Will the Wi-Fi/Cell locate feature be Apple's long-term GPS solution?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Tom J, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. Tom J macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2006
    I am expecting (hoping) that iPhone2 will have integrated GPS functionality. However, the Wi-Fi/cell tower locate feature makes me wonder if this is as good as it gets. It's quite impressive for what it is, but I assume that its use outside of urban areas would be less than desirable or even functional at all.

    But maybe that's the point. Without Wi-Fi or EDGE access to load Google maps, integrated GPS would be useless (?). (Unless, of course, maps are preloaded in some fashion.) Why include a GPS chip if the iPhone won't offer maps everywhere?

    Does this theory sound reasonable? What am I missing here?
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I think that it will be the extent of what we get for GPS at least for a few revisions.
  3. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A93 Safari/419.3)

    what do people use GPS on a phone for? This is a serious question: I've had a nokia with built in GPS and never used it for driving directions because of small screens and awkward navigation. . Personally I'd rather they just enabled the full Bluetooth stack and I just use a bluetooth module if I wanted.
  4. constant L macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2007
    i have iphone integration for my car....so the music plays through the stereo and i have motorola t305 for a speaker phone when calls come in...and a cigarette lighter dock...

    that being said...i would love to have GPS...it would be perfect....turn by turn directions...i wouldnt need to use it all the time....just when traveling places i havent been...

    but i am perfectly happy with my iphone...i love it
  5. iStefmac macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    I certainly hope so. I'm not paying a premium on my next iPhone for such a worthless and intrusive feature like GPS.
  6. iStefmac macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    Uh......the iPhone HAS turn by turn directions.
  7. gonk macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2008
    Navigation. I use it all the time on my enV, and it' the main reason (along with lack of video capture) that I can't upgrade to an iphone, even though I'd love to. Sure, I could buy separate devices to make up for the iphone's missing features, but why would I do that when phones like the enV, voyager, etc, have all that built in?
  8. lawong macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2008
    Something else to consider are multi-function printer/fax/scanner/copy machines. At an individual component level, most aren't great quality products at performing any of the single tasks. But its certainly better than having to have separate devices because of the amount of space that they take up.

    I'm not quite ready to give up my Garmin Nuvi in place of GPS on my iPhone.

    GPS works where there is no cell phone signal.
    Cell Locate works where there is no good line of sight to the sky.

    Both technologies have the advantages and uses. I suspect that the cost of adding a GPS chip to the iPhone doesn't have a high enough return on investment to really increase sales, so I skeptical if we'd see a GPS version of the iPhone. What is more important to me and I can see what will increase iPhone sales is HSDPA.

    Bring me that and I'd gladly spend another $600 $400 on this phone.
  9. geese macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    London, UK
    The GPS on my n95 is... rubbish. It takes an age to lock onto a satellite, it doesnt seem to work in most of South East London, you have to pay a subscription for the speaking navigation service, which is pointless as the in-built GPS isn't very good.

    But the I use the map quite alot, handy when you're lost. I find it handy when mountain biking, I'll mark where i parked my car (the GPS works OK in clear areas) and when i need to go back, I'll have an idea how to get back.

    If i could find a way of mounting it onto my bikes handlebar, i'd really like that.
  10. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    I have been pretty impressed with the locate me functions of the latest update. Particularly if you are in a 802.11 rich area.

    I think on network location and wifi is probably the future of most GPS solutions for phones. In a car or otherwise you really need a slightly larger screen to do true 3D map following etc. I have both a TomTom and a Magellan Crossover and the slightly larger display size is a factor.

    To do off network on a phone, the MFR needs to spend $$ on a SIRF III or other chip ($15-35 depending on volume), add yet another antenna and another set of EMI testing and tuning.

    Then they have to add a basic Nav application or direct the customer to purchase their own, if that is the case you need some fairly robust internal or external SD slot storage, because most people do not want to move maps on and off their phone as they travel. So i think you'd definitely want a 16GB version of the phone with some section reserved for maps

    Some MFRs such as HTC have added autonomous GPS to their phones. The AT&T tilt as an example, but I am guessing most of the market is fine with network dependent location.

    The one exception i think would be a device that is both a phone and a very rugged /waterproof GPS device for outdoor enthusiasts, outdoor workers etc. That kind of specialist device could utilize both types of GPS.

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