My review of Google Navigation after 3000 miles

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by JoeFresco, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. JoeFresco
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    JoeFresco New Member

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    I've driven more than 3000 miles in the past month with my Droid in its car dock. After using it this much, I have a pretty good understanding of how it works and I wrote a review comparing it to the Magellan GPS I used for the previous 50k miles. I also threw in some tips that might help you better use Google Nav and the Droid while driving. I hope it helps... let me know what you think.
    Google Navigation version 1 real life review Joel Kleppinger
  2. pandroid
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    pandroid Theme Developer Theme Developer

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    i finally had a chance to use it the navigation app today. coming from a tomtom i really liked it. but you did point out some good downsides like the mph and nightmode, which i missed dearly tonight
  3. New2u
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    New2u DF Super Moderator

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    Good write up. :) thanks

    Just remember it's still very very very new
  4. JonKyu
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    JonKyu New Member

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    GREAT article I definitely agree with a lot of your points. I just recently moved and google navigation has been my life saver, not only has it gotten me more confidence to drive in unfamiliar places but I've found it a great way to explore your new surroundings. I can now mostly drive to wherfe I need to go without navigation.

    IMO navigation is best when its used for city travel, but due to limitations with cell phone converage I still think a dedicated gps unit is still best when going on long road trips.
  5. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    Good write up.
    I too have noticed that the 'route choices' aren't always the best (trying it driving to somewhere I already know how to get to) but it does re-route very very fast when you don't follow the suggested route.
  6. bodean
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    bodean New Member

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  7. Mmracing
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    Mmracing New Member

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    The link didn't work
  8. JoeFresco
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    JoeFresco New Member

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    Sorry. My website went down. I'm working on it.

    By the way, I know Google Nav is "in beta," but it's also something they are advertising and promoting with the Droid so I thought a full review was in order, especially because I've used it so much.
  9. omnibus
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    omnibus New Member

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    I'm waiting for your site to come back up but in a recent 1100 mile trip from northeast Wyoming to Phoenix AZ, Google Nav routed the trip more than 200 miles further than Garmin and Microsoft streets and trips. Google steadfastly routed the trip on Interstates while the other routing was on U.S. and state highways but a far more direct route.

    Now, after reading your review I agree with almost all of your points except the final one that Google navigation wins. Maybe by comparison to Magellan but certainly not against Garmin. But it's fun to play with if you know in advance where you're going.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
  10. reefsrt4
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    reefsrt4 New Member

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    great write up. thanks.
  11. jodyberry
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    jodyberry New Member

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    Great info - thanks!!

    The main issue I've had is getting back to nav after answering a call. I had to do like you said and re-enter my nav address and it'll go back to nav in progress.

    As an early release OS, I expect these issues will be resolved at some time. As a (previous) Storm owner, the Droid is FAR better coming out of the gates than the Storm was. I had mine since day one and the Storm STILL lacks the intuitive nature of the Droid.
  12. JoeFresco
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    JoeFresco New Member

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    I don't really think Google Navigation "wins." The list of downsides is definitely larger than the positives. What I said was "I think Google Nav is good enough to use as a primary means of navigation, but not by a lot." Basically, I think it's workable as it is, which was the question I wanted to answer most. From looking at the cons, it certainly isn't up to the overall level of Magellan, TomTom, or Garmin.

    I'm going to edit it later today with links to Android Issues related to Google Navigation (some of the things I brought up in the review), and people who agree that these need to be fixed can star those issues.
  13. ConqSoft
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    ConqSoft New Member

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    Menu -> Route Info

    Not sure what you mean on this? If I just go to Google Maps it will show my location and follow me as I go...
  14. moot
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    moot New Member

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    Nice write up. Thank you!
  15. DPilot
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    DPilot New Member

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    Longpress on home screen>Shortcuts>Directions

    I have all of mine in a folder on one of my home screens named Navigation. Hope that helps. :)
  16. mbeatle
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    mbeatle New Member

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    I agree with a lot of your points. I've used a Nuvi 350 for the past 3 years and overall I was pretty pleased. Google Navigation shows a lot of promise, but I'd still take a dedicated GPS for longer trips, especially when the route would go into rural areas where I could lose cell coverage.
  17. silverx10
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    silverx10 New Member

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    By all means, please share how you do this, then. I've been looking for this functionality for some time now. Granted, it'll show me where I'm at, but it'll use the dot vice the arrow, and it won't actually FOLLOW me, it'll center the screen on the initial dot location, and if I drive off screen, I have to manually recenter it.
  18. ConqSoft
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    ConqSoft New Member

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    Are you running the latest Google Maps, and have all the labs enabled?

    Just to clarify, I go to the Car Home, and choose View Map (or choose Navigate and hit the Back button once to hide the navigation inputs at the top.)

    I'll see if I can get a video of it this week.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
  19. silverx10
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    silverx10 New Member

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    I know that I've got the latest release of Maps installed, and I'm almost 100% certain that I've got everything enabled that can be, but I'll double-check this evening. 's more than just a li'l chilly out to be going out to check on a Maps setting alone.

    ...Going out to check on a Maps setting on a food run, however... that's a horse of a different color. ;)
  20. JoeFresco
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    JoeFresco New Member

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    I'll respond to both here.

    If you tap the Menu botton then "My Location" in Google Maps, it will center on your location. If you don't touch ANYTHING else, then it will follow you. But if you move the screen or sometimes even change zoom levels after it's following you, it has the behavior your describe.

    However, this isn't the same as free roam in Google Nav would be because it doesn't keep the perspective always facing the direction you are going. Instead, I have to interpret what it should look like out my windshield based on the arrow and its location.
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