Using GPS Overseas (With an U.S. AT&T Iphone)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by vtmikevt, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. vtmikevt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #1
    Has anyone brought their US iPhone overseas and tried to use GPS?

    I am in Belgium in airplane mode and connected to a wifi network (so I have internet access). I have a Blackberry for work with a Google Maps application installed and it can find my location using GPS just fine.

    Anyone have any ideas? The little wheel just keeps spinning.
     
  2. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #2
    Airplane mode might turn off the GPS antenna. So even if you enable wifi separately, gps might still be off.
     
  3. sparkyms macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Location:
    Southampton UK
    #3
    I'm currently in France and cannot use the GPS when connected to wifi. If data roaming is off I guess it might effect the way that AGPS works? Not sure
     
  4. vtmikevt thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #4
    This might be true but I am not so sure. I'm afraid to turn on the antenna though because if anyone has text messaged me since I left, I will receive them and be charged a large amount (correct? - or will that only be if I open them?).

    Can anyone confirm airplane mode disabling GPS?
     
  5. vtmikevt thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #5
    sound like a question for AT&T or Apple? I'll call them and ask.
     
  6. Van Wildonher macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #6
    Airplane mode shuts off the GPS. I was just testing this last night.
     
  7. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    If you're jailbroken you could disable 3G and Edge and try then. You could leave the GPS active then and use the wifi. I don't know how well it'd work, but, in theory it should.

    It kindof sucks that the phones are sim locked... Defeats one of the big benefits of GSM SIM card designs. It'd be great to go to another country, get a PAYG sim and pop it in.
     
  8. vtmikevt thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #8
    So there's no way to enable GPS in airplane mode? I don't want to turn it off. I will get SMS messages and will be charged.
     
  9. ubersalad macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #9
    GPS should work. I loaded a map using WiFi without simcard and then walked out of the range of the WiFi and my GPS was working. Except that it showed up on the blank section of the map, because Google Map isn't stored on the phone, it is downloaded.
     
  10. djjclark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #10
    Airplane mode has to turn off GPS as GPS is not allowed on airplanes. Seems like you should be able to turn off data roaming and use GPS and WiFi together. Apple will probably need to add more modes if planes start allowing wifi or cellular or wierd combinations of both.
     
  11. Van Wildonher macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 29, 2008
  12. vtmikevt thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #12
    Yes wifi in airplane mode works. you just have to turn it back on after going into airplane mode. I suppose it does the same thing with GPS - but unlike wifi there is no GPS on/off option.

    I turned off airplane mode but couldn't get any cell signal ("No Service" displayed). My only conclusion is that since I'm in Europe and haven't made any calls here the GPS relies on cell towers (or at least some sort of memory of cell towers it has used before) to use GPS.

    If anyone has been able to use GPS successfully in Europe (with an AT&T iPhone 3G), please let me know how you got it to work.
     
  13. iCantwait macrumors 65816

    iCantwait

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #13
    take your SIM out then
     
  14. StingerT125 macrumors 6502a

    StingerT125

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Dutchess County New York
    #14
    Does the location services option turn the GPS on/off?
     
  15. vtmikevt thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #15
    Didn't matter because I don't get any service. Is that normal? I'm not really in a big city. Will be near Brussels tonight and see. I turned data roaming off.

    Not sure if that's what it does. Mine is ON regardless.
     
  16. iPhelim, Aug 7, 2008
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  17. vtmikevt thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #17
    Yes that's AT&T for you.

    I'm trying to find someone with an American iPhone with working GPS in Europe. No luck yet.
     
  18. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    Brilliant! Haha
     
  19. vtmikevt thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #19
    GPS In Europe

    By now SOMONE has had to brought their US iphone 3G overseas. Anyone get the GPS to work?
     
  20. aseideman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #20
    GPS won't work either

    I've been in Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and now in India - and gps won't work. I just came across this thread and tried turning off airplane mode and gps still won't work. I'm using an american bought iphone 3g and always making sure i have wifi connectivity before trying gps. I don't have a sim card in the phone, just the plastic place-holder it comes with new. I never got an AT&T contract since I bought this from someone else. I've been using it as a voip phone while traveling with fring and truephone - which both work pretty well but wifi has to be strong.
    Anyway, it's annoying that the gps won't work. Especially when trying to locate myself on google maps or checkin using brightkite app.

