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Newbie Tablet Questions

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by BDinLV, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. BDinLV

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    Hi, I’m a new P3P owner. Have about 6 “touchy-feely“ flights under my belt so far and having a great time. I’m currently using an iPhone 6 plus with dji GO but these old eyes are having a bit of trouble with the size of the display. So I’m thinking at this point that I might get a larger tablet to use with the Phantom. I have looked at various threads on this site and I THINK I understand what my options are, but I would appreciate it if some of you could either confirm them or correct them as the case may be.

    At this point, I’m looking at either an iPad Mini or an Air 2, or, a Samsung S2 in either the 8” or possibly 9.7” screen size. Here is where I need clarification: Either iPad requires the purchase of cellular capabilities to get GPS functionality. The S2 has GPS without the need to buy a cellular device. Here is what I have come to understand from reading other posts:

    1. In order to have real time maps to the RC, I need to have a GPS tablet and an internet connection either via Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection. So regardless of whether I had a Wi-Fi internet connection or not, the iPads without cellular would not work because they lack GPS.

    2. The Samsung’s have GPS, so if Wi-Fi is available, or I can tether it to my iPhone, then the map situation is taken care of.

    3. Any of these devices can cache maps for use in the area you intend to fly – you just can’t update them until you are back in an area where an internet connection is available.
    Hopefully I have this right – please correct me as necessary and all recommendations are cheerfully accepted. And that said, just how important is the map thing? What are the major advantages of having that capability?

    Thanks for any help here!
     
  2. RedHotPoker

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    When you cache maps of your flight area, they don't always hold.
    Somtimes the map is there, others it's a grey screen.
    If that's the case, just fly with your Camera view, & your flight will still be recorded and the google map will show up, after your flight, in the video.

    I found something rather interesting here in the city.
    Flying over the old closed Municipal airport grounds. I discovered it when I was already home and went to watch the captured flight. Ah, it actually showed the old Airport runways and everything just as if it was still there, operational. That was pretty cool.

    RedHotPoker
     
    alokbhargava likes this.
  3. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

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    No ... you do not need to have GPS in your tablet for most flying.
    It is only useful if you want to reset the Phantom's location to the location of the controller (like say, you were on a moving boat and had moved significantly since launch)
    or
    You want to use the follow-me feature
    For all other flying, the GPS in the Phantom is all you need.

    Having GPS in the tablet is irrelevant to maps.
    You can cache maps at home on wifi if you want maps.
    How important are maps? Not much
    I've flown about 400km since April and never looked at a map in flight.
    They are nice after the event, to have under your recorded flight logs but of very limited use in the field.
     
  4. tatmank1

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    I use an s2 8" that works great. Not too big, not too small and has a great display. I often connect it to my phones Hotspot for map updates, but that's not always an option in the sticks (areas with no cellular coverage). A current map is nice to verify position but not really necessary. It still shows aircraft orientation and shortest path to home point if you lose site of your drone (which has saved me more than once). I fly a P3P with an S2 tab and just love this thing!
     
  5. m0j0

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    I would say it comes down to preference and budget. If you want best bang for the buck buy an android tablet. It will allow you to have all the functionality you need. Their GPS is independent from the cellular radio. I have heard the "Shield" is a great product. I did spring for the iPad Air 2 with cellular capability. Apple's GPS functionality is tied to the cellular radio. So if you go apple and want to have the follow-me function etc... you need a version with cellular capability. (The service does not need to be enable) I will say that I have virtually no lag at all and video is buttery smooth. Just a fantastic combination in my opinion but I haven't used the android version so I really can't compare. For me... I wanted rock solid performance and stability. I really don't use the air for anything but surfing the internet and flying. So far I have absolutely no regrets.

    So it comes down to platform preference and budget.
     
  6. Sagebrush

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    I have not had a problem caching maps with my iPad Mini 2. It's a cellular model but I am not planning on subscribing. If I end up at a location that I don't have a map cached for, I could tether and download.

    As mentioned, having a GPS capable table isn't needed but it is handy. I'm glad mine has that function.

    I was flying off an iPhone 5S and this iPad Mini makes a huge difference.

    T
     
  7. BDinLV

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    Thanks to everybody for the information. I learned a few things. Now all I have to do is prepare my head to go spend a bunch of money - I'm thinking Air 2 w/cellular. (I knew I would)
     
  8. m0j0

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    Same here.. Flying off a tablet changes the entire experience from really nice to absolutely phenomenal.
     
  9. m0j0

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    If you do go with the iPad Air 2... Look on ebay. I got an unlocked IPad Air 2 w/cellular for $325. I used it a couple of times and then did add it to my data plan. I think it costs $10 a month. So it is more expensive then the androids and I can't say one way or the other if it better or not because I haven't used the others. I can say this it's smooth as glass.
     
  10. amused2deth

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    I use option 2. However I do not use the real time maps at all so I really don't need it. I fly looking through the camera and knowing where I'm at. In the future is may use them. So maybe someone can tell me why they love the maps so I may learn.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
     
  11. Jay H

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    Imagine flying with headplay goggles on your head! phenomenal to mind blowing?
     
  12. Air Ontario

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    Any of the Apple devices are going to be silky smooth and sharp. I use a iPad mini 4 and it is a great screen to fly, AND I can download and edit the video all on the iPad.

    Some cellular companies(that you already have an account with) will upgrade you to an Ipad for about 10/month and let you share with your other already existing account/device.

    If you have a wifi/cellular device and turn those features off,(which you will before flying) the GPS will still work as it will use the cellular antennae to access the sats.
     
  13. Air Ontario

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    Seems the only time I briefly lost my video downlink, I still had my map in the corner?
     
  14. m0j0

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    Not for me. Can't really maintain line of site with goggles on. I will stick with the iPad Air 2..
     
  15. TmoneyF

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    Not sure how much data is pulled with the maps but an option is to get a T-Mobile sim for a cellular enabled tablet. They give you 200mb free a month. No contract required.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  16. cyberthingy

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    I have an iPad Mini 2 (128GB LTE) that I bought used on ebay for $300 and it works great. I just felt the larger iPads would be too bulky and heavy but a lot of folks seem to love it. I also bought a used Google Nexus 7 II (32GB) for $90 and I think it works equally well. I would say the nexus 7 is the best bargain approach. Having either available gives me flexibility to use the best 3rd party apps for piloting.