1. MatthewSchenker's Avatar
    Hello,
    My first Android-related post!

    I recently sold my WiFi+3G iPad with the intention of switching to an Android device. And I decided that the Xoom was the best choice.

    I'm clear on everything except GPS.

    I've been using a Verizon Fivespot for mobile WiFi access for my laptop. I also used it with my iPad to get GPS with the Motion-X app. Essentially, I purchased a WiFi+3G iPad but never signed up with a 3G service.

    With the iPad (or iPad2) you have to purchase a WiFi+3G model for GPS, even if you never plan to use 3G. Always seemed like a waste of money!

    By contrast, I see that the WiFi-only Xoom comes with a GPS chip. Great!

    OK, but does the WiFi-only Xoom have GPS capabilities equal to the 3G version?

    I'm hoping to keep using my Fivespot for WiFi access, along with the Xoom.

    I've done some searching, but I can't seem to find a straight answer.

    Thanks,
    Matthew
    03-19-2011 11:58 PM
  2. darkshade's Avatar
    It won't have cell-tower assisted GPS of course, but you should be able to have the same GPS functionality as the 3G version.
    03-20-2011 12:04 AM
  3. MatthewSchenker's Avatar
    darkshade,
    Thanks for your post! I was looking at the specs for the WiFi-only Xoom on Amazon and I see that it comes with an "Onboard GPS for navigation and location services." That seems clear on the surface, but I have unfortunately learned to never assume anything about specs!

    If you're saying that it has the same GPS quality of the 3G version, that would be a hopeful sign. Of course, I never tried the 3G version either, but I hear it's good.

    Thanks,
    Matt
    03-20-2011 12:10 AM
  4. darkshade's Avatar
    The only difference between the 3G/4G and the wifi-only Xoom is the mobile chip, so GPS functionality is going to be the exact same. I've only used the GPS when using Google maps and it works just fine.
    03-20-2011 12:19 AM
  5. xzigraz's Avatar
    The only difference between the 3G/4G and the wifi-only Xoom is the mobile chip, so GPS functionality is going to be the exact same. I've only used the GPS when using Google maps and it works just fine.
    But if he needs to use the GPS on the go, then he will need to tether his phone connection to his XOOM otherwise he'll see the location but not the map, right?
    03-20-2011 01:10 AM
  6. darkshade's Avatar
    I haven't tried it on the Xoom but if you enter in your directions while you still have a connection all the needed map data should be cached.
    03-20-2011 01:40 AM
  7. MatthewSchenker's Avatar
    But if he needs to use the GPS on the go, then he will need to tether his phone connection to his XOOM otherwise he'll see the location but not the map, right?
    I plan on using the Verizon MiFi Fivespot with the Xoom. This device creates a mobile WiFi hotspot. So far, it's been a terrific little device.

    Am I correct in assuming my Fivespot will get me the GPS/location same functionality?

    The only difference between the 3G/4G and the wifi-only Xoom is the mobile chip, so GPS functionality is going to be the exact same. I've only used the GPS when using Google maps and it works just fine.
    Thanks for the clarification. Have you tested the WiFi-only Xoom? I thought they weren't available yet.

    I really appreciate the responses here.

    Thanks,
    Matthew
    03-20-2011 07:48 AM
  8. osc006's Avatar
    I would imagine you would still need a data connection for loading maps...with you hotspot..

    But I thought there was an interview with someone that said you will be able to cache cities or states. Does anyone know anything about that?

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk
    03-20-2011 09:23 AM
  9. MatthewSchenker's Avatar
    But I thought there was an interview with someone that said you will be able to cache cities or states. Does anyone know anything about that?
    I read about that as well. But I thought it was not the same as GPS because if you make a wrong turn the cached maps can't re-calculate your route?

    Feels like there's still some confusion about the GPS capabilities of the WiFi-only Xoom.

    Thanks,
    Matthew
    03-20-2011 01:54 PM
  10. Kansas's Avatar
    Here is google's explanation of how Google Maps 5 works offline (look at the bottom of the page with "offline reliability" and "offline rerouting")

    Under the hood of Google Maps 5.0 for Android - Official Google Mobile Blog

    Also the difference you are going to see between the wifi-only Xoom and the 3g/4g Xoom is going to be the time that it takes to lock your gps signal. The way aGPS works is it get's an approximate location based on cell tower locations but it can get this really fast since it's already connected to the cell towers. Normal GPS takes awhile longer to lock onto enough satellites to give you an accurate position. So with the 3g/4g Xoom you will get a lock on your location a lot faster but it won't be as accurate as normal GPS but once the GPS gets a lock on the satellites with either device you will receive the same accuracy between the wifi-only and 3g/4g Xoom and you won't notice a difference. The GPS satellite lock could take anywhere from 10 seconds to a couple minutes depending on the environment (e.g. cloud cover, tall buildings). Personally I don't see this as a big enough problem to justify the cost on any of these data plans.

    Hopefully this helps.
    03-20-2011 02:29 PM
  11. MatthewSchenker's Avatar
    Kansas,
    Excellent, yes, nice reply! Thank you.

    I don't mind if the initial "lock" takes a bit of time. My concern is whether the system has the up-to-date turn information once I get going.

