Diagnostic

On-board electronics – part 2 Tablets and navigation apps

Published on 21 march 2017 at 0h00

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In 1997, I tried to download an American (but inaccurate) chart onto my Palm, and as my device was devoid of a GPS signal, it never came to anything... In ten years, the dream has become reality, and today, progress allows our smartphones and tablets not only to play the role of GPS/plotter, but also to take control of a multitude of functions, thanks to the new so-called ‘connected’ instruments, with their wi-fi transmissions, as we evoked in the first part of this diagnosis (see Multihulls World n° 152). The feeling of being able to tap your route with your finger or a stylus pen is as pleasing as that of tracing your route in pencil on a chart, and the result, which is displayed instantaneously, as well as the zoom, is exhilarating and condemns cursors from the not-so-distant past to the trash. But although your smartphone may be suitable for short coastal trips, it would be unreasonable to leave for a long trip in the tropical islands with that size screen. Even the small 7-inch tablets are insufficient for using the information correctly. Don’t forget that not so long ago we were working on full-size format (paper) charts. From 10 inches upwards, it becomes possible to read the information clearly, notably the weather files, and at 12 inches, the comfort is comparable to our computer screens, with which we have been used to navigating for some time now.  With the dedicated applications, the performance of the most recent tablets is really amazing, even better ...

This article appeared in issue 153. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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