Ipad 3G as GPS for Car

Discussion in 'iPad' started by henry17, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. henry17 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #1
    I will be purchasing a 32gb 3G Ipad very soon, and also need a GPS for my car. Can this version be used the same as let's say a dedicated Garmin GPS unit, with turn by turn directions, given the right app? If so, how do you use it visually as it could not be attached in front on the dash as you would a small Garmin unit. I would like to save myself the $150 or so for the stand alone GPS, but if there are drawbacks to using the IPAD I might spend the extra $. Thanks
     
  2. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #2
    While it may be possible, you'd be sacrificing the reliability of the Garmin.

    Personally I'd rather use the Garmin for navigation purposes.
     
  3. Animatormike macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    #3
    That response puzzles and confuses me. I use mine for gps all the time. If you go to eBay and search iPad car mounts, look at the ram iPad mounts. I use motion x software. I download the maps in simulator mode on wifi. (I have the 3 g model. ). But no service. Then if I go off track just fire up wifi mode on JB iPhone and grab map updates. (if needed). Plus google earth and other features make it a neat device.
     
  4. chaleyer macrumors newbie

    chaleyer

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz
    #4
    I've bought a 3G model specifically to use the CoPilot Europe GPS app when in Europe for five weeks starting mid-September, mainly so that I don't need to carry a separate GPS device.
    I am sure that it will be fine for my use, even though I won't use a screen mount.
     
  5. o.neill.kid macrumors member

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    #5
    I personally hear great things about MotionX Drive HD, I will probably get it soon enough. But if you really want the reliability I would definitely go with a stand alone unit. Not only is it saving you possible wrong directions or any mistakes (not saying the iPad does but you never know) but will also save you data unless you have an unlimited plan.
     
  6. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #6
    Buy the navigon and you will be happy. There is no competition at all. Best app I've ever had. I loaded on my iPhone 4 and it is amazing. Locked out the gps instantly. My damn garmin 360 is still looking for a signal and I almost drove like a mile... ****ing garmin.
     
  7. Ozdoc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #7
    No data required

    I bought the 3G for the GPS chip. I may never put a SIM in it. I took the iPad and iPhone 3GS to France a month or so back. Both had the navigation program loaded and we were in a hire car with no mount. If you buy the programs with map data you do not need live data or 3G enabled unless you wanted interactive features like traffic.

    My observation is that without a mount, the iPad was far superior, locking on quickly and even working on the passenger's lap. The phone really struggled to lock on at times, even held close to the windscreen to maximise the view of the satellites.
     
  8. henry17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 26, 2010
    #8
    << Both had the navigation program loaded and we were in a hire car with no mount. If you buy the programs with map data you do not need live data or 3G enabled unless you wanted interactive features like traffic>>

    Which programs with the map data are you referring to? Do you mean if I get this program I would not have to use up minutes on my 3G plan, and it will work just as well? Thanks
     
  9. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #9
    I used it with just the included Maps app. No turn-by-turn, but with my wife watching the iPad and telling me when a turn approached, we had zero problems travelling through NJ on a recent trip. An actual nav app woud be fantastic.
     
  10. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #10
    My observation is that the iPhone 4 fixes that. I use CoPilot with the iPhone sitting on the center console between the driver and passenger and never lose lock if I leave it in portrait mode with the top of the iPhone under the windshield. If I turn it to landscape the GPS antenna doesn't seem to be positioned as well and it will lose lock. I installed the iPhone version on my iPad (which still looks nice in 2x mode... I'm sure the iPad version is even better looking!) and it ran pretty well sitting on my lap while I was a passenger, but it did have one little hiccup where it thought we were traveling in the woods next to the road for a minute or so until I held it up to the dash for a few seconds.

    A couple of the ones mentioned above have their maps included and don't require you to use 3G data (unless you want extra features like real-time traffic alerts, etc): Navigon and CoPilot. Another would be Tom Tom. As I say above, I have CoPilot loaded on my iPad and haven't activated any 3G data plan yet, and it works fine using only the GPS and the map data it already has.
     
