What do you envision needing/wanting GPS for on iPad?

GratefulMed

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2007
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Was planning on waiting for 3G version of iPad. For work, I have a MiFi card which will give the iPad 3G access regardless of iPad version. Question is, what will I be missing out on if I pull the trigger now and get WiFi version without the GPS component? I can't foresee using the turn-by-turn directions when driving due to the unit's size and, besides, I already have an iPhone. What current and future applications of GPS do any of you think would be nice to have on the iPad?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,360
963
New England
I was absolutely shocked to find out how well Loki http://www.loki.com/findme was able to pinpoint my current location just based on WiFi from my MBP, and the WiFi only iPad supports that technology so you won't be missing out on all that much assuming you stay within populated areas where Loki had coverage.

The WiFi only iPad will know just as much about your location for location based services than an MBP will. Plenty.

B
 

bluehaze013

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2007
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Gps on the wifi works fine for everything except navigation. So I would say if you want to use it for navigation that would be the only reason. I have voice navigation on my phone (everything works off of voice just say navigate to pizza for instance or speak the address) which is way more convenient while driving so I don't really care to have nav on this I don't even use the nav in my car stereo anymore since getting that phone lol
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,355
1
I was absolutely shocked to find out how well Loki http://www.loki.com/findme was able to pinpoint my current location just based on WiFi from my MBP, and the WiFi only iPad supports that technology so you won't be missing out on all that much assuming you stay within populated areas where Loki had coverage.

The WiFi only iPad will know just as much about your location for location based services than an MBP will. Plenty.

B
Just for reference, the location services int he wifi iPad are abou a block and a half more accurate than Loki, for me. I was really surprised how good it was. For anything but GPS turn by turn navigation the wifi model will be good enough I think.
 

bjobes

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2008
168
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Does the compass also play a major role in the 3G version? Sorry I only have the iPhone 3G (less compass).
 

Mark Booth

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
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439
You guys are sadly mistaken! WiFi location services work OK for you now because you are all testing it in a place where you have an internet connection. Namely, the WiFi network in your home or business (or publicly available WiFi). But when you travel up a street, VERY FEW WiFi hotspots are freely open for internet access. YES... WiFi location services (like Skyhook Wireless) might know where those WiFi hotspots are located, but you need access to the internet to get that data!

Once you move away from a WiFi hotspot that allows you access (internet connection), your WiFi-only iPad will be hopelessly inaccurate with regard to location. Me, I want location services to work ANY time I need them, not just when I have access through a WiFi hotspot.

And it's NOT just navigation (turn by turn) apps that need a GPS. One of my all time favorite iPhone apps is Geocaching. Hunt for "treasure" all over the world. And much of that "treasure" is hidden in areas far from WiFi hotspots. Without a GPS in the iPad you can forget about using Geocaching.

As more and more nifty apps come along to take advantage of location services, more and more WiFi-only iPad owners are going to be wishing they had gotten the 3G model instead.

Mark
 

sandman42

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2003
950
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Seattle
Any wi-fi only based location service is dependent on you actually having a usable connection to the internet at the time. Your iPad (or iPod Touch, etc) can always detect the access points around you, but unless you're actually connected to one of them your device won't be able to query the database to triangulate a location. It also needs to pull map data from a server to build you a map. If you're in an area with open, free or otherwise unrestricted wi-fi it will work ok, but if you're in an area where you can't get a data connection to one of the networks it won't work.

(edit: Mark Booth beat me to it)
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
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963
New England
YES... WiFi location services (like Skyhook Wireless) might know where those WiFi hotspots are located, but you need access to the internet to get that data!
True, I was strictly talking about location based Web content and services, which assumes that you are able to get online, and also going on the fact that both I and the OP would likely have our iPhones as well as iPads available if anything that really required GPS was necessary.

Maybe iPhone OS 4 will bring some form of iPad/iPhone tethering? One can always hope...

B
 

GratefulMed

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 3, 2007
15
0
already will have 3G

To clarify, I will definitely have an "always online" experience with the MiFi card so maps and the such will auto-update. I don't act as navigator as a passenger much, so I doubt the iPad will be used for turn-by-turn. I don't geocache. I was more concerned about augmented reality apps or other apps using location services. My guess is that WiFi localization will probably be good enough for almost any such app. Disagreements with that statement? Any ideas about future applications of GPS?
 

rorschach

macrumors 68020
Jul 27, 2003
2,063
587
I don't need it because I have an iPhone. And on the iPhone I mostly use it while I'm out to search for restaurants and whatnot in Maps. It's easier to just let the GPS pinpoint my location than to manually type it in, is all.

The wifi triangulation on the iPad is really good though. It's not Like I'm gonna be whipping this thing out on the street or something anyway.
 

ipoddin

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2004
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Los Angeles
I don't need it because I have an iPhone. And on the iPhone I mostly use it while I'm out to search for restaurants and whatnot in Maps. It's easier to just let the GPS pinpoint my location than to manually type it in, is all.

The wifi triangulation on the iPad is really good though. It's not Like I'm gonna be whipping this thing out on the street or something anyway.
Agreed. The triangulation works great. My iPhone is always with me and is less conspicuous to pull out and search for something nearby.