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Thread: what service would be best for only occasional GPS usage

  1. #1
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    what service would be best for only occasional GPS usage

    trying to help out an older person who has an ancient GPS device that isnt updated and gives bad directions. i was thinking to get a free/cheap daily use plan but some months the thing may not even be used. but when it is used they wont mind paying for it of course. so is there any such plan without even a monthly charge or do they all have a charge even if you dont touch the phone?

    presuming there's no such thing as a no charge monthly phone, what would the cheapest way of getting a data only (if possible) plan so she can use waze when the need arises.

    she will continue to use her flip fone for voice.

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    FreedomPop

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    You can use an old smartphone for this with no SIM at all. Get the Here WeGo maps app and download the appropriate local maps over Wi-Fi. The offline navigation using downloaded maps is quite good - and the app is free.

    Combine it with a FreedomPop SIM on the free plan if you want live traffic updates (probably not worth the hassle).

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    Quote Originally Posted by luckydriver View Post
    trying to help out an older person who has an ancient GPS device that isnt updated and gives bad directions. i was thinking to get a free/cheap daily use plan but some months the thing may not even be used. but when it is used they wont mind paying for it of course. so is there any such plan without even a monthly charge or do they all have a charge even if you dont touch the phone?

    presuming there's no such thing as a no charge monthly phone, what would the cheapest way of getting a data only (if possible) plan so she can use waze when the need arises.

    she will continue to use her flip fone for voice.
    If Sprint coverage is ok, I suggest Tello paygo prepaid. $10 minimum deposit. Data is 2 cents a MB. The deposit balance does not expire with some use every 90 days. You can disable texts so that you won't get charged for scammy ones.

    There are not many services without some monthly cost and reasonably priced data.

    Someone else mentioned Freedompop. Yes it is free for 200 MB a month. Conservatively, 550 MB is usable. I don't know what it costs to start a free plan with them these days - still probably less than $15. There are some hoops to jump through to get the plan to be totally free. You can get up to 500 MB more by connecting with at least 10 "Freedom Friends". It is easy and can be anonymous if you use a burner email address. You do have to check your friends list occasionally to see if you need to get new ones if the existing ones terminate service. I doubt I would subject an older person to the peculiarities of Freedompop unless I was going to do the hoop jumping and maintenance for them.

    Anyone know how much data Wayze uses? I have checked a couple of one hour trips using Google Maps. They were in the 5-10 MB range.

    Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by djphilosophy View Post
    You can use an old smartphone for this with no SIM at all. Get the Here WeGo maps app and download the appropriate local maps over Wi-Fi. The offline navigation using downloaded maps is quite good - and the app is free.

    Combine it with a FreedomPop SIM on the free plan if you want live traffic updates (probably not worth the hassle).

    are you saying the GPS will work and call out the turns even if there's no signal in the car? if so i have an extra phone at home to try that out with before showing her. would be great if true. live traffic is not necessary but correct verbal directions is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luckydriver View Post
    are you saying the GPS will work and call out the turns even if there's no signal in the car? if so i have an extra phone at home to try that out with before showing her. would be great if true. live traffic is not necessary but correct verbal directions is.
    Yes, it will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luckydriver View Post
    are you saying the GPS will work and call out the turns even if there's no signal in the car? if so i have an extra phone at home to try that out with before showing her. would be great if true. live traffic is not necessary but correct verbal directions is.
    If there's a WiFi connection when you depart, then apps such as Waze or Google Maps will preload the trip including current traffic conditions, and will be able to reroute if you make a wrong turn as long as you don't get too far off course.

    However, a major departure from the route or a major change in traffic conditions will not be updated.

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    I use copilot GPS. It has offline maps and costs $9.99. You don't need cell signal to use it. Just have to download the maps over wifi.

    Sent from my iRulu Geoking Max 3 G36 using HoFo mobile app

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    There's also Here navigation - https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....here.app.maps

    Google maps also has an offline mode but one needs to download the maps before hand and they expire after 30 days. This works for a smaller region but on a recent trip through multiple states (7) this was just too much trouble than it was worth.

    I brought a garmin with, a flip phone (sprint), a borrowed flashed PP (vzw) smartphone (3g/voice), a moto g4 play (fp lte sim), and a few more fp lte sims just in case. I figured between the 3 carriers I'd at least have voice service everywhere.

    I used the moto g4 for google maps traffic most of the way - one leg of the trip ~650 miles, consumed ~60MB of data. The garmin had the custom routes on it. Had to borrow this one too because mine stopped importing. Had att coverage everywhere so didn't have to use the other phones. Also had my axon 7 with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShredFred View Post
    I use copilot GPS. It has offline maps and costs $9.99. You don't need cell signal to use it. Just have to download the maps over wifi.

    Sent from my iRulu Geoking Max 3 G36 using HoFo mobile app
    I'll second CoPilot. I pay extra for the live traffic, and use FreedomPop for data for traffic. But it's entirely usable for routing using just the downloaded maps.

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    What Service Would Be Best For Only Occasional GPS Usage

    I have used Garmin Viago and Tom Tom Android apps that download the maps onto your device. No cell signal needed.

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    MapFactor Navigator is my first choice for free offline GPS navigation with voice commands, and I've tried them all...

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    Quote Originally Posted by steiny180 View Post
    MapFactor Navigator is my first choice for free offline GPS navigation with voice commands, and I've tried them all...
    What makes MapFactor Navigator better in your opinion than Here WeGo that djphilosophy suggested? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steiny180 View Post
    MapFactor Navigator is my first choice for free offline GPS navigation with voice commands, and I've tried them all...
    Is that Map Factor & GPS Navigation by 457sw apps or MapFactor GPS Navigation Maps by MapFactor?

    MapFactor GPS Navigation Maps by MapFactor says they are based on Open Street Maps. I tried Open Street Maps a few years ago and they did not have street addresses. It was pretty useless. Has Open Street Maps upgraded their data?

    I will probably give it a try. I have been using Here. Here is ok, but has some problems.

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