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iPad air 2 for satnav?

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As above we've just bought this iPad to use as a satnav with google maps when we go to England. We live in Australia. It has a built in GPS but it won't give us directions once we leave home. I bought a sim card for it, but this made no difference. Google maps is installed and I'm now racking my brains trying to get it sorted out. I can sit here indoors and ask for directions to any destination and it starts off by telling me to go to the end of our street and turn whichever way, but that's it. The holiday's getting closer so I'd appreciate some help.
 
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Do you have a cellular data plan for the iPad? I believe it works at home, because it is connected to your home Wi-Fi. What happens if you turn the Wi-Fi off in Settings? Also, which iOS (iPadOS 13?) version is it running?
 

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Bob is on the right track. The GPS will give you positioning information, but you need Internet connectivity to be able to connect to any of the services to get the map information to overlay that positioning information. GPS alone isn't enough since this is not a standalone system with built-in maps like your car navigation system or the Garmin systems.
 
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If it's not cellular you should be able to hotspot it to your phone to get an internet connection but running cost depends on what plan you are on with your service provider (or a SIM bought in UK). I've done this in hospital where the wifi and TV is extortionate. I use google maps on my phone abroad for getting around.
 
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Thanks all. It's on the latest ios 13.3.1, wi-fi off, no sim card and of course, no mobile data. I tried again last night; set up a destination and off I went. It actually worked perfectly until I took a deliberate wrong turn. It just didn't do a correction. So as suggested, I'll wait until we get to the UK and buy a sim card with data and calls. If I do this (thanks Ashwin) do I have to subscribe to something like google maps? Sorry for being pretty dumb but we've never done anything like this before. :Blushing:

One more thing. We're thinking of buying a Nokia plus1 or is it 1plus to maybe use as a wi-fi hotspot (all other phones are too dear for us) Does anyone have any experience of this?
 

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You don't have to subscribe to Google Maps. Also, Apple Maps is pretty good and even includes the London Metro system. As far as the SIM card goes, someone (perhaps Ian) can explain how to get one when you arrive in the UK.
 
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OK, so if I put the data/call sim card in, I'll get the maps, directions and corrections if I take a wrong turn? I know I'm being a bit fussy because I'm from England, but things are changing so much nowadays with new motorways and numbers on roads changing as well, I'm bound to make mistakes when I get into places like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Berwick etc, not to mention around the outskirts of London. I've already looked at some sim cards over there and they're remarkably cheap compared to Oz.
 

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Hi Hoody

Prompted by our good friend and Admin (chscag), I'll take up the challenge re a SIM card in the UK.

In fact my task could not be easier because I can link you to a long discussion on this exact topic within these Forums. Jake is the master traveller and I suggest you read his experiences.

And yes, SIM cards here are cheap.

Link: https://www.mac-forums.com/forums/s...phone-london-england.html?352356=#post1829633

BTW Apple Maps is much better than in the early days, although Google still leads.

Ian
 
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Forgive me but I don't understand why you bought an iPad for navigation when you can do the same thing on a smartphone. Is it the screen size which made you do that because for car driving, and walking around, it's almost always best to use the voice instructions?

Open the app, put in your destination and the means of travel - car/public transport/on foot and app will show you the routes and timings from where you are. You can add one or more stop off points before the final destination. You can get a feel for the screens by doing the same on Google Maps on your computer.

For motorways etc, Google will show you the lanes and talk you through which one you should be in for exit or turnings. The screen will highlight the correct lane. The only thing is that sometimes it will say turn left/right when it's merely a bend. If you miss an instruction it will recalculate and usually find another route rather than asking you to turn around. For our many roundabouts, Google will say first exit, second exit, fouth exit, whatever (even if it's straight on), rather than the destination name.

At least you already drive on the right - er, left - side of the road!

That Nokia phone does not get very good reviews on performance. Some others. Best budget smartphone 2020: The best cheap phones you can buy in the UK | Expert Reviews

Make sure hotspotting is included in the SIM price.
 
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Thanks for all the info everyone.
Sue: Primarily I'm trying to do it at minimal cost, but my ignorance of sims, data, maps online etc made me think that getting the iPad would be the best thing. Unlike me not to do my homework, but I dropped a clanger this time. I think I'll take Jakes (via Ian's link) and see the people at EE at Heathrow. If my wife's iPhone 4S was up to it I'd just get the appropriate sim card for that, But it doesn't seem to pick up the gps signal very well. I was thinking about that Nokia plus 1, but out of the frying pan... doesn't appeal. Numbers of exits at roundabouts is the way I like it.

Once again, thanks for all the replies, it's been really helpful.
 
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Is it too late to get a refund on the iPad? Think Apple give refunds within 14 days of purchase.

The problem with the 4s is unlikely to be the phone itself, but the service provider signal. Try it with a different provider sim if possible.

