Dumb question: is the GPS worth it on the 3g iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by California, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I love my first gen 8gb iPhone.

    Is the 3g and the gps worth it, really, on the newer iPhones?

    And can I swap the sim card out and back again on my iPhone if I get the new one? Or is there some ATT restriction?
  2. andreab35 macrumors 6502a


    May 29, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5G77 Safari/525.20)

    I just bought a 3G yesterday because my Dad wanted the iPhone too- except he liked the first gen. , so I gave him mine.

    I don't find 3G or GPS being that big of a deal for me really. I will probably use the GPS here and there if I want to know where I'm going. For 3G, it all depends on your pace. Do you want to fork out extra money for a faster connection, or are you content with EDGE?

    I'm not too sure about the SIM card question, sorry. All I know is at the Apple store they ported my number to the 3G phone. With my Dad's, we had to go to the AT&T store to get him a new number and a newly inserted SIM card.

    But I have noticed a better reception difference between the two phones. I probably get 1-2 more bars in a low service location than with my 1st. Gen.

    Definitely consider it though. You will love no matter which way you put it. :)
  3. j5045096 Guest

    Oct 27, 2007
    Hey I've only had the 3g iPhone so I don't have a frame of reference to compare the iPhone 3g's GPS capabilities to whatever the 1st gen had (Edge/triangulation with Google Maps).

    BUT, I love Google Maps on the 3g. In my wife's car there is a Garmin Nuvi 350 and I simply use my iPhone when needed for navigation in my own car and I much prefer the iPhone + Google Maps. It is very simple to use and well integrated with apps like Contacts on the iPhone. Plus its been surprisingly accurate--I've yet to had an issue with location services.

    All that to say the iPhone 3G GPS isn't just a toy that they throw in - I think you can really bank on it for functionality.
  4. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    I actually use the GPS fairly often in NYC. It works great, pinpoints my location accurately, and helps me find addresses in the chaotic streets of downtown manhattan. That being said, since I don't drive the iphone is my *only* GPS device. If I drove I'd probably use the GPS in my car most of the time.
  5. tsice19 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2008
    The 3G is definitely worth it, it can be almost as fast as my WiFi connection.

    The GPS is actually a great feature for finding yourself on a map, but it doesn't do turn-by-turn by default (yet).
  6. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Without background processing, a lot of the neat things you can do with a GPS equipped phone, just aren't possible. Such as...

    Having the phone automatically change profiles depending on location.

    Automatically sending a text alert when you get close to picking up your kids from school.

    Alerting you when you're near a restaurant you might like.

    Warning you if you need to get moving to get to an appointment.

    Retracing your steps all day to see how far you walked.

    ... and that's just the tip of the iceberg of things that other phones can do.
  7. jason72780 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2008
    Orange County, CA
    I get good battery life, except when I'm using the gps. If I had that stuff running in the back I can see my battery lasting about 12 minutes.
  8. jdk2 macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008
    Knowing that the phone lacks these capabilities should help a prospective buyer determine whether the iPhone is for them or not.
    How true! I get a day of battery usage without using the GPS. Turn it on and that time goes right down the tubes.

    For the OP, the GPS works great given a number of limitations. Knowing these issues in advance will make the decision to purchase much easier.
  9. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    The GPS has come in very handy for me. From walking around in the city (Chicago), to driving. It's been very helpful. To be honest, much better than looking for where I was on the first iPhone.
  10. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    The GPS has been helpful but it 's very hard and dangerous to make use of while driving. Sometimes I've pulled over to use it (Safer). It's pretty accurate. You need a data plan though.
  11. Mad Mac macrumors regular

    May 15, 2008
    You have got to be kidding?

    Using the iPhone/Google Maps is akin to using a fold out map. Fine for previewing your destination but useless for realtime driving. Having the map always point north, fonts too small to see/use while driving, no audible turn-by-turn, no realtime rerouting if you take a different turn or exit, et. al. make the iPhone's GPS semi-worthless. I simply cannot see how the iPhone's GPS is better than a real GPS unit or even compared to other AT&T cell phones with AT&T Navigator.

    And to add insult to injury, I used Google Maps yesterday to find a restaurant and when I arrived it was a residential street. Totally inaccurate. Google had the right address listed for the restaurant but somehow mapped it to a street 2 miles away. What's even funnier was that this happened in Mountain View (Google's hometown).
  12. james4513 macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2008
    I hesitated in getting an iPhone because the nav feature is way short of a Tomtom or Garmin. If you forget about that, the nav features are way handy - short of driving instructions. And the Greenfinder golf gps on the iPhone works great - a good as the $300 single-purpose golf gps.

