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Old 28-10-2013, 10:09   #1
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Navigation App for Android?

I start to toy with the idea of acquiring a Sony Experia Z tablet for the boat so that I can finally get rid of my much-hated IPad. In my opinion, the Sony tablet is the first device of this type to really be fit for purpose on a boat -- since it is really waterproof -- will withstand immerson to one meter for 30 minutes. It's only drawback is that it is not daylight visible, but that is not required for my purposes.

I intensely dislike the IPad OS, and the device is too delicate and too vulnerable to water to really rely on on the boat. I also dislike INavX. HOWEVER, despite all of that, the IPlod with INavX has become indispensible for me -- I keep watch under my sprayhood with it in bad weather, set up anchor alarms next to my bunk, and do all kinds of things with it. I even used it succesfully as my primary navigation device for more than a month while I was waiting to get my new Zeus plotter out of Jersey customs. It looked really funny bungee-corded to my empty helm NavPod, but it worked!



Before making the tremendous upgrade to the Sony Android tablet, I was waiting for OpenCPN to be ported to Android, but maybe there's no need? Has anyone been using the Navionics navigation app with an Android tablet? Now that I have been using Navionics charts on my new B&G plotters, my prejudices against Navionics cartography has evaporated (I was really pleasantly surprised to find out that I like it, after all).

Simrad Go Free has been ported to Android, so I think a basic chart plotting app would be all I need. I won't miss the icky INavX I have been using on my IPlod.

I can even get Maretron's N2KView for Android -- and it appears to be free!! How did that happen? The price for the PC version is exorbitant.


Now a somewhat unrelated question:

Has anyone tried to set up BOTH Go Free and N2KView using the same WiFi router? Is it possible?
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Old 28-10-2013, 10:31   #2
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

I have an Asus Transformer running Android and use the Navionics App. It is a back-up / planning tool for us but is very good.

As a trial this summer for two weeks I used only the Tablet and a small black and white Garmin GPS to see if it was suitable for full time use and in short it is. But is not as proficient as a dedicated plotter.

But I do like to use the Navionics backed up with paper charts or PC based Raster charts as I have heard that Navionics is not 100% reliable.

I also like large scale paper for planning.
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Old 28-10-2013, 15:12   #3
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

I use navonics on my S-3 phone as backup for my chart plotter. Best app ever. It is my sole plotter on inland lakes and in some upper recesses in BC, were I ran out of paper and simrad chartplotter. Never let me down.
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Old 28-10-2013, 15:27   #4
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

We have been experimenting with Jeppeson's Plan2Nav app on a Nexus 7 (which BTW is too small). It uses C-Map charts, of course, and seems to work pretty well... assuming vector charts are OK. I also used C-Map charts several years on a previous boat, seemed to be pretty good at the time.

I've recently been looking at Marine Navigator and MX Mariner; both use raster charts and may have some potential. I had a question on both about ease of chart updating; both developers responded quickly. The MX Mariner developer said the app currently includes quartery "in app" chart updates... and he's considering adding an additional "annual subscription" service which could essentially update every week (with Notices to Mariners, etc.). Haven't had time to actually to the download/install for either for a real evaluation yet.

For me, these are all about back-up to back-up to back-up... or casual use during Happy Hour discussions ... since we have redundant GPS, NAVNet 3D chartplotter, MaxSea on a laptop, etc, etc. etc.

What are Navionics charts, raster or vector?

-Chris
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Old 28-10-2013, 15:29   #5
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

I am using MarineNavigator and OruxMaps for Android,both can use your .KAP type charts. MarineNavigator converts on-the-fly imported .KAP charts and OruxMaps has a special OruxMaps Desktop prog. for your PC which easily converts .BSB/.KAP which you import to OruxMaps.

Using HotspotControl and TeamViewer,you can pair your Android device over bluetooth with your old laptop situated safely below,running ALL your PC based software,including OpenCPN.

Tore
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Old 28-10-2013, 16:02   #6
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

I have tested whatever could be tested for free and did not find a single good charting app.

NV charts are fine but their app is only soso.

Jeppessen app was a horror.

