Which ipad has the best GPS receiver?

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by super jet 100, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. super jet 100

    super jet 100 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello everyone,

    What do you recommend to buy: an ipad air 2 or mini 4? They have built-in barometers. I'm not really familiar with Apple stuff. Is it possible to connect my 128Gb MicroSD card to an ipad via some kind of adapter and still have the usb port to charge it?

    I'm going to get one off ebay. What do I need to check?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  2. Joey4420

    Joey4420 Pre-takeoff checklist

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  3. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    My iPad minis have excellent GPS. I assume the newer models do as well. I have a Garmin external GPS and haven't needed it for years.

    No USB ports on iPads. They use Lightning plugs. You can buy compatible memory sticks but you can't charge and use a plug-in at the same time.There are bluetooth memory expanders. I have one but never bonded with it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  4. Craig R

    Craig R Filing Flight Plan

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    iPads without cellular capability don't have GPSs do they? I sold my iPad and went to a Samsung tablet after spending hours trying to get my iPad working with FltPlan Go.
     
  5. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    iPad mini 4 is what I just bought. It's a nice size for the cockpit, especially on the yoke.
    right now they are on sale at best buy for $299 for the 128Gb
    Quite a step up from my iPad 2 (slow)
    I use an external GPS.

    I do have to say though, this looks a bit like a trolling post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  6. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Does the one you just bought have GPS on it though?
     
  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Correct, the cell radio and GPS are on the same chip. If you have wifi-only iPad you need an external unit such as BadElf, Dual, or a stratux.
     
  8. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Nah...I had already purchased the external, plus it sort of seemed like I could only get an internal gps at a decent price with a two year contract of cell service.
    Just offering my recent observation on the size aspect when op asked about the air 2 vs mini 4. I can only guess they have similar gps chips.
     
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  9. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have a mini 4 cell (only the cell ones have the additional GPS chip for whatever cheap Apple reason) and before that the mini 2 or 3, no external stuff and not even a need to charge in the middle of a flight, the battery will last longer than your tanks or probably how long you'll want to sit in the plane, just turn the screen off when you're not using it

    Speed wise I didn't see much of a difference since I didn't "update" my older mini with the new iOS bloat ware, wouldn't have even upgraded if I hadent have gotten the new one for free through work.


    From bush flying to the flight levels, been very happy with them on my lap.
     
  10. airbornejohnny

    airbornejohnny Line Up and Wait

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    Yes they do! Look on the Apple store, they have glonass/ gnss. Mine is not set up thru any wireless provider and works great. Cellular gps relies on the cell system for location, which is fine if you never leave the ground...
     
  11. airbornejohnny

    airbornejohnny Line Up and Wait

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    Oh and I forgot...flightplan go had a message up not to upgrade to iOS 11.0.3 because they’re still testing compatibility with the new system, maybe that was a cause of the problem you were having....
     
  12. Craig R

    Craig R Filing Flight Plan

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  13. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think you misunderstand.

    A WIFI only iPAD has no GPS of any sort. A cellular capable iPad has GPS and it doesn't need the cell service activated in order for it to work. There's no such thing as "cellular gps." Some cell systems use cell data for position location (for E911 location requirements) but the iOS doesn't expose this to apps to my knowledge. The iPAD will use the cellular radio for some ancillary help to boot up the GPS position if it is turned on, however.

    Glonass support was added to the cellular capable iPads starting with the 3rd generation full size iPad as well as all of the cellular capable minis.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  14. airbornejohnny

    airbornejohnny Line Up and Wait

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    Yes, I stand corrected. Still, you don’t need to be on a cellular network to get gps (this I am sure of).
    Maybe not apple, but there are cellphones which do not use real gnss to give your location, they rely on the cell network.
     
  15. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Correct, as I stated, you don't need the cell data turned on to get the GPS to work in the iPad, but it helps. However, as I stated in my very first statement, the cellular and GPS are on the same chip.

    Some cell phones do (as I stated) use the cell network triangulation for 911 location reporting. This is not however "GPS" or "GNSS" or in fact, GLOBAL in any way. Anyhow, I think it's largely gone by the wayside. Even ATT in the US who was the biggest proponent on it has moved along.
     
  16. airbornejohnny

    airbornejohnny Line Up and Wait

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    I don’t really keep up much about this stuff, but where I’m a firefighter and been called to find lost seniors, we tend to get triangulation from cell sites suggesting where to look.
     
  17. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    All cell networks are required to do it. The carriers have “moved on” only from marketing it as a cellular carrier feature, or trying to sell their proprietary GPS apps and voice direction things since any App can ask wither iOS or Android for whatever location the device thinks it’s currently located at.

    But the E911 tracking and what not (and tracking of any device with an appropriate — however ridiculously easy to get they are — court order, is still alive and very well in the networks.

    Most carriers tell the devices to send any more accurate location data the device has that they don’t, back to the carrier nearly continuously anyway, citing that it’ll make “network management” better, when really all they want to do is sell tailored advertising with it.

    If it’s on, it’s being tracked. The cell site controllers use it for MIMO and power level stuff besides all the other sketchy uses for it.
     
  18. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    Is there any reason to get cellular service added to the ipad if it has a cellular/gps chip already, and you have a Stratus? Asking for a friend (me)..
     
  19. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Only reason I could think of is if you want to update charts etc. when not able to use WiFi. GPS, Weather etc. will come through the Stratus
     
  20. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    Thanks buddy. Just what I was looking for! Happy I don't need to give verizon more money..
     
  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I assume you’re saying your Stratus has GPS. No iPad without cellular does.

    The question for aviation use is always whether or not you want it to be self contained and useful if the other gadget dies.
     
  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    To expound on the above. The internal GPS on all the iPads are on the same chip as the cellular data. If you have gps, you have the cell capability and vice versa. It is not necessary for you to have the cellular service enabled for the GPS to work properly (though it works better if the cellular radio is not disabled, i.e., airplane mode, as it boots up faster).

    I've not seen much difference in the GPS quality across the several iPads and iPhones I've had in the various planes.
     
  23. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    That's a good point Nate.