Iphone gps question

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Tenedon, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Tenedon macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2012
    Hey, this might sound stupid at first and i understand if most people will mock me but i have a question regarding my phones GPS.

    First of all i have been a iphone user since the first generation but i am a business user so i don`t always use all of the phones functions and so is the case with my GPS i had never any real use for it (i have a car gps) and do not get lost often , i know i had it but never payed much attention to it.

    Recently i started using Google Latitude (since some of my contacts have android and cant afford to exclude them and use Find my friends )and i noticed something rather strange: while i`m outside or on the street my phone shows my position with a very good accuracy BUT when ever i go inside buildings or even my car some times my phone`s gps goes way way off sometimes miles away, i seen all the "commercials " for apps like this and they are suppose to work for indoors to i mean google is even try`n to release indoor maps for ikea and other major place, how am i suppose to use those when my gps cant even keep a satellite link inside a car for example (unless it`s on the dashboard and has clear view to sky).

    So my question is : is my phone defective or is this how gps is suppose to work ? and if it is how come most of my friends phones show exact locations even inside buildings and in cars and mine dose not
    PS: not even my photos are tagged with my correct gps location unless i open the map application first let the gps find me and then close it, it`s rather strange how it always picks cell tower over true gps even when gps is available
  2. cyks macrumors 68020


    Jul 24, 2002
    Westchester County, NY
    Cell tower triangulation is much quicker, uses less power, and is often accurate enough.
  3. takeshi74, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Nothing strange about it. GPS isn't reliable indoors -- especially on smart phones with a weak receiver like the iPhone (why the TomTom kit has its own GPS receiver). I haven't had a problem with the GPS receiver on the iPhone 4 or 4S in any of my 3 cars but not all cars are built the same. Yours could by blocking more of the satellite signal for any number of reasons.

    Google doesn't rely solely on GPS for indoor mapping. You shouldn't rely solely on commercials for your facts.

    Depends on where you are and what you're looking to do. It's not very useful for car navigation and it becomes less accurate as tower density drops.
  4. Tenedon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2012
    I get it that the gps is not suppose to work in doors then how should apps like : find my iphone , find my friends ,latitude and a lot more actually work or the better question is do they work ?

    For example how is Find my iphone suppose to help me find my phone if i lost it for god forbid it was stolen if the person who took it or i forgot it inside my home? in this given scenario find my iphone on icloud simply shows me a cell tower miles away from the actual phone and sometimes i`m not even in the shown range.
  5. anonymouslurker macrumors regular

    May 16, 2012
    Pure GPS antennas are *supposed* to have a clear view of the sky. They're receiving timing information from satellites, which works best when unobstructed.

    However, phones have several other course methods of deriving location, being cell tower triangulation, WiFi signal strength, etc., that will complement location services indoors.
  6. Tenedon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2012
    so what it comes down to is :
    *if i louse my phone in my home and it dose not have wifi activate at that moment , i go to my pc check out find my iphone and it provides me no information what so ever that i cold actually use except for the play sound option
    *And in case it`s stolen i wold have no way of figuring out who took it or where he is because it uses a cell tower 5 10 miles away from where he actually is.
    *Apps that "help" me track my friends do not actually work at all since we live 80% of the time inside a building of some sort except when they use wifi
    *when apple say`d my phone`s camera tags where the photos where taken they actually forgot to say : ONLY if you open the maps application first so gps can find you, ONLY if you are outdoors , in all other cases you wold have to settle for a city wide tag.

    Is this how everybody`s phone works or what? i`m way to confused at this point.
  7. anonymouslurker macrumors regular

    May 16, 2012
    GPS does still work indoors, just not as well.

    Like I said, it'll take those three inputs, and will usually even indoors, come up with a decent fix.

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