does iphone have a gps chip inside?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by charliehustle, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. charliehustle macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2009
    I remember I used to have an N95 back in the day, and some guy told me unless I had a phone plan, the GPS would not work,

    but now that these navigation apps are advertising that they'll work without a phone plan, and they also work on the ipod touch,

    so my question is, is there only a GPS chip in the iphone? or does it also use another form of tech to locate you ??
  2. PoitNarf macrumors 65816


    May 28, 2007
    Northern NJ
    Yes, the iPhone 3G and 3GS have a GPS receiver built-in. The original iPhone does not. If a GPS signal is not available then the iPhone can use mobile phone towers or WiFi to approximate your location. It also uses the mobile phone towers and WiFi to establish a quicker GPS lock; this is known as A-GPS (assisted GPS). No version of the iPod Touch thus far has contained any sort of GPS functionality. However I'm pretty sure that I've read that devices like the TomTom cardock for the iPhone will also provide GPS functionality to the iPod Touch.
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Yes the iPhone has a gps receiver inside you don't need a data plan unless the app uses web based mapping navigon tomtom etc keep the maps on the phone so your ok.

    Xgps (jailbreak) works on the touch with an external gps dongle. Search google. I'm not sure if navigon and tomtom can use that dongle but the tomtom cradle adds gps to the touch so some think.
  4. thelatinist macrumors 603


    Aug 15, 2009
    Connecticut, USA
    If you had bothered to do any research, you could easily have found out that the iPhone does, in fact, have a GPS receiver. The iPod Touch does not, however, havea GPS receiver, nor does it work with navigation apps.
  5. charliehustle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2009
    thanks for clearing that up..

    I remember I was kinda mad back in the day when I found out the N95 had to have a phone plan for the GPS to work, and not to mention it was horrible..
  6. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    AT&T Navigator ring any bells?

    iPhone location based services are amazing, even on the 2G, tower triangulation works for me unless i obviously, have no service!
  7. actorkid macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    you need to do some reasearch as well my friend

    you are correct that the iPod touch does not have a GPS chip, but it WILL work with navigation apps, providing you purchase tomtom's car dock/cradle.

    The fact of the matter is, the GPS/speakers in the iPhone are not the best. So tomtom included a better GPS and louder speaker in their dock. The iphone/ipod touch is basically only used for its screen to show your navigation and run the app.
  8. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Common misconception.

    Locating by Google tower database or Skyhook WiFi database, is not A-GPS. They are simply alternative methods.

    A-GPS is, as the name implies, about using GPS. It consults an assistance server to get current satellite information (instead of downloading slowly from the satellites themselves). This greatly speeds up the time to first fix.
  9. thelatinist macrumors 603


    Aug 15, 2009
    Connecticut, USA
    Last I checked, a car kit was not an app. Also it is not to put it...for sale.
  10. actorkid macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    what does the car kit not being an app have to do with anything? It may not be for sale yet, but it WILL be soon. I mean, hey, it's been pictured and announced.

    No need to get fussy, just stating that such navigation apps WILL in fact work with the iPod touch, as long as you purchase the car kit.

    but back to the OP's question. You do not need a data/phone plan for gps to work. But if you go this route, i recommend buying a nav app with built in maps, since web-based maps WON'T load without a data connection.

    I would honestly recommend buying the car kit regardless in the long run. The added speaker, and more reliable GPS receiver is a great perk IMO....not to mention you need somewhere to put the phone while you use it!
  11. qawsed macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2009
  12. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    And if you want to get really pedantic, PoitNarf's statement is not actually in conflict with such a mechanism.

    It must use some form of external data communication to download the current satellite information. The only two mechanisms available to perform such communication are by using mobile phone towers, or by using WiFi.

    Don' forget, too, that some other forms of assistance are also collectively covered by the terminology "A-GPS".

    For example, if, due to poor reception, a device is only able to collect a garbled signal from nearby satellites, it can send whatever information it is able to gather back to a central service, which uses that incomplete information, along with its knowledge of the current state of the satellite constellation, to determine which satellites the device is actually communicating with, and then perform the necessary computations to send back to the device. This may not be the way in which the iPhone's A-GPS system works, but it is recognized as a legitimate form of A-GPS.

    Another example: A device may not have adequate computational resources available on-board to perform the mathematics required to determine position based on the received GPS signal. It may send the complete GPS signal back to a central service, which performs the math and sends the result back to the device.

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