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GPS VS OnX App

Dustin B.

New member
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
Messages
11
Planning my first western mule deer hunt. Handheld GPS w/chip or OnX smartphone app? Either way, will have paper map and compass as a backup.

Thanks in advance!
 

WapitiBob

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Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Messages
3,226
Location
Bend, Orygun
I move a lot of data in and out of my gps and a phone app won't cut it but that's me. It all comes down to how you use the device. My hunting partners have both, one uses his gps, the other uses Avenza geopdf topos for the hunt area. OnX for the phone has good maps and a bunch of them, only downside is getting the data to the phone is a bit archaic.
 

jquigley

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
250
Location
Missoula, MT
The problem I have when the App is the downloading of maps. Either the app crashes, or in the case of the other night it caused a massive panic in my phone. Went into a reset loop and had to completely restore the phone.

Also, until they add the ability to scout on your computer and sync waypoints (theoretically this summer) its tough to scout on a touch screen.
 

dcopas78

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Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
1,759
Location
Decatur, OH
I use both. I like having aerial photography available on the phone. I usually store it on the phone (mini SD card) and I don't need service. This only works if you download the data prior to your trip. I have used OnX, trimble hunt gps, and backcountry navigator. All are good and have their pros and cons. I never would go without a gps with ownership card and a paper map/compass backup with the understanding on how to use it. Technology can fail you at the most inopportune time.
 

----

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Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
5,732
The problem I have when the App is the downloading of maps. Either the app crashes, or in the case of the other night it caused a massive panic in my phone. Went into a reset loop and had to completely restore the phone.

Also, until they add the ability to scout on your computer and sync waypoints (theoretically this summer) its tough to scout on a touch screen.

Yeah, mines the same way. I really wanted the app to be the bee's knees, but I just keep getting more frustrated with it.

Downloading maps isn't feasible on the App. It takes an insanely long time, uses up your entire storage, and has some ridiculous quirks like not being able to leave your phone unattended while it's downloading.

I have one drainage cached in my phone, I don't have enough storage to cache anymore. and this is a pretty new phone with upgraded storage.

The app is made to be used in service, and just isn't practical when you're not. Really bum deal, as I'm in to the app enough that I almost could have bought the GPS card instead.
 

JDH

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Joined
Sep 18, 2013
Messages
1,081
Location
Indiana
What Randy11 said. Also my phone sometimes takes 30-60 seconds to finalize my gps position. Kinda sucks when I'm close to the border of public or when I am wanting to see exactly where I am quickly.
 

jryoung

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Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
5,238
Location
Unable to determine due to velocity
The GPS is going to be more reliable for service. If your phone quits, due to lack of service, it will not be good.

You don't use "service" on your phone, you're only using GPS.

Jeff/Randy11 can the app be pushed to card storage? I've got a few coupon codes from the Rendezvous I have yet to take advantage of.
 

jquigley

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
250
Location
Missoula, MT
You don't use "service" on your phone, you're only using GPS.

Jeff/Randy11 can the app be pushed to card storage? I've got a few coupon codes from the Rendezvous I have yet to take advantage of.

JR is right, you only need the GPS signal. So it functions in airplane mode.

JR, can't be pushed to SD card. One of the biggest problems with the app, IMO.
 

jquigley

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
250
Location
Missoula, MT
If they can get the kinks worked out so that it functions without the errors I constantly get and the desktop platform launches (and functions), I think I'd love this app. Just too buggy and the support leaves something to be desired.

Love what they're trying to accomplish though, and the chip is fantastic.
 

marksjeep

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
1,053
Location
Grand Jct, CO
I'm disappointed to learn that the onxmaps app is not so great. I've been using a Samsung S4 exclusively for mapping with Trimble Outdoors elite subscription/app for the past few years. I've been very pleased with the service, especially at the price point it was offered at. Unfortunately, Trimble is discontinuing the service and the app is no longer available. I either need to purchase a dedicated GPS or hope that onxmaps gets their app figured out.
 

onX Hunt

Active member
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
291
Hello all,

We want to thank you for your insight on the issues you are experiencing. Unfortunately, technology tends to have bugs, especially in the early stages. We are certainly aware of some of the issues that have been discussed and are currently working on improving the user experience and functionality of the App. There are some constraints which effect the App (cell phone storage for example). As the cell phone technology continues to improve the App will as well.
However, there are some problems discussed in this thread that can be avoided. It appears most of the issues are related to saving maps for offline use. Please take a minute to view our video ( SAVING OFFLINE video ). If you continue to experience difficulties using the App please contact us at 406-540-1602 or [email protected]. We appreciate any insight from our customers and will certainly do our best to help alleviate any problems. Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or concerns.


