Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Feedback: 0 reviews
I have an iPad 3G (1st generation) that I use for off-road GPS using a program called "Topo Maps" (duh!). My problem is that I have umpty-ump year old eyes and can't *see* those stupid little Garmin or Magellan GPS's! So anyhow, it's had no trouble getting GPS signals while in the outback, and because it's *big*, you can actually scroll around the map and plan things sort of on the fly without having a computer with you. I use a RAM flat surface ball mount with short stalk and iPad holder zip-tied (via 100 pound rated professional grade electrician's zip ties, not the wimpy little things at Wally World/Harbor Freight) to the passenger seat grab bar, which sort of inconveniences passengers but (shrug) they can just cope. Oh yeah, I also put a piece of motorcycle rubber inner tube between the grab handle and RAM ball mount to help protect. All in all, seems to be working well, I've been doing this for a year now and it's never failed to get signal or tell me where I am on the (pre-loaded) map. The only time I've ever had an issue is when going someplace I didn't pre-load, in which case I just have a blank map (duh!) and have to rely on my normal Magellan software running on the iPhone.
I think the fallacy that the iPhone/iPad doesn't have GPS signal when you lose your 3G signal comes from the fact that the built-in Google Maps app has to phone home to the mothership to show you the map. But that app sucks anyhow. All the real GPS apps (the ones with pre-loaded maps) have no trouble operating without a 3G signal.
Note: The non-3G iPad does *not* have a GPS built in to it (the GPS is on the 3G chip).
Note2: I originally used this Topo Maps software on my iPhone. It worked well there too, but the screen is rather small...