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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > How accurate is the new iPhone 'location' feature?

How accurate is the new iPhone 'location' feature?
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timmerk
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Jan 16, 2008, 12:37 AM
 
Anyone get the update for their iPhone? How accurate is the 'location'/'pinpoint' feature in google maps for you? I only heard feedback from one person who said it was 20 ft off. Not bad!
     
blackbird_1.0
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Jan 16, 2008, 01:52 AM
 
Mine missed my location by one street over.
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phobos
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Jan 16, 2008, 02:49 AM
 
it works extremely well even with wifi triangulation on the ipod touch!! It got my position exactly right!
Not worth the 18euro upgrade but at least it's working....
     
jokell82
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Jan 16, 2008, 07:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by timmerk View Post
Anyone get the update for their iPhone? How accurate is the 'location'/'pinpoint' feature in google maps for you? I only heard feedback from one person who said it was 20 ft off. Not bad!
I've tried it twice and so far it's been pretty damned accurate. Enough that if I didn't know where I was the directions it gave me would have been a life saver.

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taldrich
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Jan 16, 2008, 08:16 AM
 
Pretty damn impressive. Got to the right part of my street, even.
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ajprice
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Jan 16, 2008, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by phobos View Post
it works extremely well even with wifi triangulation on the ipod touch!! It got my position exactly right!
Not worth the 18euro upgrade but at least it's working....
Cool! Didn't know the location finder part was on the iPod touch version.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Simon
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Jan 16, 2008, 09:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
Cool! Didn't know the location finder part was on the iPod touch version.
Yeah, it's possible because they're not just triangulating cell phone towers, but they're also accessing the Skyhook Wireless "WPS" database. That tells you where you are by checking what wireless networks you can detect.
     
Krusty
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Jan 16, 2008, 10:46 AM
 
I'm spending the winter ocean front so I don't have a good cell tower on the "other side" to help with cell tower triangulation and there aren't many hotspots near to where I am. So, my locator is about as poor as it probably can be ... it's only locating me down to about a half mile radius. Can't complain though, at least it has me somewhat close to where I actually am (plenty adequate for directions, etc.). When I drive into town today, I expect the locator to be much more accurate.
     
icruise
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Jan 16, 2008, 10:57 AM
 
I've only tried it once so far, but it got the location of my house pretty much exactly right. Even if it's a little off, it's still hugely useful, since the main us of it is to get a starting point for getting directions. That was always a pain before.
     
Angelo78
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Jan 16, 2008, 11:06 AM
 
I find if I'm using wifi it works great. Using just the Edge network the location was way off. Well, enough that it's a couple of blocks away from the true location. Wifi, in comparison, was just about exact. It's more of a fun convenience compared to a true GPS system. I'm still grateful for it though!

I'm about 5-10 minutes from my state's capital city so there are plenty of towers around. Well, for reception there are...maybe not for the triangulation feature. When I go downtown I'll give the Edge version a try to see if it's more accurate there.
     
crabsandbeer
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Jan 17, 2008, 12:57 PM
 
Wow. Mine was about 3/4 mile off. I tried it in a suburban area, maybe the towers were too far apart for a more accurate reading.
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DigitalEl
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Jan 17, 2008, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by crabsandbeer
Mine was about 3/4 mile off. I tried it in a suburban area, maybe the towers were too far apart for a more accurate reading.
More like 1 and 3/4 miles off for me. Also in the burbs... Both in a full-bars area and in an area with barely a single bar. Signal strength doesn't seem to matter. Got an airport run tonight, which takes me right through downtown. I'll be very interested to see how close the triangulation gets in a dense urban core.

Update: At Phoenix Sky Harbor International, on EDGE, it pinpointed exactly which parking lot I was in. Along the freeway, through Downtown Phoenix, it was pretty accurate as well. Back in the burbs... Full bars or 1 bar, it's still up to 2 miles off 'round these parts.
( Last edited by DigitalEl; Jan 21, 2008 at 08:47 PM. )
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paul w
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Jan 17, 2008, 05:08 PM
 
I'm in New York city and it has been off by several blocks - even putting me across the river in New Jersey once.
     
Toyin
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Jan 17, 2008, 10:25 PM
 
It let me know I'm somewhere in the vicinity of Boston. Pretty useless unless you're REALLY lost.

I exaggerate, but it usually gives me about a one mile radius in the suburbs.
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zanyterp
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Jan 17, 2008, 11:18 PM
 
first time I tried last night (wifi @ home) it was off enough that I didn't recognize the subrb/area it gave me...can't figure out how to get the name up show again nut when I tested st work today using edge was right on using my wifi router here
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harbinger75
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Jan 18, 2008, 12:18 AM
 
Within a mile over Edge, but several miles off when Wi-Fi is on.
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Mastrap
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Jan 21, 2008, 02:50 PM
 
Pretty much on the money in downtown Toronto.
     
macintologist
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Jan 21, 2008, 05:35 PM
 
It really depends. If I only have 2-3 bars, it will circle a 5-10 block radius. If I'm outside with full 5 bars of reception, it gets it down to a half block! Pretty impressive overall.
     
analogika
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Jan 21, 2008, 08:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by paul w View Post
I'm in New York city and it has been off by several blocks - even putting me across the river in New Jersey once.
Good God, man!

I'd sue for mental distress.
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 21, 2008, 10:13 PM
 
I used it a few days ago in the Apple Store and it knew which side of the mall I was at. Not bad.
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 21, 2008, 10:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Good God, man!

I'd sue for mental distress.
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cbk1994
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Jan 21, 2008, 10:57 PM
 
It's a really nice feature; I've used the cell tower triangulation. Used it many times when I was traveling from Kentucky to Iowa. Used it mainly to find gas stations with diesel, places to eat, etc.

I've noticed that the accuracy varies greatly.

When I was in Indianapolis, it told me the restaurant that I was in. When I got farther away from towns (driving on long interstates), it would vary greatly, but it was always accurate enough for directions. It's a life saver when you've got no clue where you are.
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MrForgetable
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Jan 22, 2008, 03:44 PM
 
I used WiFi and I was put in St. Louis, Missouri when I was actually in a suburb of Los Angeles, CA. So what, 2000 miles off? But I think that's about right. For some reason my home cable IP address is a St. Louis one.
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CorpITGuy
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Jan 22, 2008, 07:30 PM
 
If I am in bigger cities it works well. (~500 feet!)

If I am in my suburban hometown, it doesn't work at all... I'm completely outside of the "circle" it paints over the map... about 3 or 4 miles from the center!
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harbinger75
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Jan 22, 2008, 08:44 PM
 
It's a nice novelty, but isn't accurate enough for any serious use.

...it's fun to play with when you're bored, however.
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