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Old Nov 14, 2012, 06:52 PM   #1
FuNyuN
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Can the iPad Mini use GPS without 4G/WiFi?

I want to install an iPad Mini in my car and use it as a Navigation System and Music Library. But do I need the 4G LTE version to have navigation? I saw a video of a normal iPad that has Navigation without internet, but is the mini the same? Thanks for any help.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 06:53 PM   #2
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Only the cellular versions have a GPS chip in them.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 06:59 PM   #3
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Only the cellular versions have a GPS chip in them.
So even if I use an app with the maps already in it, it's a no go?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:02 PM   #4
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So even if I use an app with the maps already in it, it's a no go?
It'll work as long as there are WiFI networks nearby that it can use for location data. But that isn't as accurate and it doesn't work where there aren't any WiFi networks.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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So how about if I tether the internet from my iPhone? Will that work?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:14 PM   #6
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So how about if I tether the internet from my iPhone? Will that work?
Internet is not the issue, the GPS chip is.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:16 PM   #7
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So how about if I tether the internet from my iPhone? Will that work?
The iPad and iPad mini is able to access the GPS chip within the iPhone if tethered via wifi.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FuNyuN View Post
I want to install an iPad Mini in my car and use it as a Navigation System and Music Library. But do I need the 4G LTE version to have navigation? I saw a video of a normal iPad that has Navigation without internet, but is the mini the same? Thanks for any help.
What you're seeing is data based location... it's nowhere near as accurate as GPS and can't handle turn by turn.

You will not only need the LTE version for the GPS you'll need the monthly data access to generate maps. Or you can pay 100 bucks for one of the Navi system software that stores you maps on your iPad.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 08:34 AM   #9
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You will not only need the LTE version for the GPS you'll need the monthly data access to generate maps. Or you can pay 100 bucks for one of the Navi system software that stores you maps on your iPad.
Depends on the nav app. There are certainly options with locally stored maps (discussed very frequently on MacRumors) for much less than $100.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 10:03 AM   #10
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Depends on the nav app. There are certainly options with locally stored maps (discussed very frequently on MacRumors) for much less than $100.
Last time I looked they were still around 100 bucks with them going on sale for about 70 once in a while... I stopped looking after I saw those prices.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 10:13 AM   #11
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Last time I looked they were still around 100 bucks with them going on sale for about 70 once in a while... I stopped looking after I saw those prices.
Navigon is only $39 or so for US maps.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 10:41 AM   #12
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Navigon is only $39 or so for US maps.
Just checked its 60. There are 30 dollar options for US regions, too rich for my blood.

I used the apple navigation in LA, which has worked for me the last few times I had used it. For free.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 04:12 PM   #13
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You will not only need the LTE version for the GPS you'll need the monthly data access to generate maps. Or you can pay 100 bucks for one of the Navi system software that stores you maps on your iPad.
There are many of the latter. I have CoPilot Live and it works well. No need for data connectivity as you drive-- that's great for overseas travel (where roaming is expensive) and travel out in the boonies.

As folks have said, you need the GPS chip which means you need the "cell phone" version of any iOS device.

It's a pity that GPS has been linked to the cell functionality since the first iPad. I know of no technical reason why that must be. A WiFi model should have real GPS too, IMHO.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 10:15 PM   #14
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There are many of the latter. I have CoPilot Live and it works well. No need for data connectivity as you drive-- that's great for overseas travel (where roaming is expensive) and travel out in the boonies.

As folks have said, you need the GPS chip which means you need the "cell phone" version of any iOS device.

It's a pity that GPS has been linked to the cell functionality since the first iPad. I know of no technical reason why that must be. A WiFi model should have real GPS too, IMHO.
Actually I believe the GPS chip is built into the cell radio chip hence why they "have to come together" while Apple COULD build a slot or the GPS chip into the logic board of the iPod they don't want to spend the time or the energy to do that so they can push the more expensive mobile data version on you more.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 12:39 AM   #15
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But do I need the 4G LTE version to have navigation?
Yes, you do need the 4G/LTE version and an app with preloaded maps. It may, however, take several seconds till the GPS can lock on to at least 3 Satellites. More locked satellites, more accurate. I often have a reported accuracy of 3 meters.

The iOS products having a GSM modem all work. They use a system called AGPS: assisted GPS. Meaning, when they have a SIM card and a service provider, they will use it to triangulate to the surrounding telecommunications towers until decent satellite signals can be detected. After locking in on the satellite signal, they will use the towers purely as a reference and "fine tune" the devices' position.

And it does seem to matter where you position the mini in the car. Doesn't work too good in the back seat. But, seems to fair better leaned up against the console behind the stick shift.
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