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post #1 of 81 Old 12-13-2009 Thread Starter
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Nav apps for android phones?

I just acquired an android phone and, although it has a built-in GPS which seems to work very well, I have not been able to find any app for marine navigation -- like those available for the iPhone.

Does anyone have any info on android nav apps?

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post #2 of 81 Old 12-15-2009
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I too would love a marine navigation app for Android. Ideally, it would utilize free NOAA charts as a Google Maps layer!!!

I'd also love to see the ability to use the GPS in most Android phones (I have the T-mobile Mytouch/HTC Magic) as a "puck" gps so that Nroute or Mapsource can give true GPS position/tracking on a larger screen!

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post #3 of 81 Old 12-22-2009
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Android Apps ?

It is my understanding that with the introduction of the complete Android system, hopefully early 2010, that all the apps available for the iPhone will be available for ALL touch screen phones.
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post #4 of 81 Old 12-28-2009 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by captsmoe View Post
It is my understanding that with the introduction of the complete Android system, hopefully early 2010, that all the apps available for the iPhone will be available for ALL touch screen phones.
I had a discussion with the implementer of MacGPSPro who is in the process of building an iPhone app. He pointed out to me that the coding environment is quite different between the 2 platforms: iPhone apps are coded in C while the Android apps are written in Java. One of the issues is performance, he claims. I am not sure what the other issues are ...

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post #5 of 81 Old 12-28-2009
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As someone who develops navigation applications (and discussed mobile platforms with a few people) I'd like to second that.

iPhone provides developers with ability to write "native code" (using either C, or more likely Objective C). It's still not trivial to write for iPhone - you can only port so much (and that has to be already written for Mac).
However Java is not at all a suitable technology for a usable navigation application. It doesn't work even on much more powerful platforms and it won't work at all on a mobile device with a 500Mhz non-pipelined ARM processor. So, I doubt that a chart application of any quality is possible for Android unless Google decides to provide native API as well.
That said, you could always have something that displays basic data - location, may be some information about the vessel etc.

The issue with writing for mobile platforms also is that they have essentially nothing in common either between themselves or with non-mobile platforms, so developer has to invest a very significant effort in application that ends up being tied to the platform and therefore only as successful as platform is. For me, for example, that is one reason that will make writing for mobile devices impractical until/unless they decide to share at least basic system technology. In that sense, iPhone is also a better choice - they at least guarantee a significant audience, whereas Android does not at this time and may or may not do so in the future.
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post #6 of 81 Old 12-28-2009
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However Java is not at all a suitable technology for a usable navigation application. It doesn't work even on much more powerful platforms and it won't work at all on a mobile device with a 500Mhz non-pipelined ARM processor.
This does not really make any sense to me. Please elaborate.

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post #7 of 81 Old 12-28-2009
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Quote:
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This does not really make any sense to me. Please elaborate.
See here: Interpreted language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Java is interpreted (just in time compilation)...and tends to be a resource hog and performance dog. C on the other had is precompiled and operates at very low level.

Java can be platform independent (in theory) vs C requires effective re-writes of applications on various platforms (Mac, Linux, WinNT, etc).

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post #8 of 81 Old 12-28-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasus1457 View Post
I just acquired an android phone and, although it has a built-in GPS which seems to work very well, I have not been able to find any app for marine navigation -- like those available for the iPhone.

Does anyone have any info on android nav apps?
Not to be too picky, but I don't beleive your phone has GPS capabilities...I believe like the iphone it uses cell towers and/or wifi to locate itself, if its in an area with suitable signals, not GPS.

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post #9 of 81 Old 12-28-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Java is interpreted (just in time compilation)...and tends to be a resource hog and performance dog. C on the other had is precompiled and operates at very low level.
This used to be true, but due to JIT increases and language design factors, Java is now normally just as fast, or faster, than C languages. See for example: Java pulling ahead? Java versus C++ benchmarks

More to the point, what is so special about Navigation applications that they cannot be made to perform adequately for the Android platform when games, video, and goggle maps are quite adequate?

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post #10 of 81 Old 12-28-2009
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Quote:
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Not to be too picky, but I don't beleive your phone has GPS capabilities...I believe like the iphone it uses cell towers and/or wifi to locate itself, if its in an area with suitable signals, not GPS.
sf - this may have been true in the past and for the iPhone itself, but Android phones most definitely do indeed have a dedicated satellite GPS capability.

My Android phone (Tmobile Mytouch 3g aka the HTC Magic) can give me positioning via GPS even when the phone is turned off (aka airplane mode)

Plus, there are GPS only apps out there as well.

It also offers Cell Triangulation as well...which is less intensive on the battery and fairly accurate in urban areas.

S/V Jendai
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