WiFi only iPad does have GPS...sorta

Discussion in 'iPad' started by DotCom2, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. DotCom2 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #1
    This from the new iPad page on Apple site:

    "...iPad with Wi-Fi finds your location using known Wi-Fi hotspots, and Wi-Fi + 3G models use Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular towers. So you can get routes, get directions, and get there in no time."

    That's soooo kewl!
    So location aware App's can still be used on the Wifi only version of the iPad!
    FABULOUS!:D
     
  2. ac4lt macrumors member

    ac4lt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Broadlands, VA
    #2
    True, though navigation apps won't work.
     
  3. DotCom2 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #3
    I know, but that's better than nothin'!!!
     
  4. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #4
    We actually knew that since iPhone OG has the same thing :). Problem is, some places on Wifi don't actually know where you are :-(.

    I'll be waiting for the 3G one.
     
  5. DotCom2 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #5
    Oh.
    Thanks for bursting my bubble! :(
     
  6. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    That's not "sorta" GPS since GPS is satellite based. It's not even "sorta" cell tower triangulation which would be the next best way of locating where you are. That is just approximating where you are if the WiFi you are on is a known location. As soon as you leave the WiFi your iPad no longer has any idea where you are.
     
  7. zipa macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    #7
    And given that 99,99 % (just me guessing) of all WiFi hotspots have no clue about their location, you can imagine how useful that will be...
     
  8. goobot macrumors 603

    goobot

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    long island NY
    #8
    its the same as the ipod touch. its nothing at all. dont get your hopes up.
     
  9. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #9
    It does work quite well if the hotspot you are connected to has been tracked. It's not just public hotspots that get tagged, either: My WiFi router at home got added to the database at some time as it started locating us at home properly. However, we subsequently moved and the database hasn't been updated. Now, if my daughter goes to maps on her iPod touch in the house and tracks her location, it thinks she's near our old house!
     
  10. zipa macrumors 65816

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    Feb 19, 2010
    #10
    Huh? Care to elaborate on this?
     
  11. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #11
    Location services overWiFi use the WiFi positioning service from SkyHook, which uses the Mac address of WiFi routers it's tracked to estimate your location
    There's more information on how it all works at Skyhook's site here.
    I don't know if my router got added as part of a general sweep of the area or if someone in the house (it could even have been me!) used the Submit an Access point option on that page to get it added to the database
     
  12. zipa macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    #12
    Interesting. I'm not sure, but I could imagine that this would in fact be illegal, if they are triangulating private WiFi basestations without consent.

    EDIT: Reading further into the privacy statement, it would seem that they are not trying to pinpoint the location of the WiFi basestation, but are rather mapping signal strengths from different stations to a certain location. While this data could be used (if it would fall into the "wrong hands") to locate a certain base station, it is a lot more anonymous than recording that my WiFi router sits on the second floor of <insert address here>.
     
  13. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #13
    The service used by the Apple mobile devices is called Skyhook. Once your access point gets logged by Skyhook (there are apps that do the logging) your location will show up on the phone/touch/iPad.

    It's certainly not the best system. Go back and look at the complaints from the original iPhone days. There's also a quirk that if someone moves and sets up their access point somewhere else you will be incorrectly identified in the wrong location. I had that happen to me with the original iPhone. Someone apparently moved between states. The phone latched onto a access point and put me more than a thousand miles away from my actual location.
     

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