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GPS app -- roaming charges?

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Sep 11th, 2012, 06:58 AM
  #1
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GPS app -- roaming charges?

So.....I stopped by the Verizon store last night to activate my iPhone to work internationally.

Verizon informed me that beyond the USD25.00 fee for 100MB of data and 50 cents per text, I will also pay roaming charges that are quite 'expensive' depending on the country I am visiting (UK, France).

I downloaded the Mapquest app onto my iPhone to use as my GPS when driving from Paris to Bayeux to Amboise to Lyon to St. Remy to Nice. Not knowing how common free wifi is throughout the UK and France, has anyone used this app while traveling in these countries? And, were the roaming charges outrageously expensive?

I'm planning on turning off my email accounts unless I am in a free wifi area, so that should cut down on my data usage, but I am more concerned about potential roaming charges while using the GPS app.

I also downloaded the Fodors London and Fodors Paris apps to use while in these two cities, but again...now I'm concerned about how expensive those roaming charges might be.

Your thoughts and comments on previous experience regarding this is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Judy
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Sep 11th, 2012, 07:26 AM
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Get empirical data usage data -- now.
You can get an idea of data usage by looking at your Verizon bill. How much data do you use now? Then, drive around with your GPS app on, look at the data usage again or use a data usage app. 100MB will fly if you have your app on all day every day. Unless you get videos or other large documents with your email, email update suspension would not even make a dent in your data usage in presence of the GPS map downloading.

One way to avoid the charge is to buy an offline in the US and turn off data roaming in France and UK and rely on GPS only.

If your iPhone is 4S, you can also have it unlocked by Verizon and use local SIMs with local data bucket.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 07:30 AM
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Rent a GPS..be cheaper and safer to use, too.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 07:39 AM
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I do have an iPhone 4S -- the rep at the Verizon store last night was extremely UNHELPFUL, and I didn't realize I can unlock the phone and use a local SIM card.

And the rep didn't give up this information, either!

I might opt to just rent a GPS while in France and avoid those charges altogether, was hoping it would be more efficient to just store everything I need on my phone.

How about the Fodor apps I downloaded for London and Paris? They have really neat features that I'd really like to take advantage of, but am worried about costs.

Thank you!
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Sep 11th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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I always turn off data roaming when using my iPhone abroad, having heard horror stories of huge bills for some who don't. I think renting a GPS is a good idea — even buying one might be cheaper than the bill you would get from your provider.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 05:11 PM
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There is a plethora of phone stores in Paris. We bought and activated a cheap microSIM at one of the stores for about 8 eur. We just used WIFI for data in our hotel. In Paris, particularly, don't use your phone in visable public places in order to avoid being a target.
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Sep 12th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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Hadn't thought using a phone in public places would make me a target -- doesn't everyone use a cell phone in Europe? But I appreciate your advice.


I'm not sure I know how to turn off data roaming on my iPhone.
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Sep 12th, 2012, 02:57 PM
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Go to Settings > General > Network > Data Roaming OFF.
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Sep 12th, 2012, 03:46 PM
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Just came back from Paris, so thought I'd chime in; I found the Paris2go app (for iPhone) very helpful. This does not require an Internet connection, it shows your location as a blue dot. And if you have your destinations "Pinned" on the map, it is pretty easy to use when in walk mode.

For driving, renting a GPS unit, as folks suggested on here, is a great idea. I had also bought a microSD card for Europe (about $70) and brought my GPS along, in case I decided to rent a car. Didn't really need it this time, but will use it for subsequent visits to Europe. I did try to use it in walk mode, just to compare with the iPhone; i felt that the iPhone app was more user-friendly. This is mainly because the touch screen to zoom in/out works much better on the phone than my GPS.
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Sep 13th, 2012, 04:45 AM
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The Paris2go app doesn't require an internet connection? How does the app figure out where you are without some sort of data connection?

I am NOT tech savvy so I'm really confused!
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Sep 13th, 2012, 08:49 AM
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Yes, I had the same question before I left for Paris, Fodor member Jent103 helped clarify this for me.
Here is the link:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-st-tropez.cfm

I should add, that the first time I started the app, it took forever to locate and I just gave up. The second time, I was in wifi range and the app located me in 5 seconds. From then on, location was quick, whether or not wifi was available.

Make sure you have the right "settings" on your phone as noted in the post, to avoid charges.
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Sep 13th, 2012, 09:33 AM
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Paris2go is a paid app at $1.99. In return, you get offline=no internet needed, Paris map that eats up 80MB of your storage.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/paris...316996121?mt=8 for details
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