Brian Chen, at Wired, has a piece today that suggests a clever way to avoid having to pay the extra money for a 3G version of the iPad 2 just to get GPS and phone data network capability. The solution basically involves using your current Smartphone as a wireless hotspot.
Here’s an excerpt of his piece:
The Wi-Fi iPad doesn’t have built-in GPS, but if you want to use that beautiful Maps app for navigation, you still don’t need a 3G iPad, so long as you have an iPhone. It turns out that if you hotspot with an iPhone, the connection transfers the GPS to the iPad.
Just connect the iPad to the iPhone’s hotspot, then launch the Maps app, and you’ll see the blue dot tracking your location.
(We’re not sure if this works when hotspotting with an Android phone — if you can confirm, let us know in the comments.)
For the complete article, visit the Wired article here.
There are some questions still. For example, if the GPS data is being imported by the tethered iPad, can it be used by other nav programs instead of the Maps app? I’m betting so, but I need to hear from somebody with the gear who is willing to experiment with it. My best sources for iPad info are Jeff Siegel at ActiveCaptain, Christine Kling at Write on the Water (an amazing writer/sailor/geek), and my friend Ben Ellison at Panbo.
Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.