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iPad Hardware and Accessories Discuss the iPad hardware and accessories

iPAD and GPS


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acsa105

 
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How does the iPad work with GPS? If I travel out of country I would like to use the GPS feature to track where I am and to plan routes. Do I need the 3G version for this? If I go to another country the 3G might not work but will the GPS still work???
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cwa107

 
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The 3G version has a dedicated GPS chip, the WiFi version does not. Although the 3G radio helps assist in triangulation when there are delays in contacting satellites, it should work fine even if you're not in network.

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The iPad WiFi model uses the WiFi radio (SkyHook), and compass data to estimate your location.

The 3G model uses those plus 3G cell signals, to immediately begin determining your location when queried. A few moments later the dedicated GPS system kicks in and narrows down the results.

A data plan is not required for the GPS chip to work. For instance, GPS still works on the iPhone even in airplane mode. So being out of the country isn't a problem.

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Is there an echo in here?

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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On a side note, while the GPS works on the 3G model without a 3G data plan, you may want to "cache" your maps while still connected to WiFi. My wife and I noticed that while driving around (no data plan) whatever level of zoom the map was in when we left the house, is the level it stayed at when we were driving around. Also, if we drove "off the screen" with no data connection, the map we were displayed on showed us in "empty space" unless we had previously viewed that area of the map before leaving. Just a suggestion, but one might wish to zoom to a comfortable street level before leaving the house, and then "cache the map" by dragging over your intended route. this way you'll have all the information you need. Another thing we noticed was that the blue "I Am Here" dot moves along on the map as you drive. However, at least without a 3G connection, the map does not automatically scroll along your route as you drive. I'm not sure if there is a setting we missed, whether it is related to not having purchased any navigation software, or whether the OS just doesn't support it yet. Anyhow, keep an eye on the map or your blue dot will eventually drive off the edge of the display, possibly falling on to the floor of your car.

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VonStoven

 
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Wait wait wait... You can use GPS features with no data plan? Which apps use this? I thought gps would eat my data away so I haven't been using it.
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acsa105

 
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sweet. thanks for the info. I was debating which model to get and the gps was a big factor in that. Since I travel out of country I know that I won't be able or want to use a data plan and I thought that the GPS requires a functioning data plan.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VonStoven View Post
Wait wait wait... You can use GPS features with no data plan? Which apps use this? I thought gps would eat my data away so I haven't been using it.
Any dedicated navigation app doesn't use the data plan at all. Instead, when you our chase the app, it downloads the full set of maps to your iPad.

For that matter the Maps app doesn't really need the data plan, the blue dot will still track you, but there won't be maps to see, the only way around it like mentioned previously is to cache the route before you leave wifi.

Bottom line the GPS Module is completely independent of data. It's a whole different animal that coexists within the iPad ecosystem. And with the right app you can harness all it's useful powers.
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