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Android Tablets and Navionics

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I was primed to get an Ipad and Navionics Charts for the Caribbean. Then I found you need the 3G cell version to get the internal GPS. So I looked around some more and found the new ASUS Android Transformer Prime sports a "brighter" display at a much lower cost. But Navionics does not list even the earlier Transformer as "compatible". Or the newest one.

Can anyone tell me if I should expect Navionics charts to work on the Asus Prime?

Thanks, Bob
M/V Mar Azul
Marigot Saint-Martin

13 Replies

  • It is true you need an iPad 3G to get the internal GPS receiver, but you do not need a cell or WiFI service/subscription to use the iPad 3G GPS. Another option is to add the BadElf GPS receiver to iPad WiFi only model. Although it doesn't make sense $$$ wise.

  • I can't say for sure, Bob, but I do know that Navionics Mobile has survived several Android updates on my Droid Incredible phone without any issues. I suspect it will work fine on the Transformer, which looks like a pretty neat pad to me.

    On the other hand, it's not too hard to get high quality GPS to a plain WiFi iPad, as discussed here: (I'm not sure why GPSNavX thinks this is a more expensive option).

    On the third hand, Navionics Mobile for Android always seems to be a version or two behind the iOS apps. But on the fourth (;-) the number of good charting apps for Android is growing. I've just been testing Memory Map on a 7" Galaxy Tab and it's pretty sweet.

  • My point is, the BadELf GPS receiver costs just about the same as the price difference between the 3G and WiFi only iPad models. So why not pay the US$130 extra and get 3G connectivity and a GPS receiver?

  • Thanks for the feedback...

    My interest is a complete standalone backup to my Maxsea TZ setup and a way to be able to reference both Navionics and Cmap charts of the same area.

    If I could get reasonable cost 3G service here, I'd spring for that, but it seems every island nation in the Eastern Caribbean has their own deal and roaming is very expensive. I ran into a cruiser here that had a fixed price wide area coverage with a USB device connected to a PC, but that plan seems to have disappeared. So I'm looking for the most economical and functional WiFi solution. At $499 with what is supposed to be a truly daylight readable screen - the ASUS Transformer Prime seems like the best hardware solution.

    But will Navionics run on it? They say it should run on any recent Android platform, but seems they only advertise support for the Samsung Galaxy tablet and many phones. They also indicate the charts need to load to a SD card, almost like they are really only expecting to be loaded on a "phone" and not a "tablet".

    Ben, do you have Navionics running on your Galaxy Tab? How is it outside in the shade?

    I have Memory Map running on my PC (leftover from a PDA based chart plotter I gave away). They don't seem to have any marine maps in their download site for this area.

    If iNavX ever ports to Android, that would also work, but there is nothing about that on his site.

    Thanks, Bob

  • Bob, The Dual XGPS Bluetooth that I favor for my iPad is $80 at Amazon. It's an excellent GPS and can be used for other devices if needed. I've had a WiFi-only iPad for over a year and have never missed 3G.

    An iPad would give you guaranteed access to Navionics and C-Map charts right now. Plus, at the moment iNavX is the only app supporting the growing variety of gear that can put your boat data on a pad:

    But I definitely understand your attraction to the Transformer Prime: However, I'm not positive that Navionics Mobile will run on it (though pleased to see that the Android version is up to 2.1). Plus I have not heard a thing about a C-Map Plan2Nav version for Android. Or, for that matter, an Android version of Imray's chart app, or Transas iSailor.

    Incidentally, I had to return the Galaxy Tab already, but will soon have my mitts on a Toshiba Thrive running Android 3.1. I will certainly try to load Navionics on that.

  • There is no doubt the Android market for marine apps has a lot of catching up to do.

    I did not really think through the BT GPS option carefully, would this BT GPS work with an Ipad?

    I have one already that backs up my Furuno sensor.

  • I doubt it, Bob. Apparently Apple does BT GPS a little different! The Dual XGPS has a little switch to go between iOS and everything else. Dual also has a free app that will show you way more about GPS status than you can find out about an internal iPad GPS (I'm pretty sure). Plus of course you can give the GPS a good sky view while being fairly free to use the iPad where you want. The battery lasts quite a while, plus the unit can be used when charging via USB, and it goes to sleep when no GPS app is running on the iPad.

  • Yea...The good part about Apple is things usually work...the bad part is they lock you into "Apple Approved" devices.

    An internet search indicates there are drivers out there for a standard SPP BT GPS if you jail break the Ipad. Whatever that entails and implies....

    The Ipad WiFi remains around $200 more expensive ($100 base + about $100 GPS). So $700 vs $500 with a better display but possible software issues. Hmmm...

    Thanks for the feedback....I'll just have to puzzle it out.

  • Thanks to Ben and GPSNavX. For what it's worth, I ended up buying an Ipad and the Dual GPS Ben suggested. In the end, the Ipad has the best applications at present. That's impossible to overlook. I thought the Bluetooth GPS was best for an "anchor watch" application and would still work well for other applications.

    I ended up ordering the Ipad off the Apple company website and was surprised to see it ship direct from China via FedEx....It's truly becoming a global economy.

    Thanks again, Bob

    M/V Mar Azul
    Marigot, St. Martin FWI

  • OK...I ended up with an IPad Wifi, Dual GPS, and far it works. Used Jeff Siegals Drag Queen for an anchor alarm and it does the trick at night. But the course and speed display on the basic Navoinics chart plotter on the Ipad seems to vary a lot. Only a couple of very short trips so far, but MaxSea TZ shows a much more consistent course and speed. Is this normal? Thanks, Bob

  • I'm running Navionics on a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and Acer A200 and I have to say that it works great! I picked up a ram mount to hold the tablet and I don't regret going the tablet route at all.
    Just look for a tablet with stand alone gps in it.
    Also when you're done using the tablet as a plotter you can hook it up to your stereo and listen to mp3 and watch movies... etc.
    Power is not an issue either keep it charged with 12 volt charger.
    You can also upload sail plans to facebook, for safety.
    That's my 2 cents

  • How do you overcome the challenge that the Galaxy is not view-able in direct sunlight, and even very hard to read in indirect sunlight reflected off the water?

  • I have successfully intigrated my android phone to my ipad2. You have to "jailbreak" the ipad, and add a utility called BT Stack. Then try some android Bluetooth transmit GPS apps. It was well worth it, just to stick my thumb in Apple's eye. It works great.