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Old 12-14-2012, 03:51 PM   #21
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But if I got the "take it w you" wi-fi I spoze the little red dot on the Navamatics would show where I am when in range of cell phone signals ... right?
Eric--- If you have an iPad with wifi and 3G (or 4G on the new model) you do not have to be connected to anything to use the GPS locator on Navimatics. No cell signal needed, no wifi needed, no nothing. That's because on the wifi/3G(4G) model there is a built in GPS receiver that uses the satellite signals directly, just like a plotter. We use our iPad to track our position on the charts every time we take the boat out and it does it perfectly with the wifi and cellular connectivity completely turned off.

But if you have a wifi only iPad, it does not have an actual GPS receiver in it but instead uses cell tower signals to figure out your position. So no cellular signal, no position information.

I don't know what version of iPad you have, but if you have an iPad 2 or 3 with both wifi and 3G/4G it would have tracked you all the way down the coast from Thorne Bay to La Conner. I just used mine in the Middle East the other week to guide our drivers to our shooting locations and that was with no phone or internet connection at all.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:56 PM   #22
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I'm liking what I'm hearing here - even getting a wee bit excited..
Marin do you thing the one with GPS (4G) and 32 Gb is about right...? I won't be using it for a lot of memory hungry stuff, as I'll still do that on my MacBook. Eg no home movie video editing - that's memory hungry for sure.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:08 AM   #23
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Peter--- There is no such thing as too much horsepower in a floatplane and there is no such thing as too much RAM in a computer.

So as far as I'm concerned the only iPad worth getting is the full-bore, wifi/4G, 64gig version. Because even if you never think you'll need 64 gigs, apps keep getting larger, and if you want to store photos, movies, etc., you're eventually going to need the volume.

I had waited for the iPad 3 hoping it would have more connectivity, like a firewire or USB port and so on. But all they did different from the iPad 2 is use a way better camera and a slightly better retina display.

For what I use an iPad for neither the camera nor the retina display offered any advantage whatsoever. So I decided to get an iPad 2 which they still make.

BUT------ I found out they only still make one version, the 16 gig bottom of the line model. You can still get it with wifi and 3G, but 16 gigs wasn't going to cut it for my purposes.

This was last April right after the iPad 3 came out so the stores still had big stocks of the full range of iPad 2s. So I bought a black AT&T iPad 2 with 64 gigs and wifi and 3G for a bunch of hundred dollars less than the same setup in an iPad 3. Whether the stores still have these stocks of high-end iPad 2s today I don't know. Probably not.

Regardless, with the iPad 3 64 gigs is only $100 more than 32 gigs. So if it was me doing it again today, I'd get an iPad 3 with 64 gigs of RAM and both wifi and 4G.

The built-in, stand-alone GPS in the 3G/4G models is so useful, even outside the marine world, I don't understand why anyone would even consider getting a wifi-only version. Or conversely, why Apple didn't put the stand-alone GPS in the wifi-only models, too.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:22 AM   #24
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And, taking the other tack, I can tell you that all I mentioned doing is accomplished on a 16gb iPad (1st gen).

While I agree with Marin that bigger can be better (better is the operative word) it comes down to memory management. I keep our iPad minimalistic with regards to apps and downloaded crap. Had it over 2 years with the Navionics app and never had a problem.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:15 AM   #25
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I'm glad I can give yet a 3rd view in this Goldilocks and the Three Bears story...

First, the reason to get an iPad 3 or later is that the RAM was up'd to 1.5 GB. The iPad 2 has "only" 1 GB. It's that RAM for software use that caused the problem with Garmin supporting the iPad 1 because it only has 500 MB. My own Companion app won't run in only 500 MB too.

I'm asked weekly about the size of iPad to get. My advice has been that if you won't be storing a lot of video or music on the device, you don't need the 64 GB model. If you'll have some video and a lot of chart data, the 32 GB is probably the one for you. If you'll only be using a couple of navigation apps and don't even have a digital music collection, the 16 GB model is probably OK.

I have multiple iPad's. The 16 GB one has 8 different navigation systems with all charts for the east coast and ActiveCaptain data for each one. I have all US charts for 2 of the systems along with a variety of other apps. It's pretty full with about 1 GB free. That's a bit over-filled but no one would have as many navigation apps as I have loaded.

My main iPad is a 3 with 32 GB. That also has about 8 navigation apps with as many or more charts. It has presentations/Keynote, Netflix, 6 or so weather apps, and a variety of other things - it's what I use for real and I use my iPad a lot. Seriously, no one would ever load as much chart data as I have. Right now the 32 GB is only about 1/2 filled.

In all cases, never get a WiFi-only iPad. Get a cellular one even if you never enable the cellular plan. You definitely want the built-in real GPS.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:22 AM   #26
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One difference might be that I use my iPad for work so have it loaded with everything from iPad versions of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.) to powerful PDF readers and editors, several different kinds of converters, and a travel expense tracker.

