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Need active 3G serv for GPS?

DotCom2

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 22, 2009
4,770
3,275
I currently own the WiFi model but am thinking of getting the 3G model for the GPS feature but what I want to know is do I need to have the 3G service activated in order to take advantage of the GPS or does the fact that it has the GPS chip in it enough to give me at least some sort of guidance?
 

Batt

macrumors 65816
Dec 17, 2007
1,234
4
Syracuse, NY
I currently own the WiFi model but am thinking of getting the 3G model for the GPS feature but what I want to know is do I need to have the 3G service activated in order to take advantage of the GPS or does the fact that it has the GPS chip in it enough to give me at least some sort of guidance?

This.
 
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billyzenme

macrumors member
Dec 21, 2009
80
0
if you already have preloaded maps like Navigon and TomTom, then you do not need 3G service to use the GPS in your iPad 3G.
 
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DotCom2

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 22, 2009
4,770
3,275
if you already have preloaded maps like Navigon and TomTom, then you do not need 3G service to use the GPS in your iPad 3G.

I do not have maps loaded like Navigon or TomTom since I only have the Wifi version but if that is the requirement for having GPS traking without having to activate the 3G service, it's worth looking into.
Thank you.
 
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virtualandy

macrumors newbie
May 25, 2010
27
2
I guess I just need to try this on my iphone, buuut...

Can you open a GPS app w/out the 3G service and see your location/altitude? I forget if you can w/ the iphone on airplane mode.

Starting to get wifi-only remorse, if the GPS works great even without 3G i'll probably return it and make the switch.
 
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The General

macrumors 601
Jul 7, 2006
4,825
1
iPad 3G has Assisted GPS.

You will need some sort of data connection. GPRS, EDGE, 3G, doesn't matter. That's how Assisted GPS works. It asks the cell towers which satellites are in view, where they are, what frequencies they are transmitting on, etc, and then trilaterates its possition using that information.

The GPS will not work without a data connection to the cell towers. WiFi will not do.
 
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Type121

macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2004
150
0
Northeast
iPad 3G has Assisted GPS.

You will need some sort of data connection. GPRS, EDGE, 3G, doesn't matter. That's how Assisted GPS works. It asks the cell towers which satellites are in view, where they are, what frequencies they are transmitting on, etc, and then trilaterates its possition using that information.

The GPS will not work without a data connection to the cell towers. WiFi will not do.

No, the iPad can derive a fix without the connection. It will just take longer, several minutes longer in the case of a cold start. All the necessary info is transmitted by the satellites. The "assisted" part of the GPS just downloads the ephemeris data over the air much more quickly than if the GPS chip has to pull it from the very slow GPS signal.
 
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billyzenme

macrumors member
Dec 21, 2009
80
0
No, the iPad can derive a fix without the connection. It will just take longer, several minutes longer in the case of a cold start. All the necessary info is transmitted by the satellites. The "assisted" part of the GPS just downloads the ephemeris data over the air much more quickly than if the GPS chip has to pull it from the very slow GPS signal.

correct.
 
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jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,979
526
You do NOT need 3G service to use the GPS on iPad 3G.

The point the poster above was making about navigation apps is that they will not work without 3G service if they need to download maps on-the-fly. Apps that have the maps pre-installed will work just fine.

The GPS chipset on iPad is so superior to that on iPhone (even without 3G assistance) that it is both faster to get a fix (even unassisted) and more accurate than iPhone (at least vs. my iPhone 3G model. May be different with 3GS.)

BTW, I have an iPhone 3G, an iPad 3G, and am developing a location-aware app.
 
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carpets

macrumors member
Jul 11, 2008
41
0
Warwickshire, UK.
You do NOT need 3G service to use the GPS on iPad 3G.

The point the poster above was making about navigation apps is that they will not work without 3G service if they need to download maps on-the-fly. Apps that have the maps pre-installed will work just fine.

The GPS chipset on iPad is so superior to that on iPhone (even without 3G assistance) that it is both faster to get a fix (even unassisted) and more accurate than iPhone (at least vs. my iPhone 3G model. May be different with 3GS.)

BTW, I have an iPhone 3G, an iPad 3G, and am developing a location-aware app.

As I understand it, even without a sim card in the iPad, it will still be able to get a signal from the cell towers and speed up finding your exact location.

If you think about it, any mobile phone can make an emergency call even without a sim card inside.;)
 
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kaelell

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2009
346
0
As I understand it, even without a sim card in the iPad, it will still be able to get a signal from the cell towers and speed up finding your exact location.

If you think about it, any mobile phone can make an emergency call even without a sim card inside.;)

but its not a phone :p
 
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T4R06

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2007
1,211
74
CT
When using as gps my iPad is on airplane mode to save a little battery.

So yes, our iPad 3G has a chip built-in inside. Sorry wifi folks...
 
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AndyfromTucson

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2010
62
1
I have an iPad 3G where I have never turned on the 3G. The other day I used the built-in Maps app to look at maps for my surrounding area at a number of zoom levels. Then I took the iPad along while my wife and I drove some errands. Even without any data connection at all I was able to see the maps I had viewed previously in Maps app and track our position on the maps using GPS. It seemed like the Maps app caches maps for offline use? At least for a while? Has anyone else seen this?
 
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redman042

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2008
2,949
1,401
I have an iPad 3G where I have never turned on the 3G. The other day I used the built-in Maps app to look at maps for my surrounding area at a number of zoom levels. Then I took the iPad along while my wife and I drove some errands. Even without any data connection at all I was able to see the maps I had viewed previously in Maps app and track our position on the maps using GPS. It seemed like the Maps app caches maps for offline use? At least for a while? Has anyone else seen this?

Yes this is true.
 
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