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Wait, does ipad 2 have gps?

Discussion in 'iPad 2 Forum' started by Becky15349, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Becky15349
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    Becky15349 iPF Novice

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    So, my husband and I were driving around Sydney last week trying to find this gokart track. I pulled out my iPad just to see if I could still view the map of the city, and to my surprise, I look at the map and I see a moving blue dot exactly where our car was on the road, moving with us down the highway. I was very confused- I was nowhere near a wifi signal, and I do not have a cellular 3G plan, so how did the iPad maps app know where we were? Where was it getting a signal from? Maybe it does have gps? I could've sworn I saw people complaining that the iPad 2 doesn't have gps...but how else would it have known where we were? I'm perplexed :0

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  2. moshun111
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    moshun111 iPF Noob

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    I just read that you'll still get the gps function even if you tether, but can I ask why you bought the 3G version when you are not getting the plan & tethering.
  3. DontUnderstandMyIpad
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    DontUnderstandMyIpad iPad Guru

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    The wifi only iPad does not have a 3G or A-GPS antenna, which means that it cannot connect cell towers for triangulation. However, the iPad is very smart in keeping track of your position, even without A-GPS, or GPS.

    It does triangulate it's position by scanning for wifi signals and once it has found a location, it can use the compass, accelerometer and gyroscope to keep track of the direction and speed it is traveling. So as long as you don't shut off your iPad somewhere in the wild, will it always be able to show you your location, simply by calculating how far you have moved from your starting position.
  4. DavidR
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    DavidR iPF Noob

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  5. Mountainbikermark
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    Mountainbikermark iPad Addict

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    The advantage of the Ipad over true deadreckoning is the ability to update itself when it sees a secondary point of reference, wifi routers. The more routers I passed, the more accurate my wifi only Ipad stayed. It wasn't a great thing for star maps, shopping using location, etc but for the built in maps it was really cool . My wifi only broke and all they had was 3g to replace it but during the time I had wifi only it worked fine for travel.

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  6. Dorje
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    Dorje iPad Enthusiast

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    It's the same way my iPod 3rd gen can kinda geolocate with out A-GPS from cell towers. Now what I'd love (as BS holder in Geogprahy) is if Apple let location Apps take input from USB GPS units. There are a number of good quality Geocacheing units that can do that on properly (software) equipped PCs. Combined with the A-GPS you could get some very nice sub-meter resolution in more open (no super tall buildings) areas. If I could hook up something as light as the iPad as my mobile GIS platform it'd make my month.
  7. Wolfpuppies3
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    Wolfpuppies3 iPad Junkie

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    You bet it does

    With 3G activated.
  8. SweetPoison
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    SweetPoison iPad Legend

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    Wonderful ~ a simple answer. Thanks!
  9. jwt873
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    jwt873 iPad Enthusiast

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    GPS (Global Positioning System) consists of 36 satellites in orbit around the earth. The orbits are arranged so that 10 or 12 of them are overhead at any given time no matter where you are on the planet.

    These satellites transmit position signals down to the earth. GPS equipped iPads have a built-in receiver that is capable of picking up these satellite signals, decoding them and then using the information to compute your current position, altitude, and speed. This system allows a GPS iPad to find its location and display it anywhere on the earth.

    Only 3G iPads are equipped with a receiver capable of picking up the GPS satellites in orbit around the earth.

    As mentioned the above posts, the WIFI models listen for signals from known WIFI locations on the ground.. They use these local nearby signals to determine their position. WIFI iPads cannot determine their position in remote locations that are out of range of WIFI signals.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  10. Dorje
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    Dorje iPad Enthusiast

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    To many cell companies have tried to pawn non-GPS cell tower triangulation as A-GPS it's hard to belive hardware manufactures these days, especially those that don't actually make dedicated GPS units.

    Still it would be nice for the WiFi models to attach to an external GPS unit. Maybe one of those higher quality Trimble antennas :D.

    Or at least do it without needing to jailbreak it. D:
  11. AJsAWiz
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    AJsAWiz iPF Novice

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    Good answer! Thanks :)
  12. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Do you have source for the gyroscope/accelerometer based dead reckoning? Having read some interesting anecdotes recently I've speculated on this feature, but do not know of any source that confirms it.

    Thanks in advance.
  13. GlenL
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    GlenL iPad Fan

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    Wait this post is super unclear to me. Are you saying the 3G iPad only has a working gps if the 3G is activated?? That doesn't sound right to me.
  14. Mountainbikermark
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    Mountainbikermark iPad Addict

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    Someone needs to tell my iPad if that's true because I use gps often and haven't activated the 3G plan. It's much more accurate than my old wifi only model


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  15. DontUnderstandMyIpad
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    DontUnderstandMyIpad iPad Guru

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    It is definitely a hotly debated topic, so the question is who to believe. Apple only says the wifi ipad supports wifi location service, as well as a digital compass. So my assumption would be that the digital compass is used for approximating the location. Anyway, here is one link:
    http://www.navigadget.com/index.php/2010/01/28/ipad-does-gps

    "But anyhow, the base model is also location aware, though not as much as the 3G model. It can figure out your location based on Wi-Fi signals, and figure out your direction using the digital compass. 3G model however can also figure out your location using cellular towers. Both models also carry the accelerometer."
  16. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Thanks. Was hoping you'd run across a clear, tested answer.
  17. DontUnderstandMyIpad
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    DontUnderstandMyIpad iPad Guru

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    Yes, that would have been helpful. But I am sure, if there were a clear answer, you would have already found it. As long as Apple doesn't specify how their location service works, is it just guessing for the rest of the world.
  18. Psdsoft
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    Psdsoft iPF Novice

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    Yes it does, in the 3G version as the GPS receiver is on the board with the 3g, this also has the interesting effect that when you go to airplane mode (turning off 3G and wifi) to 'test' for GPS .... It doesn't work as you gave turned off the GPS receiver :)

    The whole location services thing is truly interesting and clever.. See here for info
    iPad: Understanding Location Services
  19. metheridge
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    metheridge iPF Novice

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    Ok, so if I keep my wifi only ipad connected to my phones 3g hotspot I should be able to navigate with some degree of accuracy?
  20. GlenL
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    GlenL iPad Fan

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    That has been tested and true, but we're talking about a different point here. Can the 3G iPad locate using GPS by itself with 3G inactivated?

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