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GPS on Wifi only 16g

Discussion in 'iPad 2 Forum' started by BigGregW, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. BigGregW
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    BigGregW iPF Noob

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    Strange one here.
    My understanding is that the entry model 16g wifi option iPad 2 does not have GPS.....
    But mine has. I'm not talking when tethered or in fact connected to any network. Just been up the road and back with mine running the maps app ( sad I know ) and it 100% had my location all the way.
    Am I going mad????
  2. jwt873
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    jwt873 iPad Enthusiast

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    GPS stands for Global Positioning System. GPS uses satellites orbiting the earh to determine position.... Note that GPS isn't the only positioning system there is.

    There is also what is known as WIFI positioning. (WPS).. That's what your iPad uses..The exact locaton of most Wifi spots have been recorded and compiled into a giant database... Your wifi iPad knows what wifi spots are active around you and it determines your position via triangulation. This is how Wifi only iPads can determine their position.

    It can be very accurate at times. (The more wifi spots around you, the more accurate it will be)... But if you head out in the country away from wifi spots, you won't be able to determine your position...

    GPS satellites cover the whole world, so a GPS iPad will work anywhere on the globe, but wifi positioning won't.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  3. Silent Assassin
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    Silent Assassin iPad Fan

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    You got lucky BigGreg.. they accidentally put a GPS in yours.. don't tell anyone!!
  4. D_LA_ROC
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    D_LA_ROC iPad Enthusiast

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    My white 16gig wifi only tells my location as well. Even when not on wifi. The blue dot follows me in maps. I thought when apple said no GPS chip, they meant for Navigation.
  5. D_LA_ROC
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    D_LA_ROC iPad Enthusiast

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    Sorry. It's not a blue dot when wifi is off, it's a grey dot. But it still follows me and even knows which direction I'm facing.

    Attached Files:

  6. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    I wonder if it is using your last known location and the gyroscope to estimate travel. Or, if it is turning on the Wifi in the background and getting a signal.

    Two things to test.

    One, go into Settings >> Wi-Fi, and make sure it is tuned off, not just without a connections.

    Power the iPad down, take it to a new location Power up and see if it finds you (again, with Wi-Fi turned off.)

    Note: To power down hold the power button for about three seconds until the Power Off slider appears, and slide it.
  7. SporkLover
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    SporkLover iPad Fan

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    I bet you didn't have wifi off. It can still triangulate based on wifi signals without being connected.
  8. D_LA_ROC
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    D_LA_ROC iPad Enthusiast

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    I did have wifi off. But when I powered off and then back on, it could not find my location.
  9. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Interesting.

    Like I said, I wonder if it could continue to use the gyroscope to estimate movement. The older inertial guidance systems used to work like that, and it would not surprise me if some of that technology was used to help keep the location accurate through temporary losses of the normal location signals.

    A long shot, but maybe. . .
  10. Rudinater
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    Rudinater iPad Fan

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    As soon as you try to use that Wifi only for any sort of real GPS mapping you will see how inaccurate it really is. It will not be able to guide you while driving as it will now know where you are in relationship to upcoming turns and it probably will not even be able to tell you what road you are on if there are other roads close by, like a road next to a freeway.

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