Do any apps require 3G (for GPS maybe?). Wifi vs. 3G iPad debate

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by ra4oasis, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. ra4oasis macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2010
    I have money saved up, so that when the iPad 2 is released, I'm right there. Now, I've been debating on 3G or Wifi model. I use my work iPad right now at either, my house, work, my parents house, or the occasional coffee shop, all of which have Wifi. So I really don't have the need for 3G, and I don't want the fee to use it anyway.

    My question is, are there apps that require 3G, because they use GPS (since Wifi doesn't really have full on GPS)? Because if this answer is no, or i the answer is not many apps need this, then I don't think I need the 3G. What say you iPad 3G users?
  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    The wifi model doesn't have full-on GPS?

    Wrong - the wifi model does not have GPS AT ALL.

    It's only going to matter for navigation-related applications though. The Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) chip is used for apps like Tom-Tom and other things that require a precise location. It's only fitted to the 3G version. If you don't plan to use the iPad in that way - and don't want wireless connectivity when you're out and about, then go for the standard wifi version
  3. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    While it's true (and obvious) that navigation apps need the GPS (and 3G assuming you don't store a full mapset on your iPad) there are numerous other apps that are GPS/location-aware. It all comes down to your expected uses. If you expect to travel with it (locally or globally) then I think the 3G is essential. If you're going to use it in the ways you've listed then 3G isn't all that essential and location services will suffice.
  4. jb007clone macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2006
    Simple question: How tight are you for cash?

    You could always buy the 3G model and not pay for the 3g service, unless you need it.

    You can't say the same for the WIFI-only model.

    Also, if you find you're not using the 3g at all, you can always sell the 3g and buy a wifi model.

    Really the question you're asking is: Do you need GPS? And only you know the answer to that. Do you use GPS often?

    Personally, I don't use GPS at all in my daily life. But, hey... that's me.
  5. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I bought the 3g model primarily because of the addition of the gps. (Although I also liked the flexibility of having the data if I ever need it). I have come to expect that a device should know where it is - and find that using a regular computer without a gps making it location-aware feels a bit out of date. It's not just gps programs that use this - but any program where your location is a relevant piece of data in the equation. Weather apps. Real-estate listings. Restaurant reviews, business searches of all sorts, etc. etc.

    Is it necessary? No way, but it's one of those details that really makes a device like this feel like the future, today.
  6. jb007clone macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2006
    You can manually enter in your location in most weather apps. Besides, the wifi-only iPad still has Skyhook WPS for determining location. This is how you're able to use maps with the iPod Touch.
  7. DVDxR macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2009
    Get the WiFi version. You can get better data plans from other companies now that AT&T neutered the iPad plans, and the GPS is really only useful if you are doing Navigation and even then, the current crop of Nav apps are nothing to write home about (I really figured someone would have found a "killer" way to use that screen by now).

    I currently have a 3g, but it's grandfathered. If I was buying one new, I'd get a WiFi and go to Sprint, Verizon, or Clear for a data option.
  8. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008

    When you take your WiFi iPad to Sprint, Verizon, or Clear don't you have to have a Cell Phone and plan for that Cell Phone with them?

    I believe the way it works is you 'tether' the WiFi iPad to your Sprint, Verizon, or Clear cell phone. Otherwise there is no way for the iPad to work on their networks.

    I know that may not be a big deal for a lot of people as their cell phones are glued to their hips it seems, but there may be some who want the iPad and do not have, or don't want to be bothered with having the cell phone with them ALL THE TIME!

    I know my cell phone is turned OFF more than it is turned on. I have it for my convenience of talking to people when I want to and not when they want to talk to me! :D :D
  9. Dragoro macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2010
  10. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    No way! Really? I had no idea!

    That can be a decent option, however note that most of those mifi devices have battery life of ~4-5 hours. Plus it's another device to tote around.
  11. jb007clone macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2006
    It's true. You usually just need to enter your zip code.
  12. azstinger macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2010
    We plan on using my iPad on our honeymoon as our only computer so having the ability to get sim cards from whatever country we wander into is invaluable to us. From staying in touch via email to having instant access to maps of our location should be incredibly handy!
  13. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004
    All iPads have GPS!

    WRONG - The wifi model has GPS. It's just disabled when it can't detect a WiFi point.

    If you already have an iPhone, save your self $200 and buy the cheaper WiFi version. Simply install tetherMe on your iPhone and iTether on your iPad and wammo, you now have GPS when driving around town.
  14. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    What is this? GPS chip debate day? This is the 3rd thread I've seen debating this today.

    The WIFI model DOES NOT have a GPS chip period. It uses WIFI triangulation to approximate your position. What would be the point of "disabling" a GPS chip that reads signals from a satellite when you are away from a WIFI connection. Why would a GPS chip even need WIFI? Why would Apple spend the extra money to put a GPS chip into it if was going to only work when near WIFI? It doesn't make sense.

    Now if anyone has proof that it indeed does have a GPS chip, then I will be happy to be proved wrong.

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