There are apps for model (image) release forms, storyboard drawing, photo edit and manipulation, handwriting note pads... even our camera slate is on my iPad.

Right now I've got a big chunk of the 787 operations manual on it for a project I'm working on.

Then there is the marine stuff--- charts w/ Active Captain, AIS receiver, tides, currents, and so on.

And finally there's all the usual stuff--- dictionaries, Google Earth, bird and plant ID apps, Kindle, LinkedIn, Skype, a few games, all the same music that's on my iPod, etc. etc. etc.

I've got between 80 and 100 apps on here right now and am right about at 32 gigs used.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:32 AM   #27
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Uh, what's an iPad? A question from a Luddite.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:36 AM   #28
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Uh, what's an iPad? A question from a Luddite.
It's an intelligent (hence the "i," get it?) feminine hygiene product.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:02 AM   #29
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It's an intelligent (hence the "i," get it?) feminine hygiene product.
So, using an iPad is like reading tea leaves in one's cup?
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:14 AM   #30
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No sure that's an apt comparison, but sure, why not?
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:20 AM   #31
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I think the above has confirmed that what the birdie whispered I'll be getting will be sufficient to my needs. For a start I will not be having movies, or much, if any, music on it, and one good nav app is all I will need. I still have the Lowrance after all.
Now, how many sleeps until...you know...that bloke in the red suit comes...is it again...?
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:46 PM   #32
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Peter---- ActiveCaptain has a clever anchor watch app called Drag Queen. We haven't used it yet but will in the not-too-distant future. Since the iPad has to remain on when you're using Drag Queen I suggest you get a power cord that will work on your boat. We have a 12vdc outlet (cigarette lighter) cable for the iPad so we can plug it into the outlet in the aft cabin. You have to have the 3G/4G iPad for Drag Queen to work because it uses the built-in GPS.

There is also a very handy app called Night Stand. It's just an alarm clock but if you travel around a lot it is much easier to use than the clocks a lot of hotels put in their rooms, and it's much more reliable than a wake-up call. The iPad goes to sleep until the alarm clock wakes it up and activates the alarm. So battery draw-down at night is not an issue. You can select from a wide variety of alarms. We use "Church Bells" which is a very nice sound to be woken up by.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #33
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Sounds good Marin. Yes, definitely getting the GPS version, and the 12v adaptor/charger is an absolute gottahave for sure...
I'll drop you a message from it once I've worked out how to drive it. The latter shouldn't be hard as I always read instructions, and even if it does not have a manual, no 2 son has had iPad from day one, as well as iPhone.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #34
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Hey gang,

I'm curious if iPad is replacing navigational, AIS, GPS systems onboard. Buying a boat from 1986 and want to streamline the electronics. The radar & GPS plotter seem fine, but was going to add an AIS system, but trying to avoid the $550.

I'm going to be in the SF Bay mostly so cell service should be pretty dependable.

Please recommend any app that is helpful.

Thanks!
The BEST app for the iPad is the new Garmin BLUE CHART just came our a few weeks ago.
One ting that it does which none foe other iAd navigation apps do is total integration of ACTIVE CAPTIAN. You o not hav to be on line to use it.

The app is free, ZUS CHARTS ARE $29 and US&CANADIAN is $44

It has weather, GRIB, ides and currents...if you he a iPad download an look at it fo free...IT ONLY RUNS ON IOS6
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:38 AM   #35
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One thing that it does which none of the other iOS navigation apps do is total integration of ACTIVE CAPTIAN. You do not have to be on line to use it. (typo edited)
There are 5 iOS apps that integrate with ActiveCaptain today: Navimatics Charts & Tides, eSeaCharts (currently has an iOS 6 bug), SailTimer (2 versions), SEAiq (2 versions), and Garmin BlueChart Mobile. All keep the data offline and synchronize to get the latest data.

SEAiq is about to release a free version with ActiveCaptain integrated - I just received my test version yesterday. Navimatics Charts & Tides has been around for almost 3 years and is the most mature. SailTimer is most appropriate for sailing vessels. Garmin's product is the best for a variety of reasons but has a higher price.

For my own real use in my trawler I used to primarily use Navimatics' product. Now I mainly use Garmin's product on my iPads. All of the apps have their place and there are even a couple more iOS apps on their way out with ActiveCaptain support including an augmented reality one that uses the camera to view what's on the horizon with ActiveCaptain markers overlaid to show where they're actually located. Its quite cool.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:52 PM   #36
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ActiveCaptain, what's the deal re the above for we poor upsidedownderians..? Does this Garmin BlueChart work with whatever charts we can get to cover say Australian East coast or is it only compatible with Northern Hemisphere charts at present? Really keen to find out what would be the best for me to go for, as you might have seen above, I believe, (fairly reliably, if my eaves-dropping is correct), that I have a GPS capable iPad on the way...in the sleigh....so to speak...
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:03 PM   #37
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ActiveCaptain, what's the deal re the above for we poor upsidedownderians..?
Why wouldn't we show some love to the southern hemisphere?

