iPhone 3GS GPS reception with generic windshield mount and TomTom

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by LinMac, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    Can someone give me some feedback on how well the phone works for general small town driving and interstate/highway use vs. some place such as Los Angeles, CA?
  2. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    Can't comment on TomTom, as I have Navigon.

    But it works just fine with a dash mount, so should work even better with a windshield mount.

    "Small town" is irrelevant. The "assisted" GPS is only for startup. If you are somewhere where there is no data service, it will take longer to get an initial fix, but otherwise no difference. The maps are all on your iPhone.

    Now, GPS reception varies according to your location. Has nothing to do with small town or big town (other than buildings in a big city). It has to do with what part of the country you are in and where the satellites are at a given time.
  3. drmikey macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2008
    I have used a Garmin Nuvi for about 5 years and just got the Navigon for my 3GS. The GPS chip in the iPhone is not as strong so you will have more difficulty keeping an accurate lock on your position, but it works great 95% of the time. Even the Nuvi (which has a large GPS antenna) has problems once you get into large downtown areas. If you want the same performance as a stand alone GPS you would need to get one of the mounts with a GPS chip built in for a stronger signal (in my experience).

    I can't speak to TomTom, but the Navigon software is leaps and bounds above my 5 year old Nuvi in terms of features (lane assist, speed limit etc).

    I mount my iPhone on the dash and have found that I get the best GPS reception when the iphone is in landscape orientation with the volume rockers up. The GPS chip is in the upper left hand corner of the phone near the camera. When I was using it in portrait mode, driving down the freeway it kept jumping to the side streets.

    Edit: Oops, meant to reply to LinMac not jtara...
  4. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I have been using Navigon with a dashboard mount on my 3gs for the last several months. I have had no major problems with gps reception. Occasionally the speed lags by a couple of seconds, and very occasionally it does not update fast enough to guide me through a series of rapid turns, but that is very rare. I've used it through rural NY and Vermont with no issues, and I dare say it worked better in downtown Manhattan than my stand alone TomTom.

    I've grown to prefer portrait orientation because using all of the other functions of the phone works so much better that way. Having a converged gps/music player/phone/email device on the dashboard is phenomenal.
  5. jpetticrew macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2009
    I've been using my TomTom app with a $14 mount I got from Amazon and it works great. As long as the mount isn't made of metal or something dumb like that, and you keep it on the windshield, you'll be golden.

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