tablet/ipad for navigation

nucktaco

Adventurer
im looking into putting a tablet/ipad into my truck for navigation. previously was just using paper maps and google maps but wanting something a bit better and with GPS tracking.

i currently have an ipad air 16gig. is that too small to be using? if so any recommendations as to what minimum size i should be looking at? (32, 64, 264, etc).

other than an ipad any recommendations as to non apple tablets?

trying not to break the bank but still want something half decent.

me and my wife are working on planning a trip to panama in a few years, alaska/yukon and want to get something that will work for all of this.
i am going to be downloading the BC backroads mapbook app and using that on my phone either way but figure something a with a bit larger screen would be more ideal.

thanks for any help. ive been reading on here and on google and there are so many options its hard to see what the best option is.
 

Howard70

Adventurer
Hello Nucktaco:

We use a Samsung Galaxy Tablet (not sure of model, but has 10.5 diagonal screen). Ours has 32 GB of it's own and we use a 256 GB Micro SD card. I like the system. We've gone through using several different programs that excelled at pieces of the workflow but none covered everything. Now transitioning to GaiaGPS as it covers almost everything we want (although still some small disappointments. Here are some thoughts of things I'd consider if starting over:

1. Lots and lots of memory - both onboard and expandable. 512 cards are available and I'd go that route myself. However, in my opinion, go with high quality & fast cards. Increases the speed of downloading maps, reduces issues with failed cards disrupting everything.
2. Decide if you want to coordinate tracks, routes, waypoints, & maps across several devices and a PC. If so - consider GaiaGps or something else that will synchronize passively in the background.
3. Evaluate whether you travel by plan or wander. By plan is easier on the downloaded map burden but wandering is more fun! The distinction matters because most (all?) programs guzzle data when pulling in downloadable maps so best to use WIFI rather than cellular data. That means pulling in lots of maps that cover areas you might explore rather than just those you think you will explore.
4. Don't be reluctant to pay for the software you use. Most of the programs significantly increase features on paid versions.
5. Try and determine the size of the maps of various programs so you can chose one that downloads faster. Vector data take up less space and download quicker, but not all programs use them.
6. If you do want to synchronize across devices it's probably most efficient to stay within operating systems - if you use Iphones, use Ipads. If you use and Android phone, use and Android pad. Several programs cover both operating systems but the features can vary across the OS landscape.

I suspect you'll get lots of other good advice here!

Howard
 
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Howard makes an excellent point that i had to learn the hard way. For me iwanted to wander so i wanted the entire western usa . After stscking time with bcn i switched to topousa it has tons of maps so i proceeded to down load large sections of land at zoom level 15 but as it turns out there is a limit of how much file you can look at at 1 time . IN GAIA it is 100,000 tiles iwas down loadiing 300,000 tiles so when it came time to look at maps i couldnt zoom to more than level 9 or so. I am not positive if thats the software controlling it or the hatdware. I wush some one knew the answer. So i just ended up buying a Magellan tr7 no more worries i do really like the big screen and crisp detail of the tablet
 

BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
Does your ipad even have GPS? Many don't...

I use a Samsung Galaxy 8" Tab A (2017) with Gaia and it works well, but my nav skills are pretty rudimentary.
 
Yes it has a built in gps which works fine no hsrdware issues it tracks my movementseven though the zoom level 9 or 11 or15 or wharever
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Is that a stand alone gps or does it work only with a data signal?
It means iPads that are WiFi-only do not have built-in real GPS receivers and rely on inferred location. So away from WiFi they have no internal way to get a position.

Cellular data capable iPads have real GPS receivers built in, that function is integrated into the chipset for the cell radios.

Both types of iPads have Bluetooth and can link to an external GPS puck that way.
 
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Joe917

Explorer
We use a Samsung Galaxy 10" tablet dedicated to navigation. Built in GPS and less than half the cost of similar size ipad.
We use maps.me (open street map). Maps available offline you can easily download the entire Americas on the tablet.
Open street maps does not show contour lines, however the level of detail is excellent. We use Delorme Earthmate maps for a backup and paper maps.
Open street maps has true global coverage, Down here in Tierra Del Fuego the Delorme (Garmin) actually has almost no map data.
Maps.me has good routing, works seamlessly with ioverlander, has great detail and costs NOTHING.
 

LandCruiserPhil

Expedition Leader
We use a Samsung Galaxy 10" tablet dedicated to navigation. Built in GPS and less than half the cost of similar size ipad.
We use maps.me (open street map). Maps available offline you can easily download the entire Americas on the tablet.
Open street maps does not show contour lines, however the level of detail is excellent. We use Delorme Earthmate maps for a backup and paper maps.
Open street maps has true global coverage, Down here in Tierra Del Fuego the Delorme (Garmin) actually has almost no map data.
Maps.me has good routing, works seamlessly with ioverlander, has great detail and costs NOTHING.
I have found Maps.me to be great anywhere in the world. Very underrated software and like you said it free.
 

MOguy

Explorer
You can get android phones for about $50-75 at Walmart that are monthly plans, don't get a plan. Many have GPS. Take them home, load what you need on your Wifi (many apps will run off line GPS only). Use them as dedicated Navigation phones. If you want to run different apps for different purposes get a couple of these phones, they are cheap enough. If you damage or lose one no big deal. This way you can protect your more expensive electronics.

As far as phone vs. tablets, it seems phone are far more durable than tablets.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
The problem with 10" tablets is the big screen. Hitting your hand on stuff when shifting is irritating. I'm already pushing the limit as to how much encroachment the navigator is willing to tolerate...
 
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