GPS SatNav on an Android Headunit

Android Headunit GPS and navigation Questions and Answers

Do all android Head Units have SatNav built in?

Yes. All Android headunits have GPS satellites; you need to install the mapping. Free Google Maps is a popular choice.

Is Sat Nav free with an android Haed Unit?

Yes, there are free and paid mapping options for the Android headunits.

Do android head units have build in navigation?

Yes. Android headunits have GPS; you must add a map for a full navigation system.

Do I have to pay for navigation on an android head unit?

No. There are two notable free navigation options for the Android headunits, and both Google Maps and Google Waze are popular free navigation options.

Can I update the map on my android head unit for free?

Some maps are paid, but you can install a free navigation system like Google Maps to replace the outdated paid map.

GPS is the Global Positioning System of satellites that orbit the Earth. The GPS satellites send out signals from their positions in space, and the Android headunit can detect these, and the headunit can then calculate its position on Earth within about 3m. Our recommended Android headunits, even junk ones, have built-in GPS facilities.

Every Android headunit has GPS included.

GPS is a basic function of an Android headunit. GPS doesn’t work without an aerial, so all Android headunits are supplied with a GPS aerial. The aerial doesn’t need to be mounted outside the vehicle and will function well on the dashboard if it can see through the window. A roof-mounted GPS aerial will get a better ‘view’ of the GPS satellites and a stronger signal of their transmissions, which is always beneficial.

GPS grows with SatNav

GPS suddenly becomes a lot more useful than just a location with the addition of SatNav. Satellite Navigation software can use the GPS position, a software map, and some clever algorithms to plan a route. Add a data connection in the form of a SIM card, USB 4G Dongle, or even a Bluetooth connection to your phone, and this can capture traffic information and get a fully featured Sat Nav in your Android headunit.

SatNav needs a map.

We like Google Maps.
Google Maps is an Android app, free from the play store. Offline map areas can be downloaded to the Android headunit for places with weak or non-existent mobile data signals. With a data connection, Google Maps can grab up-to-date traffic information to modify your route.

android Headunit Tip

You can have more than one SatNav map and app on your android headunit at the same time. This is great for testing the benefits and drawbacks of each app. It is very easy to switch between them

Try something a little different.

We also like Google Waze (also free on the play store).
Waze (says ways) is a different way to do SatNav and leans heavily on user-generated reports of traffic problems. If you encounter an obstruction to your route, Waze would like you to tap the screen to report this (your location is already known from the GPS). Your report is shared with other Waze users who can heed your warning. You can’t download the Waze maps, so this will only run with a data connection from your phone or a 4G USB-type dongle.

Waze SatNav is free for Android headunits
I am an staff blogger. I have been using Android on my devices for many years and have learned a lot about the features and best hardware to keep up with the latest Android versions. I also make the coffee ☕

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