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GPS Not Working Abroad

6185 Views 36 Replies Latest reply: Sep 14, 2009 6:03 AM by remainz RSS
  • stevessvt Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
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    Aug 15, 2009 8:43 AM (in response to ostiarius)
    I just came off a cruise that had wi-fi, and I couldnt get a GPS fix either. I wonder if the GPS sat's that are used are USA specific? I dunno,....just thinking out loud here.
  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,500 points)
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    Aug 15, 2009 8:56 AM (in response to stevessvt)
    No, the GPS satellite network covers the world.
    Lenovo T-60, Intel iMac , Dell/Ubuntu 8, iPhone 3GS 3.0.1, Windows XP Pro, Leopard 10.5.4
  • stevessvt Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
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    Aug 15, 2009 9:03 AM (in response to Lawrence Finch)
    Well hmmmm,.....When I was on the cruise I was in airplane mode, wifi on, location service on, but it constantly showed me at the cruise port.
  • b99 Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)
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    Aug 15, 2009 10:47 AM (in response to stevessvt)
    See the second post in this thread. GPS is off in airplane mode.
    MacBookPro 17 (unibody, glossy), Mac OS X (10.5.8), 320 GB, ACD 23", iPhone 3GS
  • Simon201 Level 2 Level 2 (275 points)
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    Aug 16, 2009 1:20 PM (in response to stevessvt)
    "Well hmmmm,.....When I was on the cruise I was in airplane mode, wifi on, location service on, but it constantly showed me at the cruise port"

    But maybe that would be because the Maps app or any other map or gps app is not going to store the details (ie imagery) of every blank bit of ocean!

    Message was edited by: Simon201
    iMac 2.4ghz, 320gb. Macbook 2.16ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.2), Mac Classic & OS7.5 (ornamental!)
  • stevessvt Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
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    Aug 16, 2009 1:23 PM (in response to ostiarius)
    I didnt expect it to, but I was using the ships wifi service, so it could have downloaded it.
  • Charles Conway Calculating status...
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    Aug 16, 2009 2:34 PM (in response to ostiarius)
    As I understand it, the iPhone 3G has what's called "assisted" GPS, which should probably be renamed "reliant" GPS. You can read some Wikipedia articles about AGPS for more info, but the gist is that a completely stand-alone GPS receiver usually takes several minutes to get its first location fix because it needs to download fresh info from the satellites which by-design happens on their slowest data link.

    To save you having to sit there in Maps for several minutes, the phone relies on extra help from the cell-towers nearby. It sends fragments of the messages it's getting to the cell towers, which themselves have GPS receivers, and the towers send back the completed data. That saves the iPhone from having to download all the satellite info itself.

    To the best of my knowledge, this requires an active cell data connection, so if you're roaming and data roaming is turned off, you won't get the "assistance" from the cell-towers. Also, as I understand it, and from personal experience, the iPhone is reliant on this assistance and won't fall back to downloading all the necessary data from the satellites over the 5-10 minutes it would take.

    If you're connected to a WiFi hotspot through which you can actually browse the web (i.e. not just redirected to a login page), then you ought to still get a rough location fix via the Skyhook service. No hope for GPS though, as it requires the cell-towers specifically, not just any internet access.
    iPhone OS 3.0.1
  • danielth Calculating status...
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    Aug 16, 2009 2:57 PM (in response to ostiarius)
    thats not true... you can reset the iphone to FACTORY SETTINGS takes 2 hours but as u have not backed up from new purchases and stuff i dont suggest u do that
    hp pavilion, Windows Vista, iphone
  • danielth Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Aug 16, 2009 3:00 PM (in response to danielth)
    *what i ment was u can do it from general settings in the iphone*
    hp pavilion, Windows Vista, iphone
  • b99 Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)
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    Aug 26, 2009 10:42 AM (in response to ostiarius)
    Ostiarius: I'm very interested in your experience because I'm going to Africa in a few months and want to use my iPhone's GPS to obtain Latitude and Longitude coordinates for some locations there. I don't want to pay roaming charges and probably there won't be any wifi available. Mapping is totally unimportant to me at the sites, but later I will use maps on my laptop where there will be wifi available. My understanding is that with Basic GPS or GPS Ally I can do this. I have been experimenting with it at my home and indeed it works OK. Unfortunately when I put it in airplane mode and turn wifi off I get a message on Basic GPS that it cannot locate my position and asks if it's in airplane mode. When I turn on wifi but leave it in airplane mode I do get a position and no error message. But is this using GPS (it appears not to be as accurate)? I will contact the developer when I have more time and get his comments on it (I have contacted him before).
    MacBookPro 17 (unibody, glossy), Mac OS X (10.5.8), 320 GB, ACD 23", iPhone 3GS
  • b99 Level 2 Level 2 (280 points)
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    Aug 26, 2009 3:44 PM (in response to b99)
    Ostiarius: I should have added, in Africa I will use it with airplane mode off, and that's the way I have mainly been testing it here. I put airplane mode on just to duplicate your conditions.
    MacBookPro 17 (unibody, glossy), Mac OS X (10.5.8), 320 GB, ACD 23", iPhone 3GS

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