Jump to content
Ciaran1602

A clever sat nav alternative...The Beeline Moto

Recommended Posts

SteveThackery
44 minutes ago, Ciaran1602 said:

Now bringing it back to the Beeline, it itself has no internet connection. It's actually, in tech terms, kind of "dumb" in that it has a small screen, a gyrometer, GPS aerial and a bluetooth module.

 

Ciaran, I might be wrong, so forgive me, but are you sure it has it's own GPS receiver?  My understanding is that it does not - it uses the GPS receiver in the phone.  

 

Or have I got that wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Ciaran1602
Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, SteveThackery said:

 

Ciaran, I might be wrong, so forgive me, but are you sure it has it's own GPS receiver?  My understanding is that it does not - it uses the GPS receiver in the phone.  

 

Or have I got that wrong?

 

I'm fairly confident it has a GPS receiver of it's own. However without a map, it doesn't know what that GPS information is telling it which is why it needs the phone connection. I don't remember my phone's battery management recording its location services being active when I last used it but I'm quite happy to be corrected! That would, after all, explain Brian's battery consumption.


EDIT: I will happily stand corrected - It doesn't mention one in the tech spec so I would assume it would have to use the phone's GPS receiver (fortunately the end user effect isn't different otherwise I'd be feeling remarkably sheepish!). Also interestingly the Beeline moto is no longer based on Google Maps and uses a private provider called Mapbox. Google doubtless became expensive for them. :lol:

Edited by Ciaran1602
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Gringo
10 hours ago, Ciaran1602 said:

 

Not at all! There are no "thick" questions accept those that are unasked.

 

 If you have spotify premium you can "download" the songs and store them on your phone's memory rather than stream them over the internet. 

 

The downside is that because it relies on google's mapping system it needs that internet connection. This means if you don't have signal, you don't have navigation. Similarly if you have a limited amount of internet you run the risk of using it up. 

 

Personally I've not found it made any meaningful impact on my data consumption BUT I have a 60gb plan. I'll admit to being a bit frivolous with internet!

 

Not knowing how technical or not you might be I hope I haven't come across in any way patronising. I find I "get things" best by analogies that I find familiar so hoped that would be the case here!

Brilliantly explained Ciaran thank you so much. Yes, I have spotify premium and playlists are downloaded to my phone so that would explain that one.:thumbsup:

 

I'm with EE just now and my plan allows 20gb of data per month on 4G. I think this would be suffice because I'd only use the Beeline on trips where I've not been before. I have BT Broadband unlimited Wi-Fi but, of course, this would be impossible to use on the move. Internet /4G connection could be an issue out in the sticks and especially tricky if the final destination is in a dead spot such as, maybe, the Welsh valleys or the Highlands of Scotland?

 

No, not patronising at all bud and I appreciate you taking the time to explain. Cheers

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Rocker66
12 hours ago, Ciaran1602 said:

 

Not at all! There are no "thick" questions accept those that are unasked.

 

Both Spotify, and the Beeline, will need internet to do stuff. Spotify needs internet to stream music content from the great wide chasm of the internet and Beeline needs the internet because it relies on Google Maps for its navigation software. If you have spotify premium you can "download" the songs and store them on your phone's memory rather than stream them over the internet. Think...Recording TV shows so you can watch them later rather than it being sent over the aerial if you will. If not, you stream it from the internet. From memory spotify doesn't use an awful lot of data because it compresses it's files down to save space. This is like folding a big a4 letter up so it squeezes into a little letter envelope and saves you money at the posties.

