GPS on an iPad Pro

 

I have been given an iPad Pro (9.7" size) by my employer as a Service Anniversary Award. It has a GPS receiver and WiFi capability, but no internal phone. I love the hi-res screen, which started me thinking about the possibility of using the iPad Pro for vehicle navigation.

Has anyone any experience using an iPad like this for navigation?

Other than the relatively large size, what are its pros and cons?

What are the pros and cons of the various GPS programs that may be available for this platform?

I have never used Apple hardware and software before, so I will be approaching it as a novice in spite of many years with other operating systems. Any tips and guidance that can be provided would be appreciated.

- Tom -

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XXL540, GO LIVE 1535, GO 620

Waze/Google Maps

I've tried both Waze and Google Maps; either are a decent GPS with moving map display and spoken directions and both are free. They work fine although the iPad needs an active internet connection either via it's own cellular subscription if available on your model or via a wi-fi hotspot provided by a smartphone* and a 12v power connection is also desirable. The large screen size is more practical in a motor home than in a smaller vehicle. You can simply lay it on the dash or the seat beside you and listen to the spoken directions. There are many other choices available on the App Store and some may include the ability to download map data for use without having a live internet connection on the road, some free, some for $0.99 cost up to less than $100. Others may have had experience with them, but the free choices are fine for me. I normally use a nüvi, but have used this method on occasion.

Some jurisdictions restrict handing a cellphone while driving to include standing at a stop light. An iPad can be just as much a distraction, so it is best to set it and not mess with it or let your copilot handle any tasks.

*If you are using a smartphone to provide the internet hotspot, it would be just as easy to use the phone as the GPS unless your desire was to have a large screen display.

--
"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

Poor Choice

-et- wrote:

I have been given an iPad Pro (9.7" size) by my employer as a Service Anniversary Award. It has a GPS receiver and WiFi capability, but no internal phone. I love the hi-res screen, which started me thinking about the possibility of using the iPad Pro for vehicle navigation.

Has anyone any experience using an iPad like this for navigation?

Other than the relatively large size, what are its pros and cons?

What are the pros and cons of the various GPS programs that may be available for this platform?

I have never used Apple hardware and software before, so I will be approaching it as a novice in spite of many years with other operating systems. Any tips and guidance that can be provided would be appreciated.

- Tom -

IMHO, a tablet that is WIFI only is a poor choice for an in-vehicle navigation aid. You have to have a means of connecting to the internet to get the maps and traffic info. Three choices are, tethering to your cell phone and using cell data, a MIFI cellular device using cellular data, or having a vehicle that has the built in wifi service using cellular data. Alll three entail having to pay for cellular data.

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Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

~

With an external GPS receiver and an app that stores full maps on the device, you d have a perfectly functional solution that works every bit as good as a Nuvi. I've been using my 3rd Generation iPad with a BadElf GPS receiver and the Navigon app successfully for several years now.

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

PS...mounting solutions

There are plenty out there... From vent clip mounts to goosenecks that fit in cup holders...

--
*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

TomTom App

You don't need Wi-Fi or cellphone connection to use the TomTom app (I assume Garmin is similar). I use it with my iPhone in areas without cellphone coverage (because you download the maps to your device). Since the iPad has a GPS receiver, you could use it in the same way.

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Shooter N32 39 W97 25 VIA 1535TM, Lexus built-in, TomTom Go

IPad Mini

-et- wrote:

I have been given an iPad Pro (9.7" size) by my employer as a Service Anniversary Award. It has a GPS receiver and WiFi capability, but no internal phone. I love the hi-res screen, which started me thinking about the possibility of using the iPad Pro for vehicle navigation.

Has anyone any experience using an iPad like this for navigation?

Other than the relatively large size, what are its pros and cons?

What are the pros and cons of the various GPS programs that may be available for this platform?

I have never used Apple hardware and software before, so I will be approaching it as a novice in spite of many years with other operating systems. Any tips and guidance that can be provided would be appreciated.

