What Good is the GPS Chip?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by stockcerts, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    How many of you really feel like you currently benefit from the built in GPS? There are several apps that make use of it, but are they really that beneficial? One of the big selling points for me was the GPS as I was anticipating turn by turn software. I do think it is coming, but I'm not sure why it's taking so long. There are several other smartphones that have good GPS software. I am sure that Apple is capable of using a similar (or better) turn by turn solution.
     
  2. spyz88 macrumors regular

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #2
    Except for location based services its fairly useless. I personally think its a waste of battery life and time having to tap through to shut it off.
     
  3. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    #3
    It's useful for me.

    Personally, turn-by-turn would be very nice, but all I need is the ability to track myself and the ability to place routes.
     
  4. vega07 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #4
    yes, I think it's a waste of a chip and time as of now. the whole point of the GPS chip for a phone is for turn by turn directions (for most people at least). location services is ancillary. turn by turn directions should have been implemented first, with location services following as icing on the cake.
     
  5. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

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    Mar 7, 2008
    #5
    Its quite useful for me since some times I have to depend on the app RunKeeper which is a pure Location Service App!
     
  6. bmwpowere36m3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #6
    I feel it a pretty useless, my the time you switch it on and wait for it to come one, then find you, etc... I mean, do you really not know where you are? It's ten times easier just to ask someone :eek:

    Without turn by turn whats the point...
     
  7. fishmd macrumors 68000

    fishmd

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    #7
    My theory on this is that the apps exist and apple has it, but ATT wants to charge for it seperately and they have not come to an agreement on this yet. It is just like with the tethering. There was an app for that that apple passed and then ATT got wind of it and apple had to yank it. Now ATT is in negotiations to allow tethering, but you will pay extra for it.

    Nice ATT, nice. :mad:
     
  8. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    AT&T has no control over the GPS at all...it's only if it's their own software.
     
  9. Churc22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #9
    I use it often when driving in an unfamiliar area. I just turn on Google maps and track myself with the pin...if you can read a map, you can look ahead to see where you need to turn...it helps out a lot. I agree that a turn by turn application would be helpful and more practical, but to call the GPS chip "useless" right now just sounds like someone whining because it doesn't work the way they want it to.
     
  10. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #10
    The big problem for me is, I'm most likely to use the GPS when on holiday abroad; but the data-roaming fees are astronomical.

    Hopefully we'll see the networks coming together on this over time, and reducing data roaming fees as they have done with call-roaming.
     
  11. nparmelee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #11
    We've been using it a lot, for us its been very useful. If we're driving we use the one in the car, but for walking or if we're on the road someplace in a rental car, very useful. We used it in DC a couple of weeks ago, very handy, especially in finding restaurants and getting to them.
     
  12. fishmd macrumors 68000

    fishmd

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    #12
    Exactly, and I think that ATT wants to use their own software and not let us use other third party software for this...Otherwise, why would the third part stuff not be out yet. TomTom said they had it ready to go. The capability is there. Somewhere, behind the scense something is going on that we are not privey to.
     
  13. stockcerts thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 29, 2007
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    San Francisco, CA
    #13
    Personally....I think AT&T is already ripping us for enough cash. They make gobs of dough from the data plan, not to mention all the ancillary fees upon start up!
     
  14. bluenoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    #14
    I am glad it's there and it's not because I was looking for turn-by-turn directions. To me, there are other uses for GPS. One example would be when I park in a large long-term parking lot I can drop a pin at my car's position and easily find it again when I return. Sure I can try to remember, but this works 100% of the time (unlike my memory).

    I enjoy occasional geocaching, too. While I haven't done it in a while, I am sure I will just use my iPhone instead of my old Garmin (which also does not have maps nor can it do turn-by-turn).
     
  15. eplchamps0304 macrumors 6502a

    eplchamps0304

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #15
    it is useful for finding things around you. As a driving guide it's not very useful.
    Without voice directions it's useless for driving IN a strange place.
     
  16. lakaiordie macrumors 65816

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    Jun 17, 2008
    #16
    actually the whole point of a gps is to find out where the hell you are. not turn by turn.
     
  17. stockcerts thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 29, 2007
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    San Francisco, CA
    #17
    I must admit, I like your idea of using it to find your car. I often forget where I park! :confused:
     
  18. Ashyukun macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #18
    I actually find it useful quite often, but then I have to do a lot of traveling around so being able to use the location services programs like Where To? and the map application in general helps me out a lot- especially when I'm in areas where there's limited cell coverage so the non-GPS location capability is greatly decreased.

    I'd be much happier with a program that already had all the maps stored on the phone like a turn-by-turn one would, but as it is I still get a lot of use out of it.
     
  19. huck500 macrumors 6502

    huck500

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Southern California
    #19
    While in Kauai this summer we used our iPhones to find our way around... my wife's 1st gen had trouble in the wilder places, while mine pinpointed an exact location every time. Not useless, I'd say.
     
  20. MadGoat macrumors 65816

    MadGoat

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    The gps is phenominal, it started me on geocaching and was always spot on... then I realized, after a couple of close calls, that it is far to expensive and delicate to use in the woods and swampy areas, so I bought a garmin that's waterproof and can take a beating.

    In it's current state, it will never out do a dedicated garmin (with sirf III chipsets) GPS unit, but it's pretty damn good.

    In complete tree cover, it suffers a lot, while the garmin is never more off than 5-7 meters in complete tree cover.
     
  21. Pennine macrumors 6502

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    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Glossop UK
    #21
    Likewise,I've found it really usefull when I'm not sure where I need to get to
    Turn by turn will be even better
     
  22. icewing macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    St Louis
    #22
    I have a different theory. In using the Maps app while driving around, the current location seems to consistently lag behind where I am. I think Apple decided they were and were going to be under enough heat without releasing these types of apps (either their own or third party) knowing that there were going to be constant complaints about the apps not being "real time", "accurate" etc. From the comments Apple folks have made it sounds like they're trying to tighten up the GPS functionality before they release this stuff. Add to that the amount of time they are having to spend on fixing other big issues, and (hopefully) spending time developing things like cut/copy/paste...well, they only have so much programmer and QA capacity there.

    Personally, the current functionality works pretty well for me, but I rarely drive in unfamiliar locations. I can see how people would really want this capability...hopefully it's coming soon.

    Of course, I want them to get it all done NOW! :D
     
  23. joekun macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #23
    Compared to my nuvi I find it rather useless. I'm hopeful that eventually we'll get something useful to use with it.
     
  24. stockcerts thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #24
    I've never used turn by turn on other smartphones, but the screenshots I've seen look good. Has anyone here had a chance to use GPS turn by turn on another phone? If so, what do you think of it?
     
  25. eplchamps0304 macrumors 6502a

    eplchamps0304

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #25
    I used a friends samsung intinct for this and it was great. Just as good as the Garmin Nuvi 200 i have used.
     

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