GPS and airplane mode?


  1. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Well-Known Member

    Is it possible to use GPS while the phone is in airplane mode?

    For example can I get an app like Navigon and use it while a phone is in airplane mode to navigate only, with no other data/cellular communication?

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  2. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator Guide

    Pretty sure you can use GPS over wifi while in airplane mode. You, of course, must be connected to Wifi to be able to use GPS, since there are no other radios it can connect to :)
  3. Steve B.

    Steve B. Active Member

    If I'm reading their website correctly, these are maps stored on the device, so you have the map data and only need GPS data to locate. So no need for WiFi or a 3/4G cell data connection.

    This does work in theory. I have done this with a Galaxy tablet that has CoPilot maps installed. I was able to get a GPS fix while in an airplane flying over Nevada. Copilot correctly located me. Much is dependent on the ability of the device to get a decent fix on 3 or more GPS satellites, which was problematic from an airplane window.

    The only issue that comes into play with phones is when you relocate the device outside of the area it has normally been receiving GPS satellite data and it cannot find local satellites to listen to.

    A stand-alone GPS receiver, when first activated, asks you to do a rough location. This then allows the device to know what satellites to listen to. In the data base is the information for each GPS satellite in the constellation and their location at certain times and dates. The GPS device then knows what to expect and it speeds up the locating process. If you re-locate the device from NY to Rome, you typically want to tell the device you'v re-located.

    Phones get their initial location via the cell system, thus are typically much faster at plotting an initial location then a stand-alone. If you re-locate a phone and do not have cell data service, you may or may not have the data base internal and may have issues with initial location.
  4. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member Contributor

    No. i can open apps requiring GPS but they for some reason need mobile data and radio enabled. i think wifi only gives basic location info (like tablets without GPS but wifi only, can get location info via wifi or DNS lookup)

    example: speedometer app. no need for maps, but it refused to gather speed or satellite data without mobile radio enabled.
  5. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Well-Known Member

    Seems like some mixed answers. I'm thinking about buying an app like TomTom or Navigon that I want to use an old phone as a stand alone GPS unit.

    I don't see why an app like this that keeps all the maps on the device couldn't work just as well as a stand alone GPS that the same companies make. Maybe I'll email the Dev and see what they say.
  6. Harry2

    Harry2 Well-Known Member

    At the settings of the Navigon app I can uncheck using mobile data.
    When I've unchecked it, I can navigate and even calculate a new route, but the app won't get me any info about traffic jam etc.

    Harry
  7. psionandy

    psionandy Well-Known Member

    Pretty sure GPS doesn't use wifi or 3g/4g at all.. since it gets its info straight from the satellites.

    Although some GPS units will use data (in AGPS) mode to decrease the time it takes for them to fix their position.

    A lot of APPS that use GPS will want a data connection to download maps etc, but that will depend on the app your using.
  8. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member Contributor

    What's the best navigation App that has maps stored on the device ( I want to use my N7 as a large-screen Sat-nav)
  9. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator Guide

    Sorry i was meaning like location finders, not direct GPS, like i know if you are somewhere then GPS can track that specific location of where you are, but you cannot use in car GPS like Google Maps without Radio enabled.
  10. UncleMike

    UncleMike Well-Known Member

    I think fine of the posts in this thread aren't showing up in Tapatalk, so I may be repeating someone here. Whether GPS in a device works without some sort of data connection depends on the device, and what type of GPS is has. My GSM Galaxy Nexus has GPS and A-GPS, while some devices (iPhones, for one) have only A-GPS. A-GPS generally does not work without a data connection since it requires the use of an assistance server to determine its location. GPS does not require any outside assistance.

    Wikipedia has a good comparison of the two.
  11. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member Contributor

    All I know is that one speedometer app didnt work in airplane mode even with GPS on. The little satellite icon up top flashed but the app never got speed data. Enabling data and GPS worked fine. In that case no maps were needed. Device however was a blackberry curve. Not sure if the same rules apply to android myself, but thought it applied to all cell phones
  12. Steve B.

    Steve B. Active Member

    I have a preference for CoPilot. About $10, very accurate, not too huge a file and they push updates frequently.

    SB
  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Active Member

    I think what you mean is that A-GPS cannot initially function without a CELL connection. It does not need a 3G/4G type data connection via the cell system to locate the device.
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