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  1. #1
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?

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    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?
    Any one know if the GPS on the iPad 3g models will be available for apps when you are NOT using the AT&T service?

    The iPhone uses AT&T service as its service provider. The iPad makes AT&T Service pay-as-you-need in month blocks. So what happens to GPS when you are not on the AT&T service? Does it still functions so apps can use it or does it lie dormant until you pay AT&T for the monthly service?

    I want the GPS but it may not be worth the extra expense if it requires the monthly AT&T service to function.

    Thanks for any insight you may have.

  2. #2
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?

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    Well if you are not paying for the 3G then the GPS won't work. Duh!

  3. #3
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?
    tiger roach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voony View Post
    Well if you are not paying for the 3G then the GPS won't work. Duh!
    I don't know that it is that cut-and-dried. Once you have the hardware with GPS, it could very well be able to do satellite positioning without having the 3G data service turned on. My Garmin does.

    OTOH I have noticed at least one of my GPS-enabled apps on the iPhone will triangulate (roughly) using cell towers if it isn't getting a good satellite signal. So unless Apple has said for sure one way or another, we may not know until the device is on the street.

  4. #4
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?
    fleurya's Avatar
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    The iPad doesn't have GPS. It locates you by triangulating your position using the cell towers. I would assume that if you don't have the cell connection, the iPad won't be talking with the nearby towers and you won't be able to locate yourself.

    In my experience with the first iPhone, it's pretty worthless compared to real GPS anyway. There's never been a time when I didn't know roughly where I was to search for something nearby, and that's really all it's good for. For actual directions you need a good position fix only true GPS can provide.
    "Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"

  5. #5
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Regardless of how the GPS coordinates are calculated, either through a dedicated GPS chip or through triangulation of cell towers, you will need a 3G connection to be able to download the maps to lay down those coordinates on.

    So without 3G service of any kind, you will have no map..and possibly no coordinates..

    Regards

  6. #6
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?
    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    The iPad doesn't have GPS. It locates you by triangulating your position using the cell towers. I would assume that if you don't have the cell connection, the iPad won't be talking with the nearby towers and you won't be able to locate yourself.

    In my experience with the first iPhone, it's pretty worthless compared to real GPS anyway. There's never been a time when I didn't know roughly where I was to search for something nearby, and that's really all it's good for. For actual directions you need a good position fix only true GPS can provide.
    No , the 3G+Wifi model does have GPS, just like the iPhone 3G and 3GS have.

    To clarify:
    iPod: skyhook wifi location
    original iPhone: cell triangulation
    iPhone 3G, 3GS: assisted GPS
    iPad wifi: skyhook wifi location
    iPad 3G+wifi: assisted GPS

    Regular GPS systems take quite a long time to "lock on" to a satellite and this initial lock requires quite a lot of power.
    Assisted GPS uses cell triangulation to get a rough "guesstimate" of your position and then narrows it down using real GPS. This means it is just as accurate as traditional GPS devices, but is also much faster and uses less power.

    So in theory, if you're on wifi and enable GPS, you should be able to get GPS-accurate location results.

  7. #7
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger roach View Post
    I don't know that it is that cut-and-dried. Once you have the hardware with GPS, it could very well be able to do satellite positioning without having the 3G data service turned on. My Garmin does.

    OTOH I have noticed at least one of my GPS-enabled apps on the iPhone will triangulate (roughly) using cell towers if it isn't getting a good satellite signal. So unless Apple has said for sure one way or another, we may not know until the device is on the street.
    My apologies :-)

    From my experience with the iPhone 3G, none of the application I have could triangulate without the 3G turned on. I never tried with the WiFi tho.

    The assisted GPS works quite good on the iPhone 3G. Well it doesn't talk like a regular car GPS but it does the same: show you what direction to go and update your position with great precision (well sometimes it shows you are somewhere completely different but ****, car GPS do the same lol).

  8. #8
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?

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    [QUOTE=Voony;1022802]My apologies :-)

    From my experience with the iPhone 3G, none of the application I have could triangulate without the 3G turned on. I never tried with the WiFi tho.
    -----
    I tried to be clear that the new AT&T subscription model for the iPad raises a new question about how the GPS on the 3g will function...because you may not have the AT&T service active at all times. I have the iPhone 3gs and the assisted GPS works very well and quickly.

    People get snarky quickly here ("Duh").

  9. #9
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?

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    [QUOTE=fugubot;1022903]
    Quote Originally Posted by Voony View Post
    My apologies :-)

    From my experience with the iPhone 3G, none of the application I have could triangulate without the 3G turned on. I never tried with the WiFi tho.
    -----
    I tried to be clear that the new AT&T subscription model for the iPad raises a new question about how the GPS on the 3g will function...because you may not have the AT&T service active at all times. I have the iPhone 3gs and the assisted GPS works very well and quickly.

    People get snarky quickly here ("Duh").
    Do you have more info on how it would work on the iPad?

  10. #10
    GPS on 3G model - Will GPS work without AT&T service?
    Kash's Avatar
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    If I had to venture a guess, I'd say that it should work fine with Wi-Fi. Heck, you might even get that little blue dot with no map in the background if you don't have a data source.

    I guess we'll find out soon enough

    June 2007
    July 2009

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