Sunday, July 5, 2015

GPS in Airplane Mode

Dave Rullo:

Airplane Mode turns off all internet functions, phone calls, and texts. Prior to iOS 8.3, Airplane Mode also disabled the GPS in your iPhone/iPad, which crippled most of Gaia GPS. Now, with the latest iOS updates, you can use Airplane Mode, and Gaia GPS will be able to plot you on the map, and record your trip.

Presumably the GPS does not perform as well without access to cellular towers or Wi-Fi. But this could potentially save a lot of battery life when you’re in an area with poor cell service. Plus, it would let you track your flight process while on an airplane, if you had the maps preloaded.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

Dave is probably wrong, I have used my iPhone's GPS in airplane mode for years – it's quite useful as you write …

In airplane mode, it's 'pure' GPS and no longer A-GPS, so it might take longer to get a fix and your fix might not be as accurate as with A-GPS. Tracking in an airplane often doesn't work since 'pure' GPS needs a +/- direct line of sight to 3+ GPS satellites.

Yeah, I think Martin's right. It'a been a few years, but I seem to recall using GPS airplane mode in conjunction with an offline maps app to find my way around London until I could acquire a local SIM card.

Paul Holbrook

For MotionX, that's a documentation issue. I used MotionX in May to track the last part of trips from ABQ to ATL and PHL to ATL. The first trip I didn't have any cache maps, so I couldn't see my route until I landed. The second trip I got smart and panned along my route so that MotionX could cache routes, so I was able to track our landing pretty precisely.

I was sitting in a window seat both times.

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