True GPS or Triangulation on iPhone 4??

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by JLEW700, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. JLEW700 macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2008
    Does the iPhone 4 use true gps or triangulation?
  2. jlpoore89 macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2009
    Beaumont, Texas
    It uses aGPS, which uses to cell towers and wifi networks to narrow down your location and then it uses GPS satellites to find your exact location. This process allows a GPS lock to be acquired faster than standard GPS using only satellites.

    And by the way all GPS services of any kind use triangulation to calculate your location. To find an exact point in 3D space (X,Y,Z coordinate plane...Z is used for elevation and X and Y are latitude and longitude) a signal must be acquired from at least 3 satellites (or cell towers or wifi networks) for lat and long and 4 satellites if elevation is calculated as well.
  3. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

    Jun 16, 2009
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    This is true, and in addition the assisted GPS also allows for the GPS to be used indoors and outside in areas where plain GPS would have difficulty like in urban canyons and heavily leafed woodlands. It is not as accurate as unassisted GPS, but it is usable.

    Last week when I was in Chicago and got lost downtown my iPhone said it had a weak signal, but it still kept a good enough track on me that my TomTom navigation app was able to guide me to where I wanted to go.
  4. vertigo235 macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2009
  5. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Gentlemen, let's be clear, as Apple confused the definition back when the first iPhone had no GPS chip.

    Cell tower and WiFi triangulation are not what defines A-GPS, because even without the first two the phone still has A-GPS. They are three separate locating methods, the first two being used when either the GPS isn't ready yet or its accuracy isn't required.

    Assisted-GPS in the case of the iPhone means a standalone GPS receiver, with host software that can go on the Internet to almost instantly download current satellite information and thus get a quicker fix, instead of spending twelve or more minutes downloading the orbit info from the satellites themselves.
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Yep, like mentioned above.
    It has a real GPS chip inside.
  7. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    You need 4 satellites to get a proper fix. 3 satellites will give you an exact space co-ordinate on Earth*, and you need the 4th as a 'time keeper' (since GPS systems use time differences to get your position).

    (If you want to get technical, you'll actually get 2 distinct points from the 3 satellites, but one of them is either way out in space, or deep underground...)
  8. itsmemuffins macrumors 68030


    Jun 23, 2010
    BTW the iP4 can pick up a GPS signal very fast without the need for a data connection.
  9. millvalley macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    GPS for IPHONE

    Simple answer is YES, however, it is better than most GPS because it has Assist.
    I think you are confused because it does not always have maps associated with where you might be, for example, if you are in the wilderness somewhere without cell towers and did not previously download maps for that area nothing will show up in the app...but it will pinpoint your position, but without maps.
    Assist, uses the data services to, on the fly, download maps and minimize any GPS gaps due to interference.
    In other words, you need to pre-load maps if you think you are going to an area without data services (no cell towers).:)
  10. Pomeless macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2010
    Anyway you cut it this is scary technology for someone who want to disappear.
  11. RagnarokRed macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2010
    If someone wanted to disappear, they shouldn't be carrying along a cell phone in the first place :p
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Speaks volumes of truth. However what others have said, the GPS is assisted in a small way when in the middle of an urban jungle by Wi-Fi and Cell Towers. However, the aGPS meaning comes from what kdarling said.
  13. zephxiii macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2010
    I just know that the iPhone4's GPS seems to be more accurate than the 3GS's.

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