iPad mini Can a wifi iPad mini tethered to an iPhone in car be used for navigation?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by saintforlife, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    Will it function as well as an LTE iPad would? Is there any loss in data speeds when going through the iPhone? The maps in the larger screen of the iPad mini is definitely better to look at than the tiny iPhone screen.
  2. Krad3130 macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2010
    Winter Park, FL
    Yes it can, but I believe the accuracy of your location will not be as good as if you had a cellar model iPad. The cellular model iPads have a GPS built into the device whereas the wifi only model does not.

    I am about 99% sure this is the case but if someone has a better/correct answer please chime in. Either way, to answer your question, YES you can use the iPad as a GPS for the bigger screen.
  3. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Yeah, if you want GPS, best to get the cell option. The system works tightly, even without a data plan!
  4. saintforlife thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    Can you elaborate? How can it work without a data plan?
  5. moonman239 macrumors 68000

    Mar 27, 2009
    The Wi-Fi model uses nearby hotspots as reference points for determining its location, even if the iPad is connected to an iPhone. However, I've heard you can buy a GPS unit that connects to the iPad via Bluetooth.

    You might want to consider buying the Wi-Fi + LTE model instead, which has a GPS chip.
  6. James717 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2013

    ipad mini wifi is not meant for navigation. Map yes. but navigation, NO.

    Use your iPhone for navigation.

    Teether is ok, but why waste two devices' batteries?

    I never buy tablets without cellular. more expensive, but having cellular "OPTION" is well worth the extra cost.
  7. nStyle macrumors 65816

    Dec 6, 2009
    Then again.. how useful is GPS on a tablet anyway? It's cumbersome in a vehicle and your iPhone is way more useful
  8. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Not exactly sure. Best guess is they let you connect to see if there is an account, but by that point the pad already has the data it needs. It does work on a cell ready (Verizon) ipad 3 that has never has 'service'.
  9. James717 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2013

    True. Haha. Options.

    Then again, not EVERYWHERE has wifi (or free wifi). So, having Cellular 4G can guarantee you that as long as there is cell phone service, there will be wifi.

    Why haven't Starbucks and McDonald's have free wifi yet?
  10. mikeoui, Sep 14, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013

    mikeoui macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2011
    Québec City, QC, Canada
    GPS by itself doesn't use data. Data is needed to load the maps though. Otherwise you'd just have a blue dot on a blank screen. You could buy the cellular version so that it has the GPS chip and then tether it to an iPhone to get the data to load the maps.
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Or just download navigon or one of the many map apps that have maps saved locally.

    You don't have to use data this way but I'd still go cellular ipad for the agps chip. Data is handy for traffic updates tho ;)
  12. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    Your local Starbucks or McDonalds don't have free wifi??? :eek:
  13. Haifisch macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    That's exactly what I thought. Impossible.
  14. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009

    apps like navigon or tomtom download the maps to your device so you don't need data to load new map sheets. i have used navigon in areas with no cell service and it worked great

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