Why is GPS in an iPod touch unrealistic?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by thermal, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. thermal macrumors regular

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    Vancouver, Canada
    #1
    A relative visited from out of town recently, and he showed me his new Garmin GPS. It's about the size & shape of an iPod touch. We used the Garmin while driving one day (with no wifi in sight), and it proved to be amazingly useful.

    If they can fit satelite GPS in a wristwatch, why would it be unrealistic to have an iPod touch with GPS?
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #2
    GPS in the iPod touch would be sweet. Very feasible.
     
  3. gatepc macrumors 6502

    gatepc

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    #3
    I don't think it is unrealistic from a hardware/price point of view and honestly can't find anything wrong with them putting in there. I would also Love an iPod Touch with a GPS that would be a major selling point for me.
     
  4. tdgrn macrumors 6502

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    Little Rock, AR
    #4
    the problem with it right now is that since it is an ipod and not a phone, it does not have a data connection to download maps on the go...
    With the current implementation of maps, it relies on google maps to download as you go, saving your space on your device
     
  5. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #5
    Maps yes, GPS turn-by-turn no. Turn-by-turn GPS apps MUST provide their own map tiles. It's in the SDK terms of service so all the cool GPS apps coming out now like the Navigon series have all the maps pre-installed. They're bigger apps, the Aussie one is 218MB but there's no need for any data connection.
     
  6. gatepc macrumors 6502

    gatepc

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    #6
    This has been discussed a thousand times. If the maps are downloaded ahead of time onto the devices storage device then there is no need for wifi or 3g as long as it has a GPS chip. how do you think Garmins get GPS maps? many of them don't have wifi or a data connection
     
  7. CactusChef macrumors member

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    #7
    If a GPS might seem unrealistic, do you think its a possibility we might see a compass; that doesn't require anything do with satellites.
     
  8. andybno1 macrumors 68040

    andybno1

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    #8
    the reason it seems unrealistic is because you would need a wifi connection the whole time your using the maps app as it would need to download the next bit of map.

    unless there is a mapp app out there that stores maps on the iPod, offlinemaps used to be great for this but they haven't made an app that works with 3.0
     
  9. CactusChef macrumors member

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    #9
    That was the reason why I asked about a compass, that wouldnt require WiFi; just a position sensor in the touch.
     
  10. andybno1 macrumors 68040

    andybno1

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    #10
    the compass app I believe is an actual compass nothin to do with sensors or wifi or 3g

     
  11. CactusChef macrumors member

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    #11
    So that does seem feasible that we would be seeing that, no?
     
  12. gatepc macrumors 6502

    gatepc

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    #12
    Correct me if I am wrong ( and I may be ) but doesn't Navigon's app work on 3.0? It stores its maps on the iPhone's hdd and could do the same with a iPod Touch.
     
  13. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 11, 2008
    #13
    You mean like the Navingon app already does, and like the tomtom one will?

    This talk about needing to download maps all the time is a red herring basted in rich fail sauce.

    The only possible reason why a phone/data connection might be a requirement is for assisted GPS, which uses cell positioning to help improve GPS performance - this is common in all smartphones that offer GPS though obviously the dedicated GPS devices manage without it...
     
  14. atljogger macrumors member

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    May 5, 2008
    #14

    It sounds like it is possible to install GPS in the Touch at little cost. The question is will Apple do it. I think it is in Apple's interest to keep the Touch and the Iphone differentiated as much as possible. I think there will be a camera in the next Touch; I am less confident about mic/voice command and turn-by-turn GPS. That just means less reason to buy an Iphone, especially if you can get Skype to work. Apple wants people to sign up for 2-year cell contract in addition to purchasing Iphone.
     
  15. andybno1 macrumors 68040

    andybno1

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    #15
    it's not "fail sauce" I did say "unless there is a map app out there that stores maps on the iPod" you know since I don't actually dabble in gps apps (having an iPod touch and never having a need for sat nav) I could not give a definate answer so try being clever elsewhere ;)

    CactusChef: it could be a possibility you never know what apple will add till they announce it
     
  16. crackbookpro macrumors 65816

    crackbookpro

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    #16
    If you are talking about the GPS module being a dedicated GPS???

    I would say no, because of what lies in the GPS module found in the present iPhone 3G & 3Gs...

    Assisted GPS helps the current GPS be a feasible mobile GPS solution in speed, recovery, and accuracy. I do not see the GPS in the present iPhone 3G & 3Gs as a dedicated GPS with a satisfactory signal. The antennae and GPS module are not spec'd to be a strong independent GPS! - which is one of the main reasons why AGPS is the key, and makes this GPS "sing" in the iPhone 3G & 3Gs...

    I see the iPhone as a location-aware phone with it being independent (with its' hardware)... But, with the new apps from Navigon, and the adapter by TomTom (etc) - I can see how people believe this a "true" GPS module. But, Navigon still uses AGPS, and TomTom will have an adapter that provides a more secure GPS receiver.... So, the iPhone's GPS module does not qualify to be a true & secure dedicated GPS... it has a low quality satellite signal! - as Apple obviously knows. A lot of people will beg to differ, solely on what is justifiable as a dedicated GPS. That could be a thread in itself... ;)

    Overall, I think the dedicated GPS would be subpar if they spec the new Touch's GPS to be the same in hardware as the iPhone 3G & 3Gs. I think it will come one day, but not this year. If the dedicated GPS is subpar on the new Touch, I truly believe that is a bad business model to take. Apple does not do well with 'subpar' products. My true reasons to believe they will implement this, is for app sales. There will be more app sales, especially with GeoTagging being a big request when the new Touch comes with a camera. But, overall, in my honest opinion, the only way Apple will release a GPS in the new Touch... is when they figure out the iPhone's GPS to be a true dedicated GPS!!!

