Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Which Smartphone for Sailing
"If I am not mistaken the GPS feature works as part of the 4G/cellular connectivity, so I guess it won't work on the open where there is no cellular reception, am I right?"
Five year ago, that could be said of most or all of the phones on the US market. While the rest of the world was using phones that directly accessed and resolved GPS data, the US cellular carriers (the carriers, not the phone makers) all required the GPS sets to be crippled in the US version of the phones, so that US phone suckers, ergh, customers, had to pay an extra $10 per month to the carrier to use the GPS data. Since the phones only contained the GPS receiver, they had to connect to the carrier network to resolve the data and give you a position.
Nice way to pick your pockets, isn't it? And they swore that would never change.
Then the carriers found out they didn't have enough data capacity to deal with a stream of GPS requests, so they allowed US-market phones to carry independent GPS capabilities. Now, pretty much all of the smartphones in the US use multiple AGPS (assisted-GPS) modes when they can, and direct GPS (standalone) mode when the network is not available.
I'd assume that means the older iPhones were all carrier-compliant and required AGPS, while the newer ones certainly do not. Maybe the change came in around the 3rd generation?