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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default How hard is GPS on data allowances?

    Hi all,

    I'm thinking about a new phone, so I am thinking about a new plan.

    I would like to stick with a cheaper plan at the price of limited data as I don't use data much.

    However, I am interested in getting into using GPS. Maybe about once a week.

    Can anyone give me a ballpark idea of how fast using a GPS will rip through my data allowance?

    Thanks
  2. Best Answer

    It's not the map that takes data, it's the turn-by-turn part that does - with some apps. There are apps that determine the trip before you start, then don't use data at all during the trip. (If you turn off mobile data, and the app still works, you're not using data.) The problem may come in - only may, depending on the particular app - if you ignore the directions and use your own route for part of the trip, so the app has to recalculate. Some of them require a data connection for that, some don't.

    Do your normal trips, but with mobile data turned off. If the app won't give you directions, try a different app. There are a few of them that give pretty good directions (although I prefer Maps and MyDirections - only because MyDirections makes Maps so much easier to use than any of the other apps).

  3. #2  

    Default Re: How hard is GPS on data allowances?

    GPS itself will uses nearly no data at all (coordinates are determined by satellite signal decoding in your phone). It's the map 'translation' that could kill you.

    BUT, you can always download the map while on WiFi. That way, since the map is already stored in your device, you won't need to download the 'heavy stuff' while on the road. To use turn-by-turn navigation, though, you do need an active data connection, but this will not take more than a few KB per trip, especially if the map data is downloaded to your phone beforehand.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: How hard is GPS on data allowances?

    Is it possible to turn the map feature off?

    My phone would be on the passenger seat, so it isn't like I am going to see it anyway.
  5. #4  
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    Default Re: How hard is GPS on data allowances?

    It's not the map that takes data, it's the turn-by-turn part that does - with some apps. There are apps that determine the trip before you start, then don't use data at all during the trip. (If you turn off mobile data, and the app still works, you're not using data.) The problem may come in - only may, depending on the particular app - if you ignore the directions and use your own route for part of the trip, so the app has to recalculate. Some of them require a data connection for that, some don't.

    Do your normal trips, but with mobile data turned off. If the app won't give you directions, try a different app. There are a few of them that give pretty good directions (although I prefer Maps and MyDirections - only because MyDirections makes Maps so much easier to use than any of the other apps).
  6. #5  

    Default Re: How hard is GPS on data allowances?

    Yes, as long as a map/navigation app isn't running, there's no data being consumed for this. Also, you can choose to turn GPS off when you're not using it to save power. Your approximate location for cool, location-aware things like Google Now, the phone will use a rough approximation derived from cell tower data and not the GPS coordinates.

    If you're using GPS for navigation, however, you can turn the screen off if you don't want to 'see' the phone (using voice guidance only), but the map data still needs to be downloaded into your phone so that the navigation software can calculate your route as you go along.
  7. #6  

    Default Re: How hard is GPS on data allowances?

    Google Maps does allow you to pre-cache map tiles, but the size of the map you can cache is fairly limited. It would be fine for "getting around town" but not for long trips.

    Navigation isn't particularly data-hungry compared to music streaming, etc... but it does use more than e-mail. It depends a lot on how far you're going. If you are travelling ten miles once a week then I'd only expect a few MB for each trip. If these weekly trips are hundreds of miles then you're going to see some more significant usage. Also, make sure that you keep the Satellite/Terrain maps turned off as those do take more data than the basic navigation maps.

    If you're going on long trips and/or getting a very limited data plan, you should go with an application that has fully downloadable maps. MapFactor Navigator is my favorite free offline navigation application, and that would save you some data usage.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ctor.navigator

    It allows you to download maps state-by-state while on WiFi. If you're using it just to conserve data (not going fully offline) you can search for points of interest through Google just like in the stock Google Maps application.

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