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Cellphone GPS when there is no cell service?

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posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 04:10 PM
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I am wondering if someone can help me with a few questions. I know this is a computer forum but todays smartphones basically are computers. If this needs to be moved than Mods please do so.

Okay. From what I have gathered. If you have a smartphone that is capable of turn by turn navigation, using gps, than you can also use this gps even with no cell service or NO cell plan. In order for this to work, you must have offline maps already downloaded to your phone since most map services download the maps on the fly with cell service/data. If this is all correct, than will any smartphone be capable of this?

I plan on getting a cheap prepaid android phone and nothing fancy for the simple fact of browsing the net on wifi and using the gps, which if correct should not require any monthly cell phone plan. Do these phones have a gps "chip" in them or how does it work? I have found many sources for offline maps so I have that covered. Also the phone has "Agps" which if I understand just uses cell service for a faster lock, but without service the gps should still lock onto a sat. although may take a minute or two. Thanks!
Firepiston




posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 04:13 PM
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I thought the gps worked by triangulation of the cell towers. It's not a true satellite signal being picked up by your phone. Therefore you need a wireless service.

But I could be wrong, that was just a guess



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 04:15 PM
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a reply to: FirePiston

I think a phone's gps works by picking up cell phone towers and triangulating your position, so I don't think you can use a phone's gps without active cell phone service.

I use an android phone through tracfone and it works just fine for the most basic stuff such as email, news, and using Google maps for travel. It's pretty cheap compared to a contract plan.



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 04:19 PM
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a reply to: Hoosierdaddy71

I think they can use both satellite and cellphone tower triangulation



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: FirePiston

You need cell phone service to access.



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 04:30 PM
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A simple google search all say it works without service, I just wanted to know mainly if all smartphones where capable of this.
Firepiston



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 05:01 PM
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a reply to: FirePiston




If this is all correct, than will any smartphone be capable of this?


The GPS in a phone is a standalone satellite receiver with it's own embedded antenna. It should be standard in nearly every smart phone built within the last 24 months. Going back farther, there may be a few that don't have it.

Here's the fine print: They don't acquire the satellite signals that well and need information on your location, the satellite's location and precise time. They get that from the cell network. If you are in a vehicle, chances are, the turn by turn will be choppy.

If there is no network assist, then it's down to the driver implementations whether or not the GPS gets passed to the API for your app to use. Different phones may have different GPS HW so a wide range of performance is possible. Definitely give it lots of time to acquire outside the vehicle first and then have a try.

But what do I know?



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 05:16 PM
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originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
a reply to: FirePiston




If this is all correct, than will any smartphone be capable of this?


The GPS in a phone is a standalone satellite receiver with it's own embedded antenna. It should be standard in nearly every smart phone built within the last 24 months. Going back farther, there may be a few that don't have it.

Here's the fine print: They don't acquire the satellite signals that well and need information on your location, the satellite's location and precise time. They get that from the cell network. If you are in a vehicle, chances are, the turn by turn will be choppy.

If there is no network assist, then it's down to the driver implementations whether or not the GPS gets passed to the API for your app to use. Different phones may have different GPS HW so a wide range of performance is possible. Definitely give it lots of time to acquire outside the vehicle first and then have a try.

But what do I know?


Thanks! As far as turn by turn directions, I was assuming the phone had to have a gps reciever to use turn by turn, but my main use for it is navigating on maps outside, wooded areas also. So out side of car is not a problem.
Firepiston



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 06:08 PM
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If you can get some preloaded maps, then it will work just fine. I use an andriod and its pay as you go, and the amount of data it uses for getting location is so small I dont need to worry about the cost. Just make sure you've got preloaded maps else it will eat your data allowance.



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 06:13 PM
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for android there are plenty of bushwalking GPS navigation programs, including products by garmin
just search the play store.

also buy a map and compass (:

use GPS sparingly, power down when sorted with map. (even remove battery if you need to)
in areas of low signal GPS can eat your power



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 06:16 PM
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I got rid of tracphone for republic wireless. Nearly half the cost for unlimited everything.

I got sick of tracphone throttling my internet when I hit the limit of its "unlimited" plan. Total crap.



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 06:30 PM
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originally posted by: okamitengu
for android there are plenty of bushwalking GPS navigation programs, including products by garmin
just search the play store.

also buy a map and compass (:

use GPS sparingly, power down when sorted with map. (even remove battery if you need to)
in areas of low signal GPS can eat your power


Oh I most definitely have a compass and a topo map for my area's also. I would never rely on tech. only when navigating but only as a nice addition.
Firepiston



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 06:51 PM
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ATTENTION here is huge confusion going on with aGPS and GPS

There is a difference between aGPS and GPS.
If you phone has only aGPS, it will only work near cellphone towers, but if it has GPS it will work without cell service.

Most modern smartphones have real GPS and only use aGPS to get the GPS fix faster (detecting the satellites faster, because of you position according to cellphone towers).

If you want to use GPS without using a cell service, you have to make sure that the map resources are already loaded onto your phone, otherwise you wont have the map



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 07:41 PM
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I have a galaxy s4 and had to shut it off for a while. In doing so I needed the gps still and for my phone yes it fid work with the right app and maps downloaded. I recommend MapFactor Navigation, its free and simple



posted on Sep, 24 2014 @ 11:05 PM
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i have the android glide cdn.itechnews.net... when i go out of cell reception range i use an app that acquires my exact gps coords from the gps function, i am able to get my exact position in coordinates WITHOUT cell reception,

of course the map itself doesnt load till im back in reception since i dont make use of predownloaded maps.



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