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iPad with 4G - 'offline' GPS app?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 5, 2009
I have an iPad 3rd Gen with AT&T. I do not have a data plan through AT&T and don't plan on buying one. I want to be able to use the iPad as a GPS when traveling through the US and then this summer when I am going to be in Europe.

I tried the TomTom US/Canada app and it will not center on my location if I don't have wifi. I feel a bit cheated by either the app or the iPad....just not sure which yet. Figured with a >1GB download I would have had something similar to a stand-alone GPS.

Is what I am trying to do unreasonable? Or am I missing something?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 5, 2009
Negative. Made sure everything is on. Maybe I'll go for a drive later and see if I just had bad luck earlier.

I'm not nuts correct? It should work right?


macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
Troutdale, OR
Should work. If you are having issues try parking and taking it out of the car, maybe the GPS isn't getting enough of a view of the satellites... I doubt that would be the issue, unless you kept it in the trunk.

I have an external GPS (dual Xgps 150) but that is because I have the wifi iPad, without a GPS chip. You shouldn't need an accessory.

One other thing to check, make sure location services are on, and check the per app setting to make sure it is on as well.

Of course the ugly thought is that maybe you have a broken iPad, it would be rare but possible.

Here is a video of someone using tom-tom with an iPad without a data plan.
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macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2008
I guess I'm outta the loop but I didn't think any phone or tablet had a satellite connection like you get in a real GPS unit.


macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2011
should work just fine outdoors while driving. i've tested mine out in preparation for an upcoming trip and it locks on pretty quick and accurate. i'm using the Navigon app though....didn't really like the TomTom one.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2007
I've used Navigon in the US and in Europe, and like it very much. Not needing to rely on an Internet connection is the most important reason, but I also like:

1. Having a bike and pedestrian profile. In France, using city-sponsored rental bikes, having turn-by-turn directions in my Bluetooth headphones is priceless.
2. They have pretty comprehensive lists of destinations by name, rather than just address.
3. It knows the names of unsigned little roads in Ireland.
4. Graphics are easy to read and follow.
5. You can navigate by list of directions instead of by map; there are routes with lots of quick turns where this is a better option.
6. The traffic conditions add-on can save you lots of time by routing around bottlenecks and accidents.
7. More frequent updates, but not too frequent.

I have to add that the mapping (licensed from a third party) can be inaccurate in sparsely settled areas in Europe if you just enter an address. Even then it gets you close, but you may still need to ask a local.


macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2012
I use Sygic. If it has the map for the area you will be traveling it works great. I use it all the time in my area and its fully offline. Download was about 2-3gigs worth of map data.
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