3G iPad vs. WiFi iPad

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by kensteele, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. kensteele

    kensteele iPF Novice

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    Connectivity is not a problem, I have a mobile hotspot so I can use WiFI pretty much everywhere, don't need 3G. If I get the WiFi-only iPad and forgo the built-in 3G modem, what am I missing?

    I'm particularly interested in GPS and related position location apps. I don't have an iPhone so I'm not sure what's in the apps store but how does Navigation and Google Earth and other apps that depend on GPS...how will that work on the 3G iPad compared to the WiFi-only model? In other words, what will the 3G iPad offer in the area of GPS that the WiFi-only model won't be capable of?

    This will help decide whether I purchase the iPad on Day 1 or Day 30. Thanks.
     
  2. WishBone

    WishBone iPF Novice

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    If you don't travel away from your home where you are familiar with the hotspots then you'll probably be happy with just WiFi. I travel every now and then and plan to use 3g quite a bit (have you seen the price of wifi in the hotels...wow!)

    You'll also appreciate the 3g with the GPS because it will deliver more exact location points as opposed to WiFi. However, as to point 1, if your not traveling why would you need GPS?

    My personal feeling is that for the extra price for 3g is a no-brainer for me, especially with the monthly, no-contract $30 data plans. Going away for a week? Sign up for data and cancel 30 days later..
     
  3. kensteele

    kensteele iPF Novice

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    WishBone thanks for the reply. Since I have a mobile hotspot (Overdrive from Sprint), anywhere there is 3G/4G CDMA wireless coverage in the country, my iPad will work. So I would really like to get the iPad without the 3G modem. However, I am mostly wondering what features will I not have by not having a 3G modem installed in the iPad? I am not familiar with GPS over WiFi. I travel alot. Does it give you turn by turn instructions capabilities for example?

    I fully intend to take advantage of the no-contract data plan by turning it on and off as necessary and when on, it will be the low-tier plan. But do I really need the 3G modem in order to use GPS or will a WiFi-only iPad perform all the location-based services just fine over WiFi?
     
  4. WishBone

    WishBone iPF Novice

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    Hey Ken

    I'm not familiar with this Overdrive thing, but it sounds to me like a wifi hotspot unit similar to a MiFi? I don't think you'll be connecting to an actual data service, but more like connecting to your own portable wifi hotspot?

    If you do not have the 3G version I suspect you will have significantly inferior mapping performance. Think about it, you're driving down the highway at 80 miles an hour and looking for wireless internet connections?

    The 3G version will use satellites and be able to pinpoint your location much more accurately than you can with wifi. Try this for your self by finding your location in google maps with WiFi then try it again with the data service enabled. (probably need to use a friends phone with maps on it) I suspect you'll immediately see the difference in a much more accurate determination of your location.

    I believe Wifi tries to find you location by triangulation with known wifi locations, but you'll hate it when your navigation software tell you to turn right 300 feet past the intended turn.

    By the way, I use Google Maps on my Nexus phone and it is amazing. Have had all of the iPhones but can't get ATT signal worth a crap at my house.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010

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