I have used Navionics on an iThing and it was very good back in 2011. I assume it is even better today. Too bad they do not offer a demo. Too bad they do not interface to AIS.

Read into your tab specs as someone said not all Experias had GPS. (just repeating things overheard)

To me, choice and quality of Android nav apps was a big disappointment. An old netbook with OpenCpn beats them hands down.

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Old 28-10-2013, 16:40   #7
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In my opinion, the Sony tablet is the first device of this type to really be fit for purpose on a boat -- since it is really waterproof -- will withstand immerson to one meter for 30 minutes.
Pantech Element™ is a fast, highly portable, feature-rich 4G LTE capable tablet powered by the Android™ operating system and a robust processor. With Pantech Element, you get a brilliant HD screen, front- and rear-facing cameras, Adobe® Flash® Player support, and tablet-optimized services from Google™, AT&T, and more. Plus, it’s waterproof, so you can take it virtually anywhere.

Waterproof against incidental exposure to water when all ports (incl. USB and earphone ports) are tightly closed. NOT designed or intended for in water use. Submersible up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. Waterproof based on IP57 rating.
Pantech Element - Black tablet from AT&T
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Old 28-10-2013, 16:49   #8
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

Navionics is the best I've seen on android.
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Old 28-10-2013, 19:12   #9
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I use Navionics on my Asus TF300 and really enjoy it. I've made a plexi-glass holder for it that mounts nicely on the binnacle. My paper charts are only used for getting the big picture and keeping the authorities happy.

One thing to note is the the Ipad version of Navionics is different from the Android version! The latter being less mature.

For example, on the Ipad you can edit and modify any point of a route, on Android you've only got the option to delete last. This is a big deal when when planning a route. On the Ipad its easy, simply rough in a track from start to finish, zoom in and move/add points as required to finalize. Can't do this on Android! While on route planning ... you can't share or import routes (gpx files). When cruising with an other boat neither version will let you share routes.

There are other minor difference but this is the biggie for me. I still recommend it for the price. I only wish my emails to Navionics would not fall on deaf ears!!

Matt
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Old 29-10-2013, 03:22   #10
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WARNING! The sony experia z series are not waterproof in salt water! please read the owners manual.
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Old 29-10-2013, 04:24   #11
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post

Jeppessen app was a horror.

b.

Can you hum a few bars about what made it "a horror" ?

We haven't used it much, maybe not enough to encounter problems... but it might help to know what to look for...

-Chris
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Old 29-10-2013, 08:58   #12
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

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Has anyone tried to set up BOTH Go Free and N2KView using the same WiFi router? Is it possible?
No but I'll be one of those uninformed posters who actually don't own either product but post anyway :-). Why do you suspect that they wouldn't?

Unless my understanding is wrong (which it often is...) the Maretron N2Kview server will sit on one port on the PC you have connected to the N2K network and the android software will connect to that. The GoFree stuff involves (same caveats apply to my understanding: I read the Tier 1 spec when it came out but have no experience with implementation) multicasting out the address and port of the server for the GoFree data. Your android app will listen for that, take the address and port numbers from the multicast packets, and connect to that server. Different addresses, probably even different default ports.

Don't think there should be a conflict but that's not really an informed or practical opinion :-)
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Old 29-10-2013, 14:41   #13
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I have an Xperia and beautiful thing it is too. Just downloaded navionics UK & Holland HD for a play, looks very good. Google earth overly is a nice touch. The current and tides seem well implemented, lots info at your fingertips. Give it a go, you can always hit refund
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Old 29-10-2013, 14:55   #14
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

oruxmaps works fine (open source). I use it a lot on my samsung xcover 2.
Download it, play with it and you will be convinced.
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Old 29-10-2013, 18:10   #15
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Re: Navigation App for Android?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Can you hum a few bars about what made it "a horror" ?

We haven't used it much, maybe not enough to encounter problems... but it might help to know what to look for...

-Chris
Chris,

I still have that demo on my tab I think. I will give it another run and list my complaints here. If you do not see my feedback by morrow here pls drop me a reminder.

b.
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