    I still think the iPhone is a location-aware device... and, more or less, the GPS will come in a Touch when the iPhone gets a true dedicated GPS with quality satellite signal strength.

    CrackBookPro:cool:
     
  17. MTI macrumors 65816

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    Scottsdale, AZ
    #17
    Presumably the next gen Touch will include the $10 still/video camera unit, which logically means that it should also have a microphone for the video . . . and GPS for geo-tagging the photos for iPhoto, yes?
     
  18. itouch rulz macrumors regular

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    #18
    I'm with MTI. If they put a camera in the itouch they will put a GPS module in there for geo-tagging. They made a big thing about this geo-tagging for the new iphoto when it was released so they will use it. Same goes for new nanos if they have cameras.

    Once the GPS module is included apps will be developed that use it. I have a tomtom for the car which has a tiny amount of memory (1 gig I think) and it stores maps for all of Australia (which is something like 7.5million sq kms) and there is room to spare (info includes all lanes of roads, speed limits, speed and red light camera locations and points of interest). To save even more space, there could easily be an option to just download your current city or state if that's what you want (and use 99% of the time) and you could just add extra cities/states/countries if you were to go traveling.
     
  19. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #19
    AGPS would be helpful but certainly not necessary.

    Since AGPS would be unavailable on an iPod Touch, Apple could implement something like what Garmin has in their latest models, something called Hot Fix. GPS takes awhile to initially locate you because it has to find the satellites in the sky (4 minimum, but more satellites increases accuracy). Without any help whatsoever, this can take a couple minutes. AGPS equipped phones use the data network to query an AGPS server and download the current locations of the satellites so it knows where to look and can lock on in a few seconds.

    Garmin units, since they have no data connection, use Hot Fix. The first time you turn it on, it will do some searching and will take awhile to find the satellites. But, once that is done, the next time you turn the GPS on, it can use your last known position (and it assumes you haven't moved since then) and the current time (it sets the clock from the satellites but has a battery to keep the time when powered off) to calculate the satellites' positions in the sky. My Garmin Nuvi has this feature and it finds satellites in a few seconds, it's about as quick as my iPhone does. The only time Hot Fix fails is if you don't turn the GPS on for a long time (I think a week) or if you move it a great distance while it's turned off and then turn it on, such as bringing it on a plane with you and turning it on at your destination, since your last known position is nowhere near your current position, then it will have to search and take a few minutes.

    Apple could easily implement something like that to make up for the absence of AGPS. One flaw is that an iPod Touch is likely to be moved around with the GPS turned off more than a standalone unit (My Nuvi almost never leaves my car) so last known positions may not be accurate all the time, hence, requiring a lengthy search, but it would be better than nothing.
     
  20. itouch rulz macrumors regular

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    Sep 3, 2008
    #20
    The tomtom system is similar to what yg17 describes for garmin. What it does is if you plug your tomtom into your computer to update things such as user generated mapshare items or download a new voice/map/whatever, it also automatically downloads a small log file that tells it where all the gps sats will be for the next week. This means it can get a quick fix for that week.

    With an itouch, the same could be implemented as presumably most people would plug their itouch into their computer to charge or sync itunes content at least once per week (or use wifi). I'm not sure that apple would go to such lengths but it is definitely technically possible without being continuously connected by wifi or a mobile network.
     
  21. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #21
    The Garmin doesn't require a computer connection, but since the iTouch will likely be connected to a computer frequently, that's another option for it, just include GPS data with the iTunes sync.
     
  22. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #22
    Because AT&T won't allow it... :eek:

    :D
     
  23. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    Jan 11, 2007
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    North Central Florida
    #23
    But they are no longer getting a share of the monthly fee, just the upfront phone cost from the carriers (is this true for ALL carriers worldwide?).

    The fact being, if you need a PHONE, and the carrier works for you, you will be apt to buy an iPhone.

    If you don't, you look at the Touch.

    Skype can't replace a phone unless everywhere you go there is wi-fi. Using a device such as MiFi is just like trading the iPhone Data plan for the MiFi plan.... what is the difference cost wise?

    I'd like to see the devices equal in features.... because the addition of a phone does nothing for me - and i'm so NOT moving to ATT just to get GPS.
     
  24. Hayduke60 macrumors regular

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    Mar 2, 2009
    #24
    There would also be a need for jamming an antenna for the gps into the case, or at least the option of hooking up an external one.
     
  25. jruc4871 macrumors regular

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    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #25
    Tangential question...

    If I download a turn-by-turn GPS app on my iPhone, will I be able to use it overseas without racking up crazy data charges?

    In other words, I'd like to turn off auto-roaming and still be able to use GPS. I realize this isn't possible with Google maps b/c of the downloading maps issue.
     

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