Android Auto in cell dead zones

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by MPower, Sep 27, 2018.

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  1. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    I am about to buy a Clarity and trying to decide between the base and the Touring. (I don't want really care about anything but the electric seats and the navigation system. Since I am almost the only user the seats are an unnecessary luxury and extravagance.) However, the navigation is important to me.

    My real question is how folks who do not have navigation have found depending on Android Auto which I haven't really used because my 2012 Prius Plugin has navigation. I live in an area where cell service is really spotty and often drive cross-country through areas which may or may not have good cell service. I know that around here and at my daughter's I can download local maps to my phone. But how do you deal when you are on the road and hit an area that you did not realize had no service.

    Would be interested in all your thoughts at length, but especially the coping strategies from folks who deal with this problem a lot.

    This will probably be the deciding factory on which trimeline I will buy.
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  3. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    I use Here WeGo map on Android, it is an offline GPS app that was originally developed by Nokia, bought by Microsoft, not sure who own it now. I just download the map of my province and NY state only, but you can download almost any map (or all the states along your travel route) in the world so it's great for travelling also. Their POI database is a little lacking but if you only need an offline GPS app, this is great and free too.

    I have the Touring (have not use the Garmin once), not because I want it but because Honda Canada do a bait and switch, took my deposit for the Base and then 1 week before the provincial election call (after 5 months wait) and told me to either pony up the extra $4600 or forget about the $13,000 provincial rebate so...
  4. bakedpatato

    bakedpatato New Member

    You could install hondahack (I asked the creator what link to use but his post on XDA mentions the clarity. I'm assuming the Civic link, as I think the Clarity has the same infotainment) and then install Sygic, as AA only supports Waze and Google Maps.
    and yeah as you noted, if you don't download maps beforehand you're SOL
  5. Snrub

    Snrub New Member

    I assume you're using Google Maps.

    I get spotty service sometimes as well. Normally when I'm planning ahead I will download maps to my destination ahead of time. However, I don't always do that and will occasionally hit dead areas. I'm pretty sure it must download maps of your route ahead of where you are automatically because I've never noticed the service cutting out if I hit an unexpected dead area. You will likely lose access to real time traffic alerts though.
  6. lanb

    lanb Active Member

    MPower - I was in the same boat as you, mostly single user and didn't want to pony up $3000 just for GPS, leather seating area and power seat. Plus, I didn't like the Suede.

    I went ahead with the base and use AA. I use waze and actually found the choice of GPS apps much more appealing than the restricted built-in GPS. During a trip from LA to Las Vegas, I used google maps via AA and didn't have any issues even in the
    miles and miles of desert :).

    As iluvscuba mentioned, HERE is a good app with offline maps if need be.

    Good luck !
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  8. JJim

    JJim Active Member

    I have no data plan on my phone. I am using Google maps with Android Auto on my Clarity Base without any problems sice I have downloaded all my province and nearby area maps into my phone memory. They are total just about 300-400 MB. So as long as you downloaded the maps of your area into your phone the Google maps work well. Screenshot_2018-09-27-16-39-01.png
  9. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so much for the awesome information. It was exactly what I needed. I had actually downloaded Here We Go on my phone ages ago but never really used it after I got into a fight with it a couple of years ago maybe it has got over this issue. When I have needed navigation that was not built into the car, I have tended to use Google Maps. I have never tried Waze. The reviews of all these apps in the Play Store seem to show that none of them are perfect and that every reviewer has their favorites--kind of like plugin cars.)

    I will test drive the apps by trying to navigate in an area where I know there is no reception and see what happens.

    I am very grateful for the variety of your solutions. You have given me the confidence to go out into the world with just my phone. My dithering is over. I will be saving USD 3,400 which I can spend on maybe a Level 2 charger, new phone, or some other tech toy. But best of all you have helped put me out of my decision agony. Woot!
  10. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    Why do you need to test drive the apps in a dead zone? Since they are offline map, you can use it anywhere you want as it doesn't care if there's a signal or not
  11. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    I was interested in Snrub's post which said that he never noticed Google Maps cutting out when he hit a dead area even when he had not downloaded the maps. I thought I would try a known dead area to see if I can replicate his experience. Since I will be taking a 1,500 mile drive in a couple of months I am not sure that I want to download that many maps and I do not know where all the dead zones will be other than a couple.
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  13. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    Iluvscuba, how do you use your Here We Go. I did not see it among the Android Auto Apps. Do you just use it on your phone screne or did you figure out some way get it to show on the display?
  14. I third that. Been using it since the day of Nokia and then Microsoft Lumia, and download other countrys' map and use that on International trips also.
  15. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    Here is not approved for AA use so you have to use it on your phone's screen which doesn't bother me as I use my phone on a magnetic mount mounted on top of the wood trim near the driver side door. The charge cable is routed over the steering wheel and there is a groove at the end of the wheel which fits my cable perfectly.

    As @mcdull said, Here map is great especially if you travel internationally and you don't have a sim card. They have maps from all over the world and you can download all the maps you are travelling to. The POI is not the best so I usually just googled interesting places and restaurants I am interested in and download the relevant information to the phone so I can get the info and address etc offline. If you hotel has free wifi, you can also use google map to get the information and then download that portion of the map but I found routing is not as good this way
  16. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    Why not just buy a Garmin GPS?
  17. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    On my Touring model, using Android Auto for Navigation, I have discovered that when going through a dead zone, navigation switches over, with a brief screen notification, to the built-in Garmin Navigation, and back again when the cellular signal resumes. I was blown away with that capability. Of course, we can always download Google area maps into the phone to avoid any interruption. I do like having the built-in Garmin navigation available though, as a backup.

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