My smartphone works fine out of cell range. I download maps before leaving cell/wifi range and they work fine. I think dedicated gps units are a thing of the past.Does the GPS still work when you are out of cell range? Can you preload the maps? I would love to use my iPhone as my GPS, but when I get to remote locations the GPS is spotty at best.
Really, wow?! I never even thought to check this, as the battery drains so darn fast when out of phone range I just put it in airplane. Even then the battery drains in a week so you'd need an external battery pack to charge it.My smartphone works fine out of cell range. I download maps before leaving cell/wifi range and they work fine. I think dedicated gps units are a thing of the past.
Well I'll be darned. Since my phone is my business life, ai won't risk it on the river. Looks like I'll be looking into ansecond phone as gps only. can it be used without a contract?An android phone with "autonomous gps" does in fact use GPS in airplane mode. Beware for smartphones that only have "assisted GPS". Assisted GPS relies on cell phone towers for some GPS information normally retrieved directly from the GPS satellites and will only work when in communication with a cell phone tower. You can in fact download almost any map layers you want for free in advance of heading into the backcountry. I use backcountry navigator app for this, there are other options such as gaia gps and accuterra. There are waterproof cases for nearly any phone, I prefer the drybag type, you can use the touchscreen thru the bag with no problems. GPS does use a lot of battery power, fortunately there are many android smartphones with user replaceable batteries. The batteries cost $5-$15 each, I recommend an external charger to charge the batteries outside the phone. I have 7 batteries for my phone (they were $8 each) and use my phone as GPS/music player/ereader etc on every backcountry trip I take.
Iphone is useless for backcountry GPS navigation since the battery is not user replaceable and expensive, and it does not have autonomous gps.
If you're worried about losing your expensive phone get an older cheaper used android phone to use as dedicated GPS. You can download apps/maps/etc using a wifi connection. Also any US phone can call 911 without a service contract so its a good safety device.
Iphone cannot use GPS in airplone mode. However, it CAN use GPS well outside of cell coverage, but it has to be in normal searching for service mode, which uses a lot of battery. It would be awesome if they could change this feature in a new model or software update.Osseous, I just read that Iphone cannot use GPS when in airplane mode. If in fact it has autonomous GPS it is somewhat irrelevant if you can't use it in airplane mode (ie with cell radio off). Not sure why they would do this as assisted-gps gets a satellite fix much faster than autonomous gps.