How does my iPod know where I am??

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by Jsameds, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Jsameds, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012

    Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    Using iPod Touch 5g.

    So I'm at work, and I snapped a few pics at my desk the other day. Yesterday at home (a few miles from work) I accidentally clicked the 'Places' tab on Photos and lo and behold, it had a pin on the map where my workplace is.

    Further to that, as I was walking to work this morning I had the 'Maps' app open and I had the arrow 'location' button clicked, and to my surprise the 'blue blob' was following pretty much exactly where I was - although sometimes it was a few metres out.

    I'm guessing it has something to do with Wi-Fi, but I wasn't connected to any Wi-Fi networks at the time, and all the networks around were protected. Any ideas on how it works?

    Try it out and let me know if it works for you also.
  2. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    It doesn't need to be connected. It just needs to know what WiFi access points are around it.

    (FYI, for discovery to work, wireless access points send out 'beacon' packets. These, plus a database of wifi+location gets you where you are)

    It's usually really rough though, the wifi location accuracy.
  3. Jsameds thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    Thanks - but as far as the accuracy goes in my experience this morning, it's usually ~15m radius.

    Done a bit more research into it and it looks like they use something called Skyhook

    pretty cool stuff, although would be much better if it was tied in with GPS (Take the hint, Apple!)
  4. iLLUMI macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2012
    Yeh, I discovered this quite by accident a couple of years back on my 3rd gen iPod Touch running iOS 4.x
    I was walking through Sydney trying to find a free wifi hotspot and noticed the Maps application was pin pointing exactly where I was. I was a bit amazed by this because I also had the understanding that you had to be connected to a WiFi router/internet in order for Maps to function.

    As already mentioned, the accuracy is a little rough, depending on where you are of course. It works well when walking but not sure how well it would work when driving. I know the iPod Touch detects wifi networks fairly quickly so it may do okay in the car. I'm sure the 5th gen iPT would perform much faster and better.

    Thanks for posting this thread as it's got me thinking about trying out my iPT as a Navigator.
    Cheers! :)
  5. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    You need to read your own link more carefully. :)

    "All Apple devices utilized Skyhook's WPS until the iPhone/iPad software 3.2 release in April 2010, which utilized Apple's own location technologies."

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