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Portable GPS and car infotainment system

Started by JenrasGomes, October 24, 2019, 04:53:15 AM

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I'm wondering if you can buy a portable GPS system and have the maps run through your car's infotainment system. So, instead of looking at the screen on the actual portable GPS system, I could just look at it on the screen of my car's infotainment system. I would prefer not to have to look at another screen or take up the limited space I have with a portable GPS system.

I know I can do this with my phone and Android Auto, but I read that you can run into data problems (as well as connectivity issues) doing this. Plus, I could just leave the GPS system in the car and not have to worry about it.

Also, does a phone GPS system actually use up a lot of data?


There are several GPS apps for both Android and iOS where the map data is stored on your phone, so they will work without any data connection or cell service. If you want live traffic information, you'd need a data connection for that, but it would use very little data. TomTom and HERE are two of the most popular apps.

I don't think these will work on your car screen however, unless it's something new. AFAIK, Android requires you to use Google Maps or Waze.

Garmin has discontinued their StreetPilot app, I think they are worried that it took away from sales of their dedicated GPS devices. But it wasn't compatible with your car screen anyway.

I'm sure that built-in navigation systems are big profit centers for automakers, so they are not going to be very motivated to offer alternatives that let you use other software on their screens.


I have gps in my car but if it sometimes work not properly, I use cheap tablet on which I have uploaded an app called and when I travelled to my property in Spain I used thus map without internet connection.



Either use your current phone or use one you no longer need and use that as a dedicated sat-nav device.  If you use an old phone you don't need a SIM card but you'll probably need a microSD card in it to store your maps.  For my maps of UK and Ireland is just under 500mb and USA is just over 2gb

At home connect to your wi-fi and download and install your choice of sat-nav app.  I use "Co-Pilot" but there are others.  The apps are usually free.  In the app download and install over your wi-fi the map for the country or region you need.  You pay for the map.  The maps often have free updates so when you re-connect to your home wi-fi you get any available updates of new roads etc.

Now when you take the phone out in the car the whole map is already in memory.  As you travel you don't need any data connection to download anything.  Not even a SIM card.  All you need is the GPS function and a charging cable.