iPhone, iPod Touch Get GPS-like Capability

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced major software updates for its iPhone and iPod Touch devices. iPhone users now can send SMS messages to multiple people and iPod Touch users get access to several applications that have been available on the iPhone: Mail, maps, stock quotes, notes and weather reports.

Most significantly, however, is the addition of a GPS-like positioning feature: Rather than using a GPS receiver, Apple consulted with Google and Skyhook Wireless to come up with a technology that uses triangular Wi-Fi and cellular beacon layouts to determine the location of a device. iPhone users will be able to take advantage of the new feature through the free iPhone software upgrade 1.1.3, while people who already have purchased an iPod Touch will have to shell out an extra $20 for the upgrade. All new iPod Touch devices will come with the positioning feature without extra cost.

News source: Toms Guide

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Hey I dont understand this could some one could tell me how the GPS like thing works on the ipod touch so what if I am not connected to wifi will thie thing still work ? could someone tell me how this thing works on the ipod touch thank you

Anyone with half a brain will have already purchased a phone made by HTC. Their smartphones/PocketPC's have had the ability to provide 10x more than the iPhone for over 5 years.

Wake up people, don't fall into the trap, do the research first and don't just buy apple because everyone else does.

I'll pay $20 for this, after all, it has new features. Most phones don't get useful software updates at all, not to mention the iPods. And iPhone users get it for free.

Sure, I'd like to update my Touch for free, but this is better than what used to happen.

So is it $20 for the entire update, or $20 for the GPS feature? The article doesn't seem to make it quite clear...


as a poster mentioned above; early adopters pay a premium. every time. apple will not be disavantaged by this move. everybody who's livid bought an iPod touch because they were seduced enough to buy a flash mp3 player on the premise that it looked and felt amazing (fair enough it does, but its not the most *practical* choice). new users will benefit.

they have addressed the widely raised problem of a lack of GPS functionality on the iphone with a half measure that is easily (and cheaply) addressed.

in 200x (early) i bought a 10gb ipod and was glad that i didn't buy the original. however, in theory i'm livid that I didnt wait till the 160gb came out. in practice i utilised the service available to me at the time.

all this being said, i'm surprised that apple are charging legacy touch users to upgrade...

it is, to simplify, like advising someone to not buy a computer on the premise that in a years time you'll be able to buy a better one.


Apple *could* be hurt I think although likely not alot. Still, they have basically delivered a kick to it's iPod touch users by charging them for an upgrade that iPhone and new Touch users don't have to pay for. While it won't stop many, they could still loose customers over such an action especially if MS continues it's policy of supporting the old Zunes with new features to bring them closer in line with later hardware revisions. Many people will look at the two and may very well go the MS product because they provide better updates.

It kind of reminds me of the time Apple charged people to enable wireless N on their laptops via a software update.

Anyway yes, it won't hurt them alot but the negative backlash will cost them some customers I think.

Another reason to never buy an Apple product.

I have my HTC 8925 (ATT Tilt) and I have not looked back once since I got it. There is no substitute for TRUE GPS

Ogmius said,
Another reason to never buy an Apple product.

I have my HTC 8925 (ATT Tilt) and I have not looked back once since I got it. There is no substitute for TRUE GPS

What about listing reasons not to buy other products cause they all have their faults?
Or do you reserve that for Apple and ignore other companys faults?

Where do you call it a day?

evo_spook said,
What about listing reasons not to buy other products cause they all have their faults?
Or do you reserve that for Apple and ignore other companys faults?

Where do you call it a day?

you save complaints of other products for the forums on the other products!!!

i call it a day when the suns up, when the sun is not up it becomes night

n95 is not just a gps but with the latest update (july 2007?), n95 is also A-GPS. AGPS is the sum of a real gps plus this "gps wannabe" that try to determine the position using cellular beacon (antenna)

This doesn't do anything for me, but I wonder, how many in here would be rubbing themselves with glee if this was something that had being introduced onto the Zune instead?

methinks, the idea would suddenly become marvelous

you bought an ipod touch for what it is a flash music player.

would you like mail and other apps if so you can purchase. it's simple early adopters always pay a premium whichever way you look at it.

Better than nothing though, like a poor mans GPS. Best thing is this is free to everyone who already has an iphone

njlouch said,
Agreed - this is nowhere near GPS quality.

agree, this is nowhere near the GPS quality but then again the ipod touch isn't meant to be a GPS. What everyone is forgetting is that this is an 'extra feature' so if you dont like it then go and get a REAL GPS for about $100-$300.

The 'GPS' element of this is pretty laughable, the point of GPS is to pinpoint exactly where you are, I think most people could point out kind of where they are on a map.

And if you couldn't, then you're really in trouble... And probably the sort of person who'd buy an iPod Touch, so hey, go for it.

dagamer34 said,
Geez, it's not that people can't do it at all, but to do it quickly (i.e. less than 3 sec).
Well how quick is this? It'll still take a bit of time to locate yourself plus stream the data. I doubt it's that overly quick, especially with my experience of using a similar feature on my phone.

How exactly is an ipod touch going to locate itself using cellular beacons given that it isn't a phone?

The answer, it isn't.

whocares78 said,

so you have to be near at the very least 2 known WIFI base stations, which is why i am guessing it wont work in a lot of places...

No, you don't.

Looks like i'll be buying an ipod touch :), if i go order one right now think I would get these features without paying $20?

Paying for extra upgrades is a kick in the head for iPod Touch users. So I'm guessing Apple will make some money off this then drop the price completely in a couple of months. As for the iPhone 'updates' Apple are really dragging their feet on this as we want mms and video. They are possible in jailbroken iPhone apps so come on Apple!