GPS without a data plan

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by profinite, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. profinite macrumors member

    May 1, 2009
    Until recently, I had thought that I had to have a data connection in order for programs on my iPhone 3G to work that utilize GPS.

    While I was in Tokyo in May, I had a SoftBank 3G SIM without a data plan in my jailbroken and unlocked AT&T iPhone 3G. As I walked around in Tokyo, I assumed that programs such as Maps would not work.

    Then, while I was near a big train station such as Shibuya or Shinjuku, I discovered by accident that the "Locate Me" button in a map program worked. That is, a familiar pulsing blue dot would indeed locate me on the map. This phenomenon happened repeatedly.

    Just to be doubly certain that my iPhone did not have any data connection, I went into Settings > Usage and looked at Cellular Network Data. Both Sent and Received showed 0MB at all times.

    Recently, I read somewhere that the iPhone would use a data connection to assist GPS when GPS signals are weak or for the purposing of speeding up location acquisition.

    Therefore, am I correct that, in theory, GPS on the iPhone would locate me on a map wherever I am on earth as long as the iPhone can receive a clear GPS satellite signal?
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    the maps are obtained from data

    soooo unless you had preloaded maps, blinking dot doesnt do much good
  3. profinite thread starter macrumors member

    May 1, 2009
    Yes, I did have a pre-loaded map on my iPhone 3G.
    Now, what does the pulsing and moving blue dot mean in this scenario?
    Was I really getting the blue dot from GPS signal?

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