All iPads Apple & GPS

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Eadfrith, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Eadfrith macrumors 6502

    Eadfrith

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    #1
    What's Apple's problem with GPS?

    I think it should be in all their tablets, rather than a £100 markup that only comes with the cellular versions. Even those super cheap Android tablets and phones have it.:mad:
     
  2. seble macrumors 6502a

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  3. FrankB1191, Aug 3, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013

    FrankB1191 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I had Samsung tablets with a GPS that shows you where you're at, but won't do anything beyond that without wifi. Maybe Apple wants to avoid the inevitable complaints about their "GPS" not working once people walk outside. It is nice to know where you are, but a true GPS device can be purchased for as little as $60, or you can get a cellular iPad. ;)

    P.S. Back when I was a member of the AnythingButIpod forums, Samsung Galaxy PMP owners constantly complained that their device's GPS wasn't true GPS, or was broken because they couldn't get directions without wifi. I guess it would be a nice feature if you're walking through a city, and would like to know just where you are, but I always think in terms of driving, and that means a real GPS unit.
     
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #4
    Wi-fi doesn't give you true gps location.

    The radio found in the cellular version is needed for gps positioning.
     
  5. appleisking macrumors 6502a

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    May 24, 2013
    #5
    Not true at all. The only thing you need cellular for is maps access. If you have an iphone, and u have offline maps, u got urself a non-internet based gps. A real gps uses satellite, it's not reliant on the internet. The only real problem is, most apps use the internet to refresh their maps, but u will get that little blue dot locator without the need for a cellular connection.

    ----------

    True enough, but it can be really useful in comb. with offline maps. Anyway, it's rather silly using a full-sized ipad to navigate your way around town. The mini and the ipod touch should have those features however.
     
  6. macsrcool1234 macrumors 65816

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #6
    Absolutely agree, I really wish the Wifi ipads had GPS. Currently, I jailbreak my iPad and connect it to an external bluetooth GPS in my car.
     
  7. kfergiez macrumors 6502

    kfergiez

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    #7

    I don't think he was asking about where the DATA is coming from. The fact of the matter is that the actual GPS radio that connects to the satellites is contained within the cellular chip... which means you don't have the GPS radio with the wi-fi only models. You can GPS positioning without a data connection, but that can only happen with the right satellite radio... which again is part of the cellular chip, not the wi-fi chip. The wi-fi fakes positioning by getting the location of the IP address, and gives an approximate location by thinking that "well, you can only connect to this wi-fi signal within a certain radius, so you must be somewhere in this general vicinity."
     
  8. lilo777 macrumors 603

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    Nov 25, 2009
    #8
    GPS radio does not have to be in cellular chip. There are plenty of cheap GPS receiver chips that have nothing to do with wireless. How do you think conventional GPS navigation system work? It's just that Apple is cheap enough not to put those chips into iPads. Remember how long Mac computers used USB 2.0 after everybody else had USB 3.0? And he explanation always was: "It's because Intel chipsets did not support USB 3.0". Of course they did not (for a while) and so everybody was using dedicated USB 3.0 controller from Renesas etc. That is everybody but Apple. Because this would reduce Apple's profits by $3 per computer.
     
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #9
    You misunderstand my point completely. My point was that a wi-fi ONLY iPad will not give you a true location since the wi-fi only device does not have a gps chip. The iPhone and cellular versions of the iPad have true GPS since the gps radio is contained within the cellular chip. Of course a true gps uses satellite - I am completely aware about how GPS works including how many satellites you need to get a true position, plus the fact that the GPS signal can be blocked in, for example, a tunnel while you are driving or even in a parking garage. But the gps satellite only gives you a location; maps have to come from the device. Besides, the iPhone does not need a cellular connection for location - it can just use the gps positioning satellites.

    Maps are a different point - they can be stored on the iPad/iPhone via an app like Garmin or TomTom. Apple's iPad/iPhone map apps use the internet, whether it is via cellular or wi-fi, to get maps. The Garmin apps can be quite large since they include the maps within the app.

    Apple could have chosen to put a separate gps chip in the wi-fi only version of the iPads, but then there would have been the problem of the maps - if you are out on the highway you would be unlikely to have wi-fi to get maps unless you had a separate app like the Garmin/TomTom.
     
  10. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #10
    I agree. It should "just have it" let me worry about map data. The first Android tablet wifi (Xoom) had it. If you tether it you have maps same if you download a map app with preloaded maps.
     
  11. kfergiez macrumors 6502

    kfergiez

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    #11
    I know that GPS radios don't HAVE to be in a cellular chip. The point is... that's WHY you can't get a GPS lock on a wi-fi only model.
     
  12. Denis54 macrumors member

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    Mar 24, 2011
    #12
    I use Navfree with my iPad 2. I have the 3G version but do not have a data connection. The large screen is quite usefull to figure out which direction to take when you are lost. I have used it several times in the past in Europe and just happened to use it today in Quebec City.

    Lack of GPS in the WiFi version of the Mini is the single reason why I will get a Nexus 7 (2013). I love iPads but I cannot convince myself to pay twice as much for a Mini than for a Nexus.
     
