The GPS works in two contrasting ways. Assisted GPS or A-GPS needs data connection, but GPS radio can work without any internet. Though the accuracy can be less, or it can take some more time to find the location, it can get a fix directly from the satellite if required.
How Does GPS Work Without Internet?
GPS is a navigation system that uses satellites, a GPS receiver, and algorithms to integrate location, velocity, and time data. Though internet connection boosts its work and enables more functions, GPS can efficiently operate without the need for a net connection.
Why the Internet Is Not Paramount for Gps
On both Android and iOS phones, each mapping app can find the location without an internet or data connection. There are various reasons behind it. GPS for hiking or outdoor use is a wholly self-contained system. It doesn’t rely on the internet but the satellite signals.
Does GPS Work Without Internet Android?
The devices where we get the facilities of the GPS are only the receivers of the radio frequencies sent by the satellites. So even if you don’t have an internet connection, any navigation app can track your location because signals don’t require internet, do they?
Thus, the basic GPS service doesn’t rely on data connection at all. It is the mapping and other functions of the navigation app that requires a net connection. As routes don’t change often, the preloaded map will take you to your destination without having any data access.
Without download, you may not be able to stream the maps onto your device without the internet.
The Parts and Types of GPS
Assisted GPS, aka A-GPS, uses nearby cell phone towers’ locations and other wireless networks via a data connection to know your accurate location. But GPS radio can be detected via satellites.
If you’re using standalone GPS units like classic Magellan models, they calculate your location from the GPS satellite position and use the internal maps to show you the place you are. It doesn’t require the internet at all.
A car’s automotive GPS also works the same way. The apps that don’t have built-in maps can’t work without a data connection. You can’t load maps while you are offline. So downloaded maps can rescue you in this case. But remember to update it periodically.
Offline Navigation Apps
There are navigation apps that include maps of your area to use GPS chips and use these internal maps to display your location. Some useful offline maps are MAPS.ME, CityMaps2Go, Here WeGo, GuruMaps, Maplets, etc. Just download the maps, outlets, and essential features that you need offline to get the best output from the apps.
When people talk about GPS and navigation apps, the first app that often comes to the other person’s mind is google maps. It is one of the most-used apps to track one’s location. It’s advantageous along with the internet. But that doesn’t mean without a data connection, you’ll be lost entirely.
Google maps can also work without the internet. For that, you have to take some measures. To provide you with services like road closures or traffic updates, you need the internet. But for tracking location within specific areas, you can easily rely on this app, even offline. Just download the maps of that area when you have access to the internet.
It may take a long time to get the map downloaded, but it’s worth it. You can do this for as many regions or cities as you want. You can get driving directions while offline or in cars as well. However, not all countries of the world can serve the amenity of offline maps due to language, licensing, and other limitations.
Does Airplane Mode Affect GPS?
It’s usually assumed that flight or airplane mode turns off all radio services. But that’s not the case for GPS. Yes, airplane mode indeed disables most of the phone’s everyday applications such as Wi-Fi, data connection, calls, Bluetooth, etc., but GPS still works.
The main reason behind it is that GPS is not a two-way service. It only receives radio signals from the satellite. It doesn’t transmit any signal. Thus even if you’re in flight mode, your navigation will still be on. This leverage may not be available in older versions of GPS. In recent models, it will certainly work.
Q: How much data does GPS need per hour?
Ans: As mentioned, GPS doesn’t need internet connections to receive signals or to work. However, navigation apps use the internet to load information and traffic updates. Usually, google maps use 2.19 MB of data for each house on the road.
Q: Do I need to pay for offline maps?
Ans: No, not for all apps. All maps, features, and map updates are entirely free. Most of the apps provide this convenience for free. Some navigation apps like Maplets need payment to provide facilities. However, they are worth the money as well.
Global Positioning System, aka GPS is a free service available everywhere in the world. It has nothing to do with the internet. The apps that display the maps have that necessity. But as they serve us offline facilities, there’s nothing to worry about. Just check if you’re downloading the proper routes before going outside the access of the internet.