Questions about GPS

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by AdventurousJosh, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. AdventurousJosh macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    Hey guys,
    so i am curious to understand the limitations and extent of the Apple watch 2 gps functions. I travel abroad an awful lot, i read the apple watch 2 dos function does not work overseas as a standalone, but I'm curious as to why if you are able to track your run, or even your hike in the wilderness using an app on your watch all without having to stay chained to your phone.

    I know searching businesses require data, but if i were standing in london wearing my watch and hit the maps button (lets say my phone is off) will i be able to see a drop down view of my location using Maps? if not, why?

    Thank you!
  2. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    The GPS feature on the AWS2 simply gives the watch latitude and longitude. There are lots of ways that device can use latitude and longitude. The two most common are activity tracking and mapping (or navigation). The AWS2 uses the GPS coordinates to track you during fitness to tell you speed and then later show you a map of where you were.

    The other feature, mapping, requires that the device contain map data. If you are offline, then this must be stored locally. If you are on the Internet, it could pull the data down dynamically to display a map. To my knowledge, the AWS2 does not support mapping with GPS. But someone could produce an app that locally downloads and caches map data to the AWS2 for mapping.
  3. AdventurousJosh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    Thank you for the reply!
    an by 'stored locally' that means either from iPhone or can the watch store map information itself?
    would you be able to turn the map app on, and see the blue dot that indicates where you are, if you phone is off and you are standing in Tokyo? Not asking for directions or search of any kind. thats would tell me a lot about how it works.

  4. KrisLord macrumors 65832

    Sep 12, 2008
    Northumberland, UK
    No one has one to confirm for sure, so this is just a guess...

    Maps on the watch would have a small amount of cached data stored. If you lost cellular data on your phone it would show you where you are on the map until you moved outside of the range of the cached data.

    If you left your phone at home, travelled miles from where you last used maps then there'd be no cached data and so no possibility of maps working.

    It's worth noting that google maps on iPhone allows maps to be stored on the phone to avoid data charges. It's possible they could update their app so the watch can do something similar.
  5. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    "Stored locally" means that the watch itself has a file on it with map data. Then, when it gets location from the GPS chip, it could display a street map with a dot do indicate your location.

    Currently, the phone does not even store map data locally (unless you have enabled caching in a map app). So, if you turn of WiFi and LTE, your phone cannot display a map. The watch is the same way today.

    In the future, maybe someone will create an app for the watch that can download selected map data so that it could show your location without the phone nearby. But, map data are very large files, so you would have to either tell the watch app which region you want, or the memory in the watch would have to be many-fold larger than it is today to store global map data.
  6. AdventurousJosh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    That makes sense, however how does view ranger work then? I understand its a map app, but being from alaska when you hike its basically as if your phone would have wifi turned off with no cellular. yet heres the demonstration of it working, does this app only work when your phone is nearby?

    How are they tracking so detailed with no service
  7. blwade macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2014
    Are the hikes stored locally on the watch?

    If so, that would make sense... you choose the hike you want and it pulls up the map for that hike. Then uses your GPS coordinates to help determine where you are based off the theorized locations on the local map.
  8. AdventurousJosh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    Yeah I'm unsure. Really confused, hope someone gets the watch and clears these questions!

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7 September 13, 2016