Pin Me

Tips for Using the iPod Touch 4's GPS

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 4/29/2011

Here is a look at some practical tips about how to navigate with the GPS service that you use on your iPod Touch 4. You'll definitely want to be apprised of some of these tips before you set out thinking that you'll have continuous GPS coverage wherever you go though.

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    Find Your Way

    The iPod Touch is one of the most complete types of personal devices around, and it is definitely more than your old iPod. Just as with the iPhone, the Touch brings in the GPS feature into its iPod Touch Maps section. With this you can tie the device into the general system and get map directions in a very complete way. Here are a few tips for using the iPod Touch GPS feature when getting directions for travel.

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    Search When Connected to Wi-Fi

    Screenshot by Shane Burley The iPod Touch GPS feature is internet dependent, which means that you have to continue with Wi-Fi connectivity. The major difference between the GPS function on something like the iPod Touch and an independent GPS device is that it does not tie directly into the GPS service. Instead, it is part of a internet search that then gets results through Google's GPS service. The device will be located through GPS, but without a clear internet search mechanism you will not be able to get proper directions. What this means for actually using the iPod Touch GPS is that you will have to give clear search entries that reflect the location you want to find, and these follow many of the same principles that you would use for a regular internet search.

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    Pins

    Screenshot by Shane Burley Since you are not always going to have key access to the internet, or it may be limited when you do, you will want to employ the Pin drop feature. What this will allow you to do in your Google Maps section is to set a "pin," which stays in a locaiton on your virtual map, at a location that you will return to.Screenshot by Shane Burley 

    Start by first searching for an area, allowing it to be found on your map. This is best when used at an exact address rather than a general location. You can also set this for a Current Location, which will allow you to actually just return to the locations you have been to and will allow you to mark one when you are there.

    To set the pin you go to the lower right hand corner of the display that looks like a page peeling away and select it, which does actually peel away. From here you will choose to set a pin, or replace a pin if you have already set one. You can do it at the selected location or the current location as has already been determined. You will have to replace a pin if one already exists as you cannot just set multiple pins.

    This is an internal function of the iPod Touch itself and does not go to a GPS location directly, which is why it is really only a temporary solution for essentially remembering the searches that you made with the GPS service to begin with.

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    Bus and Walking

    One nice aspect of the iPod Touch GPS feature is that it does not restrict you to driving directions, but also walking and bus instructions. The Screenshot by Shane Burley only issue with these two elements is that it is not universal for longer locations or areas that they have not deemed suitable for the chosen directions. For example, if you are looking for directions that cross several states then the likelihood of getting adequate bus or walking instructions for this is unlikely. Instead, you will have to use a regular internet search function to see about interstate travel. This can happen on a smaller scale as well, but you should try to first get down the driving instructions and then check the other directions if they are accessible. This is not a function of your Google Maps app but of the base GPS interpretation service, so it depends on how the iPod Touch GPS feels about this and you cannot adjust this in the iPod Touch's settings.

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    References

    Photos: Screenshots by Shane Burley.

    Sources: author's own experience.