 

Now bringing it back to the Beeline, it itself has no internet connection. It's actually, in tech terms, kind of "dumb" in that it has a small screen, a gyrometer, GPS aerial and a bluetooth module. That's pretty much it. The way it accesses the internet is by using bluetooth to talk to your phone and nick it's internet connection. Your phone becomes like the little modem box that Virgin or BT or whoever send out to you so you can get internet, only it does it oot and aboot. It means they can make the Beeline module itself as compact, simple and lightweight as they can without complicating it. In theory they could probably make it act on it's own but they'd have to program their own maps, program their "rerouting" software for the entire world. Far easier, and cheaper, for them to buy a licence from google for their mapping system and use that instead. TomTom or Garmin have invested millions in developing their own maps, and their own fancy software that can understand it's position in the world from an offline stored map somewhere in it's memory. The Beeline has no such function.

 

The downside is that because it relies on google's mapping system it needs that internet connection. This means if you don't have signal, you don't have navigation. Similarly if you have a limited amount of internet you run the risk of using it up. It's going to depend entirely on how much internet google maps actually uses. Again I think Google have got pretty good at parceling up the big, juicy a4 letters into small envelopes now precisely because they want to limit data usage. Most of us don't have massive data plans yet.

 

Personally I've not found it made any meaningful impact on my data consumption BUT I have a 60gb plan. I'll admit to being a bit frivolous with internet!

 

Not knowing how technical or not you might be I hope I haven't come across in any way patronising. I find I "get things" best by analogies that I find familiar so hoped that would be the case here!

So no good for me with my old phone and and minimal data allowance then.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Ciaran1602

'fraid not in that scenario. This is where you might find that a full dedicated GPS like a Garmin or a TomTom will be beneficial. It relies not on your phone for its internet or GPS and can operate in its own. However the purchase cost is double and realistically you will need a power supply wired in as the battery life of dedicated bike navs is generally limited.

 

It's a quid pro quo depending on circumstances I guess 

Share this post


Link to post
Rocker66
2 hours ago, Ciaran1602 said:

'fraid not in that scenario. This is where you might find that a full dedicated GPS like a Garmin or a TomTom will be beneficial. It relies not on your phone for its internet or GPS and can operate in its own. However the purchase cost is double and realistically you will need a power supply wired in as the battery life of dedicated bike navs is generally limited.

 

It's a quid pro quo depending on circumstances I guess 

That’s why I have a TomTom.

Share this post


Link to post
Gringo

I decided to take the plunge and treated myself to the Beeline Moto. Generally speaking I can find my way using a map but sometimes (perhaps with age) I lose my way especially in areas I'm not familiar with. I tested it out locally on routes I know and it works exceptionally well. I impressed. When time and weather allows I'll set a route to some obscure place and see if it will get me there. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
fred_jb
Posted (edited)
On 24/08/2020 at 10:26, Ciaran1602 said:

'fraid not in that scenario. This is where you might find that a full dedicated GPS like a Garmin or a TomTom will be beneficial. It relies not on your phone for its internet or GPS and can operate in its own. However the purchase cost is double and realistically you will need a power supply wired in as the battery life of dedicated bike navs is generally limited.

 

It's a quid pro quo depending on circumstances I guess 

 

Or you could install a satnav app on your phone which allows map data to be downloaded to the phone in advance, using your home wifi. TomTom Go and Myroute Navigation are two examples.  With these there is no need to use mobile data as the maps are stored on your phone (you will need enough spare space for the maps you need).   If you can find somewhere to safely mount your phone and provide it with power these type of apps also give you the bonus of full map views rather than just navigation arrows.  You also get audio instructions if you have a BlueTooth headset, which I find invaluable when navigating in busy urban areas where my visual capacity is already near to maxed out.   I'm not sure if the Beeline also provides audio prompts as well as the direction arrows.

 

I have used MyRoute Navigation for a few years now and done several European tours with it, and it has the bonus of a web based sister app for route planning which is super simple to use and allows you to download any routes you create from your online account to your phone, again avoiding any need for a phone signal or mobile data connection while out and about.

