In our ongoing coverage we decided to take the iPad 3G GPS out for a spin, comparing it as we did to the iPhone 3GS GPS.
Living and working in Manhattan, as I do, the iPhone GPS does not get a regular workout – you just don‚Äôt do a lot of driving.
I did, however, take the iPhone to Hawaii on vacation, and used the GPS extensively there. Using nothing more than the iPhone Maps app , we easily found our way to all the spots on Oahu. All the Maps app lacks is turn by turn vocal directions.
To test out the iPad‚Äôs GPS, we went to various points around New York City. Standing in the same place we would pull up the Maps app on both devices and see how they fared.
While neither was pinpoint, both were accurate to within about twenty-five yards. Often I on the opposite side of the street from the push pin. Only once did the GPS on the iPad fail and that was whilst using the Motion GPS app.
We‚Äôd decided to try out the Motion GPS, to see how it worked on the iPad. At this point it is an iPhone only app. On the whole the app it worked extremely well, though the turn by turn vocal directions were not always as quick as we might have liked. The onscreen maps were very accurate.
Motion GPS failed only once and that was when we deliberately went in different directions to try to confuse it. At that point the app showed us to be on 40th street when we were actually on 43rd. This confusion was also shared by the Maps app and could have more to say about the signal in midtown Manhattan than anything else. I had the iPad in the Apple case*, which could have further occluded the signal. The Motion app is only ninety-nine cents, and you can't beat that price, voice turns are an add-on, of course.
As all these tests are more anecdotal than SUPER-science, YMMV. This is just what the average person may find when they are using the device and apps in real-life situations.
*I‚Äôm a little terrified of dropping it on the sidewalk, whilst walking around with it.
Motion GPS $0.99 in the iPhone app store
Four out of five stars.