As I know iPad 3G can define user's location using A-GPS module, and there is a Maps application which is closely related to this functionality.

But can non-3G iPads define user's location basing on WiFi routers position, for example? Is there any Maps application?

  • maps.google.com – user6124 Jun 28 '11 at 14:03
  • Yes - all of them with downloadable tiles work. (as well as they can based only on WiFi cached tower locations) – bmike Jun 28 '11 at 14:15

Yes, as is now disclosed in the location database kerfuffle, iOS will cache wifi and cell tower location near it's location so that when internet access is temporarily unavailable, the device can still trilaterate based on what the WiFi receiver is seeing for SSID.

So, I have had my non 3G iPad correctly locate itself driving down the highway 50 miles from where it last had a WiFi connection. If I have purchased any map product that stores it's own map tiles, it would work. Even the built in map program caches tiles, so I would generate driving directions and step through all the turns to download the map tiles along the way on the device. As long as the device doesn't quit that app / purge those downloaded tiles, the built in map works well for me without 3G data.

Of course, you don't have actual control over downloading a region of tiles or controlling which wifi hotspots are downloaded into the system cache. Also - this means if you are outside the range of any WiFi signal (or the ones that are nearby are not mapped in the database) - your device is clueless at to it's location.

Basically, the hardware limits the ability to use GPS and cellular data and maps are not further handicapped just because a non-3G iPad has less connectivity. Pick the app you like and see how it works in your enviroment. You can always add external GPS input if you can't sell and re-buy a new iPad for less than the cost of an external receiver.


Just like on iPod touches that are also wifi-only with no GPS, non-3G iPads have the built-in Apple Maps application and use wifi to detect location.

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