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July 6, 2011 6:22 PM   Subscribe

Best Android navigation software for the US?

I've recently mounted my Android smart phone in my car (yes, that's erector set). And I want to use it for navigation, replacing my old TomTom One.

The Google-supplied navigation appears to be barely adequate, but I feel like it's missing a couple of useful features. Is there software out there that has them?

1) Ability to display miles remaining (not just time), as well as the ability to turn off all total-anything-remaining displays. (It's torturous to watch minutes count off on a 1400mi trip.)

2) Display of live-updated, non-routed maps. That is, if I'm driving around, to see a map of a mile or so in all directions centered (and moving) on my car.

3) Display of current GPS-computed speed.

4) Functional without data connection, or at least the ability to cache the route's necessary information in non-volatile memory.

So far, I'm looking at the Navigon USA software. But, there's no demo, and so I can't tell if it actually does these things. And $50 is a little much to spend if I'm just going to go back to google's offering.
posted by Netzapper to Technology (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I've been happy with CoPilot Live, having used it both in the US and Germany. I haven't driven in a while, but I know that it does #2 and #4. I can't recall how much of the display can be customized, though, nor can I recall if it can display the speed (it has speed limit warnings, so I know it calculates it).
posted by cmonkey at 10:16 PM on July 6, 2011

If it makes any difference, Google Navigation does #2 and #4 on your list.
posted by teraflop at 11:09 PM on July 6, 2011

1. If you press the time, then press the alternative route, you can get miles remaining.

4 was just added in google map labs.
posted by gryftir at 1:19 AM on July 7, 2011

I grabbed Navigon the other day because where I live I'm often without data connection. I won't say I paid for it, but if I like it, I will. It's fairly amazing, actually, and I'm someone who uses Google Nav like 3-5 times a week normally.

What I like about it is that the voice is much better, that it actually tells you exit numbers/etc, and that any time you're going to make a turn, it shows you a big sexy picture of the interchange with arrows. You know how sometimes Google's all "in 5 miles, go right onto US-XXXX" and it's really the same road? With Navigon, it shows you that ahead of time really clearly, so you know. And/or, it just doesn't tell you it's a turn. It's also nice for interchanges where you've got to take an offramp and then immediately turn.

The no-demo thing stinks, and there's a 1.6Gb download after you install the software.
posted by TomMelee at 5:51 AM on July 7, 2011

You've just missed the "first-week-half-price" deal on copilot. Still, it's only $25 for the last USA version (v9) with the new and improved interface. In v8, Copilot did not show miles remaining, just ETA and only in landscape mode. With the possibility to clean up the screen and remove total-remaining stuff. v9 appears to be similar. Copilot does not do #3 (or only if you're over the speed limit?), maybe use a status bar speedo?

If I want #2 #3 and #4, I just start MyTrails; with or without compass auto-rotation. Choice of many maps. MyTrails has a VERY basic direction system. Using a data connection to download google maps navigation instructions, save these as a track and display this track as a layar with instructions in waypoints and text-to-speech proximity notifications. The TTS is a gimmick. The routes can be saved. Calculating routes beforehand to the addresses associated to your contacts in the android address book is easy and fast. Multiple tracks can be displayed simultaneously in the €2 PRO version.
posted by Akeem at 6:40 AM on July 7, 2011

Google Maps Navigation does all of those above except #3.
posted by those are my balloons at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2011

Response by poster: Google Maps Navigation does all of those above except #3.

Could you tell me how to do #1, then? It's not that I want to know how many miles are left (by checking a buried option). It's that I want to disable the torturous countdown of time that's displayed by default.

Also, google's solution to #4 seems of questionable utility. I can't get it to cache in along a route, only around a centroid. If I'm driving from Missouri to Pennsylvania (like I do), I can't seem to get it to cache in the whole route's maps--just, like, radii around specific points along the map.
posted by Netzapper at 11:57 AM on July 7, 2011

You can't display #1 on the main screen, you can display it with two taps:
Menu > Route Info
but it's there. (You don't have to seek an alt route as previously suggested.)

#4 needs improvement but it is like you said. Plus the new option of caching tiles within a 10 mile radius of a point.
posted by those are my balloons at 12:24 PM on July 7, 2011

Copilot v9 ("premium") shows distance remaining and ETA; so no toturous counting off minutes.
posted by Akeem at 10:54 AM on July 9, 2011

Another amend; Copilot 9 Premium has 2 user definable fields. Options are: distance, ETA, remaining time, speed, height or direction.
posted by Akeem at 1:32 AM on July 25, 2011

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