    When I read the specs for the WiFi-only Xoom, I was very excited to see that GPS was included. This discussion has made me feel that I don't need 3G/4G data plans to take advantage of GPS through a WiFi-only model.

    As I said, my Verizon MiFi is a great little device that has allowed me to create a mobile hotspot for my laptops, or other devices.

    I must say, I really like what I'm seeing with the Xoom and I'd like an opportunity to get my hands on the WiFi-only model.

    Now I need to think about which GPS service to look at! The built-in Google Maps Navigation looks nice.

    Thanks,
    Matthew
    03-20-2011 02:59 PM
  12. osc006's Avatar
    I agree thanks for the response Kansas.

    I do have my mobile hotspot enabled on my Evo but I'm still curious if the option to search for a location would also be cached...like search by name...ie "Walmart"...

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk
    03-20-2011 06:45 PM
  13. Vudumedic's Avatar
    The Google navigation will for you better than any of the systems I've seen out there. With it tethered to a wifi hot spot it will give you turn by turn, reroute if needed, I believe it is even traffic capable and when you get near your address it will switch to street view and show you your destination.
    03-20-2011 06:56 PM
  14. osc006's Avatar
    Oh yes. I've switched from Sprint Navigation to Google. I just wish the Google Navigation voice was much cleaner. It sounds like a robot.

    I always recommend Google Navigation now.

    Sent from my Evo using Tapatalk
    03-20-2011 07:01 PM
  15. Air Force One's Avatar
    Oh yes. I've switched from Sprint Navigation to Google. I just wish the Google Navigation voice was much cleaner. It sounds like a robot.

    I always recommend Google Navigation now.

    Sent from my Evo using Tapatalk
    This my ONLY complaint about Google Nav. Can't believe they haven't bought a better turn by turn voice company yet
    03-21-2011 06:11 AM
  16. MatthewSchenker's Avatar
    The Google navigation will for you better than any of the systems I've seen out there. With it tethered to a wifi hot spot it will give you turn by turn, reroute if needed, I believe it is even traffic capable and when you get near your address it will switch to street view and show you your destination.
    Hey, thanks for posting. What you describe is exactly my setup with the MiFi.

    I'm glad I ditched my iPad and made the switch (*) to Android. Something always told me it was a better concept, but this discussion (and some other ones) is proving it to me.

    Thanks again,
    Matthew

    (*) Technically speaking, I haven't physically switched yet. I've sold my iPad, but don't own an Android device yet!
    03-21-2011 07:19 AM
  17. craig4855's Avatar
    I read about that as well. But I thought it was not the same as GPS because if you make a wrong turn the cached maps can't re-calculate your route?

    Feels like there's still some confusion about the GPS capabilities of the WiFi-only Xoom.

    Thanks,
    Matthew
    You can purchase Copilot Live USA from the app store for $5
    This is a fully functioning GPS system
    USA maps will load onto your XOOM
    03-23-2011 08:30 AM
  18. azari's Avatar
    I just use Google Maps/Google Navigation. So far haven't encountered a situation where the connectivity requirement was a real problem.

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
    03-23-2011 08:47 AM
  19. MatthewSchenker's Avatar
    I just use Google Maps/Google Navigation. So far haven't encountered a situation where the connectivity requirement was a real problem.
    Yes, but my concern was whether the WiFi-only Xoom would have the same capabilities as the 3G model. It sounds like everything will work fine with either model. (I guess I was only concerned because I am coming from the iPad world in which the 3G and WiFi-only models are very different in this regard).

    You can purchase Copilot Live USA from the app store for $5
    This is a fully functioning GPS system
    USA maps will load onto your XOOM
    Thanks for the tip! I'll check that one out. When I actually have the Xoom in my hands, I'll be able to try it.

    Thanks,
    Matthew
    03-23-2011 10:13 AM
  20. rdtruitt's Avatar
    Wouldn't use of a separate BT-enabled sat tracker to supply postioning data to Google Maps eliminate the need for either a data plan or Wifi?
    03-23-2011 12:16 PM
  21. MatthewSchenker's Avatar
    Wouldn't use of a separate BT-enabled sat tracker to supply postioning data to Google Maps eliminate the need for either a data plan or Wifi?
    I wish I knew!

    I'm just trying to make sure I understand the basics here. But any new information would help.

    Thanks,
    Matthew
    03-23-2011 12:32 PM
  22. Vudumedic's Avatar
    Wouldn't use of a separate BT-enabled sat tracker to supply postioning data to Google Maps eliminate the need for either a data plan or Wifi?
    The need for data is to get the map info from Google as you go. The wifi unit has a stand alone GPS chip on board already. I believe that he word is either the newest or an up coming version of Google maps/navigation is going to allow for local caching of map data which would in theory eliminate the need for data. For no though you need a connection to see where it is on the map.
    03-23-2011 02:57 PM
  23. Bait Caster's Avatar
    With my xoom wifi I can enter a destination with google navigation and it will give turn by turn and maps as long as I don't turn it off. If I turn it off and on without an internet connection the maps are gone. I bought copilot Live for $4.99 from android market and it downloads maps to the micro sd card. Now I have gps turn by turn and maps with or without internet connection. Just make sure you have a memory card in when you purchase the copilot live app. Good Luck
    jtvt likes this.
    04-25-2011 02:54 PM
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