The iPhone 4S has an improved GPS system with GLONASS support

According to Apple’s recently updated technical specification page, the iPhone 4S has an enhanced GPS system with support for GLONASS. What is GLONASS and what does it actually mean to us in the real world?

GLONASS stands for Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema or Global Navigation Satellite System.

Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema or Global Navigation Satellite System, is a radio-based satellite navigation system operated for the Russian government by the Russian Space Forces. It is an alternative and complement to the United States' Global Positioning System (GPS), the Chinese Compass navigation system and the planned Galileo positioning system of the European Union.

GLONASS has around 24 satellites worldwide and when these work alongside the standard 31 GPS satellites, your GPS accuracy and fix speed can be greatly enhanced. We are not sure if Apple is using the systems in tandem to provide this extra accuracy and speed. It may just be that in order to sell the iPhone 4S in Russia it had to be made available. Either way, it is something you can brag to your friends about!

Source: Apple via The Next Web

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chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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The iPhone 4S has an improved GPS system with GLONASS support

29 Comments

This facilities is what someone won't had even imagine as having Navigation in cellphone and that too with such an accuracy. I am so excited to see this in iphone as it also had speed too.

This may not be the case here, but too often people forget that not everyone in the world is a native English speaker. Criticizing does not help confidence levels (speaking from experience from moving to Montreal and trying to learn/speak French).
Cheers.

Значит я смогу использовать нашу навигационную систему находясь в России используя iPhone 4s от компании Спринт. Полезно знать.
Чебурашка :-)

It would be nice to see a comparison test with older iPhones to see if the gps is really more accurate. I've always found my 3GS gps to be a bit off

Just running a quick comparison with my 3GS, with both on wifi, the 4S narrowed down the location much faster, though they both eventually ended up in the same spot. The 3GS put me in the field between buildings of my apartment complex, 40 or so yards away, while the 4S put me in my building one apartment over, so perhaps 5 yards away. The 3GS did eventually get there while I was typing this, however.

Just running a quick comparison with my 3GS, with both on wifi, the 4S narrowed down the location much faster, though they both eventually ended up in the same spot. The 3GS put me in the field between buildings of my apartment complex, 40 or so yards away, while the 4S put me in my building one apartment over, so perhaps 5 yards away. The 3GS did eventually get there while I was typing this, however.

Just running a quick comparison with my 3GS, with both on wifi, the 4S narrowed down the location much faster, though they both eventually ended up in the same spot. The 3GS put me in the field between buildings of my apartment complex, 40 or so yards away, while the 4S put me in my building one apartment over, so perhaps 5 yards away. The 3GS did eventually get there while I was typing this, however.

Just running a quick comparison with my 3GS, with both on wifi, the 4S narrowed down the location much faster, though they both eventually ended up in the same spot. The 3GS put me in the field between buildings of my apartment complex, 40 or so yards away, while the 4S put me in my building one apartment over, so perhaps 5 yards away. The 3GS did eventually get there while I was typing this, however.

Just running a quick comparison with my 3GS, with both on wifi, the 4S narrowed down the location much faster, though they both eventually ended up in the same spot. The 3GS put me in the field between buildings of my apartment complex, 40 or so yards away, while the 4S put me in my building one apartment over, so perhaps 5 yards away. The 3GS did eventually get there while I was typing this, however.

It would be nice to see a comparison test with older iPhones to see if the gps is really more accurate. I've always found my 3GS gps to be a bit off

Using both the US GPS capability and Russian GLONASS satellite network is becoming a fairly standard feature of high end commercial and Maritime Navigation GPS units, since it provides higher levels of accuracy due to the much greater number of satellites that are used. Besides the radio capability to receive both system, the logic within the GPS receiver to use both networks must be provided. This has been expensive in the past. APPLE is in the lead now by incorporating this technology into a relatively low cost device, however I suspect that others will be provide this in the future also.

Using both the US GPS capability and Russian GLONASS satellite network is becoming a fairly standard feature of high end commercial and Maritime Navigation GPS units, since it provides higher levels of accuracy due to the much greater number of satellites that are used. Besides the radio capability to receive both system, the logic within the GPS receiver to use both networks must be provided. This has been expensive in the past. APPLE is in the lead now by incorporating this technology into a relatively low cost device, however I suspect that others will be provide this in the future also.

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