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What satnav do you use in the states?

Discussion in 'Transportation & Travel' started by keith, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Well given you already have the tomtom, I'd buy the maps rather than hire. It'll probably work out marginally cheaper and you'll have the maps for next time you go.

    The other alternative is the free google maps navigation app. If you'll have a data connection on your phone whilst you're out there, that'll take google maps nav to another level and it'll actually be better than the tomtom
     
  2. Tony G
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    Tony G Serious Forum Regular

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    Great review, thanks for posting.

    On the loudness, didn't you connect your iPhone to the car stereo system? There's usually the choice of using bluetooth or USB/aux. Whichever you choose, there's no issue in hearing the instructions. You also get the added benefit of hearing your own music in the car.

    I still have an iPhone 4, so I use the ridiculously expensive TomTom cradle, which comes complete with its own GPS chip and external speaker. It means it's louder and clearer when it's not plugged into the car stereo and also the GPS is improved when you're in built up areas (although it's rarely been an issue in Florida). In case you're wondering, the GPS chip works with all apps, not just TomTom and the new version, which fits the iPhone 5x doesn't include the GPS chip (presumably because the phone's internal GPS is improved from the 4).
     
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  3. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Yeah we had a new model Jeep Cherokee and though it was easy to connect with bluetooth (and even easier with usb) we had a problem with the sound just dropping out so directions would either be garbled or missing. I didn't research to see if it's a problem with the iphone and the latest jeep or just that particular car etc. My feel was it was just the setup of that particular vehicle rather than a general problem

    yeah, I used an iphone 5s and iphone 4s for the testing and firstly, both were excellent GPS wise. They were ready to go very quickly and had excellent accuracy, ahead of the garmin actually (though the latest garmin was nothing to complain about anyway). The 5s was noticeably even better than the 4s, possibly as a result of its M7 Motion co-processor.
     
  4. Tony G
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    Tony G Serious Forum Regular

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    That's great to hear, I'm looking forward to benefitting from it when I (finally) upgrade to the iPhone 6. I'm switching to Three so I can use their 'feel at home' free roaming in the US.

    I'm considering buying an old iPod touch, so I can leave it and the cradle in the villa for others to use as a satnav.
     
  5. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yep, both of us used three "feel at home" and it worked brilliantly. REALLY excellent. We were able to have our usual phone numbers and keep in contact with home very easily indeed. Being slightly obsessive about these things, I did call 3 and try to make sure that it was working and we wouldn't receive a huge bill when we got home. They assured me everything was fine and said there was actually a £120 roaming limit unless you apply for it to be removed, so that in theory would be the exposure limit in case it DIDNT work.

    One thing to note. My 3 account is a business one. I can't login to anything online to get balance etc but I can dial a number to get the balance and allowances etc. My account was automatically setup for roaming+feel at home.

    DW's account is personal and although she can login to her account online, roaming WASNT setup and despite being told three times on the phone that it was all fine and would work, they actually didn't manage to do it until the day before we left when we phoned and moaned. They also wouldn't set it up inside of 60days of a new account being created. So, one to check.

    That's a great idea!
     
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  6. Tony G
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    Tony G Serious Forum Regular

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    Grrr.... All their literature says they can't activate it less than 30 days from account opening! I hope the 60 days isn't true, as it will make my November trip fraught, depending on the release date of the iPhone 6.

    It would be nice not to have to do the 'wifi shuffle' at MCO, where I get the registration of my hire car, then walk back into the terminal to use the wifi to add it to my Sunpass account, then finally back to the car to drive it away!
     
  7. Coolape
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    Coolape Addicted to Mickey

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    How does the hire car thing work tony ? I'm curious now! :)
     
  8. Tony G
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    Tony G Serious Forum Regular

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    Well, as I visit fairly often, I bought a Sunpass toll transponder from Publix. This means I can use the Sunpass/EZPass lanes on toll roads and not have to pay the hire company's fees for using their toll-billing service.

    While this is a great feature, I'm a little paranoid as some rental companies don't use transponders to pay tolls (which you can remove from the windscreen in favour of your own) but instead have agreements with the toll companies to use licence-plate recognition. With these rental companies, I'm always a little worried that the toll company will see the licence plate before my transponder and begin charging them instead of me. This would mean I'd have to pay their admin fees.

    To avoid this, I register the hire car with my Sunpass account as soon as I get it, so they will favour my transponder. As I have no USA data allowance, I have to get the licence details of the hire car, go back to the terminal and use the wifi to register it, then go back to drive the car out of the airport.

    It sounds worse than it is, but I'm usually so eager to begin my holiday, it feels like it takes a lifetime!
     
  9. Coolape
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    Coolape Addicted to Mickey

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    You're right.. that is a lifetime! haha.
     
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  10. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah agreed... when we phoned originally we were told 60 days however when we phoned back to actually get it done, 60 days later, we were told we could've done 30 days... soooooo who knows.

    yeah I've done similar in the past, it was definitely brilliant this time not to have to swap any sims, change any settings, just fine straightaway.
     
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