Now that I have had the chance to work with the Dual GPS Cradle for about a month, I have learned several important lessons and uses.
The most important functions and constraints are:
- It works as a GPS while I still can use my Touch to play music on it. You need to start playing the music prior to starting a gps application, but the music will continue to play in background while the cradle makes the Touch act like a GPS.
- The GPS does supply data to applications that are written for the iPhone GPS chip. I have used the GPS function with several different applications wrote for the iPhone and they all seem to work very well. The GPS of the cradle is very sensitive and generally work within a single floor building.
- When I have used the iPod Touch with my wireless internet card it has done a nice job of loading maps quickly as I am moving, I have used it with Google Earth as I was driving, once my speed increases beyond about 30 miles per hour, the map had trouble displaying information quickly enough to keep me on the map. But when I was walking across the Purdue campus (where my daughter attends) to attend a football game it did a very good job of keeping my position visible on the screen. The one problem is that the Touch will go into sleep mode. This does not occur when utilizing the GPS software that comes with the Cradle; it does not go into sleep mode.
- The GPS switch on the back of the cradle is important. If you leave the switch in the GPS position the cradle battery will discharge relatively rapidly and when the cradle battery is discharged the GPS will not function. Therefore, it is important when using in the field to move the switch to the off position when not using as a GPS.
- It does a good job with ESRI application as well as other free apps. I have at this time not purchased any applications, but have downloaded several free applications.
- I used the Cradle GPS and compared it to my notebook GPS on a recent trip to Washington DC and would say they compared very similar. They both indicated my turns, distances and speed. While the routes varied slightly, they both gave the same speeds and distance to turns. The Cradle GPS also brought up graphics (on some exits) of what the exit looked like, I just wish it would have brought the graph up a little sooner (less than a tenth of a mile) and had a very limited set of exits that it displayed.