    I have a Garmin and an iPhone - okay for now. Hopefully, Apple will lift its restrictions and the iPhone will be a great car nav.
  13. Luke1robb macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2008
    Cambridge, MA/Smithfield, RI
    I've had the 3G since two weeks after launch after having the original for exactly a year, and I can say the GPS is definitely worth it. I use it as a GPS in the car. Sure, there's no turn by turn or voice, but if you hold it up and watch the locate me dot, you'll do great. Get the 3G!! Good Luck
  14. kinkster macrumors 6502a

    Sep 15, 2008

    says steve jobs.
  15. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    I don't think it's worth the upgrade. I'm still on my first gen, because it didn't seem to be worth it.

    I'm waiting for the third gen - not upgrading to a 3g means I'll be able to upgrade the day it comes out, whereas there is unlikely to be another early upgrade offered (the phone wasn't subsidised the first time. Now it is.)

  16. TheSpaz macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    Holy crap! :eek: I hope you don't come driving around near me. Just what the world needs... more people looking at their cell phone while driving. That's REALLY safe.... not.
  17. buccsmf1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2008
    yea without a co-pilot to help you it's extremely dangerous to navigate with an iphone
  18. cmrunner83 macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2008
    What exactly is the difference between the Google Maps on my 2G iPhone and the GPS on the 3G?

    I have the 2G and my Google Maps pinpoints where I am.... I don't get it. Just curious..
  19. TheSpaz macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    GPS pinpoints exactly where you are standing instead of just the area you are in. You can also watch the map move as you move. If you zoom in close enough, you can even see which side of the street you're on. Also, using aGPS isn't always that accurate and sometimes can be quite a bit off for some reason. aGPS still works well enough for most things though.
  20. cmrunner83 macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2008
    Ok.. Thanks!
  21. j5045096 Guest

    Oct 27, 2007
    Fine, let me add that several years ago before there was GPS in every car in America I used my $5 Atlas from Wal-Mart on more road trips through some of the most random places in the Southeast. I had TeleNav on a Nextel phone when it first came out and didn't like it compared to my Atlas (and my car's odometer - which gave me the satisfaction of being able to accomplish something without a computer unlike everything else in life we now do) -- I had Verizon after that and their VZ Navigator (which saved my life on an icy road in a very unfamiliar Grand Rapids, MI once so I can't totally knock it) and now the Garmin in my wife's car.

    The iPhone & Google Maps reminds me of using at Atlas. It doesn't do EVERYTHING for you but it's a nice cheat and that is the experience I prefer. I don't want Jill the Garmin computer telling me to turn here here and here and I don't need to have my GPS constantly running just so I can feel special when I pull up to the stop light with the screen clearly visible for every other low-tech person to see, just so I can know for sure I'm going the right way to the grocery store that I've been to 612x before. Honestly that's why the Garmin is in my wife's car (we did not buy it by the way, it was a gift--and no I did not upload pictures and mp3's to it; stupidest feature they could have ever included, but you know there are people out there who see that and buy that model over a lower one without those features) ...I'd be embarassed to have it visible. It's not quite as bad as the people who have dual DVD screens in their minivans so that their kids aren't bored driving the 3 miles to and from school, but it's up there, in my book. So, you said it best - it's akin to a fold out map. That's exactly what I want. Now I don't have to carry around the giant map.
  22. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Until you crash that is...
  23. firecrasher macrumors member


    Oct 15, 2008
    It's handy but not if you're the driver! It can also be illogical, over the weekend when I was playing with Google Maps it decided to add an extra hour to a 90 mile trip. I usually just write the directions down on a piece of paper and then tape it to my dashboard. I can always pull over and watch the dot if I get completely lost near my destination.
  24. j5045096 Guest

    Oct 27, 2007
    See, I haven't used it too extensively either - I don't know how accurate it really is but in town it's been awesome. Several times Ive had to go to local residences for the first time and it's been flawless.
  25. emeraldspread macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2008
    In my opinion, no. I liked it initially. I like my VZ Navigator on my Blackberry Curve much better. I can browse the maps just the same, but it also talks to me if I want that option. It is hard to use the iPhone as a navigator while driving, because you have to physically look at it to see where you are going.

Share This Page