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Easy Ways of Adding a GPS Receiver to the iPhone

written by: Om Thoke•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 5/27/2010

The iPhone has become an extremely popular gadget today amongst folks of all ages and classes. But, it does have its own set of disadvantages especially the lack of a built-in GPS receiver. But, there are many ways of adding a GPS receiver to the iPhone, and here are some of the easy ways!

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    Various Options for Adding a GPS Receiver to the iPhone

    Of course, just as you may buy a GPS car-kit or other GPS solutions, you can find GPS receivers for the iPhone. They come in the form of plug-ins and enable your iPhone to do things that it couldn't really do on its own. However, before you install any of these receivers, you must look at the compatibility issues as well. All of the good options are listed one by one along with their compatibility issues as well as other relevant details.

    So, let us start-off with the first option, which happens to be the infamous TomTom tool for the iPhone.

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    TomTom Tool for iPhone

    TomTom has developed a new add-on GPS receiver for the Apple's legendary iPhone, which badly needed this capability. By attaching the hardware supplement in the bottom of the iPhone, you get the GPS prompts on the iPhone screen. The iPhone SDK is expected to hit the markets very soon. It is already available for some iPhone partners apart from the TomTom, and all the manufacturers are eyeing the upcoming launch of yet another official release of the iPhone that has a built-in GPS device.

    The process of adding the TomTom GPS receiver to the iPhone is pretty simple, and all you need is the TomTom app (including the latest maps, which will soon be available in the App Store as well) and the TomTom car kit.

    You can check out the other relevant details and similar options rendered by TomTom to add a GPS receiver to the iPhone at TomTom for iPhone.

    Remember, we're talking about the iPhone 3G because the built-in GPS has already been made available in the iPhone 3GS. This discussion is only for the unfortunate iPhone 3G owners who have not been provided with the GPS option by default.

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    LocoGPS by Gomite for iPhone

    Apart from the abovementioned TomTom app, there are many similar GPS add-ons for the iPhone available on the market now, and the LocoGPS by Gomite is one amongst them. This GPS hardware add-on is a small black box that can be fitted onto the rear side of the iPhone. This will serve as an integrated web server and get the phone connected to the GPS receiver. Making use of the Apple's iPhone browser, you can access the software using Nav N Go. However, it must be noted that this handy software plus hardware combination can only be used on a jailbroken iPhone! Jailbreaking allows iPhone users to run unofficial applications and software on their device.

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    iGPS360 Module for iPhone

    The first beta version of the GPS module allows the iGPS360 to work with App Store applications with full credit to Mathieu from xWaves who worked day and night and finally tried to crack the puzzle of how an external GPS device could be attached to the iPhone. The results of this work included the iGPS360 module released by Orange Gadgets.

    The iGPS360 works with both generations of the iPhone as well as the iTouch and serves as a direct add-on. But, once again, there are a few pre-requisites. Your iPhone or iPod Touch must be a jailbroken one and must be running on a1.1.x, 2.x.x or 3.0 firmware.

    More information is available on Orange Gadget 360's official website where they sell the iGPS360 module for the iPhone.

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    More GPS Receiver Options for iPhone

    Even with the iPod 2.2.1 and iPhone 2.2 first generation, the following free applications work as well. So, you don't have to be disappointed with the fact that the iPhone 3GS comes with a built-in receiver, but your first generation iPhone can't serve the purpose!

    Here are some of the best bets:

    • xGPS (with the iPhone 3G GPS)
    • Trailguru
    • GPS Log
    • GPS Ally
    • GPS Tracker
    • Zillow
    • Google Earth

    The Gi-Fi, or Gigabit Wireless, is another device that comes with cross platform support that will work on any computer with an Internet surfer and an Internet connection. Although there are no confirmations whether the device has been developed with the iPhone 3G SDK in mind, sources say that the device will work well with it.

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    The Bottom Line

    You do not really need to shell out the money for buying the iPhone 3GS just for the built-in GPS if you've already got an older version of the iPhone or iPod Touch. Many other options are available for free for adding a GPS receiver to the iPhone.