iPhone Faux-GPS Hack Works and is Awesome

Click to viewWhoa, the iPhone just got GPS. Well, it's actually using peer-collected GPS data linked to cellular tower, which Navizon describes as peer to peer location detection. Either way &mdash it actually works. This morning, the Navizon GPS app showed up in Installer.app. After creating a username and login (get this: email NOT required), the app started up, taking about 30 seconds to find my location accurate within a few hundred feet &mdash good enough to use as a starting point for driving directions. Then it pushes your coordinates, by latitude and longitude, to many, many, many decimal places of degrees, to the map application.

Here's how it works:

Some people with a GPS device collect the location information of cell towers and wifi access points. Then they share it with the rest of the network and everyone else who doesn't have a GPS device can then simulate a Virtual GPS thanks to the data collected by others.

This is why we call it Peer to Peer Positioning.

Kind of. It's off by a few hundred yards, but this is a lot better than the total lack of location awareness that the iPhone officially enjoys. It also claims Wi-Fi positioning, which I don't completely understand. The app is free for the first 15 days. After that, the software costs $24.99. A caveat: It crashed Chen's phone, but it worked great for me. And this is only version 1.0, but maybe the real question is why wasn't this functionality built into the iPhone to begin with? Go Navizon! [navizon via installer.app]