06 - Adding a Mobile Phone GPS
Many Phones Have a GPS Embedded. For the Rest, Bluetooth is the Solution.

It is now pretty common for newer smartphones to come with a GPS processor embedded in the phone. They can be more expensive and a bit larger than other phones, yet there is an incredible benefit to having the GPS capability with you all the time. Bluetooth GPS A simple $50 bluetooth GPS.

But what if your smartphone is older or smaller and doesn't have a built-in GPS?

The answer is Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless technology that is built into almost every smartphone. It allows communication with external devices, and there are many Bluetooth GPS units on the market. These units can be purchased from many websites, such as www.buygpsnow.com, where we have purchased many units over the years and always had excellent experiences.

A Bluetooth GPS will cost about $30 - $50 for a high-quality unit with battery life of 8 to 20 hours. There are many devices available, all with different options, but they generally break down into two categories: 1) devices which work in enclosed areas but have a shorter battery life and 2) devices that need to be open to the sky but have a longer battery life.

If you want to keep the GPS in your pocket while off your boat, the first option is the way to go. If you'll mainly be using the GPS out in the open, the second option is better. Both types can be plugged into 12-volt adapters for power and recharging.

Bluetooth allows for about 30 feet of separation between the phone and the GPS device. We often leave our GPS in our pilothouse, plugged into the 12-volt adapter. It takes very little power. Then we have full GPS capabilities wherever we go on our boat - even in our stateroom overnight. Of course, if your boat is longer than 60 feet, you might need multiple devices or one that stays with you.