My road trip - a review of the apps used

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by Captain Canuck, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Captain Canuck
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    Captain Canuck New Member

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    I recently made a trip to Canada - driving from south-central PA over the Allegheny mountains through Buffalo to the Toronto area.

    I used the following apps during the drive:


    Insofar as hardware goes I used:


    Below is a general overview of of how I used the apps and devices.

    The stock CarDock program fires up automatically when the D2G is put in it. It comes with a few nice features that you would easily use while driving - such as the possibility to map buttons to specific contacts. One of the issues with this is if you have multiple contact information fields completed in the contact it still requires you to take your eyes off the road to choose the correct one to call. Next trip I take I plan to create entries with single phone numbers in them and map those to the buttons.

    As my D2G is a phone in addition to a travel tool I knew I would want to take it out of the car mount whenever I left the car. And given that I am generally a lazy guy I wanted to see what I could do to eliminate the steps I had to take to change the D2G whenever I removed it or put it back in the car mount.

    To do this I decided to try out Setting Profiles. It looked like it would be an ideal app to use at it has the ability to detect an event - such as In Car Mount and based on that event execute a number of pre-configured actions. It also has the capability of taking certain pre-configured actions when the event ended - such as killing a running app when removed form the car mount.

    I configured Setting Profiles to, when it detects it has been put in the car mount, to turn on Bluetooth, turn on Latitude and to turn on Weatherbug Elite weather radar. I also configured it to turn all of these off when the phone was no longer in the car mount. I am happy to say this worked flawlessly.

    Driving through the mountains and in the Buffalo, NY area during winter is a crap shoot at best. I am ok with driving in winter conditions but I don't really like surprises. I used Weatherbug on the desktop and am quite happy with it. When I first got the D2G I immediately looked to in the Market to see if it was available. It was the first app I got. When I saw the full version - Weatherbug Elite - was available I got it. One of the features I really liked was the weather radar and was thrilled when I found it had a "follow me" mode when GPS was enabled. The mode worked pretty well but it has a couple of annoying quirks.

    First, the fastest update is every 15 minutes. It would be nice if a quicker update was available as snow squalls can come up very fast. Though I supposed this might be a function of how often the source radar itself is updated. Second, and the most annoying quirk, while my position on the map does get updated every 15 minutes, the map does not move with me. I would expect a program that has such an option the move the map to my location is kept in the centre of the map. I may have missed a configuration option but I don't think so.

    Ok, so now on to Google Latitude. I'm sure everyone who travels any distance to visit others have been asked to "let me know how the drive is going" or has received a phone call asking the same. With Google Latitude you can configure it to trck where you are and invite others to view this information. It proved to be very useful to my parents and my wife.

    So, putting all of this together....

    The Garmin 1370T has bluetooth capability built in. I paired it to the D2G initially. By default the D2G has bluetooth configured to NOT be discoverable. So I did the initial pairing from the D2G to the Garmin. However, from that point forward I fired up the D2G first and had the Garmin pair with the D2G.

    The multi-vehicle charger allowed me to connect both the Garmin and the D2G to the same power outlet.

    I hope this information is of use.

    BTW, I use the full version of apps as I want to encourage the developers to continue improving and developing apps that I find useful.

    CC
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  2. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    Just curious, but why didn't you use Google Maps for GPS during your trip?

    I understand you have the Garmin, but I've found Google Maps navigation to be phenomenal, it's replaced my TomTom.
  3. Captain Canuck
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    Captain Canuck New Member

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    Two reasons, I already have the Garmin and I trust it - Google Maps is still somewhat unknown to me from a "can I trust it" point of view. And second, it has built-in bluetooth and I didn't want to spring for a bluetooth earpiece.

    CC
  4. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    Trust part I get. Understandable.

    Maybe I'm missing something, but what do you need the bluetooth for on the GPS?
  5. Captain Canuck
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    Captain Canuck New Member

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    The GPS can be used as a speaker phone. I set the D2G to automatically answer when a call came in and the audio got piped to the Garmin.

    Saved me having to get a bluetooth earpiece.

    CC
  6. Candace
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    Candace New Member

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    @ Captain Canuck-Cool post with good feedback. Regarding the "trust factor" with Google Maps- it has also replaced my Garmin. I travel all over northern Ohio- even in remote rural areas- in the middle of cornfields. I've never lost a signal- and it has not steered me wrong. I've starred contacts & frequent addresses- saved in my favorites. Its been awesome. I can also search for the nearest McDonalds, gas station, grocery- you name it. I'm a huge fan of it. I'd even pay for it if I had to- but thank goodness, I don't! :) I'd say- give it a try- and keep your Garmin locked in your glovebox as a back up!
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