iPad mini Questions about iPad Mini's GPS chip and cellular carriers

Discussion in 'iPad' started by MareLuce, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    I already know, thanks to reading other posts, that if I don't have a cellular iPad Mini, I don't have GPS.

    Questions related to GPS types, usage, and cellular carriers for the iPad Mini:

    1) Is the GPS chip 'model' also carrier-dependent?

    i.e.., Does a Verizon-carrier iPad Mini's GPS chip differ from an AT&T-carrier iPad Mini's GPS chip?

    2) Let's say that I have a Verizon-carrier iPad Mini but no Verizon contract or cellular access. However, I can wifi-tether the Mini to my iPhone5 which is on an AT&T contract.

    Will the GPS still work for directions given that I only have a WiFi connection to my iPhone5 active?

    3) Are there any 'gotchas' that you think I should know if I'm asking these questions?
  2. macrumors 68030


    Jun 30, 2010
    1.) No, they're the same.

    2.) Tethering provides GPS, but its not real accurate, nor is it very fast.

    3.) If GPS is a big deal to you, you'll want to get the LTE version with a data plan.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    Thank you HazyCloud.

    Why wouldn't it be just as accurate?

    Is it because the GPS chip is not really in use; because it's relying on WiFi signals instead for the location information?

    But if that were the case, could it use the GPS information of what I'm tethered to (my iPhone5 on AT&T)?

    I guess not, because if that were true, then a WiFi-only iPad Mini tethered to an iPhone5 would show directions just fine.
  4. macrumors 68030


    Jun 30, 2010
    I guess accurate wasn't the best word. When I've tried it via tethering from an iPhone 5, it works, but there's quite the delay. It does work, but from what I've seen, it's not the best for turn-by-turn directions.

    Since my iPhone gives driections just fine, I opted for the Wi-Fi Mini and I just tether when I need it connected.
  5. macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    I used my iPad 3 with cellular running Navigon, without a data plan nor tether. It worked perfectly fine as a standalone GPS with great accuracy.
  6. HazyCloud, Nov 23, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012

    macrumors 68030


    Jun 30, 2010
    Yes, apps like Navigon can be used offline. Apps like MotionX require you to cache the maps first if you aren't going to have a connection.

    Edit* Is Maps available to use while offline?

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