Roaming Around With An Ipad 2
This is a discussion on Roaming Around With An Ipad 2 within the iPad Help forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; Hello all,
Basically I'll be buying a Ipad 2 when its finally released in the UK and I just wanted to ask a couple of ...
Roaming Around With An Ipad 2
Basically I'll be buying a Ipad 2 when its finally released in the UK and I just wanted to ask a couple of questions.
1. I'm heading to New Zealand later in the year and I'm going to be trekking from North to the South of the entire country and wondered if the GPS model would be worth getting for maps etc? For example when I'm in the middle of nowhere would the GPS location etc be any use?
2. I understand that there are 2 different versions of the WiFi + GPS model, which one would I need for world wide use? (I know that I will need a micro sim card)
03-16-2011 05:32 AM
Welcome to the Forum. I'm sure you'll have great fun and use out of your iPad.
Originally Posted by roamingmark
As you mention, there are basically two different 'versions' of the iPad - WiFi only and 3G + WiFi.
The GPS functionality is on the same chip that houses the 3G so, unless you get the 3G model, you won't have access to GPS. Apple did this because GPS uses similar radio frequency (RF) components to 3G and, given that these components are physically quite large, it makes sense to combine the two into a single module.
As you know, GPS works world-wide so there's no problem with it working in New Zealand - even out in the 'wilds'. But there might be an issue with mapping.
Some of the GPS-aware apps, such as the iPad's native 'Maps' app, download their maps dynamically - i.e. as and when needed. So, to use this particular app, you'd need Internet connectivity. Whether you'd be able to connect to the Internet in the 'wilds' is difficult to ascertain - and, unless you had a local pre-paid microSIM (PAYG - 'pay-as-you-go') you might be in for a nasty shock when you get home and see your mobile invoice. The advantage of the iPad 'Maps' app is that (a) the app is free (already built-in) and, apart from data costs, the maps are free too. The disadvantage is that you need Internet connectivity to be able to download the maps 'on-the-fly'.
There are, however, third-party GPS/mapping apps that download the maps as part of the app itself - for example TomTom. These are generally, though not always, primarily for traffic 'turn-by-turn' navigation - the iPad version of your car's 'sat nav'. The advantage, however, is that the maps can be downloaded before you leave on your vacation - perhaps using your home broadband. Now, when you're in New Zealand, these apps only need access to the GPS - because they already have the maps loaded onto the iPad - they don't need an Internet connection.
The disadvantage (you knew there was one coming, didn't you!) is that (a) you have to download maps for every country that you'll be visiting and (b) they are not free - not by any stretch of the imagination.
I wasn't sure whether your interest in GPS in New Zealand was for 'sat nav' type applications (i.e. driving) or perhaps for hiking/walking. If it's the latter, then the choice is more restricted. I'm not familiar with what's available in New Zealand, but some countries have topological maps available (i.e. like the U.K Ordanance Survey maps).
So, to return to your original question, if you want GPS you need the 3G iPad. Yes, it is possible to add GPS functionality with an external unit to the iPad, you may have seen some posts on the Forum about this and I can certainly send you details if you're interested, but the cost is about £100 or thereabouts, so it effectively cancels out the cost advantage of buying a WiFi-only iPad.
In urban areas a WiFi-only iPad can determine its position by using a database of known locations of WiFi hotspots and basestations. But it's generally accepted that (a) this is not as accurate as GPS and (b) it certainly doesn't work in rural areas where there are no hotspots.
Just to clarify a final point that you might see mentioned in discussions in the iPad Forum - if you purchase a 3G iPad to get the GPS functionality you don't need to subscribe to a 3G service - or even have a microSIM fitted - to use GPS. Although the GPS functionality is included on the 3G chipset, 3G does not have to be activated for the GPS side of things to work.
OK - I'll go away now and keep quiet. I know I rattle on far too much....
Don't hesitate to get back in touch if there's any clarification required (well, I couldn't have made it less clear!) and, whatever you finally decide, I hope that you enjoy your iPad and your trip to New Zealand.
I hope that you'll keep in touch with the Forum and tell us about your iPad experiences in New Zealand.
Think google has NZ covered.
I was surprised last summer when we had a relative from NZ staying.
I idly popped her postal code into google maps and with streetview was able to inspect her house on south island.
Dammned impressive over the meal table as it was so quick...
Thanks for the response guys! I'll 100% be going for the 3G version of the Ipad 2 but one thing that did get my back up is the fact that Apple haven't put a SD card slot on to this version...to me its just taking the p*ss and an example of a company just making more money from a technology (The flash memory) that isn't exactly brand new. /Rant
Aye. I'll be grabbing a PAYG micro sim once I'm in NZ so thats covered.
Topological maps are what I'm after but was wondering if there is a application where we can actually "build" a map route?
Obviously I've got a whole set of maps for the route in a PDF file and its quite possible that I'm being a lazy b*stard more than anything as I can read map coords, use a compass etc
I had forgotten about Google Earth so thanks for the heads up on that...the actual trail has a KMZ file for it sorted already but one thing guys as I've never had to use Google Earth for map reading etc, will it update my location via GPS within the google application?
Last edited by roamingmark; 03-16-2011 at 09:00 AM.
i think 3g - GSM work in NZ if you want surf on 3g... you will be fine as uk 3g are simple in NZ, i not sure about verzion 3g as they operation different 3g style CDSM, by way you from uk so you will be ok.
correction me if i wrong, thanks.
Last edited by DJP1984; 03-20-2011 at 06:30 PM.
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