GPS Poor Position Fix
I have always believed my iPad had poor GPS reception and it only used cell phone towers to show position - with poor accuracy. I have used a few GPS specific apps and have found it shows Poor Fix in GPS Status but again I believe there is no GPS reception at all. Does not appear to find any satellites. Anyone have any ideas?
Do you have a 3G iPad? If not, then you don't have a GPS. Your location is based on what WiFi hotspots the device can locate near you.
It depends on your model of iPad.
The WiFi-only iPad, like the original iPhone, does not have GPS (or A-GPS), but rather uses Skyhook, which triangulates from known WiFi base station locations by sending out pings to these stations and calculating how long it takes for the signal response to work out your location.
This means it will be very accurate in an urban location with lots of WiFi base stations, and in some instances will be more accurate than satellite GPS because it'll work even when you're surrounded by tall buildings, tree cover or even underground (which degrades satellite GPS navigation.) As you head out into suburbia and the countryside where WiFi stations are sparse, its accuracy will decrease or stop altogether.
On the other hand, the iPhone 3 and 4 series, and iPad WiFi+3G all have A-GPS, which is genuine GPS -- plus because it's "assisted", it works even better than regular GPS as it uses cellular information to obtain your location faster, in addition to regular satellite signals. (Thus, any smartphone with GPS uses A-GPS, for obvious reasons.) Presumably these should also have Skyhook, so the GPS on these devices will also work when you're underground, obstructed by tall buildings, etc.
Thanks for the responses but I have a WiFi + 3G iPad. I am thinking that the GPS receiver or antenna connection must be faulty. I was just trying to find the best way to confirm this then find a repairer. I downloaded two GPS apps to test the iPad; GPS-Status and GPSHD but they just give me +/_ 100m (Poor Fix) and no altitude which I suspect is relying on the cell towers again. Any other suggestions or advice on the best way to have it repaired (I live in Dallas).
You get altitude when you have a solid lock on four ( or maybe it was five) satellites.
I don't know whwre you are testing the GPS, but lots of open sky and away from buildings should give the best results. It is hard to tell what may be blocking signal otherwise.