Smartphones, on the other hand, can be updated wirelessly, and Google Maps are kept well up to date, for the most part*. The problem I have run into with several Androids is that, even when plugged into a 2.1A vehicle charger, the battery still discharges. On a long trip, the battery would go too far down for the phone to be trusted to get around at my destination.
I had to get a new phone because of switching carriers. My old Alcatel phone is GSM compatible, and I needed to use Verizon towers which use CDMA technology.
After getting a CDMA compatible phone, I decided to press the Alcatel (6" screen) into service as a GPS. Even with the SIM card removed, I still had the problem of the battery continuing to discharge over time. This is not as critical, of course, as having the primary mobile phone go down....but still inconvenient.
I tried several things, read lots on the internet, but could not find the answer. Finally, I put the phone in AIRPLANE mode. That did the trick. Now, the battery stays charged while travelling.
I did some experimenting, and here is the procedure I follow:
- Download offline maps for the region(s) I will be travelling in.
- Create an itinerary on the laptop and email it to myself.
- Open the email on the phone while WiFi is available (important).
- Set the phone on AIRPLANE.
- Plug into power in the vehicle, and go.
Since I am operating offline, I will not be getting real-time traffic on my GPS Android. That's a trade-off for keeping my battery operating. I still have my operational phone, which I can get traffic on as needed.
Let me know your results, or share your ideas...
*I discovered that it is possible to send new street addresses to Google Maps, and they will update them in a week or two.
For more on GPS Android navigation, check out this article at The Joy of Android.