Want to use GPS in foreign country, don't want to pay AT&T

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Earendil, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    I've spent the last 30 minutes trying to find an answer to the following question without luck:

    I want to be able to use my iPhone's GPS while in another country, and NOT use or get charged for any cell network calls/texts/traffic/data/etc. Is this possible?

    All I know for sure is that:
    1. "Airplane mode" guarantees what I want, but also disables GPS.
    2. Without airplane mode, all the other "Disables" tend to not cover everything that you think they do.

    For example, I see reports of people turning off cell data and roaming, but get charged when their phone receives a voicemail (even if they don't listen to it). So can anyone tell me what's possible here?

    As an aside, wtf is with disabling GPS in airplane mode? It's a passive sensor, it does not transmit afaik, right?
  2. d3vilsadvocate macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2012
    I have a Swiss Iphone and was using the TomTom + GPS in Spain while having data roaming disabled. But you won't be able to use the official map app without an active data connection.
  3. nessaussie macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2012
    Depending on the GPS App you're using, you should be able to up-load map data across a WiFi connection that covers the area you're traveling in for the day.

    The App should then just be able to use ground-based triangulation between carrier network towers to give you an accurate position as you travel around.

    Note that without live access to map data, zooming in and out may be slowed and some data may not be available.

    Depending on the network of carrier towers in the area you're traveling in, this can be quite an effective solution.

    The reason GPS is disabled in Airplane Mode is so there's no Radio Frequency transmission to the device ;-)


  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
  5. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Airplane mode then turn on GPS. Simple.

    Then use Navigon or similar app that already has maps downloaded

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