Cheers,
onXmaps
 
Last edited:

authentichunter

New member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
62
Location
Orem, Utah
I am in the market for a new GPS. However, before buying a new GPS, I decided to try the onXmaps Hunt App. Over the past month I have been using the app on my iPhone 6s Plus, and I plan to use the app throughout the summer before deciding whether to stay with the app or purchase a new GPS. Although my time with the app has been limited, my experience thus far has been positive. Here are some of my early observations:

1. I love having both satellite images and topo maps. Topo maps are great, but topo maps and detailed satellite photos are better. Furthermore, viewing satellite images and topo maps on a 5.5 inch high-resolution display is fantastic. Unlike others who have experienced difficulty saving maps to their phone, I have had no problems saving maps to my phone. I can save nine "squares" (Someone can correct me, but I believe each square is roughly one square mile?) of satellite images with all the landownership layers active, and a few additional layers active, in a little over two minutes. I can save nine squares of topo maps without any layers active in less than five seconds (I downloaded 100 squares of topo maps without any layers in about fifteen seconds). However, I only save maps to my phone when using wifi. I have also been able to use my saved maps in the field without issue. Yet, to this point, I have only used saved topo maps and satellite images with trail layers active. I have not used saved maps with land ownership layers active.

2. The GPS function on my phone, and therefore in the app, appears accurate. I have tested the GPS function with and without service, i.e. "airplane mode," and I am always within feet, or less, of my actual location. Furthermore, I have been able to maintain GPS signal in the bottom of some canyons and in dense timber. These areas are not the nastiest places and I would expect any GPS to maintain signal here, but my phone and, therefore, the app preformed flawlessly.

3. The land ownership boundaries are very accurate, but some of the land owner information is outdated.

4. If I am using the app over wifi to browse and explore, e.g. switching between areas, maps and satellite, layers, etc., the app is a battery hog. I can drain my battery quickly doing this. However, when using the app with saved maps in airplane mode I can use the app with minimal impact on battery life. On a recent hike, with the phone in airplane mode, I used both the onXmaps hunt app, with the "track" feature active, and the RunKeeper app. When I began the hike I had close to a full battery. At the end of the hike, five hours later, I had a mostly full battery. Although I will not know for sure until after some multi-day outings, I suspect my phone has the battery capacity to last two days using the app (on airplane mode) before I will need to recharge my phone with a portable battery charger. As way of comparison, my current GPS will last at least a week on a full battery.

5. My current GPS contains invaluable data and it was vital that the app allow me to import the waypoints from my GPS. Thankfully, despite requiring a few steps, importing waypoints and tracks from your GPS to the app is fairly simple. Nevertheless, the transition was not perfect. For some reason, the app recognizes some of my waypoints as "Photo Markups" and these Photo Markups do not automatically show up in the app. Also, it does not appear possible to convert Photo Markups to normal markups, i.e. waypoints. All my waypoints are saved in the app, and I can access and see them through the app, but the waypoints saved as "Photo Markups" do not automatically populate my maps like my other waypoints do.

6. Creating waypoints in the app is simple. In fact, I prefer creating waypoints in the app and believe the waypoints I have created in the app are more precise than many of the waypoints I created with my GPS.

Although I will not decide whether I will keep the app or purchase a new GPS until September, I am pleased with my experience with the app thus far. However, I believe the app has its limitations and may not be a suitable substitute for some users. The app does not have all the functionality of a stand alone GPS, and a "smart phone" is certainly not as robust as many GPS units. Yet, for other users, the smart phone/app combination is more than sufficient. For my intended use, I believe the app will work. Time will tell.
 
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