends that drink the gman koolaid say it's better on the Mac too. Id just rather not.
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scrolling through the words to get to the pictures is cool, but i'm really just here for the tracks and waypoints... post some ok ?
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
I've removed Google maps, nav, etc and the only thing i miss is.... I forget. :

I can remember finding lots of bugs with Google maps and their offline cache, like directions being repeated for the same road over and over... Missing tiles, corrupt data bases, etc

I agree about the Garmin software on Mac os, it's terrible. My friends that drink the gman koolaid say it's better on the Mac too. Id just rather not.
My trip was 4 years ago so maybe the Garmin software has improved but I am hoping to simplify things... adding a DSLR and maybe a gopro but eliminate a dedicated GPS...
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