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Thread: Mobile phone data usage.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Mobile phone data usage.

    Or more specifically when using google maps.

    Does anyone out there have a reasonably accurate figure reflecting how many kb, mb or gb a typical android phone would use per hour to run google maps as an in car navigation device?

    The reason I ask is because the new vehicle doesn't have built in sat nav but it does have android auto ® and before rushing out to buy a new dedicated phone ( android auto ® requires 5.0 build and above and my present phone is 4.4 ) I thought I would try to find out how many gb on a prepaid sim I would need to buy to run it.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Good Q. Just a "general" reply...

    Thought about it before our Vic trip (but did nothing). But if you have an app that just downloads maps into your phone
    for later off-line use, that's like a street directory. But how good the maps are, zoomable?... I did read of such apps, but again

    Now I'm also interested in any replies.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    For the first few months in my new job(that was over a year ago now tho!) .. I used google maps basically every day.
    It's hard trying to get a semi in through many of the tight shopping centres, so I had to know my way in or get firmly stuck .. so googled my way in every day for about -6-8 hrs/day solid.
    This is 6d/wk at about 6-8hrs of mapping.

    I can't remember passing more than about 600Mb for any particular month.
    I vaguely remember that I was on like a 1.5-2 Gig plan. Kids had similar plans.

    So use that a bit of a guide I guess. Most days were about 10ish hrs/day back then, but I had the phone on the dash to help guide me in, and then to the next store and to the next.
    But for the leg back, I'd turn it off. So On a 5hr return trip, I have G-Maps running for about 3-4hrs and then off for the last hour or so back. I'm estimating about 6-8hrs or so per day in actual usage.
    Average klms per day would have been about 200-300.

    So I reckon, if you had a 1Gig plan you'd be safe for sure!
    Of course that doesn't include any OS and app updates tho, nor any other usages(ie. video/fb/forum browsing/etc).
    If you allow yourself 1Gig for non navigating stuff, then a 2G plan would see 'ya through without problems I reckon.

    Funnily, the reason I remember my usage, wasn't to keep a track of my own usage, it was to track my son's usage.
    He used to use data like it was Coca-Cola!
    (thankfully I got him off Coke and onto lemon flavoured soda water too )
    He used to regularly exceed his 1.5-2(ish) Gig plan, whereas I'd struggle to that 600Meg mark(using G-Maps all day) and my daughter barely a few megs per mnth.
    So I changed all three plans to a consolidated one(where we all share data)
    Now son uses mine and daughter's data to keep my costs down, and we all(together) get a larger total pool to share/play with ... so I can't tell 'ya what I've used for the past 6 and a bit months(I don't think it tells me what we individually use )

    Hope that helps.
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    The best thing about goggle maps is that they are updated frequently at no user charge other than download which is negligible on your home wifi and can be used to give you directions for your chosen route.

    One good "offline" app is mapsme, it updates regularly and updates by including positional data collected from users. It doesn't seem to be as refined as it could be for directions though.
    Last edited by I @ M; 11-10-2016 at 6:00pm.

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    Carpe Diem... Gazza's Avatar
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    You can can download 'Offline Areas' to your phone with Google maps.
    My home area (Sunraysia) takes up 32 Mb, and the other (Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg) takes up 80Mb...both downloaded at home using Wifi.
    I still have the option to download other areas, I guess you just keep going until your phone runs out of space?
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    The best thing about goggle maps is that they are updated frequently .....
    Don't get complacent with that 'understanding' of GMaps.

    Funnily, was talking to another driver about a particular store in Waun Ponds(Geelong).
    When you're not sure, you ask for a map(mudmap) for each store, which is great for the newbie drivers(we were all newbies at one point ).
    But what the newbies don't know(and the head honchos at head office don't either) is that the map is outta date.
    It's in a shopping centre, and since the map was made, the centre has grown.
    So if you follow the map, you end up doing a loop of the centre around the periphery, as that's what the maps shows 'ya.
    You end up thinking ... where the bloody hell is this store that's clearly marked and should be there!
    All you've done is a roundabout loop of the entire centre and come out at the same point you started at

    So of course(and we all do it) .. you get out you're google maps. it shows 'ya nothing in map mode, so open up the satellite mode and it shows you the same thing that the mudmap shows 'ya .. only half the centre(but of course being a newbie .. you just don't know this!)
    So you do another lap and again .. (remember this is a a 24plt semi!). The path(goat track) service road is only just wide enough to fit a single truck through, and of course you have a stream of oncoming traffic to deal with too .. so you start to panic and it's taken about 20mins to do nothing, other than 2 laps of the centre)
    Then you park 'err up and walk and then it dawns on you that the service road that supposedly on the outer perimeter is actually in the middle of the centre through a (now) fairly tight car park.

