Can you use Google maps without cell service?

Discussion in 'HTC Rezound' started by bladerunn3r, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. bladerunn3r
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    bladerunn3r New Member

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    I know android phones have a separate GPS chip inside, so it is possible to use gps navigation apps. However, I read that google maps will not run if you don't have cell service (a pop up that informs you that you need service). Can you get past this if you have the local maps downloaded and saved already on the app? I know that you can use other navigators such as "Backcountry navigation." It's just I would prefer to use google maps vs. backcountry or Waze. I just want to know if it's possible to use google maps for navigation without cell coverage; I know that even if you CAN, its "reliability" will be dependent on exchange between the GPS and phone.

    Actually, I ask for my dad. I gave him my old phone (droid x) which he doesn't want to pay data for. So he is using it as a PDA primarily, though he would love to use it for navigation as well. Thanks!
  2. pat3332
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    pat3332 New Member

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    This may not be much help, but I was just looking at an ariticle from Backcountry Navigator which states that you do not need cell service, although your carrier would like you to think it does. It will need a clear view of the sky in order to find the satellites. As you stated, you need to have the local maps downloaded to your phone and Backcountry Navigator is just one of those apps.

    Here's a link to that article if you're interested.

    Using the Android GPS
  3. macpro88
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    macpro88 DF Super Moderator

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    You won't be able to get a GPS lock without cell service. For some reason the GPS needs a cell signal to get a lock on your position.
  4. MrSmith317
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    MrSmith317 Moderator Premium Member

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    I thought it was the data service that was needed because I have a cheapo tablet that has GPS and can get a lock but can't do navigation without having data.
  5. macpro88
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    macpro88 DF Super Moderator

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    You could be right, might be data service that you need, i ran into this issue a while back, but I had NO service what so ever and I could not use navigation and maps would not load at all cause I didn't have data at all... only had this one time though so not sure if it might half work on 1X?
  6. MrSmith317
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    MrSmith317 Moderator Premium Member

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  7. macpro88
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    macpro88 DF Super Moderator

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    Interesting, so it seems that you initially need a data connection to get a lock and then if you loose data after a few mins and you are still locked in the GPS you should still be fine? That's what I take from that and the fact I couldn't get navi to work before without data (didn't have any data when trying to get a lock).
  8. JeffDenver
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    JeffDenver New Member

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    Yeah, your GPS is a sensor that is completely independent from your cell service. You can augment it with other stuff that uses cell tower signals, but the GPS itself is something that is part of your phone's hardware. I still had it even when Verizon cut off my service.

    Back in the day you used to not be able to use google maps at all if you did not have a data connection, but they changed that. You should be able to cache maps ahead of time now if you are going hiking or whatever. All google navigation requires is GPS and a data connection for google maps 9unless you have the maps cached I assume).
  9. ConqSoft
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    ConqSoft New Member

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    The downside with Google Maps is that you can only cache a 10 mile radius of data at a time right now. So it can take a while if you want to cache a large area. There are other navigation products out there that store all the map data on the phone though (like Navigon), so you could always purchase one of those and you'd be fine.
  10. DJTURNz
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    DJTURNz Member

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    I tried to do this on my Galaxy Tab 2 (wifi only). I cached my whole county from the wifi and when i left home, I tried to use navigation. I could see my position moving on the map. but when I tried to use Navigation (turn by turn ) it just kept "trying to connect" or something.
  11. MrSmith317
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    MrSmith317 Moderator Premium Member

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    The answer to the initial question is that you absolutely need data as well as active GPS service. You can use google maps for static directions(while you have data), but without both most navigation services are dead in the water.
  12. TisMyDroid
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    TisMyDroid New Member

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    You can use NavFree with only gps and without data. There is a version for USA and one for Europe. I use it on my thrive tablet (only has gps and Wi-Fi but no data) all the time and it works great. You have to download the maps you need for each state (or each country for Europe) while on data or Wi-Fi but once you have the maps downloaded, you are set to go with just GPS.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR Maxx using Droid Forums
  13. Shadez
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    Shadez Super Mod/News Team Staff Member Premium Member

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    WAZE is another alternative that the news stations seem to be picking up on as users can report problems on the roads live and the stations report them during their newscast.
  14. MrSmith317
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    MrSmith317 Moderator Premium Member

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    So you wind up using your tablet like a standard GPS Nav system then?
  15. TisMyDroid
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    TisMyDroid New Member

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    Yeah, it works really nice because it is a 10" screen so very easy to view...but NavFree also works on your cell phone the same way. I used it on my Razr Maxx when I went to Canada and didn't want to pay for international data but wanted to use navigation. Worked great.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR Maxx using Droid Forums
  16. TisMyDroid
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    TisMyDroid New Member

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    You do have to make sure you download the maps you need while on data or Wi-Fi first, otherwise the app shows you navigating on a bank map. Also would be very convenient for anyone with limited data.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR Maxx using Droid Forums
  17. PatG
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    PatG New Member

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    I thought that phones have aGPS or something like that. But that would be great if it works in Europe. Going there soon
  18. tc1
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    tc1 Member

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    Navfree was nice especially for a free app.
    But the maps seem to be fairly outdated. Couldn't find my house number, when all other gps found.

    Granted, my house is only 2 years old, but all others found it.

    Waze needs a data connection as maps are streamed.

    Navigon works really well online.
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