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[aprssig] Andorid APRS

Jeffrey Johnson ortelius at gmail.com
Thu Dec 24 00:50:35 UTC 2009

One more thing ... for a complete comparison of android devices, see here



On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 4:43 PM, Jeffrey Johnson <ortelius at gmail.com> wrote:
> I should point out even more clearly that the Archos Internet Tablet
> is completely independent of cell phone carriers (no GSM, CDMA etc),
> has WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS and up to a 500GB hard drive. Which makes
> every argument about cell phone carriers completely mute, and would
> work perfectly for the kind of APRS app we are discussing, including
> the ability to cache enormous amounts of map data down to the device
> while a connection is available and then use those when one is not.
> Android is about much more than smart phones.
> Jeff
> On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 4:38 PM, Jeffrey Johnson <ortelius at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Wow! Let me quickly correct some serious mis-information here.
>>> a phone.]  The real question now is which (if any) carriers will allow a
>>> non-proprietary non-crippled version of a "generic" phone operate on their
>>> networks.
>> I have various unlocked phones including Nokias and the Google Dev
>> Phone. Unlocked means just that. I can put in a SIM from any (GSM)
>> carrier I like and it 'just works'. There is the issue of incompatible
>> 3G frequencies between the carriers. If you have ever travelled in
>> Europe or anywhere else in the world that uses GSM (pretty much
>> everywhere), the paradigm of unlocked phones predominates. Its only in
>> the US that we have the paradigm of phones locked to a specific
>> carrier.
>>> 2)     Most cell phone GPS's are relatively dumb devices (just the RF front
>>> end) and depend on cell network access to function. As a result, your APRS
>>> GPS functionality would disappear when you leave the coverage footprint of
>>> your chosen cell carrier, if you try to use the phone's GPS with your radio.
>> You are talking about Assisted GPS here. Yes this is very true of lots
>> of what I would call 'low-end' smartphones (blackberry, windows mobile
>> etc). This is simply NOT the case with Android devices or iPhone. The
>> GPS in my G1 and my iPhone works just fine if I turn off ALL of the
>> radios.
>>> 3)     Android mapping apps are most likely to use Google Maps downloaded
>>> from the Internet via the cell phone's data access, meaning:
>> Google Maps is one of many options available to android developers. I
>> have developed android apps based on OpenStreetMap, maps I have
>> created myself with open source tools using the Nutiteq library among
>> others.
>>> a)   You are potentially going to run up huge airtime charges for data
>>> acccess.  Most so-called unlimited data plans have monthly bandwidth caps;
>>> i.e. download quotas of "x" megabytes.  [Currently the iPhone users tethered
>>> to ATT's network are screaming and howling about ATT's plan to do away with
>>> unlimited data access and start charging by the amount of monthly bandwidth
>>> used. ]
>> Monthly bandwidth caps on Verizon and other carriers are measured in
>> the Gigabytes of data which constrains usage like video and audio
>> streaming. AT&T currently does not have bandwidth caps, but is
>> considering going to tiered pricing. In any case, maps are actually
>> quite small in size. unless you want to cache a huge chunk of maps
>> down to your phone in which case, you could use an android based
>> device like the Archos 5 Internet tablet
>> http://www.archos.com/products/imt/archos_5it/index.html?country=ru&lang=en
>> which is WiFi only and doesnt even work on the cell phone networks.
>>> b)     Once again, if you are out of the cell carrier's coverage foot print
>>> -- NO MAPS!!
>> There are a plethora of apps for the iPhone that allow you to download
>> maps to your phone while on a WiFi connection and then use them out in
>> the field without an internet connection. Many/Most of these are based
>> on the Route-Me library which can be used with various map tile
>> sources including OpenStreetMap, Bing (Microsoft Maps), Yahoo Maps and
>> even google maps if you don't mind violating the Terms of Service. I
>> have also developed several apps based on this library and have been
>> able to use my phone with GPS AND Maps in the absence of cell coverage
>> or WiFi.
>> So, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. Please check your facts before
>> posting mis-information.
>> Jeff

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