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Is Apple Planning a GPS

Oct
4
2006

If so, I would jump up and down with joy. But is there any truth to this? Seems that many people have discovered over the past few days that iPhoto has some hidden, and some visible, GPS features. First, here is what we can see without any geek knowledge.

If you select a photo in your iPhoto library and click ‘Command-i’ an info window will pop-up with properties about the photo. If you click on the ‘Exposure’ tab and look down at the bottom you will see fields for GPS Latitude, GPS Longitude, and GPS Altitude. No surprises there, most iPhoto users who are GPS users have known about this.

If your photos were geotagged when they were imported into iPhoto this information will be automatically displayed. Want to geotag your photos on a Mac? You can use a great program called GPSPhotoLinker to accomplish the task. However if you want this to work for photos in your existing iPhoto Library you will need to export the photos, tag them, and then reimport them into iPhoto. While you can tag the photos directly in your library, iPhoto will not recognize the changes to the data (called EXIF tags) automatically. Thus the need to export and re-import. (If anyone knows a way around this and get iPhoto to see the new EXIF tags I would greatly appreciate knowing about it.)

So getting to the new rumors. It seems that Apple has filed a patent recently for a “multifunctional handheld device” that could contain (according to the patent) things like a mobile phone, camera, or GPS. Sounds like my kind of device.

People digging around the inner guts of iPhoto have also discovered some features which are not visible in iPhoto. For example there is a “show” button that would appear next to the GPS coordinates which would link to the GPS coordinates in Google Maps.

So while it is all wild speculation at the moment, there are some tiny indications that Apple has had GPS on their minds. We would love to nudge them in that direction. Think of the possibilities if they could do for GPS what they have done for the iPod. :)

3 Responses


  1. That sounds like my kind of device. I do a lot of geocaching and one device that has a GPS, phone, PDA and camera would be great…maybe add an mp3 player too.

    Brandon - October 4th, 2006
  2. It would be great to have GPS on an iPhone, with the MP3 and cell phone and yadda yadda yadda.

    but what’s the point if the thing isn’t durable? One drop from 4 feet and the whole thing is a wash.

    When the point is reached where these things are outdoor-friendly and durable, I’ll shell out the dough. until then, I have an arsenal of stuff to carry around.

    Rob - February 28th, 2008
  3. I think the advantage of GPS on the iPhone would be for auto navigation, as opposed to outdoor recreation.

    Tim - February 28th, 2008



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