Many iOS devices have a built in GPS receiver, and will work very well with iSailGPS even if you do not have a cellular data plan. The confusion comes about because the GPS receiver and the cellular radios are both included in the same package. If one buys an iOS device without the cellular radios, then he doesn't get the GPS receiver either. But the GPS receiver and the cellular radios can work independently. When the GPS receiver is first turned on by an App requesting to use it, if you have a cellular plan and a network connection, the GPS receiver will use information that it gets over the network connection to more quickly lock onto the GPS satellites. But if there is no cellular plan, the GPS receiver will get that necessary information directly from the GPS satellites, which can take a minute or two (just a like a separate GPS unit would). Once the GPS receiver is locked onto the satellites, it does not use the cellular plan at all, and its performance is identical whether you have a cellular plan or not.
Yes, iSailGPS is a native iPad App, with full support for the Retina display in the newer iPads. Apple installs a GPS chip in the WiFi+Cellular versions of the iPad. Thus, all features of iSailGPS work with these iPads. The WiFi-only versions do NOT have a GPS chip, but chart download and viewing is still supported by iSailGPS. To access all functions of our software with a WiFi-only iPad, add an iOS-compatible external GPS receiver.
Yes, iSailGPS works on the iPod touch. The iPod touch does NOT have a GPS chip, but chart download and viewing is still supported by iSailGPS. To access all functions of our software with an iPod touch, add an iOS-compatible external GPS receiver.
Yes. There are some iOS-compatible external GPS receivers available. These can offer improved GPS performance over the built-in GPS chip, or full functioning for those Wi-Fi only devices which do not have an internal GPS chip.
Almost all modern mapping programs accept GPS data in the GPX file format. Use iSailGPS to email tracks, routes and waypoints to yourself or friends. The email has an attachment which can be imported into any application which will read GPX files. Or you can transfer the GPX waypoints, routes, and tracks to your computer using iTunes File Sharing.
Send an email to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with a GPX or LOC (Geocaching) file as an attachment. Use Mail to view the email. Press and hold the attachment icon to send the the data in the GPX file to iSailGPS.
You can also transfer the waypoints, routes, and tracks from your computer using iTunes File Sharing or Dropbox.
You can change several settings to reduce the devices's drain on its battery. Adjust the following settings in Apple's “Settings” App:
Tap Wi-Fi, then Turn off Wi-Fi.
Tap Bluetooth, then turn Bluetooth off.
Tap “Brightness & Wallpaper”, then turn down the screen brightness to the lowest acceptable level.
Tap “iCloud”, then tap “Documents & Data”, turn off “Use Cellular”.
Tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”. Tap “Fetch New Data”. Turn off “Push” and tap “Manually”.
Tap “iTunes & App Store”, then turn off “Use Cellular Data”.
Plug the iOS device into a charger before your trip so that you start with a completely charged battery.
On the Track Page, select Always. Put the iOS device to sleep when you are not looking at it. When you drop anchor or dock, on the Track Page select Off. (Don't forget to turn tracking back on before resuming your trip.)
Use the “Go To” Display on the My Location page only when needed for compass readings. Using the Normal Display turns off the compass, which reduces battery drain.
If you follow all the steps, you may be able to record tracks for about 10 hours of actual sailing. Use an external battery pack to extend this time.
NOAA charts are huge (up to 115 megapixels) images, which take a second to process given the speed of the iOS device's processor. A spinning activity indicator will show in the upper right corner of the screen when the chart cache is updating. Wait to give iSailGPS further commands until the activity indicator is no longer visible.
Originally iSailGPS stored downloaded charts in the documents folder on your iOS device. That way they were backed up to your home computer everytime you did a system backup. With the introduction of iCloud, Apple required us to move the charts to the cache folder. That way the charts, which use several megabytes of memory each, would not take up space in your limited iCloud storage allotment. However with the introduction of iOS 5, Apple started purging files from the cache folder whenever the the iOS device's storage memory was too full. If your charts disappeared, that means that you are almost out of storage memory and would benefit from removing some old apps you never use, some old songs you never listen to anymore, etc., to free up some memory and prevent further problems.
If you have an old backup of your iOS device on your computer, you can restore the downloaded charts from that backup. If you don't, you will have to manually re-download them one by one.
Apple realized that purging files from the cache folder can delete files that should not be deleted. They issued a fix for the problem in iOS 5.0.1, which allows an App to specify that certain files should not be deleted. We have submitted version 3.1 of iHikeGPS to the App store. As soon as Apple approves it and you update to it, your charts will no longer be purged from the cache folder even when your device is very short on free memory.
No. MacGPS Pro was created to take advantage of the computer's large screen, mouse, keyboard, menus, and huge data storage resources to augment an external GPS receiver.
iSailGPS was freshly built from the ground up to work the way that people use their iPhones, iPads, and iPods. However, our creation of iSailGPS does benefit from our years of experience in producing great GPS software.
MacGPS Pro can import charts in BSB format from a wide variety of sources. iSailGPS works only with USA NOAA charts downloaded from the iSailGPS server.