There’s a really confusing comparison of the iPad 2 and the new iPad 4G on Apple’s website. The iPad 2 is showing as having the ability to do “Photo and video geotagging over Wi-Fi”, while the new iPad is shown as being capable of “Photo and video geotagging” sans Wi-Fi.
Past iPads and iPhones have always used Assisted-GPS, a
vague term which refers to a triangulation method through either the use of Wi-Fi hot spots which have geotagged locations and/or cell phone towers to determine where you are. Although it’s pretty accurate down to a few metres, it doesn’t work to well unless you’re connected to a tagged Wi-Fi network or you’re on a mobile phone network.
So when Apple put up the feature comparison list (see above) of the iPad 2 and the new iPad, there was a lot of speculation that the new iPad had conventional GPS allowing people like… Sea Captains, yes Sea Captains, to be able to use the GPS while out on the open seas away from cell phone and WiFi networks.
I hate to burst said Sea Captains bubbles, but sadly this doesn’t appear to be true. A look down the feature list of the new iPad shows that the wifi+4G model will still have Assisted GPS while the Wi-Fi model will lack the feature meaning no conventional GPS will be on the new device.
On the other hand, since Assisted GPS can sometimes work with conventional GPS it is possible that the device could finally have conventional GPS too, but also relies on the additional use of Assisted GPS for accuracy. I wouldn’t hold your breath though. It’s already been pointed out that the new iPad costs Apple a big chunk of change to manufacture when compared to it’s predecessor, so Apple’s profit margins are a bit smaller on this device. I highly doubt they’d add in a slightly more costly conventional GPS function (which alone, takes several minutes to ping a satellite and nab your location) when they’re already adding in a bunch of other costly features.