 

Edited by fred_jb

Share this post


Link to post
Ciaran1602
16 minutes ago, fred_jb said:

 

Or you could install a satnav app on your phone which allows map data to be downloaded to the phone in advance, using your home wifi. TomTom Go and Myroute Navigation are two examples.  With these there is no need to use mobile data as the maps are stored on your phone (you will need enough spare space for the maps you need).   If you can find somewhere to safely mount your phone and provide it with power these type of apps also give you the bonus of full map views rather than just navigation arrows.  You also get audio instructions if you have a BlueTooth headset, which I find invaluable when navigating in busy urban areas where my visual capacity is already near to maxed out.   I'm not sure if the Beeline also provides audio prompts as well as the direction arrows.

 

I have used MyRoute Navigation for a few years now and done several European tours with it, and it has the bonus of a web based sister app for route planning which is super simple to use and allows you to download any routes you create from your online account to your phone, again avoiding any need for a phone signal or mobile data connection while out and about.

 

 

That is indeed an option. Personally I am entirely unwilling to put a £1000 smartphone at risk in a motorbike mount however I understand you use a 2nd phone for that purpose? Arguably a really good way to go.

The Beeline doesn't use audio no. Again thats a personal thing - I find audio guidance more annoying than helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
fred_jb
Just now, Ciaran1602 said:

 

That is indeed an option. Personally I am entirely unwilling to put a £1000 smartphone at risk in a motorbike mount however I understand you use a 2nd phone for that purpose? Arguably a really good way to go.

The Beeline doesn't use audio no. Again thats a personal thing - I find audio guidance more annoying than helpful.

 

Hi Ciaran.  Yes I bought a mint used Samsung S8+ for £128 to use as a my satnav and as a backup phone when on trips.  I got a similarly mint S9+ to use as my main phone for £225, so the two together have cost less than the average motorcycle type satnav.  No way would I ever pay £1000 for a phone, when I can buy a previous generation flagship model for a fraction of the price!  You just have to be very selective on which used phone you buy - there are a lot of crappy so-called refurbs offered on fleabay.  I tend to go for people selling because they are upgrading to the must have latest and greatest, and who take the trouble to post lots of pictures of their immaculate "old" phones.

 

I wouldn't be without the audio prompts. While having the map to look at is great in some environments, for example getting an idea of the severity of upcoming bends in the mountains, at times an audio prompt is less distracting than looking at a screen and allows me to keep my eyes on the road, and particularly in foreign parts, avoid falling foul of the homicidal native road users!

Share this post


Link to post
baben
59 minutes ago, fred_jb said:

 

Hi Ciaran.  Yes I bought a mint used Samsung S8+ for £128 to use as a my satnav and as a backup phone when on trips.  I got a similarly mint S9+ to use as my main phone for £225, so the two together have cost less than the average motorcycle type satnav.  No way would I ever pay £1000 for a phone, when I can buy a previous generation flagship model for a fraction of the price!  You just have to be very selective on which used phone you buy - there are a lot of crappy so-called refurbs offered on fleabay.  I tend to go for people selling because they are upgrading to the must have latest and greatest, and who take the trouble to post lots of pictures of their immaculate "old" phones.

 

I wouldn't be without the audio prompts. While having the map to look at is great in some environments, for example getting an idea of the severity of upcoming bends in the mountains, at times an audio prompt is less distracting than looking at a screen and allows me to keep my eyes on the road, and particularly in foreign parts, avoid falling foul of the homicidal native road users!

My back up phone/satnag is a Samsung Galaxy. It is supposedly waterproof which is important for me. It has no sim but I have downloaded maps onto it from Myroute and then also down load routes - which it does seamlessly. Works well. Interestingly the same route transferred to a Garmin will often go slightly differently as the Garmin has a different set of base maps. I have it fixed to the bars with a quad lock mount which I can only describe as superb.

Share this post


Link to post
slowboy

Now I’ve fitted a switchable USB charger to the Cub, I can charge my phone while riding. In a test today, with my phone safely isolated in the top box, the bee line worked a treat. So that’s my battery life issue for the phone sorted. Now to get the maps out....🛣🏞🏕

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×