WiFi-only = No GPS

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Mark Booth, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Mark Booth macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    How many people are going to buy the WiFi-only version of the iPad and then later be disappointed that their iPad doesn't have a GPS?

    The original iPhone didn't have a GPS. To use location services, the original iPhone had to rely on WiFi locations (known WiFi hotspots tracked and identified by location) and cellular tower triangulation. When I first got my original iPhone, my Airport Base Station was a "known" location because the company Apple contracted with for WiFi location services had driven up my street at some point prior and identified my Airport Base Station's location. So, when I used Maps on the original iPhone and touched the locate button, it showed the location as my own front yard. HOWEVER... I replaced my Airport Base Station a few months later and that base station's ID wasn't known to the WiFi hotspot location services so, when I attempted to locate myself on my original iPhone after that, it placed me two blocks up the street. It was relying on cellular triangulation only.

    Enter the WiFi-only iPad... It not only doesn't have a GPS, it doesn't have a cellular connection. It has to entirely rely on WiFi hotspot location. And if there's not a WiFi hotspot nearby, location services can't work very well.

    Maybe this fact isn't a big deal to many iPad buyers? But I expect we are going to see a lot of great GPS and location-aware apps for the iPad and it seems logical that those apps are going to work a LOT better on the 3G version of the iPad (with GPS). In fact, some (most?) GPS/location-aware apps might REQUIRE the 3G version of the iPad.

    Are we going to see a bunch of disappointed WiFi-only iPad owners?

  2. GeekLawyer macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2007
    The post is coming from inside the house!
    Not a big deal. I have an iPhone 3GS in my pocket.

    If I'm heartbroken, I'll buy the 3G model in May.
  3. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    Nope. I hardly ever use 3G data on my iPhone the way it is (I essentially pay $30 a month for about 250mb of incoming/outgoing data combined... max). I'm almost always around Wi-Fi. When I'm not around Wi-Fi, I can use my iPhone for 3G/GPS if need be.
  4. msduncan macrumors 6502

    Jan 27, 2010

    I have never been given an answer to this question. Unless I miss my guess, you will not be able to answer it either:

    Besides a proper GPS program (navigation), what GPS aware apps will I be missing out on other than the occasional GPS tagged twitter message?
  5. Sleazy E macrumors 65816

    Sleazy E

    Nov 24, 2009
    i do not need GPS in my ipad as it will basically live its life on my coffee table ;).

    i have an iPhone. thats enough GPS for me.
  6. LadyHoneyBabe macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2010
    It doesn't bother me because, I have GPS in my car and a portable gps if I need that.
  7. MiguelS macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2010
    San Jose
    my cars have GPS and my Sprint Phone has Sprint Navigation.

    I ordered the 3G version though.
  8. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Around Me

    Just about any of the astronomy apps available now. (They use both GPS and compass.)

    You won't be able to find yourself on the Google Map.

    You won't be able to use the Google Local portion of the Google app

    Many of the streaming radio apps auto set a station list based on your location and they attempt to be location aware

    Many of the social networking apps are location aware to connect you with your friends or such as Foursquare announce where you are.
  9. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    Well, without a good GPS fix, how can you ask the MAPS app to find the closest McDonald's or the closest book store or the closest library, etc.?

    There are also apps like Geocaching. It's not an navigation app, per se. But without a GPS and accurate fix on location, it is pretty much worthless.

    Granted, both MAPS and Geocaching also need a data connection for many of their functions. So, if you aren't at a WiFi hotspot already, the WiFi-only iPad can't use them effectively. So, it seems obvious that Apple figured out that GPS and full-time data (eg, 3G connection) pretty much go hand in hand.

    But after owning an original iPhone, then the iPhone 3G and now the iPhone 3GS, I've grown accustomed to the better location services of the later two. I can't image not having them on the iPad. Well worth the extra $130, the extra wait and the $14.99 per month.

  10. chriszzz macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2008
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Oh no, I can't mount my iPad in my car and use it for navigation…

    Seriously though, I would if it had a GPS.
  12. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    It's probably not new information to most of the geeks of the world. Certainly not new information to anyone that has been living & breathing this forum since the end of January. But out in the "real world", I think there are plenty of folks that think all they are giving up by not getting the 3G model is just the 3G capability. So my question remains, how many are going to be disappointed?

  13. BruiserBear macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2008
    I'm still trying to wrap my head around who wants GPS on the iPad. I completely get it being in the iPhone, but the iPad?

    Do people really envision themselves hauling a device this large around with them everywhere they go? I just don't see it happening. If you have an iPhone you're set as far as handheld GPS goes. It's kind of silly on the iPad.
  14. flyguy206 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2008
    The people that don't know about the ipad now won't care about gps.
  15. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    i plan on hauling the ipad around with me everywhere. it has 90% of what i want from a macbook and is half the weight/size of a netbook for portability. it's my dream hauler so to speak ;)
  16. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    I could see business people who take a lot of trips wanting it. GPS for maps-- either driving or looking for restaurants around their hotel. Maybe they're forced to have a blackberry for work so don't have GPS on an iPhone.
  17. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    There can be no doubt, I love my iPhone. I can't imagine not having one with me. However, there are MANY times that I wish my iPhone had a bigger screen. And not just for watching movies.

    Enter my MacBook Pro. Despite having an iPhone, I still haul my MacBook Pro around with me from time to time. And I'm one of the guys that envisions the iPad eventually completely replacing my MacBook Pro. I can't quite go there just yet because the iPad lacks a camera and I need it to have a bit more storage. But a camera-equipped model with 128GB are sure to be available within a year or two. When that is available -and provided I'm able to transfer pictures shot with my digital SLR to the iPad for viewing and storage while on trips- I'll probably say goodbye to my MacBook Pro.

    I will be FAR more likely to haul around an iPad vs. a MacBook Pro. And with it's big battery life, the iPad makes a much better portable computing device for travel.

  18. Alchematron macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2007
    Maui Hawaii
    All I want is internet access anywhere

    GPS is no big deal for me but I am getting the 3G
  19. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    Agreed! And why I've ordered a 3G model for myself.

    But, again, my point isn't the difference between WiFi and 3G. My point is that the WiFi-only model also lacks a GPS. I think a fair number of folks think saving the $130 is only saving them the cost of the 3G radio. Not true.


Share This Page