Does iPhone GPS rely on data connection? - ehMac.ca
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 07:44 PM   #1
hhk
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Does iPhone GPS rely on data connection?

Simple question but I can't seem to find the answer during my Google searches. If I buy a 3G iPhone without a data plan, does the GPS work? Does it rely on satellite or cell tower triangulation? And, does it work worldwide?
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 08:05 PM   #2
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From my understanding its kinda yes and kinda no. The GPS works without data in, say, google maps but to get the actual map you have to download using data/wifi. You could pick an area that you want to map, use your wifi and download the map content and then as long as you don't scroll the screen everything should be fine.

So the short answer would be no it doesn't require data, but without data you are very limited in what you can do with the GPS.

I would think that this would be frustrating, my girlfriend does it (although she downloads directions using "lists" at home and then heads out on the road, I however, have data and like the ability to refresh the map and zoom around. I hope I articulated this clearly and it helps.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 08:08 PM   #3
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Sounds like I need a data plan for full functionality. Anyone know if it will work anywhere in the US and in Western Europe?
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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There are a few threads about data roaming and buying prepaid cards (which I assume would be the best bet) that have already been started. Perhaps a quick search? Hopefully someone will chime in with the threads that I am making reference to.

For full functionality data is a must, unless you are in a major urban area where there are lots of hotspots that you can piggyback off of.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 09:59 PM   #5
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Thanks I found the thread on data usage for GPS. I'm trying to figure out if I need a standalone GPS device if I have the iPhone. I travel a lot and take a GPS with me. So far, I've resisted the iPhone but if the GPS works well, that would make me buy it finally.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 10:34 PM   #6
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If you need the GPS out of country, get a dedicated GPS unit. I got a TomTom ONe from TigerDirect for $100. Works anywhere in US and Canada absolutely free and I can download maps for other countries if needed for a fee. I have an iPhone and the dedicated GPS kicks its ass every time.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 10:38 PM   #7
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If you need the GPS out of country, get a dedicated GPS unit. I got a TomTom ONe from TigerDirect for $100. Works anywhere in US and Canada absolutely free and I can download maps for other countries if needed for a fee. I have an iPhone and the dedicated GPS kicks it ass every time.
Just to add to this the other advantage of the dedicated GPS is the turn by turn options which, for now, is not supported and questionable as to when it may become available on the iPhone.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:11 PM   #8
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I have data blocked and GPS works fine. I even went to the states with roaming turned off, and GPS still worked.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:19 PM   #9
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as long as u have wifi.
but as cowasaki said, gps is almost useless if u don't have 3g or wifi subscription.
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Old Sep 4th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MomentsofSanity View Post
Just to add to this the other advantage of the dedicated GPS is the turn by turn options which, for now, is not supported and questionable as to when it may become available on the iPhone.
I wonder if/how Apple is progressing on this front.

Apple needs to partner up with someone and get this to market. Most people simply assume because it has GPS, it has turn by turn directions. Some have been unpleasently surprised that it doesn't.
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