All iPads iPad (WiFi version) disappointment :(

Discussion in 'iPad' started by macUser2007, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. macUser2007 macrumors 65832

    May 30, 2007
    Had a couple of original iPads around the house, mostly used to AirPlay MOG to my Apple TVs and Windows-based HTPC. When the iPad 4 came out, I just went out and got two, thinking that the camera, voice input and GPS capability are worth the upgrade.

    I played around with them for a bit at home and everything was great (mostly -- I hate the primitive iOS keyboard and the fact that it no third-party keyboards can be set up as a default, as in Android).

    Well, I went on vacation, driving through various countries, and took one of the iPad 4 to use as a navigation system. Imagine my surprise when I could not get a GPS lock. Duh, the WiFi version, even on iPad v.4 still DOES NOT have GPS!

    Sure, the faithful will argue that I should have done my homework and checked the specs. But the reality is that Apple touts Maps and other features which normally require GPS in all of its iPad promos and ads, and it never dawned to me that a 4th generation product costing about $550 would not have such a basic feature available even on on the cheapest Android tablets.

    To boot, Apple prevents us from using the GPS of the iPhone through Bluetooth on the iPad, unless we jailbreak. Which, of course is not an available option with iPad 4and iPhone 5.

    Seriously, why should we be expected to fork out another $150 for the 3G model, just to get such basic functionality available on a $5 chip?

    Frankly, I am getting so frustrated with Apple, that if there was a 4x3 Google Android tablet (the 16x10 ratio is just retarded on a tablet), I'd dump the iPads and Apple TV and go to Android and Google TV. Then I'll also be able to install a decent keyboard as a default....
  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Anyone will argue that you should do a little research on a $500 purchase.

    Incorrect. I can share my iPhone 5's GPS on my iPad.
  3. mpayne2k macrumors 6502a


    May 12, 2010
    Why bitch and moan...why didnt you just get a Nexus 7?
  4. macUser2007 thread starter macrumors 65832

    May 30, 2007
    Good for you. But Apple does say on its iPad specs page "LOCATION: Assisted GPS and GLONASS".

    Methinks most people who quickly look at this, would assume that GPS functionality is available. Misleading.

    And again, GPS is available on the cheapest Android tablets, including on the $199 Nexus 7, so it's not an unreasonable expectation that the $500 iPad would have it as well.

    Really?! How do you do this, without jailbreaking? I (and others, for sure) would love to know.
  5. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I checked the iPad specs page ( That line only appears in the column for wifi+cellular model. Under the wifi model, it only lists wifi and digital compass.
  6. Redjericho macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2011
    He didn't get a nexus 7 because he thought the iPad 4 had GPS
  7. Jman13 macrumors 68000

    Aug 7, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    Why would you use the iPad for your navigation system if you have an iPhone? It's not like you should be staring at that big giant screen all the time. Get a nice phone mount that puts the phone near your steering wheel...easy controls without having to divert your eyes much, and the map is right there.

    Plus, Apple maps (and most others) require an internet connection to download the maps, so even if GPS were there, you'd have an issue.
  8. mpayne2k macrumors 6502a


    May 12, 2010
    I think you're correct, without an internet connection, would a wifi Nexus 7 be able to do google maps? Or just show a dot on a blank map?
  9. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    GPS navigation doesn't necessarily involve a driver driving a car. Could be a passenger using maps, could be a tourist trying to look at maps while walking. A bigger screen for maps is good for seeing more area at once and/or more details. You could use the iPhone for driving directions and still want to use maps on the iPad for other purposes.

    That said, I think your point about most maps apps needing Internet to work is a good one. Where you have wifi, you have wifi location avaiable. Where there's no wifi, a wifi-only iPad wouldn't be much use as a map anyway.
  10. macUser2007, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013

    macUser2007 thread starter macrumors 65832

    May 30, 2007
    Regarding offline (no data connection) navigation, I had purchased Gaia and Pocket Earth, both of which have offline maps for pretty much every place on earth (Gaia can even cache Google Street maps for large areas, in addition to OpenStreet). I also have Navigon, although this is useful only in more popular destinations.

    As to why the iPad instead of the iPhone -- because looking at maps on a 4" sucks. Keep in mind that we are not talking turn-by-turn navigation here, which shows the immediate area with an arrow, but an actual map, with a dot indicating where you are (if you have GPS). And while my wife was the navigator on this trip, I'd imagine that the large screen of the iPad would be even more useful to a single driver, who can only glance at it quickly while driving.

    But GPS is useful (and often necessary) for other things not requiring data connection as well, such as photo tagging, apps like StarWalk, etc..

    It's simply inexcusable that the iPad doesn't have such a basic feature, which has been available on every mainstream tablet (and even most of the cheapest Chinese tablets) for a while now. And unless you actually specifically look for GPS information, it is far from clear the the WiFi iPad does not include it -- in fact most of Apple's promotional materials imply that location services are present.
  11. macUser2007 thread starter macrumors 65832

    May 30, 2007
    If you really have a way of sharing your GPS signal between your iPhone and your iPad, please share, as it would be very helpful not just to me, but to others as well. I am not being facetious.
  12. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    When your iPad is tethered (via HotSpot) to your iPhone it has access to the iPhones GPS.
  13. Borjan macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    It's honestly very boring as well to have people almost 'threaten' to go to android every other thread.

    Anyway for others who are curious about location services/mapping on wifi only models, I've found it surprising good.