One thing I forgot - buy a USB car adapter for charging (plugs into lighter socket) in case hire car does not have a USB port. Using maps devours battery power so best to keep plugged into car while using. They are a couple of pounds for a single but a double would be better so that you keep the ipad charged as well. Examples Double USB Car Charger: Amazon.co.uk

If you are passing Whitley Bay on your way to Scotland, call me and we can have a coffee in the fabulous Spanish City Dome on the seafront! Dire Straits Tunnel of Love is all about the Spanish City in its heyday mid 19c. YouTube
 
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We didn't get it from apple. It was bought refurbished from Kogan, but we'll keep it as it's really for my wife. It's got 64GB of storage against 16GB for the old one, so she can play games on it without filling it up. Just for the sake of it, I tried google maps with the iPhone with a sim card with data and it worked as I hoped it would. I took the wrong turn again and this time it sorted itself out and tried to re route me. So it looks like we'll bring the iPhone after all, and buy a sim card with data.

The Whitley Bay meet is a kind offer and we hope to take you up on it. How would we contact you? I remember delivering a load of steel window frames to a building site in the bay back in the 60's, can't remember where though. If we manage to see you, I hope you'll have some nice shoes on. :)
 
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I always have nice shoes on! Will PM my contact details. Away a few times this year but if I'm home it would be great to meet up with someone from the forum. Met people from facebook groups, and made good friends, but no-one from here.

IMG_3736.jpeg
 
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Hi Sue,
I tried to send you a pm but it wouldn't send. Here it is, nothing private here:
Hi Sue,
Nice shoes there.
I spend most of my time in thongs... no not that type, flip flops to you. ;)
We're booked in to a B&B in Tweedmouth on the 16th of March. We can work around something if you're around then or the 17th.
Regards,
Pete.
Ps: Please don't wear really nice shoes if manage to meet up, I'll never hear the last of it. :)
Could we do it on facebook?
 
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Sorted. But don't bring flipflops to the UK in March - you'll freeze!
 
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Sorry not to chime in here earlier, but I was one of the victims of the lock out the board suffered last week. You have been given some good advice on SIM cards. To remind you, if you fly into Heathrow, as soon as you get to the area where all the drivers are holding up signs for their passengers, on the right is a SIM store that deals with travelers more than the typical shop you will find away from the airport. So that's the best place I have found to get a PAYG SIM card. Shops away from the airport have PAYG SIMs but they are not as familiar with the product as the airport shop, for obvious reasons.

The iPad may be a bit large to use because there just isn't a good way to hold it where you can see it. Smaller devices can use holders that clip to the vents, or have suction cups to hold to glass, etc, but an iPad is a pretty large device for that kind of thing. You may have to do some searching for a holder large enough, depending on the kind of car you rent. Some cars come with SatNav included, maybe you'll get lucky and get one of those. For the iPad, maybe there will be a centre console where it can stand up, particularly if it's in a case that allows for that. To be honest, it's going to be tricky because of the size.

As for SatNav, there are two philosophies for the maps--The Apple/Google/Waze, etc. approach is to download maps on demand. When the GPS gets a fix, the software downloads the maps nearby so that it can do the routing. If you plan a route, it download maps along the route. Good approach, saves some storage space. However, if you don't have internet connectivity, that approach fails if your route gets to the edge of a map and it cannot download the neighboring segment. That's probably why your failures at the end of your street. Going the wrong way demanded a map it did not have and could not get.

The other approach is older, where you download the entire region or country or whatever division the map maker has made, so that you don't need any internet connectivity to navigate. For UK, for example, I have Navmii installed on my iPhone and have downloaded the entire UK and ROI maps. Usually I use Waze, which is on-demand, but if I get to a poor area for cellular, I shift over to Navmii. Navmii | World Class, Smart GPS Navigation is their website for the software. It offers both an on-demand and pre-dowloaded mode so you can pick what you want. I have no connection to Navmii, other than I like their software and use it when I need to do so. There are other providers who can do the same thing.

Traffic reporting and re-routing requires connectivity, of course. Static maps work well without connectivity, but traffic information is not normally included.

Hope that helps some. I'll be in UK in April/May myself. Lovely time to be there, but do prepare for chilly weather.
 
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Thanks Jake,

Glad to hear you're login problems are sorted out.

After help and advice from here I used the iphone with a card with data and it worked fine with google maps. I also took a deliberate wrong turn and it tried to re route me; this was with google maps. I'll have a look at the airport sim shop and will probably only use the phone for the trip rather than the ipad.

If google maps doesn't work too well I'll have a look at Navmii.

I liked March and April in the days before we came to Australia. Bright clear days but pretty cool, although it sounds like it'll be different this time. Can't win 'em all though.
 
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Apple Maps are pretty good, too, and have some traffic capability. But again, it is on-demand. I've driven all around UK in the last 10 years and about the only place where I had any issues with connectivity was in the Highlands of Scotland, in the Cairngorms. So on-demand should work pretty well for you. The Navmii is a backup, but I paid for the license a long time ago, so I keep it going. Frankly, given how well the UK is covered these days, unless I knew I was going to a remote location I'd probably use one of the free on-demand systems (Apple's or Waze, or similar).
 
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