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iPad 3's GPS function

Discussion in 'iPad 3 Forum' started by toffee, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. toffee
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    toffee iPF Noob

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    Newbie question here.

    Does all iPad3 comes with GPS chip that can access satellite or it will need a receiver? I understand iPad use cell technology but does it has GPS chip?

    Thanks
  2. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wifi only iPads don't have GPS built in, all other iPads do have GPS.

    The Archangel
  3. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The reason for this is because the cellular chip has a gps receiver built into the same chip. Cellphones these days use cellular chips with built in gps receivers because they can make the phones more compact and the cost is also less.
  4. toffee
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    toffee iPF Noob

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    So other than wifi ipads, I do not need a GPS receiver? That would be great!!! How does it work? ipad will have GPS chip, cell triangulation and wifi GPS all build in the same package?
  5. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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  6. kensteele
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    kensteele iPF Novice

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    It is my understanding that the wi-fi only ipad does not have a gps antenna within and only the 3g/4g ipads have a gps antenna. that means, gps is unavailable on a wi-fi only ipad. does this mean that a 3g/4/g ipad where you do not currently have an active wireless carrier subscription, can it still take advantage of the gps network? iow, do you have to have a cellular plan turned on in order to use gps?
  7. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No, you do not. If location services is turned on for an app, GPS is active. Easy to test using Maps. If it finds your current location, whether on wifi or tethered to a cellphone, it is working. You will need cellular data to update the map but that is a different thing. Hope this makes sense.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  8. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You don't even need a sim card, they just piggy back the chip with the GPS so no subscription is required for the GPS to function.

    The Archangel
  9. kensteele
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    kensteele iPF Novice

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    pardon me but i read the article in the link posted just before mine (it's the apple support website) and in the notes, it says:
    1. GPS is available on iPhone and iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models.
    Why doesn't it include the wi-fi only model?

    I understand you can get location information on wi-fi only models. i also understand the wi-fi model can be fed location information and coordinates from all kinds of assisted features via wi-fi. however, if the device has no physical gps antenna, the device cannot look up into the sky, connect directly to the gps network of satellites, and use the very, very accurate location coordinates....correct? and then my question went on to basically say, if you don't active your LTE ipad, are you essential "brought down" to a level equivalent to a wi-fi only ipad? can an unactivated LTE ipad still use the gps antenna hardware and connect to the gps satellites without aid from the cellular carrier?

    i recently upgraded (stepped down?) from my ipad2 3g to a wi-fi only ipad3 and during the setup, i saw "use location preference" but i had a couple of apps that would NOT transfer over during the backup-from-itunes and i went back to the app owner's website and that app is not compatible with wi-fi only ipads. am i just missing a certain measure of accuracy by stepping down?

    i apologise for not being more specific in my earlier post but when i said "gps", I meant THE global position system....not generic location based services.
  10. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no GPS in the wifi only models as the GPS circuitry is contained within the 3G/4G chip. If you have a 3G/4G iPad then GPS functionality works regardless of activation of the 3G/4G service.

    The Archangel
  11. ajcgn
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    ajcgn iPF Novice

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    I found out the hard way when I bought my first wifi iPad that there was no gps. I mistakenly assumed it was included because it worked on my iPhone when not connected. I later ended up buying a bluetooth gps to use on my ipad at roughly the same extra price and ended up saving nothing from the 3g version.
    There was one bright side, now that I bought a new wifi iPad, I finally saved on not having to pay for 3G/4G and i have full gps for my iPad through the Bluetooth device, which works great with offline maps.
  12. Seadog
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    Seadog Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I bought my original 3G iPad for the GPS and wound up using the data service since the beginning. Since you can just buy data service for a month at a time, it is very convenient.
  13. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, the gps receiver option with a Wifi only iPad is typically less expensive than the 3G/4G iPad, all else being the same. If you never plan to do 3G/4G, then the blue-tooth GPS is a very nice option, though, I admit the gps on the 3G/4G iPad is easier and quicker in use, since you don't have to fool around with the gps receiver and worry about them being paired, connected, etc. That means you can start the nav function much quicker. I have to be honest and say that I appreciate this shorter time to get nav working. These little things actually may have an impact on you in terms of just day-to-day doing.
  14. toffee
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    toffee iPF Noob

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    In a 'tradition' GPS, map were stored locally on DVD, etc. In an iPad, where do the map data store? Or they require instant download via internet? If that is the case, when one is driving in a remote area with no 3g or wifi, how does that work?

    two scenarios:
    1. I would like to use google map to plan my trips, then use whatever voice GPS software to guide me based the planned trip. I can see that when I plan my trip, of course I would be on internet, so map can be download. But what if I make a wrong turn and travel outside of the original plan?
    2. I want to plan trip from location with no 3g or wifi?
    Thanks again.
  15. Savage1701
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    Savage1701 iPF Noob

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    toffee:

    Based on my experience with GPS on Android and iPad 2 and iPod, this is what I can tell you I have found:

    1. Pre-cached maps - Google Maps for Android does this far better. You can cache literally whole areas to your phone's memory so you don't have to worry about being outside of coverage areas for either WiFi or 3G/4G capable devices. I have NOT found this feature on Apple products running Google Maps. Since Apple is going with its own navigation maps this fall, perhaps they will include the equivalent. Their may be app store products that pre-cache maps, but I have not used them or searched for them. That would certainly be a primary selling point for an Apple app.

    2. I have not found an iPad that can be in the middle of nowhere, have the GPS turned on, and bring maps up. I'm thinking at this point you need a GPS navigation product that has pre-cached maps built in, such as a Garmin product or similar.

    3. Add-on iPad/iPod GPS devices such as those made by Emprum plug into the docking port of the iPad/iPod and give you great GPS. They will, if an internet connection or 3G/4G signal is available, allow you to get A-GPS data to make your GPS more accurate. That is not the same as a pre-cache of full map data, however. Typically the A-GPS data is updated every 10 days or so. People who use the iPad for flying prefer external GPS since those chips/units are usually more accurate, have better antennas, and "refresh" the GPS signal data more quickly.

    4. It's really ashame that Apple did not use a seperate GPS chip, since virtually all Android tablets have this and they function just fine without having 3G/4G chips. Some of the newer tablets even include chips to receive Russian Glonass GPS signals. Given that Android tablets are cheaper than Apple tablets, and have more competition, you can bet that the A-GPS chips don't cost that much.
  16. DefBref
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    DefBref iPad Junkie

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  17. Savage1701
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    Savage1701 iPF Noob

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    iPad 3 I was not sure of concerning Glonass; I was only speaking to the question of Google Maps and my experience on the iPad 2 and iPod Touch w/Emprum, and Android phones/tablets.

    Google Maps for Android is a superior experience to Google Maps for Apple, with cached maps capability, measuring, 3D'ish views, etc. I'm sure there are apps for Apple that will best it. I'm guessing when iOS 6 comes this fall that Apple's maps will equal, if not best, Google Maps !

    Good to know iPad 3 supports Glonass.

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