SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: iPad GPS accuracy? Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-01-2013 03:26 PM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

Going into "Airplane Mode" turns off the WiFi, cell, and GPS receivers.

If you have a WiFi only iPad it does NOT have a GPS receiver in it. It will do a half-assed job at locating you based on the local WiFi networks.

If you have the higher-end iPad with cell access then it also has a GPS receiver in it. You do not need a cell plan or WiFi access for the GPS receiver to work, although it will lock in quicker if you do.
09-01-2013 02:51 PM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

The iPad 4 wifi only does the same. Requests wifi on and then locates you

I should probably try driving the iPhone around with only wifi on and bring my
hotspot. If it behaves as badly as the iPad wifi only device, then I can say
that the innerds of these two devices are the same.
09-01-2013 02:45 PM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

Ok, so I went airplane mode and wifi off on my iPhone 4.
It will not try to locate you using GPS satellites, and requires you
to turn on at least wifi.

With wifi on it will locate you on it's apple maps function, but with an accuracy
circle the size of a football field. The blue dot is about 50 ft off.
09-01-2013 07:22 AM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

Originally Posted by glymroff View Post
I have a IPAD2 wifi. It does NOT have GPS. It uses cell towers for locale.
This is true of the wifi only version.
Apple have always made it a bit confusing but only the more expensive cellular/wi-fi model has GPS.

This is the case for the iPad 2 like yours up to the current version (and I think even the original iPad, mini etc)
09-01-2013 07:08 AM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

I have a IPAD2 wifi. It does NOT have GPS. It uses cell towers for locale. This is very accurate if you are lake or potentially very close coastal. I've used it 2+ miles off shore.

However, if there isn't a strong enough signal or you are in a dead zone, then it barely works for location based services.

The Dual or Bad Elf or Bad Elf Pro solve this. Google them. They range from 65-180 bucks.

I'm not sure if the newer IPADS have GPS chips or not in the WIFI only units. A quick (lol) check of the apple web site would verify this or not.

Happy Sailing... :-)
09-01-2013 01:04 AM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

Originally Posted by scratchee View Post
The only real variable (other than special techniques available only to the military) is the sensitivity of the receiver;
Not quite true - another major variable is whether your recieiver is WAAS-enabled.
08-31-2013 05:08 PM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

If they really do have full GPS, they should still make an accurate blue dot.
08-31-2013 05:07 PM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

I ran an interesting experiment which I may do some more of...

Took my iPhone 4, put in airport mode, turn on wifi.
Now it should be the same as my ipad wifi.

The iPhone mapping performance then got worse.

I should next cut off all comm on both and see what they do
08-31-2013 04:42 PM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

I have a wifi only iPad 4 and use this GPS and it seems to be very accurate!

Looks like this:

08-31-2013 03:50 PM
Re: iPad GPS accuracy?

The cellular+wifi models have a full GPS. It is called assisted GPS only because it can use the phone towers to acquire an initial position more quickly. This is better, not worse than a conventional GPS system. It works fine outside cellphone range.

Having said all that there is a difference between different GPS units. The quality of the GPS chip and the antenna design do make a difference. I have a dozen GPS units on board and there are noticable variations in the data quality.

I would rate the iPad GPS as reasonably good, but there are better units.

One interesting feature is that it is also a GLONASS receiver
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome