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iPhone 4 with Improved GPS Accuracy and Speed over 3GS

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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One of the hidden benefits of the 3G iPad was improved GPS accuracy and speed over the iPhone 3GS. The improvement was attributed to a newer GPS chip from Broadcom. iFixit's teardown revealed that the iPhone 4 shares the same Broadcom BCM4750 chip as the iPad.

At least one reader experience confirms the improved GPS accuracy and speed of the iPhone 4:
I used my Navigon GPS app today for about ten minutes, nothing to long or in depth, but the [iPhone 4] got a lock in seconds and was spot on. I'll test it tonight going home from work and see how it does but I didn't notice any issues earlier today, in fact it was a huge leap from the 3GS in terms of reliability and accuracy.


Article Link: iPhone 4 with Improved GPS Accuracy and Speed over 3GS
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,825
3,820
The thick of it
This makes perfect sense, given how many apps (and companies) are now searching for your exact location at all times. The more accurate the fix, the more accurate the marketing.
 
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JPark

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2006
659
147
This makes perfect sense, given how many apps (and companies) are now searching for your exact location at all times. The more accurate the fix, the more accurate the marketing.

Cynical much? I really don't think any ad agency cares whether I'm located in front of my house or in front of my neighbor's house.
 
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JPark

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2006
659
147
I haven't tried it outdoors yet, but in my house the 3G and 4 equally inaccurate--they both think I'm over at my neighbor's.
 
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the-oz-man

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
402
153
I did some testing with Navigon earlier last night. Usually with my 3G I had to practically hold the phone to the windshield to get a lock and it typically to took about 45 seconds. Now with the iPhone 4 it locked in less than 2 seconds and I could even set it in my lap and it would hold the GPS signal. The speed gauge was equally impressive. I'm sold on this updated hardware!
 
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SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2006
704
2
Las Vegas
Yeah, it does seem to be more accurate - it knows what house I'm in on my street. I'm used to dealing with decimeter (10cm) accurate GPS at work so its not accurate enough for me. :)
 
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Illusion986

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2009
354
3
I can only compare it to my old 3G which would not get a lock inside my house but iPhone 4 gets a lock and pretty fast.
 
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Kinspiracy

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2010
30
0
I tested it with the 99 cent MotionX Drive app. Was really really fast. Every time I purposely went off route, it corrected immediately.
 
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Kinspiracy

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2010
30
0
I haven't tried it outdoors yet, but in my house the 3G and 4 equally inaccurate--they both think I'm over at my neighbor's.

Yeah, this has not changed with the 4. Motionx puts me two houses away when I'm inside my home. But as soon as I step outside it finds it immediately. Can't ask for much more than that.
 
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dmitriypopov

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2010
7
0
iPhone 4 GPS lock

I have been testing out my iPhone 4 in NYC since launch day, it lock really fast, however, the accuracy was about the same in the narrow streets of lower Manhattan. But lock speed surely improved over my iPhone 3G.

But I have yet to manage to turn on the "cone of vision" tracking in Google Maps on my iPhone 4...
 
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aarond12

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2002
1,103
49
Dallas, TX USA
My iPhone 4 picked up a GPS lock inside my living room! Heck, even my stand-alone Garmin navi can't do that.

Using my iPhone 4 with Navigon vs. my iPhone 3G is like night and day. I have the Tom Tom cradle but even handheld the iPhone 4 works in the car!

-Aaron-
 
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kugino

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2003
1,100
74
my wife's 4 is clearly more accurate than my 3GS. at home, she'll be spot on to our house, but my 3GS puts us in our neighbor's yard. this is with 3G turned off...when 3G is on, the accuracy is worse!
 
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i.mac

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2007
996
247
Yeah, it does seem to be more accurate - it knows what house I'm in on my street. I'm used to dealing with decimeter (10cm) accurate GPS at work so its not accurate enough for me. :)

10 cm only? Are you kidding?

I get sub-cm all the time. In fact, if !(SEP < 100mm @ 99.999% HAL), it is not good enough.
 
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unchecked

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2008
225
228
Cynical much? I really don't think any ad agency cares whether I'm located in front of my house or in front of my neighbor's house.

It might be a problem if you have a hispanic name and so happen to be in Arizona....
 
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Keness

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2003
80
286
I think he's talking about cities. Seeing as to where people actually have the phone. City/state wise.

Of course, but even cell tower triangulation is MORE than sufficient for that.

I think the original replier was (very aptly) making the point that the increased accuracy is not for the purposes of marketing as the original poster implied. Marketers already have the level of detail they need and more. It is just representative of technology marching along, getting better and better just because that is the way of technology.

Speaking of accuracy, the Maps app now differentiates between when I am in my living room or in my bedroom... Wow. (!)
 
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tangerineyum

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2005
423
0
Ontario, CA
when on satellite view my iphone is now accurate enough to tell when i am in my room or when I walk into the living room. my roomie has a 3g and it puts her in the back yard when shes in the living room.
 
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dmitriypopov

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2010
7
0
iPhone 4 GPS lock

I agreed. Just tried the "cone of vision" mode in Maps, super accurate when I just spin around in my bedroom! Also result in a 2 second position lock!
 
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jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,507
2,427
I tried watching Google Maps while my friend was driving today, and the icon actually stayed on the road. My 3GS was typically about 20-30 feet off the road.
 
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MacConvert07

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2008
39
19
Upstate NY
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

Definitely more accurate and faster for me too. Got my iPhone 4 yesterday thanks to a late fedex shipment. Way better gps than my old 3GS.
 
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Rootus

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2008
376
24
Portland, OR
I have noticed this too. It is so accurate that it can recognize what part of a room I am in.
That happened with my 3GS too. What I notice different about the iPhone 4 is not any sort of improvement in accuracy -- it's always been quite good for me -- but a major bump in speed. It usually locks onto my location in a few seconds now, far quicker than my 3GS did.
 
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