I am a newbie to chartplotters so I cannot make a comparisons reviews
but I use a somewhat aging Garmin 585 that came with the boat and the Navionics charts app for SE Asia
on my Galaxy S Note 2 smartphone.
I much prefer the Navionics app on my smartphone. I use the Garmin when I am at the helm
or setting the autopilot
because it is conveniently located on the display right in front of the wheel
. I never use the other functions because of the complex and confusing menu driven navigation
interface. Currently it has all sorts of tracks and things all over the display and I will have to go and find the instruction booklet so I can clear them. It is not at all intuitive.
The Navionics on my smartphone are just about perfect for me. The charts are excellent, the GPS
accurate and the overlays using google earth
useful on occasions like deciding where to anchor
close to roads or other shore based facilities (or anchor
away from them). Getting the latest tidal information through the 3G link is seamless and invaluable in the shallow coastal waters I regularly cruise
Even though I am using it on a small 5" phone screen
and not a tablet the touch screen
zoom in and out is so easy and accurate that it is not a nuisance. But I might prefer a larger tablet screen if I had one.
I am still working my way through the "community edits" function. I have made a few contributions but it seems that so far in these far flung foreign waters of Thailand
there are few contributors. This is a shame because I would have thought it would be useful because of the lack of official information.
I have used the waypoints function but not often, I much prefer the real time tracking which I use constantly. I also often use the tracking as a basic anchor drift indicator.
The new hi res sonarcharts
sounds exciting I can't wait until they release it for the waters around SEAsia which is a popular charter
boat cruising area
As to my suggested improvement
1. release "Sonarcharts" for Thailand
asap please !!!!!
2. What about a speed over ground and a heading indicator. They should be easy enough to program in.
3. build in an anchor drift alarm
function into the app.
4. the app provides a simple local wind
indicator which is nice but only current
information. I can look out the window for that. I would like to see an ability to download and/or integrate a more detail grib file because I mostly like to look and plan ahead and at the wider picture. I can do it as a separate app now but integrating them would be nicer.
5. add an anchor drift alarm
6. I keep the phone
in a protective case but I regularly accidently "touch" the screen and lose data like tracking information. Perhaps some sort of autosave and backtracking ability to recover lost
7. Being able to change the thickness of the trace line would make the display nicer. Also what about different trace characteristics for different trips (colour, line, dots)
8. what about a MOB
or a HOB (hat overboard) button.
Thats all I can think of for now