GPS in Ireland?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by blueacre, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. blueacre macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    I'm visiting Ireland for a few days in August and plan to rent a car and drive around a lot. After looking at some of the "directions" on googlemaps I decided I will need GPS.

    I have an iPad 3G and thought it may be an ideal time to try out the GPS. However, I can only seem to find expensive 1 time fee GPS apps for ireland. Does anyone know of any reliable monthly fee options with downloaded maps? Or, does anyone know of a reliable carrier that offers micro sims and cheap(ish) data plans and then I could just use the included maps program?

    I'm not picky about whether it is an iPad or an iPhone program... obviously I'd like it to be designed for the iPad, but I can live with an iPhone program :)

  2. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    Your best bet is probably one of the expensive but excellent GPS apps for iPhone. I use TomTom's western Europe app which isn't cheap but hasn't let me down yet.

    A more risky but cheaper option would be the suggestion you gave: a data microsim and the Maps on the iPad. The only telco offering iPad plans for sale at the moment is who offer a few gb for €20/mo. While you can pick up a microsim in any o2 store you'll need an Internet connection to set it up. There's network signal pretty much everywhere but if you're heading into the mountains you'd be lucky to even find GPRS.

    Any other questions just ask :)
  3. Domino8282 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2010
    Southeast USA
    Just got back from England and Ireland and here was my experience with an iPhone 3GS with AT&T.

    In England the Tom Tom app worked beautifully throughout the country, even in fairly remote locations. I had data roaming turned off throughout my time there.

    In Ireland, however, I could only get GPS to work if I turned on data roaming. I also noticed that with data roaming on, the data usage was gradually creeping up, even though Tom Tom has all the maps stored locally.
  4. testcard macrumors 68030


    Apr 13, 2009
    Northumbria, UK
  5. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    The most frighteningly narrow ones on earth, I swear. LOL

    We were there for a week last year, in the County Clare region. With two AT&T locked first gen GPS on those! Google maps + good old fashioned paper worked fine.

    If I were going now, with with the iPhone 4 or hubby's iPad, I'd see what Navigon had to offer.
  6. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    You basically have two choices in GPS apps: those which load enormous amounts of map data onto your device, and those which pull it out of the Internet as you drive around.

    Of course, the latter assume you have a good data connection. That isn't always the case when driving around the boonies.

    Worse is when folks who visit another country, return, and open their phone bill to see staggering amounts charged for data roaming.

    Because international data is so costly, and because you might be going places where no good 3G signal exists, I'd highly (HIGHLY) recommend one of the apps that stores everything on your iDevice.

    The one I use and recommend, both for the U.S. and in Europe, is CoPilot Live, available in the App Store. I've not used it in Ireland, but it had no trouble keeping up with the ancient and twisty little roads in villages in Germany. I own both the North American and European versions-- until recently the Europe version was significantly better, but the North American version has recently achieved parity.

    Just be sure you have lots of spare gigabytes of storage available, and plenty of time (and a WiFi connection) for the download. Updates are huge, too, and seem to require at least 2X free space to install. But the app works brilliantly and is lovely to look at.
  7. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Both navigon and to, Tom apps work in Ireland and have good coverage.

    What most people fail to understand is that finding locations in Ireland outside of the few major cities & bigger towns is that it requires a knowledge of the 'townlands' to find addresses. As in the countryside we do not have house numbers, we do not have streets (we have roads - a difference) and we also do not have postcodes.

    We like to make it hard for you all.

    Also no matter which GPS software you buy, none of them will point out the pot holes and by jesus we have a lot of them too :D

    Driving in Ireland is akin to driving in Baghdad lol.
  8. blueacre thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions. I figured it would be easier to just pay for one of the maps. I use copilot in the U.S. and generally find it adequate, so maybe I'll try that one in Ireland (it seems to be the cheapest I've seen), unless anyone knows of any monthly fee types.

    However, it concerns me that one user said he couldn't get the GPS to work in ireland without data turned on. Does anyone know that would be about? I know the GPS is assisted by the cell signal, but I thought that was only to acquire a signal quicker?

    Am I better off just paying the rental company the dedicated GPS rental fee?
  9. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    On Craggy island they do take the roads in if it rains.
  10. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    Just tested tomtom on my iPhone 4 with data roaming off and I can safely say that it works just fine.
  11. Serge25 macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2010
    Just as a point of reference - when using the maps on board solutions, you can turn the data on very briefly to help you get a quicker GPS fix. Once this is locked on, you can turn the data connection off completely.

    As other posters have mentioned, mapping in Ireland can be tricky both North and South of the border.

    CoPilot Live uses NAVTEQ mapping in Europe which arguably provides the better coverage. For further information, check out the Northern Ireland Animal Amblance case study in the professional section of
  12. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    I hope this is still helpful:

    1. You can go to an O2 store and for 20 euro buy a microsim for the iPad good for a month with 5 Gigabytes of data transfer. O2 had really good coverage for me in Waterford, Cork, Dublin, and the places in between. Incidentally, both Vodaphone and Three told me I couldn't get 3G without a subscription from any carrier.

    2. Navigon Europe worked fantastically for me in Ireland this past week. Even the best maps are not nearly as useful when few streets outside of largish cities are signed, and when street numbers are often non-existent. Navigon found B&B's, petrol stations, restaurants, etc., and once I finally got to an unlisted B&B, Navigon let me record it so I could get back to it later after dark. Navigon doesn't need internet connectivity to operate, so you don't have to worry that you'll lose signal and with it your maps. Its hard enough driving on the left, shifting a stick with your left hand, and negotiating impossibly narrow roads without also having to worry about where you're going. Navigon isn't cheap, but for my wife and I, it was worth every cent.

    3. We're now in Dublin, and Navigon with its pedestrian setting is great when on foot as well.

    I almost lost faith in Navigon when it told me to turn left in 200 yards and all that was on our left was a wide river. I was just checking to see if I might have set the profile for "amphibious vehicle" when my wife spotted the ferry!
  13. Hello.there macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    *** loud chuckles ***

    I'm guessing most of you are basing your 'knowledge' of Ireland on the latest re-run of Ryan's Daughter? Truly, you all need to travel a little ;)

    Hey, English boy? Travelled from London to Newcastle by car last week (it's a long story)....just wondering, do you plan on installing roads at any point soon? We had to leave the motorways a few times, we're talking donkey tracks. The Empire has crumbled, methinks.
  14. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Not me..... I live in Kerry, I truly know what bad roads are :D

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