  11. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020

    TheMacBookPro

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    #11
    1. iPhone/iPad 3G has A-GPS, which uses the cell/nearby WiFi signals to 'triangulate' your current position before actually using the GPS satellites to search within the cell area. Hence, the faster lock-on on the iPhone.

    2. Stop the car to lock onto the GPS satellites quicker.
     
  12. leons macrumors 6502

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    Apr 22, 2009
    #12
  13. mgipe macrumors demi-god

    mgipe

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    CA
    #13
    Works great!

    I recently used my iPad with Motion X Drive HD in a rental car on a vacation. It functioned perfectly. The large iPad screen size made it easy to see what turns were coming up. One of my passengers fell in love with the turn-by-turn announcer. :) Do be aware that Motion X charges a fee for using the voice directions, but it's cheap and no subscription is required.

    Recommended.
     
  14. henry17 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #14
    Great to hear this, thanks. Just curious, where was the Ipad that you found it easy to view when you were driving. Did you have it on a mount?
     
  15. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #15
    There is nothing that really compares to the "real" GPS units IMO. I shelled out the money for the Navigon program and honestly while it's not the worst GPS program I've ever used, it's struggling quite hard for the middle of the road IMO. A huge part of the problem is that Navigon hasn't optimized it for the ipad yet (if ever). Zooming out really has very little detail in the way of street names, etc, even using Fullforce.

    There some other things that make it clunky as well, like for example scrolling thru your map while in guidance mode. If you are in heads up mode, when you go to scroll your map it forces you into North up mode, then you have to tap a button to go back to guidance, instead of being seamless.

    I'd love to say the ipad is the way to go, I've long considered buying an ipad for the sole purpose of fusing it with my dashboard and making it the cars head unit (yeah I played around with a lot of Car PC's in my day). But the GPS part isn't ready yet. The worst part of it is that Apple could EASILY make their own GPS navigation just like Google did, but they continue to leave this glaring omission out.
     
  16. Star56 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    #16
    I own three Garmin units and the Ipad is a superior GPS. Much faster acquisition and recalculation, Display is easier to read.

    Just need the right APP. Co-Pilot HD works great. It downloads maps to unit so no 3G signal is needed.

    Previous post seems to think that Navigon is the only App available, It isn't even Ipad ready so ignore any advice to use it.

    I have my Ipad mounted in my Accord on top of the radio in front of the Accord display. Bright, big and beautiful.
     
  17. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #17
    Actually the previous poster also has copilot, but it's worse than navigon so I didn't bring it up. Navigon actually has pretty good navigation, it's the graphicsnthat suck, and no iPad version months after it's release so I've lost hope. Copilot had many issues with outdated maps, especially in NYC with a couple of hiway changes which my old gamin and even navigon caught. The turn by turn on the copilot was also behindnjust enough where I often missed my turn.

    But you are right, the iPad is mainly an application away from being a killer navi unit, but it's not there yet.
     
  18. mgipe macrumors demi-god

    mgipe

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    CA
    #18
    The rental was a Prius. I opened the little storage compartment door in the center of the dash and wedged the iPad between that and the cup holder.
     
  19. Ozdoc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #19
    Subsequent posters have mentioned some of the programs. I used N-Drive Europe which is cheap but only comes with a modest recommendation. You need to keep your wits about you and it can lead you up the garden path eg it had us crossing a road which had been upgraded with a centre barrier ie no crossing possible. I would have bought one of the mainstream programs like Tomtom if they had an iPad specific version, maybe next year if they get organised.

    Having used dedicated GPS device and iPad I prefer the latter. Bigger screen and in between drives the GPS unit is just a lump of electronics to carry or hide or be stolen, the iPad continues to offer up all its other functionality.

    And yes, just to confirm, you don't have to use minutes on your data plan, indeed you don't even have to have a plan or have the 3G active. The only reason you need the 3G version is that the WiFi only version does not have a GPS chip. This fact caused a lot of confusion around Macrumors forums in the early days of iPad but this is how it is.
     
  20. Ozdoc macrumors newbie

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    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #20
    I found this to be true.
     

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