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Old 03-24-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
Scraping Paint
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iPad Mini

We just got my wife an iPad Mini. Like our full-size iPad, the Mini is available in both wifi only and wifi/cellular (4G) versions. With the full-size iPad only the wifi/cellular version has a built in, stand alone GPS/GLONAS (Russia's equivelent of GPS) that needs no connectivity to work. Which is why I can use my iPad to track our position street by street in the middle of China or the Middle East using the worldwide street maps on Pocket Earth with no wifi or cellular connectivity at all. The wifi-only iPad cannot do this.

So when we bought my wife's Mini I asked the store guys if, like the full-size iPad, the wifi/cellular version had the same stand-alone GPS/GLONAS capability. They said no. We bought the wifi/ cellular version anyway because we wanted both types of connectivity.

And last night we found out the store guys were wrong. In the little bay we're in right now we found that the Mini is exactly the same as the full-size iPad in this respect. It's even listed out in the Apple specs for the two versions of the Mini. The wifi-only version uses non-GPS signals to interpolate location. The wifi/cellular version uses the exact same stand-alone GPS/GLONAS receiver that the full-size wifi/cellular iPad uses.

So for example we opened the Navimatics charting app that my wife's Mini brought in when we synced it to our home computer and with both wifi and cellular turned off it put us right where we are in this bay just as my full-size iPad did. Did the same thing on Pocket Earth.

So.... If you're in the market for an iPad Mini and you want the ability to track or find your position in a car, on foot, in a boat, or on a horse anywhere on the planet with no connectivity at all, make sure you get the wifi/cellular version of the Mini. You don't have to open a cellular account if you don't want to. But you need the cellular-capable version of the Mini to get the stand alone GPS/GLONAS receiver.

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Old 03-24-2013, 01:45 PM   #2
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Thank you Marin and quite timely too. My son is visiting this month prior to leaving for two years in Italy. I've toyed with the idea of an iPad but did not like the size of them but have discovered the right fit with his mini.

My final concern was answered in your post regarding GPS connectivity. My only question now is do you think the 64 is worth the expense over the 32 I'm considering. My use will vary of course but my primary justification for the purchase is augmenting my paper chart navigation in the inland waters of the SF Bay and Delta.

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It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they've been fooled - Mark Twain
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:04 PM   #3
Scraping Paint
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I have 64 gigs on my full size iPad but I use it for work, both my own writing and Boeing stuff when we're on domestic or international travel. So my current book project is on it plus apps to run MS Office applications and a host of other work-related apps including a digital camera slate.

But for personal use I think 32 gigs would be sufficient unless one has a ton of music or videos.
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