  13. vmaniqui macrumors 6502a

    vmaniqui

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    #13
    why would you make it hard on yourself with this Apple Maps. i myself doesn't care if it's any better as i have a Garmin GPS. just get a Garmin/Magellan GPS and you'll have no problem. with apple gps be it on LTE or on your cell, you're limited with the cell tower's signal strength. unlike with garmin/magellan gps you will have no issue with signal strength as it gets its signal from a satellite.
     
  14. Eadfrith thread starter macrumors 6502

    Eadfrith

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    #14
    This is exactly my point. Even without a cellular iPad, a GPS version would still be VERY useful in the wifi only iPad.

    I want GPS but dont need 3G/4G, so having to spend an extra £100 for such basic functionality is a bit much, especially when pretty much all over tablets have, even ones costing half the price of iPad..
     
  15. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    #15
    Incorrect and already explained above.
     
  16. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #16
    Just plain wrong; An iPhone or a cellular equipped iPad gets location from satellite, just like a the stand alone GPS devices. The iPhone GPS works fine even if there is no cellular tower within dozens of miles.
     
  17. kfergiez macrumors 6502

    kfergiez

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    #17
    If I quote this to say it's wrong... do I get a cookie?

    There are many standalone apps that you can use to get map tiles and use your cell phone as a trail GPS.
     
  18. JoEw macrumors 65816

    JoEw

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    Nov 29, 2009
    #18
    My 3rd Gen cellular iPad had no problem giving me directions without gps as I recall.. just used the cell towers as position.
    What is the point of having it in a wi-fi iPad though? Geo-tag photos I suppose.

    I am pretty sure if Apple stuck it in their iPod and iPad models it would have to not be promoted, since people would assume they could get turn by turn directions anywhere without wi-fi. And if they can not promote the feature then it probably not get taken advantage of by 90% of anyone.

    Just a big mess I am sure they have debated putting it in every generation though ;)
     
  19. colodane, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013

    colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

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    Colorado
    #19
    What is the point of having it in a wi-fi iPad though?

    The point is: to be able to use it as a GPS! For hiking, biking or driving with a previously downloaded map. Not all of us want an expensive smart phone data plan.

    Edit: Oops, my bad. Thought I was in the iPod touch forum, hence the above comment. For iPads the situation is better with fairly reasonable costs for GPS capability and pre-paid monthly data access.
     
  20. FrankB1191 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    The best choice for GPS would be to buy a real GPS. Magellan models are available for as little as $75 at Best Buy, and can be used in pedestrian, car, and marine mode. They have maps for the entire U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, so you don't have to worry about pre-loading anything. It's 5x3 inches, and fits in a pocket, purse, etc. I have a Samsung tablet with GPS, and it will show my location on a pre-loaded map. That's something, but not much. The Magellan will give real coordinates in then event of an emergency, and directions to wherever I'm going. It also features points of interest (Hey! Where's the nearest gas station?), and wifi tablets just can't do that without an Internet connection.

    I drive a lot, so a tablet GPS just isn't something I need, as it's the wrong tool for that job. We sail, so I have a few really nice pocketable marine GPS units, that also have a road function as well.
     
  21. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #21
    The cellular iPads have GPS receivers. How did you determine that you were not using GPS? The problem with using tower triangulation for navigation is that it can be up to ~2KM off in my experience.

    Best is always highly subjective regardless of topic. Standalone GPS units are a nonstarter for me and others. You can't just assume that your preference for them extrapolates into it being the best solution for everyone out there.
     
  22. TJ61 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 16, 2011
    #22
    Why would your 3rd Gen cellular iPad be giving you directions without GPS when it has GPS?

    The real issue (why Apple doesn't have GPS in its WiFi iPads) is that it would have raised the price noticeably (>$10 I'm sure, when you include antenna, etc.) on a device that they were trying desperately to keep as low as ~$300 (for the 16GB mini). And, to offer it as a 3rd option (with 3 memory capacities) was not going to happen when this thread shows clearly that so many people are confused about GPS.
     
  23. FrankB1191, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013

    FrankB1191 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Sure I can, and just did. :D If you need real GPS, get a real GPS unit. I can hammer a nail with the heal of my shoe, but that's something to do when all else fails. I mentioned sailing, and many boaters use a cell phone now, and don't have a VHF marine radio. The Coast Guard strongly advises against this, but most people think they'll be okay with the cell phone......

    P.S. Here's something else to consider. Maybe Apple knows quite enough about product liability not to label a wifi tablet as having "GPS" when it doesn't. My wife works as a defense attorney for a verry large corporation, with a variety of subsidiaries. You wouldn't believe what people do with a product, and then claim the manufacturer is at fault. Joe Blow buys a wifi iPad with "GPS" like Samsung. He tells his wife he's going hiking, and will use his iPad to navigate through the mountains. Joe is found dead 10 days later, clutching his iPad. You can guess what happens next. ;)
     
  24. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #24
    For the UK, there's actually a free iPhone app that has all the road maps for navigation and doesn't need any cellular data.
     
  25. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #25
    Like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
     

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