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Summary:

Still haven’t decided which iPad 2 to buy? A new report claims the Wi-Fi-only iPad can get GPS info as well as a network connection from an iPhone 4 via that device’s Personal Hotspot sharing feature, which might affect your decision.

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Still haven’t decided which iPad 2 to buy? A new report claims the iPad can get GPS info in addition to a network connection from an iPhone 4 via the iPhone’s new Personal Hotspot sharing feature. That could factor into which model you end up deciding to buy.

I argued in a previous post that the iPhone 4’s Personal Hotspot sharing feature (and similar sharing on other smartphone devices) were making a 3G-capable iPad less of a necessity for users. Geoffrey Goetz recently pointed out that along with 3G capabilities came true GPS, a feature not natively available on the Wi-Fi-only iPad. But according to TabletMonsters.com and multiple commenters at Cult of Mac, GPS does make the leap from iPhone to iPad when sharing your iPhone 4’s connection either with Personal Hotpspot or the jailbreak-only app MyWi, which for most users might be enough incentive to opt for the Wi-Fi model over the 3G variety.

I tried this out on my 3G-capable iPads by turning off cellular network services and connecting to my iPhone via Personal Hotspot. It definitely seems to make a difference, and looks like it’s just as accurate as the GPS on the iPhone 4 that’s sharing the connection. As a result, it might even be a viable option for use with turn-by-turn navigation apps. At the very least, it provides much better data for finding your exact location in spots where mapping via Wi-Fi towers alone won’t provide accurate results, which could considerably improve the experience of a number of iPad apps. Reports suggest it works on first-gen iPad devices, too.

Does this affect your iPad buying choice? How often do you find yourself using GPS on your iPad?

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  1. Wow, this is a nail in the coffin for the 3G iPad – at least for my own purchasing decision.

    The only decision is… how much capacity!

  2. Does this work on the iPad 1? I haven’t been able to get it to work.

  3. Made my mind up. Share my connection with my iPad and wife’s iPhone = FaceTime and Layar. Now for the long wait of 4 to 5 weeks. Insert sigh here!

  4. Ultimately you will need to get rid of your Unlimited data on the iPhone. If you don’t have that plan then it’s a viable option. But really do you want to drain your iPhone and your iPad. Think twice before jumping to conclusions people. The 3G iPad has it’s purpose.

  5. Hello,
    I’m awaiting shipment of a 3G iPad. The only reason I’m buying the 3G model is for GPS capabilities.

    Does anyone know if WiFi-only iPads can get a good GPS signal using the Verizon Fivespot (Mifi)? If so, I would quickly change my order from 3G to WiFi-only!

    Thanks,
    Matt

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