Android Headunit GPS and navigation Questions and Answers
Do all Android Head Units have SatNav built in?
Yes. All android headunits have GPS satellite, and you just need to install the mapping. The 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. All android headunits have GPS and you just need to 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. 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Some maps are paid but you can install a free navigation system like Google maps to replace the outdated paid map.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 these can be detected by the android headunit. The headunit can then calculate it’s position on planet Earth within to about 3m. All of our recommended android headunits and even the ones that are junk have GPS facilities built in.
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. Having a roof mounted GPS aerial will get a better ‘view’ of the GPS satellites and get 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. This can capture traffic information and then you get a fully featured Sat Nav in your android headunit.
SatNav needs a map.
We like Google Maps.
Google maps is and android app, free from the play store. Offline map areas can be downloaded to the android headunit for places that suffer a weak or non-existent mobile data signal. 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 the user generated reports of traffic problems. If you come across an obstruction to your route, waze would like you to tap the screen to report this (you location is already known from the GPS). You report is shared with other waze users near-by that can take heed of your warning. You can’t download the waze maps, so this will only really run with a data connection from your phone or 4G USB type dongle.