04-03-2012 11:11 AM - last edited on 04-03-2012 11:41 AM by Phil-101
Using an iPhone as a GPS navigator in Europe has garnered many postings because there are reports about $1,000+ Internet charges to download real-time maps. A quick summary of a low- or no-cost way to use GPS on an iPhone:
My contacts by chat with AT&T and a visit to an Apple store didn't help with this solution So let me share my mostly positive experience on a recent European auto and walking trip. First though I need to describe the communications modes of an iPhone 4 with iOS 4.
1. Voice over GSM
2. Data over 3G/E ( including email)
3. Texting over SMS
4. Positioning over GPS
5. Internet/email over WiFi
6. Data and voice from iPhone memory
The first three in the list incur charges by the carrier depending on the particular plan. It's item 2 (data) that can be particularly expensive for the map downloads using GPS.
MAPS IN iPhone MEMORY- To avoid mapping charges, it's easy to download street and roadmaps from any WiFi hotspot from the app store. There are three types:
Overall costs are limited to the one-time cost for map downloads.
IPhone SETTINGS for ON-PHONE GPS. I got little advice from the carriers, because most of their experience is in ad-on services. You cannot use "airplane" mode because that turns off GPS. So here's what to do:
- Turn off cellular data. Go to Settings>Network>Cellular Data OFF. Be sure to leave WiFi on at Settings>WiFi ON.
OTHER SETTINGS OPTIONAL. Optionally, you can sign up for an International calling plan for voice calks on GSM. If you don't calls from the US will still cause charges even if you direct them to voice mail on a per call basis. An easy alternative: go to Settings>Network>Call Forwarding and set a voice mail number. Change the greeting on that phone number so the caller knows you're away.
If you're willing to do some more work,set up a Google voice account and direct the call forwarding to that number. You'll be able to retrieve your voice mail message over the Internet at a free WiFi point.
EMAIL. You can send and receive emails at WiFi hot spots.
TEXT MESSAGING. You can't turn off text messaging independently you can go to Airplane mode while not using GPS. But if you receive lots of text messages, call your carrier and either ask them to block text messages or ask to buy an International text messaging plan.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ON POWER: GPS drains a lot of power. I experienced less than 6 hours before the internal power supply was drained. External power supplies that use the bottom connector are available from suppliers like Kensington. The one I used added 3+ hours.
[Subject edited to reflect new topic]
04-05-2012 5:25 AM
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