The iPhone really seems to have an app for everything, but its GPS functionality makes it an especially useful device for drivers. Unfortunately, while the iPhone is capable of working as a great car GPS, it wasn’t designed specifically for that purpose, and GPS apps from companies like TomTom, Magellan and MotionX often have minor issues that can quickly get annoying.
Here are a few common problems with iPhone GPS apps designed for car navigation and how to fix them.
Battery Drain Issues. Using the GPS takes a bit of battery power, but the complex apps that use the iPhone’s GPS draw a whole lot more. You may notice that your iPhone starts to lose battery power very quickly when it’s running a GPS navigation app. Sometimes, the battery will even drain while the iPhone’s plugged in to a car charger.
If this is the case, you can close a few of the other apps that you have open in order to get better battery life. To do this, go to the iPhone’s Home screen and hit the Home button (the button on the face of the iPhone) twice. This brings up all of the apps that are currently open.
Touch one of these apps and wait for a wiggling “-” mark to appear, then hit the minus sign to close the app. Try closing everything but your GPS app to get the best possible battery life, and consider dimming your iPhone’s screen if you’re still seeing serious battery drain.
The iPhone Can’t Find A GPS Signal. This is undoubtedly the most common problem with iPhone GPS apps. It’s particularly annoying with apps like MotionX GPS, which has live voice guidance–hearing something like, “make sure your iPhone has a clear view of the sky” every 30 seconds can drive any driver nuts.
So, what do you do if your iPhone can’t find a GPS signal? Well, you make sure…that it has a clear view of the sky. Shocking, right?
Don’t keep your iPhone in your lap or on your passenger seat while you’re driving. Invest in a cheap mount that attaches to your car’s dashboard or windshield. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration, and you’ll give the iPhone the best possible chance of receiving a good GPS signal.
No Internet Connection. It’s important to make a distinction between a loss of GPS signal and a loss of Internet connection, as either can be an issue while you’re using your iPhone as a GPS.
Your iPhone uses its GPS to know exactly where it is, but it needs the Internet for live guidance. If you’re not around a network, you won’t be able to get new directions. The only way to fix this is to get your directions.before you leave or to buy a GPS app like Magellan GPS, which can install map packs. Otherwise, you’ll end up lost, even if your iPhone’s GPS is working perfectly.
Have another problem with your iPhone’s GPS? Post in the comments section below.