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I have a Toshiba Excite tablet with android ice cream that has WiFi only (no cellular) that has Google Navigation (Beta) app on it and also Google map (Beta) app. I want to use the tablet in London England and Paris France. Will it work while walking around the city if I can't stay connected to WiFi?

If you think it won't work, what app can I use offline that will?

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Partly. Does your tabby at least have GPS? Otherwise Navigation won't be able to work. How should it know where you are? –  Izzy Jan 19 '13 at 17:05
    
@Izzy Your forgetting the map download ;) –  Liam W Jan 19 '13 at 17:06
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Nah, I don't. That could be done beforehand (e.g. at the hotel room), while still having WiFi. It's called "pre-caching" :) But without GPS and without network, there's no way to get the location. So the navi is not more than any paper map then. –  Izzy Jan 19 '13 at 17:07
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3 Answers

It most likely will work, depending on a few facts:

  • your device must have GPS built-in
  • you must have the map data downloaded while connected to WiFi (e.g. using Maps (-) Offline Navigation, which fills Google Map's cache)
  • for navigation, you must have calculated the route in advance

I'm not sure whether Google Maps supports pre-calculation for navigation -- but even if, there's another restriction: once you hit a "closed road" (road works or the like), you're lost -- it cannot do a re-calculation of the route without network.

Also, getting a fix on GPS might be a lot slower (unless you aquire your fix while still connected to WiFi). Background is: To get a fix, GPS needs to know where which satellites are. These data are contained in what's called the Almanac. While AGPS downloads those data from the network (e.g. via mobile data), "plain GPS" does not have this feature, and thus needs to get the data directly from the satellites -- which obviously is not as fast.

If it does not work with Google Maps, there are several alternatives to be found on the Google Playstore. I successfully used Locus Map Free this way, so I know it does work. Locus lets you download map data directly from within the app, from different sources, and also offers pre-calculation of routes. This app is just one example, there are a lot more available.

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Answer: Yes you can

(no Google tho...)

Explanation:

There are 8 Toshiba Excite tablets currently in the market, all with GPS capabilities:

┌──────────────────────────┬─────────────────────────┐
|     TABLET FULL NAME     |    GPS CAPABILITIES     | 
├──────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────┤
| Toshiba Excite Pro       | Yes                     |
├──────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────┤
| Toshiba Excite Write     | Yes                     |
├──────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────┤
| Toshiba Excite Pure      | Yes                     |
├──────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────┤
| Toshiba Excite 10 SE     | Yes                     |
├──────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────┤
| Toshiba Excite 10 AT305  | Yes                     |
├──────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────┤
| Toshiba Excite 7.7 AT275 | Yes, with A-GPS support |
├──────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────┤
| Toshiba Excite AT200     | Yes, with A-GPS support |
├──────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────┤
| Toshiba Excite 13 AT335  | Yes, with A-GPS support |
└──────────────────────────┴─────────────────────────┘

This means that any of the existent Toshiba Excite Tablets have GPS and can perform map navigation.

Official Toshiba Excite product page here.


Based on the question dilemma, I've solved the same issue about one year ago with the following setup:

Navfree: Free GPS Navigation

Navfree screenshot

Navfree is a completely free navigation app that offers turn-by-turn directions, spoken and on-screen instructions, offline map use and address search and live search via Google and Microsoft Bing, among many other features.

The maps it uses are available for free download from the Navfree Store. The map data is stored on your device so there is no need for a constant data connection while driving. It also allows you to browse maps anytime, anywhere without paying for data connections, which means no costly roaming charges when abroad.

It uses high-quality, open-source map data from OpenStreetMap that has been created and is continually improved by as many as 400,000 users around the world. If you see a problem, you can help to improve the quality of the maps by signing up to www.openstreetmap.org.

I've highlighted the important stuff...

Steps taken:

  1. Download the map(s) for the location(s) you are traveling to:

    You can do this directly from the application:

    • Touch your device "menu" button;
    • Touch "Upgrades";
    • Select the maps you wish to download.
  2. Test you map download by opening the application and plotting a root:

    I've done this while in a garage underground, no GPS signal, but still the map data I've downloaded contained all necessary requisites to plot the root, avoid tool charges and stuff...

  3. To best acquire a GPS signal when you're on your destination, what I've done was get to a place without tall buildings around, to have the closest to 360º of clear sky as I could. In about 1min GPS signal was fixed.

    From here, GPS was at "poor" while inside city streets surrounded by tall builds, but the navigation was very satisfying with a very small margin of error from time to time (2 to 5 meters).

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Be careful. Navfree helps itself to your contacts and phone numbers. –  Noin Dec 20 '13 at 7:44
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It will not work for 2 reasons:

  1. It would take a very long time to get a GPS fix without AGPS.
  2. You have to be connected to the internet to download the map data.

There are a few offline map options on Google Play - you just have to look for them, this is one of them.

One other thing, make sure the tablet has GPS. Some of the cheaper ones don't.

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You can pre-cache maps from within the GMaps app itself (check the "Lab" options). Though the area is restricted. And of course there are other pre-caching apps, as you already wrote (e.g. Maps (-) Offline Navigation). Sure GPS fix will take a bit longer -- but that could also be minimized by aquiring a fix before leaving the WiFi cover (and then keeping GPS on). –  Izzy Jan 19 '13 at 17:11
    
@Izzy The GPS fix would soon go, and one wouldn't be able to acquire another fix. Also, what if the pre-caching not far enough? –  Liam W Jan 19 '13 at 17:13
    
I've never seriously tested this, but I've never noticed a delay when getting a GPS fix without the network, either; I suspect that the benefit of AGPS is small. –  offby1 Jan 19 '13 at 17:38
    
That depends. When a fix is achieved, the current Almanach (with Satellite data) is up-to-date, so it does not need to be re-downloaded. That download is what obviously takes longer done from a satellite than done from the network (which is what AGPS does). –  Izzy Jan 19 '13 at 22:00
    
I'd love to somehow delete the almanac so that I could watch it re-download it, but I can't figure out how. I tried clearing the cache and data for the Maps app, but I assume that didn't delete the almanac, since it deduced my location in about three seconds. –  offby1 Jan 19 '13 at 23:27
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