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iPad GPS Question
2072 18 2017-4-2
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SteveIves
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Flight distance : 57448 ft
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So I just got my first drone, a P4 Pro, and I am currently flying with an iPad Air 2 which is a WiFi only model. I realize that the iPad does not have a GPS chip and that will impact certain intelligent flight features, as well as limiting my RTH capabilities. Yes - I have read the manual
I am considering purchasing a new Cellular and WiFi iPad so that the iPad will have a GPS chip, but I don't want to have a cellular data plan on the iPad. I want to continue connecting it to my cell phone hotspot for data. My question is this:

"If I use an iPad which has a GPS chip, but no cellular data service, but which does have an active WiFi connection to the Internet (via an iPhone hotspot) will ALL of the features of the P4 Pro work? Or do I have to have a cellular data plan on the actual iPad?"
Thanks in advance for any advice.

Steve

2017-4-2
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Geebax
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Australia
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Without a cell plan, the only thing you will not be able to do is stream the video to a streaming service, once you are out of WiFi range. All other functions are accessible. I have been using an Air 2 for the past two years without any cell data plan, and it works just fine for me.

2017-4-2
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SteveIves
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Geebax Posted at 2017-4-2 19:59
Without a cell plan, the only thing you will not be able to do is stream the video to a streaming service, once you are out of WiFi range. All other functions are accessible. I have been using an Air 2 for the past two years without any cell data plan, and it works just fine for me.

I'll always have WiFi access, because I connect to my iPhone's hot-spot. My main concern is whether the functionality of a new the iPad's GPS chip will work fully without an active SIM card. I know the hardware is related, just not sure how closely.

I appreciate the feedback. Thanks.
2017-4-2
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mic75
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Flight distance : 3162733 ft
Australia
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SteveIves Posted at 2017-4-2 20:19
I'll always have WiFi access, because I connect to my iPhone's hot-spot. My main concern is whether the functionality of a new the iPad's GPS chip will work fully without an active SIM card. I know the hardware is related, just not sure how closely.

I appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

GPS will still work without a simcard, I have tested this and even without wifi the GPS will work. You can download the map for the area you will be flying in so if for some reason you can't hotspot you will still have a map and your location.
Another option instead of upgrading your iPad is to get a Bluetooth GPS Reciever that will connect to your current iPad and give you your location on your iPad. You can get stand alone battery operated ones that you could just hang off your belt or stick in your top pocket.
2017-4-2
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mic75
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Australia
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This is just one example, type "bluetooth gps receiver" into google or ebay and there are hundreds if options from cheap to expensive.
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2017-4-2
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Geebax
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Australia
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mic75 Posted at 2017-4-2 20:58
This is just one example, type "bluetooth gps receiver" into google or ebay and there are hundreds if options from cheap to expensive.

Yes, that's a good suggestion, then you do not need to change your iPad for a Cell version.

And the only effect this has on the RTH function is to not allow you to reset the home point while in flight to the current location of the RC unit and Air 2. But in all honesty, I would be wary of that feature, it has been known to screw up.



2017-4-2
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Labroides
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Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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"If I use an iPad which has a GPS chip, but no cellular data service, but which does have an active WiFi connection to the Internet (via an iPhone hotspot) will ALL of the features of the P4 Pro work?

Everything will work just fine unless you want to livestream.


"I realize that the iPad does not have a GPS chip and that will impact certain intelligent flight features, as well as limiting my RTH capabilities. "

Without a GPS chip in your tablet there are only 2 things you will miss out on:
1.  Follow-me flight
2.  Resetting your home point to the current location of the controller (if you are on a moving boat etc)
For everything else the Phantom only needs its own GPS receiver.
You would have no reduction in functioning for RTH or anything else except the two cases mentioned above and they are hardly used by most flyers.

Your iPad GPS will work just fine without a simcard.  
It's just that Apple only put GPS in the more expensive cell-capable iPads but there's no connection between the functions.
I wish they put a GPS in all iPads because this question gets asked a couple of times a week and people get very confused about it.
2017-4-2
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mic75
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Labroides Posted at 2017-4-2 21:54
"If I use an iPad which has a GPS chip, but no cellular data service, but which does have an active WiFi connection to the Internet (via an iPhone hotspot) will ALL of the features of the P4 Pro work?

Everything will work just fine unless you want to livestream.


Live stream will work over wifi. You can actually go into the go4 app and live stream over wifi without a drone or controller connected.
2017-4-3
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PhanFran
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Labroides Posted at 2017-4-2 21:54
"If I use an iPad which has a GPS chip, but no cellular data service, but which does have an active WiFi connection to the Internet (via an iPhone hotspot) will ALL of the features of the P4 Pro work?

Everything will work just fine unless you want to livestream.