    So don't have 100% confidence in Google Maps! .. about 99.97% is a respectful limit

    Google Maps is OK if you stick to main roads and paths and stuff, but useless when it comes to off roading type tracks(which could mean any road/track in the middle of nowhere!)
    For those tracks, I recommend trying any app that uses OSM(Open Steet Maps) mapping data.
    They too aren't 100% complete, but AFAIKT, they do have a few advantages over Google in terms of road/track data.
    I've recently found some track data that is even more accurate than the Fire Maps I rely on in the bush! (very minor tho).
    According to google maps tho, I was in the middle of a paddock

    If you can be bothered, have a look at an app such as 'OsmAnd'(OSM Android Navigation Directions)
    ... haven't personally tried it myself, but it does allow offline navigation.

    I'll try to have a look into it over the next few days if you like, and report back.
    (actually doing it now!)
    Last edited by arthurking83; 11-10-2016 at 6:06pm.

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    Thanks Arthur, given my / our frequency of visiting places where we actually need maps it doesn't make sense to buy data monthly and then not use it. Given your figures it would however seem to be fair to assume that buying a data pack on a yearly basis at around $50.00 for ( can't remember how much exactly ) gb would be good value and still have plenty in reserve.

    Gazza, yep, that makes good sense to only update over the home wifi which is the way I do things now. The actual directions function to tell me where to go still rely on a gps fix and data spend to obtain it and to direct me to my destination ( as I understand it ) and this whole thing is a learning curve in progress.

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    Carpe Diem... Gazza's Avatar
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    I use mine on a weekly basis with 'Mobile Data' turned off...'She' still tells me to "Turn around when possible" every time I don't take her suggestions

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    .... given my / our frequency of visiting places where we actually need maps it doesn't make sense to buy data monthly and then not use it. Given your figures it would however seem to be fair to assume that buying a data pack on a yearly basis at around $50.00 for ( can't remember how much exactly ) gb would be good value and still have plenty in reserve.

    .....
    That's what I thought.

    A couple of Gigs/year should be plenty heaps!

    ps. Just downloaded and used the OsmAnd program.
    Will load on your v4.something Droid, no problems.

    It's 'OK', but very limited in it's ability to search.
    (personally I wouldn't use it much myself, but I can see a specific use for it)

    It's issue(in the free, totally unpaid for version is that you can't seem to search for an actual street address.
    That is, I can look up the street name of where you live, but not search via an actual street number.

    I dunno if you have to pay for this ability, or if the actual street data doesn't exist.
    (and it's not just yours, I tried to search my street address too .. no house numbers)

    What it gives (forces) you to search for is an intersecting street on the street you want to find.
    Annoying as not many folks know this data!
    That is, you can't just type in the street(say Main St, Nowheretown)and just find that, you have to specify another intersecting street as well.
    Basically, it's silly! Try doing that on Springvale Rd which is about 50klms in length!

    But for me tho, I can see a use for it, in that I try to head out up into the bush not far from my place and check out some obscure tracks in them thar hills.
    OSM maps have data on many(not all) of those obscure 4WD tracks, and this is about the only way I now know of how to find specific ones.

    So as a 'navigator' .. I wouldn't recommend using it.
    As a GPS geek toy .. it's pretty much OK(when I use it to supplement my main GPS Geek toy).

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    ps. Just downloaded and used the OsmAnd program.
    Will load on your v4.something Droid, no problems.
    But ------ a V4. whatever will not plug into the car via android auto ® and display the contents of the phone on the screen in the car. That is why a V5 + phone is needed. I don't want to be squinting at a tiny phone screen when trying to find my way around some god forsaken suburb of Smelbourne with a semi trailer being driven by some frizzy haired yobbo tailgating me.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    But ------ a V4. whatever will not plug into the car via android auto ® and display the contents of the phone on the screen in the car. That is why a V5 + phone is needed.....
    Ah! So the car doodad needs the V5 phone too! I saw that Auto thingy needed V5, but the car does too .. makes sense(not!) now.

    ps. I'll shave my head to help you feel less anxious when I'm tailgating 'ya!

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