IS the iPad good for GPS usage , especially in a car?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by DrKockter, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. DrKockter macrumors member

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    Jun 4, 2012
    #1
    im stuck between the 16gb iPad 3 4G or the 32gb wifi only iPad

    i thought maybe one of the uses i could use 4g was for GPS when i finally get my full licence (as my sense of directions sucks)

    is the iPad an ideal device for gps usage ?
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #2
    iPhone works well for me for navigation, so I would imagine iPad would be even better (larger screen, longer battery life).
     
  3. Husky1992 macrumors regular

    Husky1992

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    #3
    It's not like you're gonna stick it to the glass, I used it a couple of days ago and it was good, btw it's easy getting distracted with fb and stuff and that's not so good:D
     
  4. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #4
    OP, if your sense of direction is that bad, I'd say to get a standalone car GPS, so it's always available (and less likely to get stolen or lost).

    Unless you plan to bring your iPad with you everywhere you go, that is.
     
  5. DrKockter thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    true, i was interested by the fact that the ipad has a larger screen thus seeing ahead of a map of where u want to go
     
  6. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    As far as I am concerned the iPad is great for GPS navigation. Ultimately though it would depend on whether or not you already have a smartphone that has GPS in it. If you do then go with the wifi iPad, if not, get the one with GPS.
     
  7. emuyshondt macrumors member

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    #7
    I use both my iPhone and my iPad for car and airplane navigation. For the car, I actually prefer the iPhone. The iPad is just too big to put in the center console and tends to obstruct various controls. The iPhone is a tad small but is a lot less obtrusive, and most of the time the navigation programs turning instructions include large icons and you don't need a large screen to interpret them. The maps I use in the plane are a lot more detailed and for those the iPad is better. I also have a lot more room to locate the iPad away from other useful controls.

    In terms of GPS performance, both work well for me. I typically don't drive in urban canyons with very tall buildings in close proximity to each other. I don't know if there would be any difference compared to a dedicated unit in an environment like that.
     
  8. DrKockter thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    thanks for your inputs!
     
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #9
    You will pay for monthly access with an iPad. A standalone GPS costs you nothing per month.
     
  10. robopath, Jun 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012

    robopath macrumors regular

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    #10
    The tomtom app is $37 as a one time fee, and you even get the updates. It's far better then any stand alone device I have ever used. No cellular service is needed, therefore no monthly fee is required.
    Edit: looks like the price went up, now it's $50. Other thing to add though is that you can put it on multiple devices, I have it on 3 iphones and an ipad.
     
  11. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    #11
    That's not accurate. You can certainly choose to pay for cellular service as you need it, but you can buy self-contained apps that contain all necessary maps so you don't need a live cellular connection. The GPS works fine without a cellular connection and as long as the required maps are loaded onto your device then you're good to go.
     
  12. emuyshondt macrumors member

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    #12
    There is no monthly fee to use the GPS in the iPad. The Navigon and TomTom apps work pretty much the same as on a standalone GPS and the apps are pretty inexpensive. Just because you get an iPad 3G doesn't mean you are obligated to sign up for a data plan. The data plan is completely optional.

    There are other apps that have off-board maps (the maps are not stored on the device) that offer a service for a monthly fee, but it is not a general statement about navigating with the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. Those apps would require a data plan too. I much prefer to have on-board maps, even though I have an unlimited data plan. I am most likely to need a map where cell coverage is poor or non-existent.

    I also much prefer to use my iDevices for navigation. I carry the devices for their other functions and navigation apps help me not have to carry yet a third dedicated device with its attendant chargers and bulk. There are no functions in the dedicated Garmin/TomTom units I've seen that I miss on my iPad or iPhone.
     
  13. takeshi74, Jun 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    #13
    Yet another subjective matter asked as if it was objective.

    The large screen is nice but without a suitable mount (there are certainly plenty to choose from) for my vehicle or a copilot I don't see it as a practical solution. As with any subjective matter, YMMV. Use it and see for yourself. You can poll all you want but it's real world experience that will definitively answer your question for you.

    Additionally, not all cars are the same. I have one car with no suitable place to mount the iPad. A larger vehicle or a vehicle with more real estate on the dash wouldn't have such a problem.

    Again, subjective matter. Standalone GPS units are not one-size-fits-all solutions.