- Tom -

I use an iPad mini (8.1" screen) occasionally with Google, Waze and Garmin Viago. The mini has cellular connectivity which makes it a bit more functional as a navigator. I find however that the advantage of the larger screen is offset by the difficulty in loading POI files. Consequently, usually have my Nuvi 3597 booted at the same time for POI navigation.

Been There, Done That, Works Fine

The iPad has GPS capability. All it needs to function like a nav device is an app with onboard mapping. Since the iPad does not have cellular capability, it must have resident maps.

I use Garmin N. America, works great.

Also tried an external GPS receiver with the iPad and iPhone but it didn't make any improvement over the iPad GPS capability.

--
GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

Wifi only iPads

Do NOT have their own GPS receiver built in... need an external Bluetooth GPS receiver...

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

I didn't know that

kch50428 wrote:

Do NOT have their own GPS receiver built in... need an external Bluetooth GPS receiver...

Thanks for the clarification. This old dog just learned a new trick as I had mistakenly assumed all iPads contained the GPS chip when indeed only the models with the cellular capability include it. This is an important distinction for the OP as I understood from his question that his was the Wi-Fi only model.

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"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

The GPS receiver...

Is built in to the cellular radio circuitry on phones and other cellular capable devices.

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

So, therefore, what I said

So, therefore, what I said about an external cellular connection holds true. Unless things have changed, the iPad doesn't play nicely with an external GPS.

--
Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

.

iPads work fine with external GPS pucks.

~

phranc wrote:

So, therefore, what I said about an external cellular connection holds true. Unless things have changed, the iPad doesn't play nicely with an external GPS.

No, it doesn't...if you have an app that stores maps on the device, no cellular connection is necessary... and iPads play quite nicely with external GPS... I've been doing it for 2+ years now.

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

Location, location, location

I must say it was impressive how my iPad w/o cellular can locate my position on a map w/o an attached GPS receiver. I don't see how BlueTooth can do that.

Still wonder how it did that.

GPS locating capability was required by law to be included with cell service transceivers, for emergency locating purposes.

kch50428 wrote:

Is built in to the cellular radio circuitry on phones and other cellular capable devices.

--
GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

~

diesel wrote:

I must say it was impressive how my iPad w/o cellular can locate my position on a map w/o an attached GPS receiver. I don't see how BlueTooth can do that.

Still wonder how it did that.

Geolocation via the IP address of your wifi connection...or, if you're tethering to an iPhone, it will get GPS from the iPhone.

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*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

Apple = Today's Version Of The Gillette Razor Business Model

kch50428 wrote:

Do NOT have their own GPS receiver built in... need an external Bluetooth GPS receiver...

So I have discovered. I appears that the iPad can sort of imitate a GPS by using info from a WiFi connection, which approximates the location. But that is not really a good solution for the road.

Buying a standalone GPS receiver at $80 - $250 that the iPad can talk to via Bluetooth will get the job done. I am discovering that getting my "free" iPad to do several things I want will involve a significant outlay of cash. Now I remember why I have avoided buying Apple for all these years. The business model is based upon the Gillette razor blade model, except that the initial cost is not low to suck you in - it's the religious experience that makes you a customer.

- Tom -

--
XXL540, GO LIVE 1535, GO 620

Just for Discussion

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Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

People are stupid

phranc wrote:

http://www.networkworld.com/article/3175066/consumer-electronics/boat-relying-upon-an-ipad-for-navigation-crashes-into-a-ferry-after-wi-fi-goes-out.html

'nuff said. Using the wrong tool for a job often can end badly.

--
*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

Swiss Army Knife

kch50428 wrote:

... 'nuff said. Using the wrong tool for a job often can end badly.

I love my iPad for what it can do for me, but like the Swiss Army Knife, there are other things that will arguably do specific jobs much better. I see people using an iPad to take pictures; I have done so in a pinch. A smartphone is a lot handier for a point and shoot camera. For the OP, yes it is possible to use an iPad as a GPS, easier if it has the GPS chip included with the cellular capable models, but requires another doodad to make it work properly if not and then there is the mounting issues. That's why I like my nüvi and prefer it for now even over those the car makers build into many cars.

