I originally bought a Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 because I didn’t need the 3G connectivity. But, I do need GPS capability for the mapping apps that I love to use while traveling. I have a nice Mi-Fi unit, but Verizon did not unlock the GPS capability, and I don’t have a iPhone Hot-Spot activated through AT&T. What was I to do?
Bad Elf has the solution with the creation of its high-quality and dependable product which are consistent with Apple’s philosophy of “It just works!” All I had to do was plug in my Bad Elf GPS and start traveling with GPS guidance. There was no complicated setup, and no batteries to charge . . . realistic plug-and-play!
This GPS device is an Apple-approved external GPS accessory designed to directly connect to my iPad, iPod touch and iPhone. It plugs into the dock connector and allows apps to read my current location, regardless of where I am. The company (Bad Elf) has worked hard to provide world-class customer service for my questions or concerns.
The Bad Elf GPS is about the size of a Quarter coin, and about the same thickness as my iPad. It is extremely small and portable with a detachable lanyard for safe-keeping and easy handling. On one end is the 30-pin Apple male connector, and on the other end a green activity light and a female micro-USB insert which enables charging of iOS device and syncing of iOS device with my computer. It is small enough to be compatible with most protective cases, arm bands, and car kits — as long as they do not obstruct the 30-pin dock connector.
To test it under real-life conditions, this unit has been mounted on an iPad for three long trips -- over 1,100 miles to northern Nebraska, over 1,900 miles to Santa Fe, NM, and over1,200 miles to Birmingham, AL. The iPad on one trip was laid low on the console, and on two other trips was mounted higher via a windshield mount. In both cases it took about a minute after activating Navigon GPS app to initially recognize the available satellites (green light blinks until found, then goes steady). After that, I never had to think about it (I did plug in the provided USB cable to my car’s power in order to keep the iPad charged (the Bad Elf GPS uses power from the iPad) . . . the sensitivity of this unit was actually better than by car’s built-in Kenwood (Garmin) GPS system.
Even with its simplicity and ease-of-use, I wish that this unit had clips on the 30-pin connector to keep it engaged (Apple doesn’t allow that), even when the cable is moved. To make it more available to more people, it would be popular if the price was in the $60 range such as competing blue-tooth units (which unfortunately don’t yet work with the iOS devices).
You can get you very own Bad Elf GPS unit (model BE-GPS-1000) for $99.95 at http://bad-elf.com/products/gps/. I agree that it is a strange name for such an elegant and useful piece of hardware, but it works great, and creates a terrific giant-GPS screen for my travels.