iPhone GPS function not working in foreign countries...why?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by lucanaut, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. lucanaut macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #1
    Hello,
    I have encountered an issue with both my iPhone 3GS and my wife's 3G (mentioning that so I'm pretty sure it's no a specific unit's issue).

    Whenever I travel abroad, whether it's Europe or, say, Central America, the GPS function does not work. This is the case whether I have the plane in Airplane Mode or not. I can make calls etc. through the foreign carrier when I'm connected to the cell network. Data roaming is OFF, but I didn't think that was necessary for GPS. Basically, what happens is I open google maps, and try to locate myself, and it thinks about it for a while, and then tells me it cannot determine my location. Oh yeah, also tried when on Wi-Fi and still no GPS. I don't want to enable data roaming but, again, I didn't think that was necessary for the GPS function. What am I missing? I also tried it using an app called Trails which should record your lat/lon position regardless of maps being available. Same deal, the phones can't locate themselves. :confused:

    Thanks
    GC
     
  2. lucanaut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
  3. Moi un Mouton macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    Bracknell UK
    #4
    It should work on wifi.

    However, I remember that when I first used my GPS, it took something like 20 minutes before it located me. I suspect it would be the same for a first time fix if I now used it abroad. Maybe you just need to leave it sitting on the window ledge for a long time.

    But maps does need data, it can't show you where you are if it can't download the maps.
     
  4. lucanaut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #5
    Interesting. Were you on google maps while waiting 20 minutes? Because it seems to time out on me after 5 minutes or so and announce it can't locate me. So I'm not sure how to make it last longer. I am not really concerned with maps, because all I need for geotagging are the lat/lon coordinates. Besides, when I'm on WiFi I could download them. It's just that I can't seem to be able to get Google maps to not time out before finding its location.
     
  5. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #6
    I'm inside a house and the sky is overcast and I can get google maps to locate me in seconds with only wifi.
     
  6. lucanaut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #7

    Are you in the US? I Have no issue whatsoever in the US either.
     
  7. Moi un Mouton macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    Bracknell UK
    #8
    Yes, mine's fine now, I was only talking about the first time ever that it had to locate me, I think it must now make an assumption about which satellites it should try to use based on where it thinks I am. Hence it locates me quickly as it's always right.
     
  8. pol0001 macrumors 6502

    pol0001

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #9
    From own experience I can tell you that the GPS is working in other countries. But you need offline maps! I have a Dutch iPhone and my Navigon App works fine in Germany.
     
  9. Galarina macrumors member

    Galarina

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    #10
    The iPhone's GPS certainly should work in a foreign country, but it can take some time (up to 20 minutes) before you get a GPS lock. I use the TrackThing app to verify when a GPS lock is acquired.
    Turning WiFi on could help since it makes A-GPS (assisted GPS) possible.
     

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