    None of you mention how good apple maps are at saving map data offline, I can literally zoom right in on all of London with my data off and still be able to navigate. Plus, if I have my wifi turned on it does a damn good job of approximating my location as I move about, even though I don't actually connect to networks.

    So yeah, they could have put it in... But for my needs, I'm pretty happy.
  14. Jman13 macrumors 68000

    Aug 7, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    I tested this tonight, and it indeed works, at least with Apple maps.
  15. takeshi74, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Faith has nothing to do with it -- quite the opposite, in fact. The reality is that you need to do your own due diligence. Never assume.

    Maps does not require GPS. GPS is one method of determining location. There are others.

    Again, if something is a must have then make sure that what you're shopping has your must have feature. Otherwise you only have yourself to blame.

    Because the WiFi version doesn't have a GPS receiver. You need to decide which is more important to you, saving $150 or having GPS. Your call to make. I bought the one with the GPS receiver because I wanted it.

    Plenty do whether you understand why or not. Preference isn't a one-size-fits-all thing.

    There are plenty of GPS nav apps with locally stored map data if that's something that one desires. Again, one has to do one's own due diligence. Don't just assume that your preferences are universal no matter what the topic.

    Depends on whether or not map data is cached. However, there are plenty of Android apps with locally stored map data if that's a must have.

    The iPad does. You bought the wrong one. If it's inexcusable then don't buy the iPad and buy whatever suits your needs/wants/budget/etc.

    The specs page clearly indicates the differences between the models. If you relied on the general description pages (none of them clearly indicate the differences) to determine the diferences then you need to change your research methods.

    You can gripe and blame everything else for your failure to do your own due diligence but that's not going to change reality. The WiFi version doesn't have a GPS receiver and that's just how it is. Either pay up for it, deal without it or use an Android device with GPS.
  16. macUser2007 thread starter macrumors 65832

    May 30, 2007
    O.K., this is false. GPS TETHERING DOES NOT WORK -- not without a jailbreak.

    I just spent some time doing research on this, and I can confirm that Apple purposefully BLOCKS GPS tethering.

    There are a couple of apps available on Clydia which allow GPS tethering, but you need a jailbreak, which of course is not publicly available for the latest gen iPad or iPhone.

    This was also my experience while I was traveling in a wide open, sparsely populated area and tethering DOES NOT work, unless you have data connection or WiFi hotspots.

    For accurate info, see for example this:

    Dude, some of us have lives. Yes, I relied on the general description pages, which do imply the availability of location services (which most of us associate with GPS).

    For some, Apple simply cannot do wrong and if the general public is naive enough to rely on "the general description pages" relating to the iPad, then it must be the general public's fault for being taken. So yes, blaming others for relying on a misleading general description of a product is "faith," or some form of weird jailhouse wisdom.

    Apple is effectively exploiting this, knowing that enough users who get taken by the "the general description pages" will likely get upset for a bit, then shrug it off.

    The "smart" ones like you, who do their homework well, will end up paying $150+ for a chip which costs a couple of dollars -- that's the real reason why Apple blocks GPS tethering.

    I like Apple's design and I am willing to pay for it. I am just not happy being misled, or being rimmed. Not enough faith, I guess.
  17. Dkorda macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    Is this through the stock tether? I tried that with my iPod (touch) and it didn't work......
  18. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    You weren't mislead though. If you couldn't take the time to click on the "Tech specs" link and scroll halfway down, it is your own fault. It only took me about 30 seconds to find the information, which would have been time well spent in your case.
  19. shaown macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2011
    It sorta works ;) Did u test using Bluetooth tethering? NOT Wifi.
  20. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
  21. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    Plenty of rationalization and unwillingness to accept personal responsibility, though.
  22. trouble747 macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2011
    good one
  23. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. The OP should have done better research before purchasing his iPad.
  24. macUser2007 thread starter macrumors 65832

    May 30, 2007
    Some here are missing the main points. Which are:

    * The general information available does imply that all iPads have location capabilities.

    ** On Apple's Buy Page, the choice is clear: Wi–Fi or Wi–Fi + Cellular?. No mention in the CHOOSING AN IPAD section of the other major distinguishing feature, GPS.

    Even if the buyer clicks on the Specs page, the layout is unclear - it jumps between single column, to three-columns, to two columns. Without clear visual cues, it is rather easy to miss the GPS distinction.

    *** Most of the non-geek public, which is what Apple is clearly aiming the iPad at, does not examine the spec pages, just like it does not examine the boilerplate warranty language.

    But, let's ignore the above and assume that caveat emptor should apply to all purchases made from Apple.

    It is still rather disappointing that Apple has chosen to omit such basic feature from a $500 product. It is even more disappointing that Apple has actively sought to prevent those of us who have an iPhone 5 from tethering its GPS to their iPad.

    And the most disappointing (and ironic) part is that most of the faithful who post here that I "should have done better research," then go on to claim that "I can share my iPhone 5's GPS on my iPad."

    Which is, of course, not true. And which shows that they haven't bothered to do any of their own "research" before making false claims and misleading others.
  25. darngooddesign, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013

    darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Using my co-worker's Wifi-only iPad Mini and the Accuweather app.

    On the office wifi, finding my current location gave me a GPS error, while tethering to my iPhone 5 it found it.

    Google Earth found my current location.

    Apple Maps found my current location.

    Google Maps in Safari found my current location.

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