--
"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

.

-et- wrote:

I have been given an iPad Pro (9.7" size) by my employer as a Service Anniversary Award. It has a GPS receiver and WiFi capability, but no internal phone.
- Tom -

FYI
There are no iPad devices with internal phone. There's a model with cellular data but you can't use it to make conventional phone calls (ie. calling from iPad to regular phones) without the help of an iPhone.

There's An App For That

chewbacca wrote:
-et- wrote:

I have been given an iPad Pro (9.7" size) by my employer as a Service Anniversary Award. It has a GPS receiver and WiFi capability, but no internal phone.
- Tom -

FYI
There are no iPad devices with internal phone. There's a model with cellular data but you can't use it to make conventional phone calls (ie. calling from iPad to regular phones) without the help of an iPhone.

There are actually several apps out there that will let you use your cellular enabled iPad or tablet as a phone such as:

https://www.line2.com/

or

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wephone-free-phone-calls-int...

Not cheap to use though.

How about FaceTime calls

chewbacca wrote:
-et- wrote:

I have been given an iPad Pro (9.7" size) by my employer as a Service Anniversary Award. It has a GPS receiver and WiFi capability, but no internal phone.
- Tom -

FYI
There are no iPad devices with internal phone. There's a model with cellular data but you can't use it to make conventional phone calls (ie. calling from iPad to regular phones) without the help of an iPhone.

You are right, there are no iPads with internal phone. However, you can use an iPad with a WiFi connection to the internet to make calls without an iPhone using the Apple app FaceTime. This is similar to Skype or VOIP calls.

Follow-up

phranc wrote:

http://www.networkworld.com/article/3175066/consumer-electronics/boat-relying-upon-an-ipad-for-navigation-crashes-into-a-ferry-after-wi-fi-goes-out.html

Just a follow-up. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/maib-historic-boat...

--
Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

.

oldpal wrote:
chewbacca wrote:
-et- wrote:

I have been given an iPad Pro (9.7" size) by my employer as a Service Anniversary Award. It has a GPS receiver and WiFi capability, but no internal phone.
- Tom -

FYI
There are no iPad devices with internal phone. There's a model with cellular data but you can't use it to make conventional phone calls (ie. calling from iPad to regular phones) without the help of an iPhone.

You are right, there are no iPads with internal phone. However, you can use an iPad with a WiFi connection to the internet to make calls without an iPhone using the Apple app FaceTime. This is similar to Skype or VOIP calls.

I know. I was referring to OP's post that says "internal phone" as if he/she thinks that there is one with a built-in phone functionality right out of the box.

There is no iPad with internal phone out of the box. How's that? Yes you can turn it into VOIP device to make app to app calls (Skype, Facebook messenger, Line, BBM, Yahoo, WeChat and a ton of other VOIP apps) or app to conventional phone calls.

FREE GPS programs

I've been using Co Pilot and will soon be giving Navmii a try.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/navmii-gps-world-offline-nav...

With both the maps are downloaded to your device and no cell service is required for use. These maps CAN take up a lot of space on your device...

But hey! You just got the device so you should have plenty of room. AND they are Free.

Ron

right tool to make trip great again

TXRVer wrote:
kch50428 wrote:

... 'nuff said. Using the wrong tool for a job often can end badly.

I love my iPad for what it can do for me, but like the Swiss Army Knife, there are other things that will arguably do specific jobs much better. I see people using an iPad to take pictures; I have done so in a pinch. A smartphone is a lot handier for a point and shoot camera. For the OP, yes it is possible to use an iPad as a GPS, easier if it has the GPS chip included with the cellular capable models, but requires another doodad to make it work properly if not and then there is the mounting issues. That's why I like my nüvi and prefer it for now even over those the car makers build into many cars.

Can't agree more.