Can we talk about Tablets as GPS/Chartplotters?

Discussion in 'Power it up with Electronics' started by jmrodandgun, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. jmrodandgun

    jmrodandgun Well-Known Member

    Is anyone set up to use their tablet (ipad, Galaxy tab, or similar) as a GPS? I have been using a Garmin 62s for a while now. It works awesome but I find myself using my cell phone more and more. With the Navionics app I can scout, plan, and create routes all within a single unit. With the Garmin I have to scout on google earth and then move all my points into homeport before creating a route in homeport. Navionics also allows me to overlay Google earth on the navigation software. The garmin does something similar but the screen sucks and it's impossible to use unless you're on foot.

    Thoughts? I can set up a nice rig with a Galaxy tab 4 7 for less than $300 and be able to everything from one unit. My biggest worry is heat and salt/water intrusion.
  2. tomahawk

    tomahawk Well-Known Member

    I think the biggest problem is seeing the screen in the sunlight. I have a Galaxy that is useless outdoors period. Of course I'm old and slightly visually challenged.....close up anyway ::)

  3. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

    I had the same thought and was advised by others who have tried. Basically it's not worth it because the water proof case you will need will retain to much heat so the tablet will start having issues and fail or shut down. And you can't see the screen to save your life.

    On a larger boat with a bimini or t-top where it will be out of the Sun then I'd say go for it.
  4. gillz

    gillz Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on how you plan on using it. I have a case for my Ipad 2 and use the Isailor app and a hack (temporarily) to slave the GPS off my phone and turn it on only when I'm going to use it. My screen is visible in sunlight only while turned on its side, which is fine since that's how I would want to use it. I only use it to mark points of interest, plan routes, estimate distances, ect. I don't look at my plotter/GPS while running. Fishing Flamingo I'm looking for the channel and the marking stakes. If your needs are to have it on all the time and to use it while running, I would say this is not the best set up for you.
  5. MariettaMike

    MariettaMike Wish'n I was Fish'n!

    GPS Kit apps work great on iPad and iPhone at night or in the woods. To use in direct sunlight you need a beach towel folded double over your head to see the screen. You can cache maps for use offline, although they are not as detailed. (Only AT&T is available at Flamingo.)

    If you leave an iPhone or iPad in the sun it will shutdown on high temp even if its not in a case.

    Must be on a charger to reliably last over 4 hours.

    Bing is better than Google for some places.

    Don't leave the dock without a map of the area you're going, and a compass. (Even if its a just a hotspots map, or a screen print of a Google map.)

    Using an old, second-hand chart plotter with old maps is better than using a new tablet on a boat in daylight.
  6. bermuda

    bermuda Well-Known Member

    I keep hoping they would come out with some kind of goggles display such as google glass - that would be perfect to use with your phone and hands free.
  7. timemachine

    timemachine I Love!

    I've ruined a bunch of cell phones while boating. That's why I tend to use the 10 dollar phones from amazon. It's been my experience that they just do not like water.
  8. CurtisWright

    CurtisWright Light, Strong, Cheap. Pick Two.

    I run an Ipad 2 with a lifeproof case and a Navionics app.  I love it.  I can see it in the sun and its very accurate.  I even use it to get to my snapper spots.  It will run all day,  but I have a 12 charger in the boat for backup.

    I went from chokoloskee to flamingo last fall and never ran aground or got lost!

    The only draw back is it will overheat if left in the open when the ambient temp is above ~80F.  I have to store mine inside the center console to keep it out of the sun while I am fishing during the summer.

    Also,  If it starts raining,  the rain drops will push buttons on the touch screen when they hit it,  it can get annoying, but is rarely a problem.

  9. jmrodandgun

    jmrodandgun Well-Known Member

    I ended up going the same route as you but I opted for the ipad mini. I found one on a local forum for cheap and threw it in a lifeproof case. It makes moving around the marsh a little less nerve racking. I still have a handheld in the boat that I use for charting purposes when not under power. The ipad overheats fairly quickly if you're poling but works great when running. Haven't really experienced too much of a problem viewing the screen. It's not as easy to see as the 541 was before it's untimely death but it certainly gets the job done and does it with much better satellite images.