    Depends on the app being used, not the device itself.

    It goes up and down as it goes on and off sale. IIRC there's a site for tracking app pricing if you want to catch it on sale.

    Not for map data but there are certainly features that require data.
     
  14. BFizzzle macrumors 68020

    BFizzzle

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    #14
    using an ipad while driving is not safe nor wise


    if your logic for the 4g one is for the gps, buy the wifi one, and buy a real gps that is much more accurate and usable. It will be cheaper than the cost difference from a wifi to 4g ipad .... :p
     
  15. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    #15
    How so, exactly? How is it less safe using a nav app on an iPad than it is on an iPhone? Or even a standalone GPS?

    A "real" GPS isn't any more accurate. Consumer GPS is consumer GPS. The 4G iPad and the iPhone have "real" GPS receivers. aGPS is GPS and this is covered in countless prior threads on GPS. A standalone GPS unit may have better reception but reception != accuracy.

    Did the OP state that cheaper was a top concern? Yet another subjective matter. Not everyone wants to deal with yet another device, its accessories, etc.
     
  16. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #16
    I don't think anyone is suggesting that someone carry around an automotive GPS in addition to their phone.

    People with their own vehicles usually leave their auto GPS unit in their car. No need to carry anything. All my vehicles have either a standalone or built-in unit.

    Still, I admit that if I have to look up an address on the fly, I'll hit the button on my Galaxy and verbally ask it to navigate me there. It's easier and safer than trying to search by typing on the standalone GPS. However, I don't always have my phone with me (shocker, I know). I certainly don't drag my iPad everywhere.
     
  17. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    #17
    Google has just announced offline availability of maps for Android (and coming soon to iPhone) so there may be free mapping options that don't suck. Of course the buzz is that Apple will be providing its own mapping with teh new OS update, so we'll see where that leads.
     
  18. r-sparks macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

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    #18
    My iPad 3 seemed to burn through battery life when I tried it, to the extent where I could practically watch the battery percentage tick down. Probably a combined effect of cellular data + keeping the screen illuminated + GPS. The iPhone isn't going to last more than a 3/4 hours when used as GPS but I suspected the iPad would manage maybe an hour or two at most.

    Oh, and in my car (and I imagine most cars) there's nowhere to put it so it can be seen by the driver comfortably and safely :)
     
  19. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Uh, if you're in the car you can get a USB lighter adapter for powering the iPad and there are accessories of all sorts for in-car use:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Arkon-Extendable-Windshield-Mount-for-iPad-2/20434667?findingMethod=rr

    (yes, I know this says iPad 2, but I'm not in the mood to search).
     
  20. r-sparks macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

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    #20
    The iPad 3 has significantly higher power demands than the older iPads. This is a known fact and is down to the new screen. I doubt it will charge from a lighter adapter (remember that under certain high-load usage scenarios it won't even charge from the wall adaptor!) . Even with a mains charger it takes a long time to charge--up to six hours.

    An iPad 3 might keep working via a lighter adapter if its battery is depleted but I haven't tried and I imagine the car's fuel economy will drop through the floor.
     
  21. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    #21
    It's an iPad, not an electric kiln. "Significantly higher" doesn't mean that a car charger won't suffice.
     
  22. drambuie macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    An advantage of the iPad over dedicated GPS, is that if navigating in downtown concrete canyons with iffy GPS reception, you can use the wifi positioning. I have found the wifi positioning to be very accurate in urban locations.
     
  23. r-sparks macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

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    #23
    Actually I took time to do some research and found that you can get 2 amp car chargers, which should suffice. I'd still want to see one actually charging an iPad 3 before I recommended it, however.

    But you're still faced with the fact an iPad 3 takes six hours to charge, which is perhaps longer than the average car journey.
     
  24. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Your original presumption was that it would run off battery alone. A fully charged iPad plugged into a car charger will last an extremely long time (I'd say forever, but I've never tried). I just took a 12-hour road trip with my iPad on Memorial Day weekend. It wasn't plugged into the car charger and I checked the GPS every hour or so (and used it more extensively on my two stops). I was at about 85% when I reached my destination. That's real-life usage, as a GPS it isn't running constantly and teh battery doesn't draw down excessively.
     

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