iPhone + iPhone GPS for backpacking across europe?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sweener88, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Sweener88 macrumors 6502

    Sweener88

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Im EVERYWHERE!
    #1
    Hi everyone!

    Im about to graduate from university here in Canada and am planning on backpacking in europe over the summer. My Bell Mobility plan recently ended so im using an old "dumb" phone that's many years old. I dont want to get an iPhone plan here because I am expecting to go on this big trip and plan to get an iPhone and unlock it so that i can pop in sim cards as i go in europe (not sure if this is even possible). My two questions are:

    1. Can i buy an iphone, unlock it and get different sim cards and pop them in my iPhone as i travel once im in europe? (Starting in the UK and working my way east if that helps)

    2. Can I use the GPS that is built into the iPhone, regardless of whether or not I have a sim card in the iPhone to use as my map/route system?

    Thank you all for the help!

    Sincerely,
    Taylor
     
  2. Trauma1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
  3. Kyotoma macrumors 68000

    Kyotoma

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Carnegie and Ontario
    #3
    1. Yes.
    2. If you find an app that stores map data, sure. I don't see why not.
     
  4. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    Buy a factory unlocked phone to save yourself any grief.
    OR
    Buy an iPad 3G for your travels, want a phone add AcroBits and a Bluetooth headset.
     
  5. Sweener88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sweener88

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Im EVERYWHERE!
    #5
    Thanks for the replies! so the gps in the iPhone ONLY works with a sim card + data plan/wifi (refering to first response)? and do you have any suggestions on buying a factory unlocked iPhone?

    Thanks everyone :)
     
  6. Ksizzle9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    U may not need the sim card if the phone is activated and the map app stores data
     
  7. Trauma1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #7
    GPS and maps/navigation systems are two separate pieces.

    All GPS does is provide latitude and longitude, that's it. Unless you have a paper map in your hand, these two numbers by themselves are pretty much useless.

    A map or navigation system (like Google Maps, Navigon, TomTom, etc) will use those coordinates and give you relevant maps, directions, nearby points of interest, etc. The map/navigation app is what it sounds like you are interested in. The Google Maps that's on the phone will not work without data, whether it be from Wi-Fi or through cellular data (in which case you would need a SIM with appropriate data plan). Chances are that if it's free, it relies on the internet.

    Navigon just recently updated their app to including offline use for the US. I'm not sure about if the European version supports offline use, but it is $70 USD.
     
  8. Sweener88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sweener88

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Im EVERYWHERE!
    #8
    Okay perfect! so what i could do is download an app that stores the map data and even i dont have a sim card i can still use the maps (based on the stored app data) to get around. Then, if i need to make phone calls i can get a sim card while im overseas. The main thing is knowing that I can use the iphone like a gps system to find my way using apps that have data or the unreliable times that I can find free wifi.
     

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