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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default a few noob gps questions

    I have a S3 arriving shortly, so I'd like to understand a few things while I wait impatiently. I'm very interested in using GPS maps and services but concerned with being forced to use data plan resources while using GPS apps:

    1) Does using GPS with Google Maps use up any data plan resources, or does the GPS with the Galaxy S3 communicate directly with the satellites without any impact to data plan usage?
    2) If there is any data plan use when using GPS with default settings, can I use GPS with Google Maps over wifi instead of the cell network, thus reducing or eliminating data plan usage for this situation?
    3) Will GPS with Google Maps work if I'm out of cell and wifi range? I know of course that GPS tech itself does not require anything other than the satellites to actually work, but has Tmobile crippled GPS in the Galaxy S3 to prevent it from working if they can't effectively charge me for it by forcing it to use data plan resources?
    4) If GPS is crippled in the Tmobile version of the S3 to prevent its use with wifi or just with satellites, is there an app or hack to restore full GPS functionality with Google Maps just with satellite coverage?


    thanks for any insight!
  2. #2  
    MichaelBR's Avatar

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    Android 2.3.4 :-(

    Default Re: a few noob gps questions

    Answering your questions:

    1. The phone's GPS is actually A-GPS, that is, assisted GPS. It gets assistance from the network to calculate the first position faster. But that doesn't mean that you need data communication on - it just makes it start up faster. The GPS itself will, summarized, receive the information directly from the GPS satellites. No data plan needed. BUT, if you want to see maps, etc, then they need to be downloaded on to the phone. If the maps are not cached on the device already, then you'll need access to the Internet (via WiFi or via a data plan) so that the maps and data can be accessed on-the-fly.
    2. Yes you can, but then you'll depend on having WiFi wherever you are. Or use the WiFi to download and cache maps first, before moving away from the WiFi and becoming offline. I pre-cache Google Maps data and also use Locus Pro for offline maps.
    3. It should. Answered above.
    4. I have no clue about T-Mobile or your device's situation, but I doubt they crippled it. It makes no sense.


    An extra couple of hints:
    • Previous versions of Google Maps had a sort of hidden pre-cache beta option: tap and hold on a map, tap on the location's name, and select "Pre Cache Map Area". It would cache that area and allow you to use it for ~30days.
    • This function became official, but then they also crippled it: you can only precache map data from the region your phone is assigned to in the settings. Sill, because although I live in Brazil I setup my device locale to UK English, and Google Maps would only allow me to cache data from the UK. Reverted to previous version and all OK for me.
    • If you're going to be a strong maps user, then I recommend Locus Pro. It has dozens of tools for navigation, trackpoints, POIs, etc, etc, and can download and cahe maps in numerous ways. But it doesn't work with Google Maps, as that is not allowed. It uses other map sources.
    • If you're planning on using more than just the maps in Google Maps, such as searching for services nearby, tracing routes, or using car navigation apps such as Waze (which I strongly recommend), then, yes, you will need the data plan and it will be used to send/receive information. But from my experience, it's not much data at all. Even with Waze, driving a whole afternoon and receiving traffic news,etc, it was only a small amount of data. Just make sure you run Waze the first time while connected to WiFi so it downloads sound files etc through there.
    • Check my post on traveling with an Android: Newbie going to London w Incredible 2
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: a few noob gps questions

    Thanks very much for the detailed response. I certainly agree it would not make sense from a user perspective to cripple GPS use without using plan resources, but that's of course exactly what AT&T did with their GPS navigation app on their BB phones, as I found out the hard way (lost on a desert road, clear obstruction-free sky for full satellite visibility, but no GPS because out of cell tower range).
  4. #4  
    MichaelBR's Avatar

    Posts
    97 Posts
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    Android 2.3.4 :-(

    Default Re: a few noob gps questions

    Really? That's just crazy, huh? I also have a Blackberry, but I barely use it for navigation.

    On my Android, on the other hand, if I'm overseas or without network coverage, I just put it in to airplane mode to save battery and use the GPS whenever needed, together with the offline maps cached in the device. Never had a problem.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: a few noob gps questions

    Keep in mind also that if you download for off line you will be using your data to download. I just did one for my county and it was 90 MB. This would come out of your data limit.
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  6. #6  

    Default Re: a few noob gps questions

    Quote Originally Posted by GTWalling View Post
    Keep in mind also that if you download for off line you will be using your data to download. I just did one for my county and it was 90 MB. This would come out of your data limit.
    That is only if he downloads the offline maps through data. If he downloads the offline maps through wifi before he starts moving then it will not use data.
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: a few noob gps questions

    I downloaded the latest version of Google Maps, but it looks like all previous menu locations of downloading maps for offline use has been removed. Anyone know if there is a new (and apparently hidden or nonintuitive) method to download and use offline maps with the latest version of Google Maps? I have no idea what the version number is of the "latest version" (couldn't find it anywhere), but it's the version made available as of Oct 29 2012. thanks!


    edit: I figured it out: the download options are buried under "my places".
    Last edited by daffyd48; 12-04-2012 at 10:25 AM.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: a few noob gps questions

    Quote Originally Posted by daffyd48 View Post
    I have a S3 arriving shortly, so I'd like to understand a few things while I wait impatiently. I'm very interested in using GPS maps and services but concerned with being forced to use data plan resources while using GPS apps:

    1) Does using GPS with Google Maps use up any data plan resources, or does the GPS with the Galaxy S3 communicate directly with the satellites without any impact to data plan usage?
    2) If there is any data plan use when using GPS with default settings, can I use GPS with Google Maps over wifi instead of the cell network, thus reducing or eliminating data plan usage for this situation?
    3) Will GPS with Google Maps work if I'm out of cell and wifi range? I know of course that GPS tech itself does not require anything other than the satellites to actually work, but has Tmobile crippled GPS in the Galaxy S3 to prevent it from working if they can't effectively charge me for it by forcing it to use data plan resources?
    4) If GPS is crippled in the Tmobile version of the S3 to prevent its use with wifi or just with satellites, is there an app or hack to restore full GPS functionality with Google Maps just with satellite coverage?
    thanks for any insight!

    When you have a chance, get CoPilot from Google Market, Then use a Wireless connecion and download all the maps you will need (it's free) and you will be able to use your GPS without any data plan being downloaded. I have used it with an inactive sim card (no data or voice plan) and it works just fine! I also use Talkatone and Bobsled. Both are Wireless calling plans that do not need any data connections to work. You can call anywhere FREE!
    Good Luck ! and... Happy Holidays !
    Aloha From Hawaii!

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