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Old 10-10-2016, 12:07   #1
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Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

Last year a bought a used ipad 2 and a new lifeproof case and used it solely as a backup chartplotter (garmin blue chart) It slowly got more and more use as a utility. So now i'm thinking i want a couple new Ipad air's. What is your Favorite utility plotter and please explain why? Include navigation software if you feel there is a difference. BTW i'm sure my lifeproof case has paid for itself at least 50 times over!
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:34   #2
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

I like any of the IPads but with Navionics. I have tried the Blue Chart but it was not as easy to use for me. However I went the other way leaving my IPad 2 in a life proof case on the boat as my back up plotter and bought a iPad Air to surf the net etc.
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Old 10-10-2016, 15:19   #3
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

I have a sony xperia pad with navionics. Unlike the ipads it is waterproof! They advertise it submerged in a fish tank. I wouldnt do that but so far it has survived a season on the boat going from the USA to Grenada. Another advantage over the ipads is that you can put 128gb SD card in it. So you are not limited to whatever storage apple decides you should need. Good battery too. Not cheap but still less than an ipad.
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Old 10-10-2016, 15:30   #4
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

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Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
I have a sony xperia pad with navionics. Unlike the ipads it is waterproof! They advertise it submerged in a fish tank. I wouldnt do that but so far it has survived a season on the boat going from the USA to Grenada. Another advantage over the ipads is that you can put 128gb SD card in it. So you are not limited to whatever storage apple decides you should need. Good battery too. Not cheap but still less than an ipad.
I have seen that advertising with the Sony Xperia in a pool and if I ever switched from iPad I think I would go that way. When you say good battery life do you know how long you get on a charge. The one thing I do like about my iPad is its 5 years old and I still get the full 10 hrs use time per charge.
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Old 10-10-2016, 20:32   #5
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

I'm not a mac person so can't really comment on that branch, but ...

I was generally impressed with navionics on my android (Samsung) tablet. Not everything I would like but a good basic nav app both in the US and down in Mexico, and quite affordable.

I'm also running Coastal Explorer and (occasionally) OpenCPN on a Microsoft Tablet, using a bluetooth GPS or getting GPS via WiFi from the boat's primary GPS. It works great, provides a lot more functionality, but a higher price of admission.
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Old 10-10-2016, 22:35   #6
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

Amazon tablets. Buy a sixpack for chump change.

Our ipad 3 has been relegated to dumb terminal duties. It's a power hog and offers no additional benefit to commodity tablets now.

Unfortunately there are no cheap tablets that have a rotary knob. Just touch screens which are useless in the cold.

A laptop running opencpn and a cheap plugin gps puck makes for a much better backup nav system than an ipad imho.

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Old 10-10-2016, 22:44   #7
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

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Originally Posted by SV.Maverick View Post
I have seen that advertising with the Sony Xperia in a pool and if I ever switched from iPad I think I would go that way. When you say good battery life do you know how long you get on a charge. The one thing I do like about my iPad is its 5 years old and I still get the full 10 hrs use time per charge.
10 hrs with gps on. You must have a magic ipad.

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Old 11-10-2016, 09:38   #8
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

iPad at the helm in a Lifetime case on a Ram Mount, Android phone below. I have other plotters on the iPad, (iSailor, Skipper, iNavX) but keep going back to Navionics on both iPad and phone for its ease of use in planning and saving and displaying and tracking a route, and ultimately, when its not too rainy or sunny in the cockpit, navigating. However, it is hard to see in the sun, and goes wacky when rained on, not responding to touch well at all. Last big storm I just sent it below. My Raymarine plotter is on an arm in the companionway visible from close up, but not easily at the helm.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:10   #9
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

Whatever tablet you choose, just make sure it contains stand-alone GPS and doesn't rely in cell towers or internet to get a position fix. I believe the iPads that are set up for cell phone service have stand alone GPS, whereas the cheaper iPads that don't have cell service capability also aren't self sufficient on GPS. My Samsung Galaxy works great far away from any cell wifi signals, but I know a lot of other Android devices require a signal of some kind.
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:29   #10
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

I bought a Windows ASUS T200TA specifically to get the on-board GPS for OpenCPN. After weeks fighting it, I plugged in my inexpensive USGlobalSat BU353-S4 USB GPS Receiver The GPS Store and had instant success.
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Old 11-10-2016, 13:41   #11
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

My back up consists of an old wide screen laptop w/ 12V battery attachment, GPS dongle, SeaClear II software and NOAA charts. Very easy to learn, minimal investment and the big screen and easy zooming is great for my aging eyes. I only use my Raymarine plotter when well off shore.
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Old 11-10-2016, 15:18   #12
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

I think the most important was said by Wriswister "Whatever tablet you choose, just make sure it contains stand-alone GPS and doesn't rely in cell towers or internet to get a position fix." iPads that are set up for cell phone service have stand alone GPS, whereas the cheaper iPads that don't have cell service capability also aren't self sufficient on GPS. If the Ipad doesn´t phone service doesn´t GPS so you will need a GPS like BAD ELF https://bad-elf.com/ Is a must!
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Old 11-10-2016, 15:35   #13
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

I have a piggy back question on this topic. A lot of people seem to be using tablets as a portable/backup chartplotter. Are tablets a better option than a battery-powered hand-held standalone GPS for an emergency back-up or a ditch bag?

I feel like the durability and battery life of a tablet would be a liability in an emergency. Whereas you can get a waterproof handheld GPS/Chartplotter that takes AA batteries, get a shockproof floating case, and you should be good to go.

I understand a tablet has a lot more utility as a second/backup/portable chartplotter, but it seems like as an emergency backup a handheld would be better.

Am I missing something?
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Old 11-10-2016, 15:57   #14
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

At least two tablets (iPads in our case). Both vector and raster charts (rasters are good since they are exact copies of the paper charts). No waterproof cases, only leather cases to make the tablets less slippery and easy to handle. Tablets will move inside or under the dodger if it rains or shines too much.

We have also paper charts, one tablet with larger screen, mobiles with GPS.
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Old 11-10-2016, 16:26   #15
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Re: Best Portable navigation device Ipad/ Android/ other

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhiSig1071 View Post
I have a piggy back question on this topic. A lot of people seem to be using tablets as a portable/backup chartplotter. Are tablets a better option than a battery-powered hand-held standalone GPS for an emergency back-up or a ditch bag?

I feel like the durability and battery life of a tablet would be a liability in an emergency. Whereas you can get a waterproof handheld GPS/Chartplotter that takes AA batteries, get a shockproof floating case, and you should be good to go.

I understand a tablet has a lot more utility as a second/backup/portable chartplotter, but it seems like as an emergency backup a handheld would be better.

Am I missing something?
Not missing anything. Tablet is a secondary (or even primary) chartplotter/ navigation tool.

It's definitely a simple GPS receiver such as a Garmin handheld and spare batteries for the emergency backup/ ditchbag. Once you are in that situation, what you are primarily concerned about is ruggedness, battery life and getting a position fix, heading and SOG.
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