GPS capabilities

iphoner23

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Aug 6, 2009
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#1
what does the iPhone 3gs lack in comparison to say a garmin or other dedicated personal gps device?
 

DavidT

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Aug 15, 2008
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#2
Speed, accuracy, more detail, re-fresh rate. In short it will not take the place of, but it can be used with or as a fast find. A dedicated GPS is just that, dedicated to that function. Currently a better choice specially when it come to updating traffic.
 

Tinman

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Jul 16, 2007
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#3
I have several GPS units and my 3GS is as, or more, accurate than them all. Speed is about the same. Indoors my 3GS winds hands-down, as it also has cell towers and wifi networks to use, if needed. I can be inside a building and my 3GS will pinpoint my location, to within 5'-10', inside the building. This is using the Maps app, which at this time appears to be the only GPS app that uses all of the 3GS's GPS features (e.g., compass, cellular triangulation, etc.). Most GPS I've tested seem to rely on just the basic GPS unit itself.

That said I'm not sure having a phone and 'net device also do doube-duty as a GPS (for driving) makes sense. I find myself needing to use the iPhone too much, so might go back to using a separate GPS device. I will still likely use just the iPhone most of the time, like when traveling (to avoid packing yet another gadget).



--
Mike
 

Spikey911

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Oct 26, 2008
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#4
My TomTom is 200mhz....It has trouble sometimes with TTS and stutters from the lack of processor speed.
I tried Navigon on my 3g and its nice, but lacks in some features compared to my TomTom.

The 3g seems to be just as accurate as the TomTom, however I think the receiver is not as sensitive.

I think a dedicated GPS is probably a wiser choice if you need to use it often, however the iPhone is more than good enough for casual use.
 

iphoner23

New Member
Aug 6, 2009
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#5
thanks for the info.

what i really want to do with the gps function is simply trace my hikes, bike rides, and backroad/shortcuts around where i live in british columbia where telus rules and cellphone reception is terrible over most of the province. i know that with the right app, i will be able to place waypoints and other do other tasks like that but i didn't know if once i lost bars(or didn't even have a contract) the gps would be dead or useless. thanks.
 

robotpedlr

New Member
Jun 19, 2009
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#6
My experience with the GPS on the iPhone 3GS is bad. I find that if you are not in a strong 3g area you get nothing. I am in Ohio traveling with clear sky access and just downloaded ATT Nav and it cant get a signal 75% of the time. I tried Geocacheing with kids here....and it was not working the majority of the time.

Is it just me or does GPS bite on these.
 

ZR_Yancy

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Jul 11, 2008
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#7
GPS works great on my 3GS. I use G-Map East & recently used it on a road trip. I lost 3G signal several times but GPS kept on going since the map is onboard. I actually don't need any signal at all.
 

Tinman

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Jul 16, 2007
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#8
My experience with the GPS on the iPhone 3GS is bad. I find that if you are not in a strong 3g area you get nothing. I am in Ohio traveling with clear sky access and just downloaded ATT Nav and it cant get a signal 75% of the time. I tried Geocacheing with kids here....and it was not working the majority of the time.

Is it just me or does GPS bite on these.
What you've witnessed is the flaw in using an online service for navigating, not a flaw with the GPS itself. Since the AT&T navigation subscribtion service needs constant Internet it's not really the best way to go, GPS app wise. It doesn't matter how clear the sky is, if you don't have a good cellular signal it can't work.


--
Mike
 

robotpedlr

New Member
Jun 19, 2009
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#9
Great...thats good to know... will cancel ATT and go with one of the others (not online).
 
Mar 22, 2008
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#10
A friend of mine just showed me that if you tap the locate me twice it goes into compass mode. Kinda cool. Then again I just have a Touch not the iPhone. I wish that worked on my WM phone.
 

Shonai

New Member
Jun 24, 2009
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#11
My 3Gs is somewhat accurate but it pinpoints my home position as being the nearest Cell tower which is like 2 miles away across the river where i live.

And i don't really live in that Cell tower so you can see my dilemma.

I wonder if that translates in other GPS readings and if one can "force" the GPS in some way to recognize the right place where i am and not some antenna while i'm using 3G and not WI-FI...

Anyone have the same problm and how did you correct it, if you did correct it anyways

:(
 

Tinman

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Jul 16, 2007
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#12
My 3Gs is somewhat accurate but it pinpoints my home position as being the nearest Cell tower which is like 2 miles away across the river where i live.

And i don't really live in that Cell tower so you can see my dilemma.

I wonder if that translates in other GPS readings and if one can "force" the GPS in some way to recognize the right place where i am and not some antenna while i'm using 3G and not WI-FI...

Anyone have the same problm and how did you correct it, if you did correct it anyways

:(
It sounds like you're are not getting a GPS signal and Maps is instead using cell tower info. Try going outside and trying it there.

That said, my 3GS has no trouble working inside my house. Heck, I can tell which part of the house my iPhone is in.



--
Mike
 

Shonai

New Member
Jun 24, 2009
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#13
It sounds like you're are not getting a GPS signal and Maps is instead using cell tower info. Try going outside and trying it there.
Thats the rub: its works very well outside but when i'm home its like i'm somewhere else. This bugs me a lot!

That said, my 3GS has no trouble working inside my house. Heck, I can tell which part of the house my iPhone is in.
You sir have a very big house to have a map for it that can find where you are in it! ;)



--
 

adamc

New Member
Aug 20, 2009
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#14
I also have a new iPhone 3Gs and I was interested in using the phone as a GPS device. In order to gather some information regarding this I searched the internet and I found an interesting article. The article is about iPhone GPS applications. I think I will use the Navigon software prospectively. I am of the opinion that the iPhone is a good option to a normal GPS device.
 

flabyboy

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Jun 25, 2008
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Minnesota
#15
My experience with the GPS on the iPhone 3GS is bad. I find that if you are not in a strong 3g area you get nothing. I am in Ohio traveling with clear sky access and just downloaded ATT Nav and it cant get a signal 75% of the time. I tried Geocacheing with kids here....and it was not working the majority of the time.

Is it just me or does GPS bite on these.
My experience has been the same on my 3G. I was hoping the 3GS would be better. The poor GPS and battery life are my only gripes with the phone, but I have learned to live with it and enjoy all the other features
 

Hawk

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Aug 2, 2007
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#16
I just have the 3G and my GPS is very accurate. I use it for driving directions and I also have Motion X GPS (full version) that I use for Geocashing and other activities.
I have never had a problem with signal strength so far, and I've been all over in and out of the metro Atlanta area.
 

MrMike6by9

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Nov 16, 2008
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#17
My Nuvi 350 & my former WM phone could tell me, in real time, how many satellites were being used to fix my position. Neither my iPhone nor my car's factory-installed system can do that.

YMMV
 

Tinman

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#18
My Nuvi 350 & my former WM phone could tell me, in real time, how many satellites were being used to fix my position. Neither my iPhone nor my car's factory-installed system can do that.

YMMV
Well, to play devil's advocate, that information is not very usefull to the average user.

The Maps app shows accuracy via the size of the circle around current location.

It's becoming apparent that the Maps app uses the GPS chipset more effectivley than some, if not all, other GPS apps.



--
Mike
 

MrMike6by9

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Nov 16, 2008
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#19
... but the map data itself isn't always precise and the satellite fix varies with how many birds are being used for triangulation at any given moment which can & does vary as you travel.

YMMV