Ask PYS: NavigationCommunications

Michael, on Jun 05, 2012 asked:

I just recently bought the new retinal display iPad (my first apple product!). I want to make it a chart plotter to back up my old Garmin 2010. I've looked at a GPS receiver called Bad Elf that goes for $99 so I don't have to rely on data connections or WiFi. Now I'm looking at chart plotting software that resides on the unit, is good for our West Coast waters and does not need data or WiFi. Any suggestions?

Based on what you are telling me, your iPad is a Wi-Fi only model and not have built-in 3G connectivity. The 3G unit comes a built-in GPS receiver.

In terms of charting software, you have many choices, but I'd boil it down to two: iNavX or Navionics. Personally I like Navionics best because it is simple and familiar. iNavX is great but as more features and perhaps harder to use.