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Wi-Fi iPad 2 Gets GPS When Tethered To iPhone Using Personal Hotspot

March 16th, 2011 03:28 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

iPad 2

If you already have iPhone 4 and planning to buy iPad 2 then there are couple of reasons you can opt for just the iPad 2 Wi-Fi only model instead of the 3G model.

First reason: you can tether your iPad to iPhone 4′s 3G data connection thanks to the new personal hotspot feature introduced in iOS 4.3 to surf the web while on the go. So if exceeding the data limits isn’t a concern then you don’t really need 3G.

Second reason: Kyle Carmitchel of Tablet Monsters has discovered that when you use iPhone 4’s 3G data connection, it also gets GPS information that can be used in the Maps application to get more accurate directions. This is quite useful as iPad Wi-Fi model does not come with assisted GPS like the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G model.

He reports:

I decided to get some directions to make sure we were on track. I launched the iPads maps app, expecting to navigate the old fashioned way without GPS assistance — knowing full well that GPS only comes in the 3G iPad models. Imagine my surprise when my iPad pinpointed exactly where we were on the road.

Apple’s Wi-Fi only iOS devices have had location awareness for years via Wi-Fi location service that rely on identifying MAC addresses of nearby hotspots, and comparing those against a database of where those routers are located.

You can checkout the video to see it in action:

Kyle has observed that the iPad 2 gets the GPS information while tethered to an iPhone 4 at an interval of once a minute. Kyle also confirms that this will work on the first generation iPad.

This is a pretty cool hidden feature. Will you buy the iPad 2 Wi-Fi only model or still buy the iPad 2 3G model? Do you use the assisted GPS feature on your iPad? Let us know in the comments section below.

[TabletMonsters via Daring Fireball]

Source: Wi-Fi iPad 2 Gets GPS When Tethered To iPhone Using Personal Hotspot

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