View Full Version : iphone android vs. gps?

08-21-2012, 04:14 PM
I recently heard that iphones and android style smart phones can double as a gps?

do they work off satellites or do they require internet access to function/ be within cell phone range?

because if they do work with satellites I'm starting to think why bother having a garmin gps handheld etc...?

08-21-2012, 07:28 PM
They do work off of satalites but they are really hard on battery life, i wont leave my garmin at home and depend on my phone.

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08-21-2012, 08:51 PM
I am planning to use my phone along with my Garmin as a backup on a Wyoming elk hunt next month. For around $20 I bought Backcountry navigator app and BLM overlay maps.. I have the phone and my Garmin is older and don't want to upgrade it. Extra batteries are pretty reasonable . Turn the data off and put the phone in airplane mode to conserve battery.

08-22-2012, 06:00 AM
I looked long and hard between the android and garmin options. I ended up buying a garmin Oregon. The phone apps are just not quite where they need to be compared to the Garmin. I think in a year or two assuming continued development of apps like Backcountry navigator these apps will be able to directly compete against garmins. The price tag of the phone apps compared to a dedicated Garmin certainly make it attractive. If I owned Garmin stock; I'd probably be selling it.

08-22-2012, 10:54 AM
Here is an article I wrote on Elknut about using my ATT iPhone as a GPS:


Essentially, as long as you take every precaution against battery drain, it works REALLY well.

Verizon iPhone has the issue where you cannot turn off calling, which kills battery.

08-22-2012, 11:35 AM
especially if just day hiking and camping next to a vehicle, I'm not particularly worried about battery life just yet... as long as I can make it through a day on batteries...

08-22-2012, 01:44 PM
i wouldnt go wondering around deep into the mountains with my phone as my gps source, unless you know the area real well. sure it runs off from help in the skies but with a gps you have 4 satellites working for you. when you have a thick overcast day at 10,000 feet ill be thankfull i have my garmin on hand while hunting unfamiliar country.

08-22-2012, 08:56 PM
A guy could use the iphone for most nav / identifying borders / etc. And have a simpler (i.e., cheaper) version of a true garmin on hand (etrex legend for $100 or so) for nav in an emergency or if you are lost and your phone fails. That said, I'd still probably buy a higher end garmin.