Yeah, it's totally supported in Garmin's BlueChart Mobile. We have the beginning of some good data too.

I have all of the Garmin charts on my iPhone. I snapped a couple of screen shots showing an area just outside of Sydney and attached them to this posting so you'll see exactly what it looks like. Obviously, the display is much larger on an iPad which is also fully supported.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:22 AM   #38
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Active ---- -We have been using Navimatics with Active Captain for awhile now, and really like it. Any comparison comments between Navimatics and Garmin Blue Chart Mobile you feel comfortable making?
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:54 AM   #39
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Active ---- -We have been using Navimatics with Active Captain for awhile now, and really like it. Any comparison comments between Navimatics and Garmin Blue Chart Mobile you feel comfortable making?
I don't mind saying what I really think about these apps.

Outside of my software work, on my trawler, I used Navimatics for 3 years (it came out 2 years, 10 months ago and I tested it a few months earlier). It has the best support for ActiveCaptain today and allows all data to be updated today. When we're underway and pass a marina, we'll often look up their fuel price in Navimatics and if it isn't current, we'll update it right there. Navimatics is fast and the absolute quickest at searching.

The problem with Navimatics is the charts. It uses NOAA's S-57 ENC data and optionally Canadian CHS S-57 data. The Canadian data is all pretty good. The NOAA vector data doesn't exist for many places even along the ICW. The area just north of St Augustine is a good example. NOAA has concentrated on the more commercial areas and has been slow to finish digitizing all of their charts. I like Navimatics tide and current display and still sometimes use it for that. There is nothing that beats Navionics tide/current display and I occasionally even use that.

The thing with Garmin is the chart data. First, it's worldwide and it's as complete as it can get. When there is missing data or in much of the world outside the US, they digitize it themselves. I've been outside Kansas City in their headquarters where it's done and it is a huge operation.

Garmin also integrates weather in a wonderful way. They are the best product that exists at creating routes by touch. I'm going to steal some of their ideas - they're just brilliant. Other parts of their user-interface are elegant with new ideas that make great sense for boating. They've gone a step further in many ways of usability. iNavX could learn a thing or two from a study of BCM and the use of touch and control on a glass surface.

Garmin does another step with all of this though - data presentation - that no one else does. For the other products, it's almost just enough that they display the nautical charts. Garmin does it with quality. My comparison with Navionics shows that:
https://activecaptain.com/BCM-Navionics.php

Some content changes with zoom so it's hard to make a perfect comparison. I tried to show the quality of the graphic design mostly in those shots.

And it's not just the design and quality of the display. It's also the data itself. Garmin licenses the best data available when there is data available. For the Bahamas, it's the Explorer set of data and it's included with the US region (I'm not sure why they provided licensed data like that for the US but they did). The screenshot comparison from the Bahamas above makes that issue quite clear. The Garmin data is just better.

What I also see with Garmin is a big effort in place to continue the development and enhancement of the product. To be fair, this is true with SEAiq and SailTimer too - both are still in obvious development. But what I like about the Garmin product is that they're the only one pushing me (except for Coastal Explorer who pushes too). They don't wait for me to release a feature - they're coming to me bothering me about "when can we do XYZ". I know my part of what's coming in the next Garmin release because it was completed 2 months ago. What's really cool is that this month I provided them the API for their 3rd version of capabilities. They were the first company who sent me weekly emails asking for a date when it would be available.

The bottom line is that Garmin is totally committed to this product as a new generation of planning tool and underway plotting tool. They're somewhat late to the party of charting software for iOS and had no choice but to make their product a step above the others. Their product does a lot for the money - and it's hard to imagine not getting it because the cost is so low. I spent more in 2-day shipping to get old C-Map chips years ago for just the east coast than the whole US/Bahamas dataset with software running on all my iPads/iPhones costs here with BCM.

The standard product in this space has been Navionics. Garmin eclipsed them in a number of ways. That's good for all of us because it'll spark more innovation and make all of this better with more choices for everyone. Marketing-wise, my perception is that Garmin is pushing Navionics against the wall and exposing some of the issues they have with even having a chartplotter product. It will be fascinating to watch what develops from this and what Raymarine might do.

Who needs TV drama when real life is so much more interesting!
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:55 PM   #40
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I use inavx with Navionics gold charts on my two ipads. I have a gps plotter from Garmin as well but i really dont use that too much.

Paper charts are still and will be the main navigation tools followed by the ipad. The ability to zoom instantly and take bearings / distances just by clicking and dragging is so intuitive. It is also so much simpler to build your own route database and write notes about the harbours for future reference.

Oh, did i mention the ability to have google maps satellite layouts where you can quickly check where the rocks are..
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