GPS For iPad 2

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by krawfo, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. krawfo macrumors regular

    May 4, 2011
    I'm considering adding GPS to my wifi iPad. I currently have a USB GPS receiver but it has a male plug on the end. I can get a female to female adapter but don't know if this receiver (Pharos) will work with my iPad. Anyone have any experience or knowledge in this area?
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Not possible.

    Sell your iPad and get one with 3G (has GPS).
  3. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    While your plan won't work, it IS possible, but a waste of money, in my opinion:

    There are cheaper options out there, but they really work against why people buy the iPad in the first place. You can duct-tape a bluetooth GPS receiver and a Mobile Hotspot to a WiFi iPad and get the "same" functionality as the 3G model, but then you're spending as much (if not more) and have 3 devices to keep charged and keep track of.
  4. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Beg to differ with the previous poster. Dual Electronics XGPS150 is an excellent GPS receiver that connects via bluetooth to the wifi only iPad and provides superior GPS sensitivity (compared to the 3G iPad); a small button that can be mounted away from the iPad (on an auto dash for example); and is considerably less expensive than paying for a 3G iPad if you don't need built-in 3G. ($90 on Amazon.)

    The XGPS150 is widely used by pilots (with rather high GPS requirements) and has an excellent reputation.
  5. SporkLover macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2011
    I think their point was portability. They are saying that having to carry around additional devices and keep them charged, etc etc, defeats the mobility purpose of the iPad.

    IMHO, while I understand that the most of the aftermarket bluetooth GPS receivers for the iPad may be superior, before buying a $90 device, in addition to the iPad, I would just opt for the 3G model so it's built in. I believe the price difference between wifi and 3G models are 129 anywho.
  6. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    As far as "superior GPS sensitivity goes" you aren't considering the A-GPS functionality of the iPad. I have a dealer installed nav system in one of my cars and a mid-range Garmin in another. I've found the iPad t be as good or better than both, so you're arguing about angels dancing on the head of a pin. As for "considerably less expensive" you also get 3G availability for the extra $40.

    I don't personally see the point of jury-rigging features onto a WiFi iPad that are already on the 3G. It's a classic penny-wise/pound-foolish example.
  7. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    And I personally don't see the point of paying an additional $40 for 3G connectivity on the iPad that I'll never use when I already have 4G/LTE connectivity that's about ten times faster via a mobile hotspot or a tethered 4G phone.

    You'll note that the OP indicated he/she has a "wifi iPad." Purchasing a bluetooth receiver makes much more sense than selling the iPad at a loss and then spending an additional $130 to get GPS functionality.

    There's no question that if one needs built-in 3G connectivity on the iPad and don't need the superior GPS functionality provided by a dedicated GPS receiver, the $130 (USD) price difference is a reasonable expense. If you're not in either of those camps, however, a bluetooth GPS receiver is an excellent alternative.
  8. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    A BT or tethered GPS is pretty much the only alternative (aside from a new cheap stand-alone GPS) and you should note that I offered him a tethered option in my reply. I just pointed out the false economy of cobbling together 3G features. While it's $130 new, selling a WifI and buying a similarly used 3G will be appreciably less than $130.
  9. krawfo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 4, 2011
    Maybe a couple of additional facts may help clarify the situation. I got a steal on this refurbished iPad ($419) An equivalent 3G model is selling for $549. So I'd be out $130 not to mention the cost and hassle of selling my unit.
    I really need the GPS solely for a trip to France later this year. I doubt that I'll use it after that and plan on eBaying it when I return home. I was hoping to use the USB GPS that I have and be zero $ out of pocket but this appears to be a no go.
    Thanks for everyone's feedback.

  10. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    You will also need to get maps to load on your iPad. Without 3G there's no way to load maps in real time so you need a source for maps of the areas you'll be visiting, otherwise the GPS is useless. You can get a Garmin with Europe and North America loaded for about $130. Or maybe try to get Europe maps for your Pharos.
  11. takeshi74, Jan 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    aGPS isn't relevant in a GPS sensitivity discussion. aGPS is used for a faster initial fix and it does so by pulling ephemeris data from an assistance server. That's it. It has no impact on sensitivity. aGPS is commonly mistaken for other location determining methods such as tower triangulation.

    I've found my iPad 2's GPS receiver to be weaker than any of my former GPS-equipped (non-iPhone) smartphones.

    There are definitely nav apps with locally stored map data.

    The "why" varies from person to person. I prefer integration with my devices which is one reason why I have the 3G iPad 2. The OP clearly isn't placing that as a priority if the OP is asking about tethering GPS to a WiFi iPad.

    Don't assume that your preferences and priorities are universal.
  12. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    As far as aGPS and sensitivity, you're right that it doesn't affect sensitivity but it's an advantage of the 3G iPad.

    You obviously have superior GPS-equipped phones. Good for you. I have yet to find the GPS lacking in the iPad lacking in my personal experience in North America or Europe.

    Of course you can find nav apps with locally stored data. I was trying to provide helpful assistance to the poster, letting him know that he needed to get maps stored onboard. You're assistance is just in being a d$ck.

    As far as colloquy on the 3G, I was explaining why I believe it's a false economy to think that you can assemble a 3G from a WiFi. It's obvious that people use them differently, otherwise nobody would be buying one or the other of the models offered. I have no interest in forcing my opinion on anyone, but I have a right to express it.
  13. DarwinOSX, Jan 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012

    DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    Good thing it's only $20 a month then. You won't see significant additional speed or GPS functionality using a jury rigged and clunky external device. You also wont use it as much if you have to connect it every time.

    Wi-Fi on the iPad will not take advantage of LTE speeds. About the best it can do is 36Mbps.
  14. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    Owning a couple of the gps addons, I would recommend buying the xgps150 vs the three other models (that I know about.)

    Any of these gps receivers (direct plug in or bluetooth) are much better for aviation use than the built in antenna, due to placement issues, and performance at high altitudes/speeds. (The built in gps will not work at all in the flight levels.)

    For ground use, the advantage would be that they can be used with wifi only units that people already own, or used with multiple devices if someone upgrades frequently. (You can buy the cheaper wifi units vs the more expensive cell phone ones.). Remote mounting may be important in marine uses such as chart plotting as well.
  15. sandie115 macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2012
    I read abou the Dual Electronics XGPS150 and it ENHANCES a GPS signal but does not seem to be the GPS itself. IF it is then they do not know their own equipment. I would love to have GPS on my Wifi IPAD2 but seems I am going to have to bite the bullet and sell my Ipad2 wifi and get one with GPS. ALSO it uses your 3G so you need to subscribe ATT or Verizon to a service that costs betw 20 and 50 dollars mattering on ATT or Verizon service. I am sad but.............
  16. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    You do not need to activate 3G to use the GPS but you do need to load maps onto your iPad (the 3G actively loads maps for your area in conjunction with the GPS), but you can get any number of map apps (and beware, they can be huge if you load the full USA - 2GB or more). Some are cheap (e.g. YouNeedAMap) and bare-bones, better ones will run you some bux.
  17. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Sorry. See the post above yours. A GPS IS a GPS 'receiver.' If you're looking for a Global Positioning Satellite, you'll have to spend a bit more. And no, the GPS radio on the 3G iPad does not use the 3G radio to receive a signal. The GPS works whether you subscribe to a 3G data plan, or not.

Share This Page