Does anyone have a GPS directions/traffic/Points of interest app for Android to recommend? Having a good one would push me more toward getting an Android phone.
I’m not sure if this is what you’re asking for, but I use the free Google Navigation app for GPS navigation. That app also indicates traffic problems by color-coding the streets/highways (red means serious congestion, yellow means minor congestion, green means all is well). I have no idea whether or not it handles points of interest.
I live in the Philadelphia suburbs, and use another app (Philly area traffic cameras) that gives me live camera shots of many of the traditional bottlenecks. You may or may not have a similar app for your area.
Well, I guess if I had internet on the phone, I could use Google Maps to find places. I guess I was hoping there’s an app that would have them pre-loaded so I could find places without being connected. It sounds like with most of these I would need an unlimited net plan and be constantly connected to the net via the phone.
Are you actually considering an Android phone without internet access?
No, I know I would have to get the net on the phone as a matter of course in the N. American market, because the carriers won’t allow it otherwise, with their subsidies of the purchase prices. I do wonder about having the limited net download amount, though.
Unfortunately, I don’t know of any navigation app with pre-loaded maps, either for the iPhone or Android phones. I’m afraid that’s just not the way the cellphone world is going.
…And I’m pretty sure it’s nigh impossible to find an app that comes with traffic reports pre-loaded.
I don’t see any need for an unlimited data plan just because of navigation apps. Your cellphone app basically tells a host server where you are and where you’re going, and the host server calculates the preferred route and downloads the relevant road information (including current traffic info) back down to your cellphone. Not all that much bandwidth required for that.
Traffic on Google Maps is probably my number uno Android app. It loads pretty quickly, even in not very good reception areas, so I can’t believe it uses up too much bandwidth, and I think much of the map is cached if you are more or less going the same way every day. There is a website called 511 here, and the Android traffic app is far better - and it is also better than the map from the Newsradio station. The best thing about it is it shows traffic not just on freeways but on ramps and side streets also - just the streets I use to get home. It is pretty accurate.
The GPS is pretty good also, but I don’t use that very much.
Kind of, yes.
Backstory so we don’t seem insane (er, on this front at least):
Mrs. Devil and I run our business from home, so there’s no commute for either of us. We haven’t had to physically meet with a client in about four years now (yay Internet!), so there is no work-related travel of any type. Though we use our phones when on errands and whatnot, our need is small compared to most people who are separated from their family for any length of time.
Looking out our cell bill/usage, we were spending about $40 a month (plus taxes and fees) **per line **for a boatload of unused minutes. Rollover was useless because we never (or rarely) came close to our monthly allocation.
So now we’re on T-Mobile’s pay-as-you-go plan. By buying once a year or so in $100 increments, the minutes last for a year. All told, our joint cell bill went from ~$1,200 per year to about $200-300 per year (again, that’s for both of us).
Enter the smart phone. I have an LG Optimus. It connects wirelessly when in the house (or any free hotspot) so Google calendar and whatnot stays in synch. If I want to use the Interent when I’m outside the house, it’s only $1.50 for 24 hours of unlimited usage (I don’t know if they throttle the speed, I’m too new to the experience to tell). I have to take a moment to buy a day-pass and turn on data (two seconds), but that’s it.
Also note that a lot of non-entertainment apps synch and stay ready even without the connection (how many things can you do with your phone if you have no signal). For example, if I’m out and need to make an appointment, Google Calendar is ready with all my data whether or not I’m connected. Sure, my wife could have made a conflicting appointment during the time I’m out, but that kind of clash is rare.
I know $1.50 would be a lot if I used it every day, but for how we use it (and I assume others who keep bills low or have ready access to wi-fi), having a smartphone with no regular Internet access works very well.
My father and wife have an iPhones with the smallest data plan ($15/month for 200MB), and they’ve never gone over. My father is a very light user at all times, and my wife does most of her data when on wi-fi, so they don’t have large needs. I’m on an Android with unlimited (grandfathered). I think I’ve gone over 200MB perhaps 2 or 3 times in the three years I’ve had a smartphone (started with iPhone). All those times were on the road for work with no wi-fi where I was teathering to a laptop.
As for navigation apps, I like Waze, which is available for iPhone and Android. I started using it when the iPhone didn’t have turn by turn, and I’ve kept it after migrating to Android.
See, there’s this thing called “Google”…
I’m a big fan of CoPilot Live for Windows Mobile – they also have an Android version. You don’t need a full-time Internet connection to use it, as it includes the appropriate map/poi files.