Which brings me back to my still unresolved question "Why so many US-droneOPerators are so reluctant to use cellular data ?".
I mean: you guys buy a drone for at least a 1,000 $, you buy an iPad for some 500 $, extra battery and some other stuff for at least an other 200 $, getting you at some 1,700 $.
And then for some reason you don't want to spend the 10 $/month for a cellular connection for your iPad and prefer to use all kinds of complex workarounds.
I must be missing something here , just don't know what.
2017-4-3
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CXK
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PhanFran Posted at 2017-4-3 06:03
Which brings me back to my still unresolved question "Why so many US-droneOPerators are so reluctant to use cellular data ?".
I mean: you guys buy a drone for at least a 1,000 $, you buy an iPad for some 500 $, extra battery and some other stuff for at least an other 200 $, getting you at some 1,700 $.
And then for some reason you don't want to spend the 10 $/month for a cellular connection for your iPad and prefer to use all kinds of complex workarounds.

I have an iPad Pro with a data plan I use while working. I havent noticed a huge amount of data usage while flying. Does anyone happen to know if it uses a lot of data if you're simply flying, not streaming video or anything? This could be what deters guys from paying for the data plan.
2017-4-3
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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PhanFran Posted at 2017-4-3 06:03
Which brings me back to my still unresolved question "Why so many US-droneOPerators are so reluctant to use cellular data ?".
I mean: you guys buy a drone for at least a 1,000 $, you buy an iPad for some 500 $, extra battery and some other stuff for at least an other 200 $, getting you at some 1,700 $.
And then for some reason you don't want to spend the 10 $/month for a cellular connection for your iPad and prefer to use all kinds of complex workarounds.

I have an Air 2 that I use with my aircraft. I don't use the Air 2 for anything else, so naturally I would not waste money on a cell plan when for 95% of the time it is switched off.
2017-4-3
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SteveIves
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United States
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mic75 Posted at 2017-4-2 20:48
GPS will still work without a simcard, I have tested this and even without wifi the GPS will work. You can download the map for the area you will be flying in so if for some reason you can't hotspot you will still have a map and your location.
Another option instead of upgrading your iPad is to get a Bluetooth GPS Reciever that will connect to your current iPad and give you your location on your iPad. You can get stand alone battery operated ones that you could just hang off your belt or stick in your top pocket.

Great feedback, thanks so much.
2017-4-3
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SteveIves
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Flight distance : 57448 ft
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mic75 Posted at 2017-4-2 20:58
This is just one example, type "bluetooth gps receiver" into google or ebay and there are hundreds if options from cheap to expensive.

Ha, that's too funny, I actually used to own one of these about 10+ years ago, I used it for GPS navigation on an HP iPaq ... long before TomTom and Garmin. Cheers.
2017-4-3
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SteveIves
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Flight distance : 57448 ft
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Geebax Posted at 2017-4-2 21:49
Yes, that's a good suggestion, then you do not need to change your iPad for a Cell version.

And the only effect this has on the RTH function is to not allow you to reset the home point while in flight to the current location of the RC unit and Air 2. But in all honesty, I would be wary of that feature, it has been known to screw up.

Thanks for the input.
2017-4-3
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SteveIves
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Flight distance : 57448 ft
United States
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Labroides Posted at 2017-4-2 21:54
"If I use an iPad which has a GPS chip, but no cellular data service, but which does have an active WiFi connection to the Internet (via an iPhone hotspot) will ALL of the features of the P4 Pro work?

Everything will work just fine unless you want to livestream.

Thanks for the info.
2017-4-3
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SteveIves
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Flight distance : 57448 ft
United States
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PhanFran Posted at 2017-4-3 06:03
Which brings me back to my still unresolved question "Why so many US-droneOPerators are so reluctant to use cellular data ?".
I mean: you guys buy a drone for at least a 1,000 $, you buy an iPad for some 500 $, extra battery and some other stuff for at least an other 200 $, getting you at some 1,700 $.
And then for some reason you don't want to spend the 10 $/month for a cellular connection for your iPad and prefer to use all kinds of complex workarounds.

You make a very good point!
2017-4-3
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mic75
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Australia
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CXK Posted at 2017-4-3 14:12
I have an iPad Pro with a data plan I use while working. I havent noticed a huge amount of data usage while flying. Does anyone happen to know if it uses a lot of data if you're simply flying, not streaming video or anything? This could be what deters guys from paying for the data plan.

my Air 2 has data but i've never noticed a spike in data usage so I don't think so. The only thing it would use it for part from live streaming is updating the map which you can cache over wifi if your rear sphincter is a bit tight.
2017-4-3
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Labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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PhanFran Posted at 2017-4-3 06:03
Which brings me back to my still unresolved question "Why so many US-droneOPerators are so reluctant to use cellular data ?".
I mean: you guys buy a drone for at least a 1,000 $, you buy an iPad for some 500 $, extra battery and some other stuff for at least an other 200 $, getting you at some 1,700 $.
And then for some reason you don't want to spend the 10 $/month for a cellular connection for your iPad and prefer to use all kinds of complex workarounds.

Probably because there's no need to use any cell data to enjoy flying.
I've had hundreds of flights on a wifi only Android tablet and never felt I was missing anything.
2017-4-3
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Micro Pilot
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United Kingdom
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I use the 9.7 iPad pro with no issues. I can also back up using my Dual GPS receiver if needed. Using an external GPS receiver with the iPad gives a better accuracy IMO
2017-4-4
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