    Again, i had been using it with airplane mode on but after reading this post I turned airplane mode off but gps still won't work. I'm standing outside, no buildings in the way.

    Alan
     
  21. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #21
    You guys understand that the iPhone 3G uses A-GPS right? Location Based Services have been around for quite a while but the implementation on the iPhone 3G is not complete as many of you have reported.

    Have any of you used a standalone GPS unit? They need time to aquire the GPS SAT signal(s) and calculate your location. If you only have a GPS option, turn on the Location based service and wait about 3-15 minutes for the location to be aquired.

    A-GPS really depends on several factors if the carrier's network is or is not available to you (no SIM) or no service. Without access to the GPS units located on the Cell Towers and the Assistance Server to process the data and provide it quickly to your iPhone 3G via the cell providers network your ability to find your location is very limited at best and impossible in many areas.

    The WiFi option only works for WiFi locations that have already been mapped an are in the applications database. The original iPhone and the iPhone 3G use the Skyhook location awareness feature.

    Dave
     
  22. tcarcur macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #22
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    I used my iPhone in mexico with no data roaming or wifi and gps worked. but it took more than 4 minutes to show up in maps or in motionx's gps app
    when I was in a wifi connection, it worked faster, even on a new wifi hotspot (not on the db).

    even the gps app (motionx) mentions that it might take up to 15 mins to get a gps signal is you have no service or no wifi.
     
  23. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #23
    You can also submit your WiFi AP location information to Skyhook to have it added to the global DB using the following form. Skyhook provides the basis for the iPhone Location Based Service (LBS) as mentioned earlier.

    http://skyhookwireless.com/howitworks/submit_ap.php

    Dave
     
  24. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Around
    #24
    You might be able to call at&t and block the text messaging while you are away. I did this when I was at Verizon and I went to Mexico so I wouldn't be charged from people texting me. It was .10 a text to receive and .50 to send, and I could stop me from texting but I couldn't stop my friends texting so I just had it blocked for a week.
     
  25. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #25
    With AT&T, when you are overseas, you will pay to receive text messages what you pay to receive them in the US. If you don't have a text plan, you'll pay, I think it's 20 cents per message, just like in the states. If you have a text plan, it'll come out of that bucket. If you have unlimited texts, you don't pay anything for incoming text messages. All outgoing messages are 50 cents each. If only phone calls worked that way....while I was in the UK, I paid $1.29 for an incoming call from an elementary school principal who called the wrong number, thinking I was the parent of a child who apparently curses like a sailor while at school. :rolleyes:

    In regards to GPS overseas, I just got back from London and Berlin and I couldn't get it to work at first. When I arrived in London, I had the London A-Z map on my phone and with data roaming off and WiFi off (but I wasn't in flight mode and was roaming on one of the networks over there), the app would never pick up my location with the GPS and would fail. While walking around London on my first night there, I just happened to find the Regent Street Apple Store (I swear to god I was not even looking for it. I was trying to find the nearby HMV to pick up some Blu-Rays I couldn't find in the US. I think Apple users have a homing device built into their brains). So I went in there and was going to use a computer to find where HMV was, but since all computers were taken, I took out my iPhone, jumped onto their free WiFi and used Google Maps. Using WiFi, Google Maps located me in a second or two, and then from there on out, London A-Z had no issues locating me with the GPS. Once I got to Berlin, I had the same locate issues with the Mappity Berlin application, so I jumped onto the hotel's WiFi network, it located me almost instantly, and then once I turned WiFi back off, it could locate me with GPS.

    GPS units take awhile to get a fix if you turn it off, fly halfway around the world and turn it back on. I even flew from St. Louis to Cleveland, not very far away, with my Garmin nav unit so I wouldn't get lost in the rental car and it took forever to get a fix once I landed. My iPhone thought I was still in St. Louis, so it was trying to get a fix from the GPS satellites that should've been orbiting over St. Louis at that time. It didn't know I was in the UK and to look for those satellites. I think the iPhone location services give up too quickly on the GPS and says it can't locate you. But, once it has a general idea of where you are from using either WiFi or cellular triangulation, the GPS is much quicker since it knows which satellites to look for.
     

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