How did my ipod know my location while driving!?!?!

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by RobinHood5, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. RobinHood5 macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    Tonight I used apples new maps for the first time on my 4th get iPod touch. I was at a church and wanted to find a Taco Bell nearby.using the church wifi, It found my location and a taco bell location 4 miles away. We left the church and after we drove a minute or two I whipped out my ipod to look at the address so my mom could enter it into her android. Pretty soon I noticed that the blue current location dot was moving. I started double checking this against our current location and it appeared to be spot on perfect. Pretty soon we took a wrong turn and did a u-turn, the iPods map followed no problems with our location. I then checked and found that my wifi was on but there were no networks available or connected to. Another interesting thing was that when I had the Taco Bell selected it showed me how far I was from it. As we got closer it shows that we were less distance from it.

    How the heck was my ipod doing this? I am very knolageable about apple products, and computers in general and this has me baffled. I was connected to no network, and yes, I'm sure I have an iPod touch. Tell me what's going on.
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    The iPod was using a cached copy of local WiFi access points to locate you. Even if the WiFi network is too far to connect to, it can still be seen. Even if it doesn't show up in the Settings app. It can also use hidden WiFi networks, which also don't show up.
  3. CapnJackGig macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2011
    If Wifi is enabled, it's guestimating your location based on network signals it does find, even if only briefly. You could never use it reliably for turn-by-turn directions.
  4. RobinHood5 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    Thanks for your reply. I know about this typeof thing to an extent. But one thing I had always assumed with that sort of locating service is that it would be general. This was so precise. Like I said, we did a u-turn (and pulled into a parking lot to turn)and it tracked precisely each movement that we made pretty much in real time. I've never seen anything like it before...
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    It will be spot on in a area with lots of wifi
  6. smallaw macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    Stupid Question: for fun, I turned on the LTE hotspot on my phone and wifi tethered my new iPod Touch 5th Gen. to it to see if I could get turn by turn to work on the iPod. It barely did, updating my position sporadically (every 5-10 miles). I had a strong LTE connection the entire time.

    Why didn't this work well enough to be useful when the scenario the posts above describe does work? Something to do with no agps?

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