Will the ipad gps work without a 4G (or 3G) connection, that is, using gps satilites?

6 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    The iPad2 does not need a cell connection for GPS. It cannot be in airplane mode though. I use it regularly in my job as a professional pilot to provide aircraft position, including out over the ocean.

    • Answered by Josh S from Peoria
    • 04-Aug-2012
  • Wrong. Answer is yes. I used my navigation software offshore between Roatan and Providencia. It showed the boat position using gps as, I guarantee there is no 3G or 4G network access there.

    • Answered by Thomas R from Calgary
    • 27-Jul-2012
  • Per AOPA.... Make sure airplane mode is off. Selectively turn off bluetooth and cellular data if you're not using them. The GPS will work. It will not work if airplane mode is on.

    From personal experience with iPhone 4s, AGPS uses the cellular network to establish it's initial position. Once that position is established it can track it's position without access to the cellular network. If you're not too far from the devices last fix it can pick it up even without a cell signal. Different apps may make a difference in how the unit initializes.

    For the best performance, get a full GPS chip device to feed information to your iPad.

    • Answered by Donald K from Huntsville
    • 23-Apr-2013
  • Hi

    Alas, it won't, it is a limitation of the iPad's GPS (in fact A-GPS).

    I must complete Peter K from Denver response that is right but incomplete, the GPS technology absolutly didn't care about an internet connection, many devices (GPS device, cellphone, camera, pedometrers ...) have GPS included, and it works perfectly without a internet connection.

    But ... as the technical description of the iPad said, it is not a standard GPS technology that is used on iPad, but an assisted GPS (A-GPS).

    An Assisted GPS system provide better quality for positioning by using data available from a network. it seems that from network providers side, they often count this as a data access, which in this case must be associated with a data plan.


    • Answered by Nadine L from Montreal
    • 29-Jul-2012
  • yes

    • Answered by Nomana T from Kansas City
    • 26-Jul-2013
  • I just used my wifi only retina ipad with iNavx to navigate over 15 miles in a boat.
    It worked well and required to interaction with other devices to do a fine job.
    So, from real world experience, GPS works well on a wifi only ipad. Augmentation or assistance from cell service not required.

    • Answered by Elaine N from Port Townsend
    • 14-Sep-2013