I have a hiking trip coming up and I was wondering whether the iPhone 6S can be used for GPS tracking if there are no cellular networks available? Or does the phone not have the same GPS/GLONASS support that you would get from a hiking GPS device?


2 Answers 2


You would be able to do this - in as much as the co-ordinates can be fixed from the satellite. You need to be aware that it will take a long time to get the fix if there is no reference point to help it (eg known WIFI or cell towers), as it needs to download the almanac from the satellites.

You also need to know that you won't be able to get maps or anything, and mapping may or may not work depending on your application.

Lastly, be aware that, historically at least, phones and similar devices have not had the sensitivity of dedicated devices, so they may not work as reliably.

  • Like the answer suggests you are able to use the phone as a GPS/GLONASS-device. However will not take a long time to get the fix, if you used it before as a normal phone, because the almanac is downloaded many times before. Like davidgo says a problem could be your mapping app. Search the App Store for offline maps, or something you can download while you have an active connection. A modern iPhone is as reliable as a dedicated GPS-device.
    – schoeM
    May 28, 2016 at 13:32

Yes. It can definitely be used without cellular networks. As long as the maps are saved offline, Coordinates can be located by the iPhone on the Map. It's nearly instant on the latest versions. You can save any section of the map offline on Google Maps and use it in locations without Cellular service. enter image description here

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .