back to article No GPS in the iPad Mini Wi-Fi: People are right to criticise

Wi-Fi-only iPads have never featured GPS, but the lack of satellite-navigation tech in the new Mini fondleslab's non-cellular version has provoked a mild backlash: and rightly so, though not many people understand why. The new gizmos do have a "digital compass", a magnetometer which is aware of the direction the slab is being …

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Anonymous Coward

Apple has to have something for the next release 6 months down the road.

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Apple dumping on their fans. Again.

£100 more expensive than its nearest rival and no GPS.

It won't stop the 'fruity' fanbois from buying it though. Idiots.

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Re: Apple dumping on their fans. Again.

Given the choice between no gps and buying a sub-par quality tablet full of malware isn't a hard choice.

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Trollface

@toadwarrior RE "sub-par quality tablet full of malware " I say, steady on old chap....

.......even though neither I nor my lady will have Cupertino Kit in the house even we would not describe the iPad in such terms*

*Yes, as a service for the hard of thinking I will underline that I was deploying a technique known as "satire", yes "satire". As a further service here is the dictionary definition:

noun

1.

the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

2.

a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

3.

a literary genre comprising such compositions.

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Re: Apple dumping on their fans. Again.

Proof? Oh right, you're a fanboy...it's all a matter of "faith" to you.

I've got 3 android devices, never had a whiff of "malware" on them. For me it's a matter of "works."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple dumping on their fans. Again.

You keep on believing what Apple tell you. If you helps you sleep at night, then yes, my tablet is chock full of Android malware.

However back in the REAL world, anyone that just uses the regular Google Play store, they are just fine, nothing to worry about, that's a nice little safe world.

What the press and companies selling security "solutions" (snakeoil) don't tell you of course, is all the malware horror stories, are from those dodgy grey market stores, which you can only access by ticking the allow non-marketplace installs, at which point you get a very clealy worded malware warning telling you that there are dragons ahead....

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Facepalm

Get your story straight.

So 'fanboys' are all 'idiots', yet Apple would have 'an insultingly poor opinion of its customers' tech savvy'?

I guess a poor opinion of 90% of customers' tech savvy is on the money (at worst), or optimistic (more likely). [I didn't mention Apple in that sentence, I notice.]

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Re: Apple dumping on their fans. Again.

Indeed. I would be happy to accept a tablet without GPS - after all, I use my phone for that, and since most of the time I'll use satnav directions, there really isn't an advantage to having a bigger screen. A phone in my pocket that I listen to on headphones (or in the car for drivers) is far easier than faffing around holding a big tablet.

But, I accept the lack of a GPS on the ultra-cheap tablets, like the Ainol tablets (which have very decent specs, at way less than a Nexus 7, and the GPS is really the only ommission). On a ultra-expensive tablet - like this islate mini or whatever they finally called it, at £100 more than the Nexus 7 and Kindle HD - it's inexcusable.

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So we all use one of those other devices we have that have GPS as standard. Big Deal.

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Exactly. We use one of those other better devices that has GPS as standard (like a Samsung Galaxy phone, or Nexus 7), and don't buy an ipad mini. Exactly the point I imagine the OP was making.

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Anonymous Coward

Look on the bright side.

The apple maps are still rubbish so if you have no GPS you won't be tempted to use The app. I've switched to using the maps app on my cheapo android seeing as the ios6 upgrade rendered the maps app on my ipad utterly useless. Someone at Cupertino needs a good kicking.

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Devil

Apple, buy it more than once

That's so you buy another device, iPhone that has the GPS, but a rubbish maps app. Are the maps the same in the mini iPad?

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Re: Apple, buy it more than once

are you asking if the iPad mini runs iOS6???

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it also shows that the firm has an ... opinion of its customers' tech savvy

I think the article confuses insultingly poor with accurate

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it also shows that the firm has an ... opinion of its customers' tech savvy

Indeed, there are folks who are far more tech savvy than me, and folk who are pretty tech clueless but excel in other areas... viva la difference.

It's probably for the best that the iPad Mini doesn't have GPS... having them left on the dashboards of parked cars might put insurance premiums.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it also shows that the firm has an ... opinion of its customers' tech savvy

Apple seems to be employing interns in its PR department. That, or that post was written using an iPad.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it also shows that the firm has an ... opinion of its customers' tech savvy

"It's probably for the best that the iPad Mini doesn't have GPS... having them left on the dashboards of parked cars might put insurance premiums."

Well, we certainly don't want that, they might accidentally.

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Coat

@AC 18:30

The whole thing? No!

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Mushroom

There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7.

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Anonymous Coward

" There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

Actually, Kindle Fire HD is a bit pants, try using one. It stacks up quite badly against an iPad or a proper Android tablet (like the N7, as you pointed out). It's a bit glitchy and crippled.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

LOLz, we have at least one butthurt KindleHD user, who is seething inside that he bought that instead of a "proper" Android device, but won't admit it yet, and downvotes anyone who makes fun of it :)

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Happy

Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

I'll tell you later, when I can compare the two. Nice thing about the kindle fire, is that you can trial it for 30 days.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

"I'll tell you later, when I can compare the two. Nice thing about the kindle fire, is that you can trial it for 30 days."

Nice, hope you get on well. I hated the crap out of it, compared to my N7, it just felt spazzy and glitchy, but it could be that my priorities are different.

The upside of Amazon, although they are evil and eat babies is that their customer service is usually first rate. When my third gen Kindle had some problems caused by the own brand case, they phoned me back within an hour of me filling in a web form.. at 8pm in the evening. I was a bit shocked, and the guy who phoned me was super nice, very helpful and apologetic, immediately suggested a way forward and shipped me a replacement- scheduling a followup call to check all was OK. I suspect they really do want people to enjoy the experience.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini

Not quite right - the Nexus 7 is the good reason to not buy a Kindle FireHD, the Fire is not a reason to not buy an iPad*.

There's actually no reason to buy a Kindle FireHD (unless it can download LoveFilm content for offline viewing - last time I checked it only streamed, which limits the appeal).

*I did buy a Nexus 7, great value for money, but that sums it up - it really is a value-level product. I'm flogging it and getting something that works properly (i.e. doesn't suffer screen-freeze for no reason every few minutes).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini

"*I did buy a Nexus 7, great value for money, but that sums it up - it really is a value-level product. I'm flogging it and getting something that works properly (i.e. doesn't suffer screen-freeze for no reason every few minutes)."

Weird, what dodgy crap did you install on it? Mine, which was a very early preorder one, is smooth as a Ken Doll. I suspect you are Le Troll, sir :)

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Re: two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini

Screen freeze? Every few minutes?

Never suffered from that on mine.

*cough*bullshit*cough*

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Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

We have both in my home. My son has the Fire HD and I have the Nexus 7. The fire is a nice piece of kit, really. But the lack of the GPS, accelerometer and compas was a no go for me. I need these things so I can use my tablet on my boat with nav software.

Aside from the lack of location tech, the Fire is on par with the nexus. Although I have noticed some lag at times when my son loads too many games on it and chews up the storage.

The display on both units is great, higher than the mini pad.

The Fire is very Amazon focused, naturally. Too much so for my taste, but just right for monitoring a childs purchasing habits... :)

The Nexus tries to be Google play focused, but you can ignore it by not playing by their rules. Not so much on the fire.

Nexus is just a bit smaller in the hands. Great for reading.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

"The Fire is very Amazon focused, naturally. Too much so for my taste, but just right for monitoring a childs purchasing habits... :)"

That's actually a pretty good angle, that I hadn't considered- I didn't like how Amazonish it was, but maybe it's a benefit for you. I actually found it annoying, but clearly mileage does vary.

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I suspect you are Le Troll, sir :)

Maybe he is holding it wrong.

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Silver badge

Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

That might be true however,

I went into a large UK retailer earlier today to look at an android tablet.

Guess what, none of those on display were in working order. This included the latest Samsing models.

By contrast, the iPads were ready for prospective buyers to try out.

I asked a sales droid why this was?

His reply was that the android tablets weren't very good and people didn't like them so they didn't bother to keep them charged.

Needless to say, I left the store empty handed.

It seems that despite what the Fanbois (of android and apple) might say in forums like this the demand from the average punter is that great.

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Re: two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini

"*I did buy a Nexus 7, great value for money, but that sums it up - it really is a value-level product. I'm flogging it and getting something that works properly (i.e. doesn't suffer screen-freeze for no reason every few minutes)."

Its either a faulty device that you should take back for repair, or you are an Apple fanboi troll.

My money is on troll.

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Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

"His reply was that the android tablets weren't very good and people didn't like them so they didn't bother to keep them charged."

Or he was an Apple specific sales person sabotaging his competition.

We have them in Aus as well. Heard one banging on about how you need an anti-virus for android to even use it but not Apple.

Should have seen the look on his face when I pointed out to the potential customer he was talking bullshit...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

"His reply was that the android tablets weren't very good and people didn't like them so they didn't bother to keep them charged"

Fair enough. It probably costs more to keep an Android tablet charged than they make in sales.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

Several possible answers for not charging the non apple devices,

1) Perhaps the apples needed the charges hard wired into the device

2) Someone stole the chargers, for the others.

3) More likely with the inflated apple price his commission is far higher. Salespeople are motivated by greed not by doing good.

Remember the printer wars? The salesperson always tried to sell you the machine with (a) the best commission, (b) the greatest ink consumption, (c) the need for the customer to purchase extras like connecting cables at just four times the normal prices. Some retailers tried to ban the inclusion of cables with the machines they stocked.

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Silver badge

Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

But I think the causative link is wrong there. I mean, you're telling me that the Apple products are all prominently on display, open for people to use, and well supported by the shop staff, whilst Android tablets aren't even in working order - and *shock horror* people therefore are more likely to buy the Apple ones?

The truth is that most people aren't fussed about OS-arguments (or don't know or care enough to know the differences). But things like the level of support in shops are the primary reason why Apple are selling more - that, and things like the vast amount of free media advertising they got, even before it was announced (so this was nothing to do with them selling better, as it came first).

It should be the job of shop staff to sell the products, and make things in working order. I bet they're not even consistent - in the shop you visited, are the iphones not in working order, because most people by far buy Android? Are the Macs all collecting dust in a corner, whilst the Windows PCs are all on prominent display? I bet not.

So yes, this is a sad problem - but it's not the view of the average punter that's a problem, it's the unfair support that one platform seems to be getting in shops, and other places - e.g., app support from random websites or companies for their services, or coverage in the media as I say. It's nothing to do with what people are buying, because we see the same unfair support for iphone, even though it's never been anywhere near the most popular platform.

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Devil

Offline mappage

There is also the point that Google Maps can be downloaded so can be used offline. Very useful on my N7.

Icon: Well we are talking about Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Offline mappage

"Google Maps can be downloaded" - this is a misleading statement, unless Google have fixed this (which I doubt). You can download SOME coverage of google maps, and this, if I remember, something you have to do manually. And each time you do it, you can only grab an area with a radius of 10 miles from the point you pick. And again. And again. And again. And then you give up, if you thought to have a larger area offline. When you bear in mind it's a Google project, you can be absolutely sure that the "ease of use" (not) of this offline mapping storage feature is not a coincidence.

Fortunately, there are other apps, which mean "offline", when they say "offline", e.g. map droyd (rather inferior in many other ways, but then, you can truly download openstreet maps as per country.

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Re: Offline mappage

My understanding is The Google maps can only be downloaded if you plan a route beforehand, and then it downloads a bunch of the data around it - for if you go off piste. Although doesn't Googlemaps also need to phone home to a server in order to do route planning?

So Google is better, but not as good as a proper satnav. Also if you didn't know you'd be looking up a route in advance, it's no help, if you're off the beaten track. Such as a recent family visit with Mum, who didn't know where she was going, but hadn't bothered to bring her sat nav, or a map. My iPad was useless, because I couldn't get signal, but the Nokia Maps on my phone did the nob nicely.

Trying to navigate as a passenger is far nicer with a tablet than a smarthphone though.

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Re: Offline mappage

I agree that the offline aspect of Google Maps is not perfect and is obviously limited to what has been downloaded beforehand. However, the combination of this feature plus the WiFi tethering feature of my android phone means that having GPS on my WiFi only tablet is extremely useful.

I appreciate it is not perfect but I would imagine there are few people who would rather not have GPS available.

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Re: Offline mappage

you dont have to plan the route just select area (like city) and download the maps. The area can be larger than 10miles as someone claimed.

I've never used non-wifi maps(no active 3g/edge conn) and the GPS navigation on a sub 100quid phone always has been good. It may take a few minutes to "catch" the satellites but afterwards it's ok.

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FAIL

Re: Offline mappage

You sir have failed, by your own admission; tethering to the wifi only device collects your location data sans GPS. (from the phone's connection)

This is a non-story, I confess I do not use maps on my iPad, I use my always on, always connected unlimited phone connection (which I can tether to the iPad).

I do not understand how or why lazy journalists pick up on non-stories like this, and presumably get paid to do so, without getting the facts / using the devices themselves.

I for one do not wish to take valuable space up on my iPad for offline maps which I'll never / very rarely use, and which will be out of date by the time I do get around to using them.

The always harped on maps fiasco, which most (probably 90%) of actual users are using purely to highlight the "amusing inaccuracies / collapsed bridges / spiky tahiti"

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Re: Offline mappage

I was travelling abroad the past few weeks and found offline Google maps almost useless. You can't plot a route, which I knew, but I was also unable to even search for anything (e.g. road name, town, hotel name), even if it had been downloaded and was visible on the map, which was particularly poor.

I ended up using Osmand for free navigation. It wasn't perfect (based on OSM, so just as bad as Apple Maps!), but got me from A to B, and let me set waypoints to work around situations where it routed me down a private gated road.

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Bronze badge

Re: Offline mappage

Living in a part of the UK with rather large reserves of ironstone just below the ground, I do find GPS tends to be rather useful although at times I do have to re-orientate the displayed maps ...

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Trollface

Re: Offline mappage

@I ain't Spartacus

Your iPad wasn't useless because it didn't have a signal...

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Re: Offline mappage

You can download some coverage. Yes. You can't download the entire British Isles. How insightful. There is limited space, however, I was taken aback recently when I downloaded an area I was visiting and found out the data covered a far greater area than I'd selected. By 10s of miles.

I think the author of the article really needs to correct the error where they say that a wireless only device is useless with just the free mapping apps.

If you have proper GPS and use those free map apps' offline maps function, you're (almost) golden.

In addition, I've playing with Google Tracks on my N7, which records your gps movements and overlays them on your map. It's not perfect (yet) - it doesn't overlay on your offline maps - you need to GT back online to see the map images - and the play through only works with Google Earth, which has less up-to-date data than Maps, but it's pretty sweet.

And only usable with proper GPS.

It's incredibly handy and adds a great deal of value in a non-3G/4G device.

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Re: Offline mappage

@argh, Offline mappage Osmand

I use osmand on my nexus 7 and its great. I've downloaded the entire west coast of the US and it does a fine job of tracking. As for storage on your device, really? If you are that starved for space, do some house cleaning...

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Bronze badge

Re: Offline mappage and google politico crappo mapo treachery, too

/rant on

On my HTC i cannot use google maps unless i accept the new, updated map-- which has a nasty-assed evil dropping of the name Dokdo and replacement of an anglo Liancourt Rocks. Why the hell would google do such an evil thing to Korea, and insult non-Korean Koreaphiles who feel as enraged as Koreans, whrn Korea had a name for THEIR islands before the occupation and befoe foreigners arrived and told Korea wht name the rest of the world would call those rocks? On my Gal Tab, i inadvertently accepted the update, and then noticed the name Dokdo is not present, and Liancourt Rocks is shifted to the left.

Apple may have horrible maps, but google just shot itself in the foot, risking killing off business in Korea, deservedly so. Samsung could forge ties with Hancom Office and find a way to upgrade its tablets and phones gradually away from google.

How STUPID SHIT can google be? They claim it is not in response to any govvernment, yet by screwing Korea (both Koreas) out of a national treasure and resource, potentially, that is, it is easier for Korea to appease Japan and the USA, which is also is silently siding with Old:-) won't-die-off-soon-enough-right-wingers Japan, damaging relations between modern Japanese citizens and non-Japanese who wantJapan to knock it off. And, at a time when Korea keeps finding more archives, permits, tax code, and more, from within Korea and from within Japan, google dares to pull this damnable, stupid stun! Korea should summon brin and sergey, then sieze their passports until they can recite Korean history and first claim of the Dokdo Islands, and jail any lawyers who try to proxy for them.

I should expect google to start nuking or exposin my email over time, i suppose...

/rant off

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Bronze badge

Re: Offline mappage and google politico crappo mapo treachery, too

Quick rant extension

Recall the Reg story about China allegedly intending to sieze all phones and tablets having maps that either incorrectly and illegally name Chinese territory, or that disclose purportedly sensitive or military sites.

Me thinks that Korea should start confiscating ALL inbound google-maps-containing tablets and phones just to make users sign a petition to blast google, and then return the devices after obtaining the assent of the updated user/visitor. Or, those who refuse will be held strictly to account if they violate their visa time limitations. Those wh reasonably see it Korea's way and history's way get some perks or cultural and tourism-related bonuses tax-free and untouchable by the USA IRS.

Educational for the tourists, and not a draconian as the alleged China method...

Rant extension off

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Re: Offline mappage

Not sure why you seem to be so upset about this. I have admitted that the solution isn't perfect by any means. It is, however, better than not having GPS at all. I have noticed it is a trait of certain fans of products, both Apple and otherwise, to not only to forgive a missing feature but to actively argue that it is better not to have the feature at all. This is not behaviour that I understand.

Maybe I wasn't clear previously but I only tether to download a route as it drains battery to leave it on too long.

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Re: Offline mappage

"My understanding is The Google maps can only be downloaded if you plan a route beforehand,"

Your understanding is wrong.

You don't have to plan a route (though you can if you want), simply open maps and point at the part of the map you want to download.

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