GPS/Navigation apps on Windows 8.1 (and Windows 10)

Discussion in 'Software' started by HJK, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. pappyxmas

    pappyxmas Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Sorry, what's #s 4 and 5?
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...Sorry, what's #s 4 and 5?..>>

    See the root post (#1):

    4) Ability to adjust the route "on-the-fly" (if one misses a turn while driving, the app should be able to reconfigure a new route to get the driver back on track).
    5) Ability to provide turn-by-turn directions audibly (voice navigation).
     
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  3. pappyxmas

    pappyxmas Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Nevermind, I just read Streets and Trips has been canned. It's been replaced by Bing Maps which kinda sucks since there's no offline option. What is with this everything has to be in the cloud stuff?? For those of us in rural America where there's not good internet coverage, it's a real pain!
     
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  4. HJK

    HJK Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Unless I'm misinformed, Bing Maps is supposed to do the offline navigation via downloadable maps thing some time this year. Knock on wood.
     
  5. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...I'll give Maps Pro a try and report back in a week or two...>>

    OK. I’m impressed.

    Bottom Line Up Front: Maps Pro appears to be a modern substitute for navigation apps like Streets and Trips or DeLorme Atlas. With the purchase of an inexpensive ($10) national (or international) map data base, Maps Pro also works when you are off line. It can utilize GPS real time data from either internal sources or external sources, such as a BlueTooth or USB GPS “puck,” to provide real time position indication. Unlike the big company products mentioned above, Maps Pro is attentively administered by its developer, Fabien Nicollet, who frequently monitors user feedback and comments. Nicollet fixes bugs and implements selected user recommendations unusually promptly, a refreshing change from the monthly, or annual (or longer…) pace that the companies mentioned above typically use… or don’t use, depending upon your experience. It remains to be seen what apps like Bing Maps will eventually evolve into (they, too, have promised an off line capability), but for the moment, Maps Pro fills the void that was created by the cancellation of Streets and Trips, MapPoint, Garmin Mobil PC and other navigation apps. Recommended!

    Selected User Comments: I’m not going to write an elaborate review at this time because I’ve only been casually using Maps Pro for about a week, and I’m still learning. Maps Pro presents a streamlined and fairly intuitive user interface, but like most applications, there are functions and options that are not particularly intuitive. Maps Pro features a “knowledge base” which the user can search to find explanations for some of MP’s less obvious functions. But MP is also something of a work in progress because the knowledge base is nowhere near complete, and there is not yet a User Guide (although Nicollet has pledged to develop something along these lines). The good news is that MP is sufficiently simple to operate that even the newest user can utilize the most important functionalities (e.g., routing, points of interest, etc.) with only a little experimentation.

    Now that Streets and Trips has been discontinued, I think a lot of users are looking for a substitute application, especially for off line use. Maps Pro looks like a good candidate. The app itself costs about $5 through the Store, and provides on line location and routing with a large variety of map sources, such as Google, CalTopo and others. To work off line, the user can download state, national or even international vector maps from the Store for a nominal price (all 50 US states are available for $10). Real time GPS can be piped in from internal or external GPS receivers (USB requires a small middleware app, GPSDirect) so that MP will display real time location.

    Routing is accomplished with a simple dialogue box that allows for waypoints between the start and end points. Waypoints are easy to establish and can be precisely located. Maps Pro produces a highlighted route, turn directions and has voice callouts if you are driving (obviously, you need GPS to utilize the driving features).

    As already mentioned, one reassuring “feature” of Maps Pro is that the developer, Fabien Nicollet, keeps a close eye on user feedback and provides helpful explanations via e-mail when his time permits. The Maps Pro web site has a feedback forum where users can propose new features or refinements and can vote to promote other suggestions. It’s a nice system and users may have the pleasure of actually seeing a suggestion implemented in days or weeks rather than months or years.

    There are other Maps Pro features that are probably worthy of note, but I think this covers the high points. If I make any other significant discoveries, I’ll add additional comments.

    NOTE: In my opinion, reviews of Maps Pro at the Store are old and out of date relative to the current state of the application. That is, these comments are no longer valid! I can say that I have experienced none of the problems that these earlier reviews complain about, and rest assured, off line operation does work!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
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  6. HJK

    HJK Scribbler - Standard Member

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    So I downloaded NavMii a couple of weeks ago, and my overall impression has been negative, though there are some bright points.
    At first, I loved it because it actually had the address I was looking for in its database and seemed to find it quite easily. I drove to a city about an hour away with my wife following me, and the experience was wonderful. I snapped Here Maps the left hand side so I could see the "birds' eye view" and NavMii on the right for the turn-by-turn voice navigation and the street level view, which was pretty nice. I was quite pleased.
    Then, everything went downhill. Since then, I do not think I have been able to get it to find a single address I have searched for. The database stinks like a soiled diaper when compared with the database that Here Maps has. The interface is horrible and not user friendly at all. I could go into detail regarding how I have found the app to be difficult and at times impossible to use.

    It is really frustrating because, while Here Maps is much, much better overall, Here Maps does not provide voice instructions and does not automatically adjust the route for you (if, say, you miss a turn or decide to try an alternate road); NavMii does both of these things quite well, when it works, but 95% of the time it does not work.
     
  7. HJK

    HJK Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I am leaning towards uninstalling NavMii and trying Maps Pro. Thanks for the report, Steve S! I'm a bit concerned about the tepid reviews for Maps Pro in the store, though. It's just the 3 star average; it's the disconcerting amount of 1 star reviews. What do you think about those poor reviews, Steve? Old problems that have been fixed, perhaps? Hopefully?
     
  8. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...What do you think about those poor reviews...Old problems that have been fixed...?..>>

    ...That's exactly what they are. If you look carefully at the dates, most of them are at least a year or more old. One is 2013!

    Given Nicollet's responsiveness in addressing user comments, but more importantly given my current experience, I can't see any relevance in these comments. For myself, I give Maps Pro a solid 4 stars. I would have given it 5 stars except for the lack of a user guide, the knowledge base being a little too skimpy on feature details...

    Maps Pro may not feature the rerouting function that you seem to value so much, but the nice thing is that you can suggest it and it might actually happen...!
     
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  9. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...Maps Pro may not feature the rerouting function...>>

    ...Good news; Maps Pro will reroute you if you stray ~50 meters off course.
     
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  10. testplayer

    testplayer Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Looks like Nokia Here Map in the Windows store is good enough, it's free, and you can download the map of a whole region of the globe for offline use. Any comments on the drawbacks/weakness of this app?

    BTW, anybody has any experiences with the softwares listed here: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/37-list-laptop-gps-navigation-software-programs-reviews ?
    Most of them don't cover Australia. So any suggestions on softwares that do have maps of Australia and NZ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
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