GPS in the New iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Synomenon, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Synomenon macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2011
    One of the reasons I got the Verizon iPad was that I'd heard that only the 4G models have actual GPS hardware built in. Is this true?

    If so, does the 3G / 4G radio have to be on for the GPS hardware to work? I've noticed that when the 3G / 4G radio is on, battery life suffers so I only turn that radio on when I don't have a wifi connection in the area.
  2. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002

    Yes, only the 4G (and the 3G models for the previous generations) have the additional GPS hardware.

    You don't need to have cellular data on to use the GPS. However, the "assisted" part of A-GPS means that the cellular data will help lock on the signal faster.
  3. Synomenon thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2011
    Ah, thanks for the explanation. So having the 3G / 4G radio on helps with GPS accuracy. So you do need to have a cellular data plan w/ Verizon (or AT&T if you have that model) activated for the A-GPS to work?
  4. Digidesign, Apr 13, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012

    Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002
    no problem :D

    No data plan needed for the A-GPS to work. Google Maps and Nav apps will work just fine without having a data plan activated.

    Thanks seajay96 for the clarification. Yep, a data connection is necessary for apps that need to download map data dynamically, like Google Maps and Waze. Some apps like Navigon USA allow you to download state maps and once you have the static map downloaded you can use the app without a data connection.
  5. ewo1992 macrumors regular


    Mar 11, 2012
    Southern, CA
    Yup works just fine without service, I use it all the time when I'm flying.
  6. seajay96 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    To be completely accurate, the A-GPS will work just fine, but Google Maps and some Nav apps will not because they don't have map data loaded on the iPad and need the data connection to download maps.
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Obviously that depends on the software being used. Navigon and tomtom for example do not need cellular data as the map data is store on the device!!
  8. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    Not accuracy. Speed.

    The radios simply provide a communication path:

    The assistance consists of downloading current satellite information from a server on the internet (thus the need for a cellular or wifi data connection).

    The information speeds up the time to first fix, from possibly ten minutes, down to a few seconds.
  9. ZeRoLiMiT macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2010
    Southern California
    what about iPad Wifi with iPhone 4S Tethered? will the iPad use the iPhone 4S GPS?
  10. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
  11. leeber macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2012
    IPad 3 GPS work in Mexico?

    Ok - so here's the situation - I am a Canadian living in Mexico, but will be driving back to Canada in the near future. I'm about to fly to Canada, and am thinking of buying the latest IPad with the 4G LTE. Let's see if I have this right... So I should be able to use the GPS in my car to navigate with turn by turn voice directions from Southern Mexico back to Canada if I buy some sort of data plan, right? But can I buy a plan from Canada? Can I have it so that it is activated only when I expect to do the drive back to Canada? And will I be able to load maps covering my route (Southern Mexico, U.S. and Canada)? Thanks - excuse the noob questions. Searched the threads, but haven't found the answer.
  12. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    If you buy the Navigon (which I highly recommend) or the TomTom app, you don't need to use cellular data at all. You download maps of the USA or Canada or Mexico and you're good to go. If you use one like AT&T Navigator, you will need to use data as it downloads maps on the fly.
  13. Dkorda macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    You'll need some form of off-line maps. Navigon works killer, plus you only download the maps you need.
  14. takeshi74, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Data and data plan are two different things. You can get data via WiFi. The apps may require data but it's unlikely that an app requiring data requires a data plan. Of course, using such an app on WiFi may be of very limited usefulness.


    You can but it's going to be expensive if you have to roam internationally or pay for multiple data plans. I'd highly recommend a nav app with locally stored map data. Several are suggested above.
  15. leeber macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2012

    Many thanks - will get Navigon. I will need the IPad with the 3G/4G for this to work, right?

  16. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Yes but only because the 3G/4g models have the gps chip in them.
  17. jateelover macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2012
    Mine does... Jail broken iPhone using tetherme...not as accurate as phone
  18. Dkorda macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    Any iPad (1, 2, 3) with a cell antenna (3G, 4G or LTE) will have the build in GPS chip.

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