How does the GPS work on smartphones?

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  1. fujisan

    fujisan New Member

    Hello all,
    I'm planning to buy an android phone but I have a question.
    How does the GPS work on smartphones?
    Does it work like a "true" GPS device like the I use when hiking in the mountains or do I need a permanent connection to internet to be able to the GPS application of the smrtphone?

    Thanks for your replies.

  2. wmm

    wmm Well-Known Member

    Whether or not you need an Internet connection depends on the application you are using to access the GPS data. If you want maps that work without an Internet connection, you generally have to buy an application that comes with installable maps; the free ones typically download the maps in real time over the Internet. If you just need latitude/longitude/altitude and not a map, there are free apps that do that and don't need an Internet connection.
  3. lildegregs22

    lildegregs22 Well-Known Member

    90% of the time you will have a data connection it just depends what service you have.
  4. gie62001

    gie62001 Well-Known Member

    sorry but such a lie :) it's not true at all it all depends on what app you have for your gps. there several main apps for android that don't use any data as they''ve got offline maps (same like tomtom): IGO, Ndrive, Copilot, and Sygic mobile maps. however im sure there are more and they all can be used same like stand alone gps navigation systems with no data connection whatsoever.
    still there are apps that does need data connection: google maps, andnav, etc.
    so it's entirely up to you whether you pay for quality app with no data connection or use your data connection but get app for free :)
    and yes it is like real gps, but can also be supported by a-gps (signal from network tower) which allows alot faster gps fix and helps normal gps with fix speed.
    so here are the options, and android os is really good for gps. bought Ndrive app and using it all the time
  5. fujisan

    fujisan New Member

    Thank you all for your answers.

    @ gie62001, how much did you buy your Ndrive app?

    Is there an official web site with all these apps and their description?

  6. gie62001

    gie62001 Well-Known Member

    i dont know about official websites as the apps on adroid can be downloaded/purchased via android market on the phone itself. but i found external market search that you can do on internet

    ndrive: NDrive for Android -

  7. bbrosen

    bbrosen Well-Known Member

    I bought and use co pilot live 8, and tested with just the gps, no data or wifi and it works excellent. I have the HTC hero, cdma version. If the app you use has the data already loaded onto your sd card or phone, then data should not be needed.
  8. fujisan

    fujisan New Member

    Thank you again for your answers.

    I plan to buy the HTC desire. I can't wait.
  9. gie62001

    gie62001 Well-Known Member

    hey me aswell. although i currently own samsung galaxy i'm still going to buy htc desire (sense ui, loads or Ram, snapdragon, 2.1 android :) )
  10. BigTimeNexusFan

    BigTimeNexusFan Well-Known Member

    The Nexus has Cell tower/ Wifi Assisted GPS and a TRUE GPS built in. It will work without a data plan or outside of cell tower range. You will however need offline maps since you can't get to google maps while not connected to the internet. I have found MAPDROYD works great. GPS is a wonderful thing.
  11. gie62001

    gie62001 Well-Known Member

    i guess most of android devices have the same Cell tower/ Wifi Assisted GPS and a TRUE GPS built in. its just good that you wrote about nexus one as this guy who started this thread wants to buy new phone. however, some of guys really lack the knowledge or experience, therefore wrote some meaningles stuff :)
  12. BigTimeNexusFan

    BigTimeNexusFan Well-Known Member

    Not sure which ones do but I believe a good majority are A-GPS only and doesn't have a built in GPS chip. I can only speak for the NEXUS (which has both) which works well with MAPDROYD for gps when cell coverage is unavailable. I do a lot of overseas travel.

    Whatever phone you end up buying...check the specs and make sure it has an actual GPS chip if you want navigation anywhere (even over the ocean or in Africa)

  13. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

    It really depends on the specific device you're asking about. GPS isn't implemented the same way on all devices.
  14. Can you guys list the phones with GPS that work offline? I'm thinking of going old school with a G1. Will that work. What phones will work? What phones won't work? It sounds like some phones with GPS won't work as a true GPS where others will function like a true GPS. Thanks for the help.

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