GPS and location-based services become more important to Apple iOS devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, with every device and software update. From the first iPhone, through the to-be-released (this fall) iOS5 operating system with new location-based reminders, GPS and location-based features are central to the Apple ecosystem.
Apple iOS devices use a mix of technologies to deliver location services, such as mapping, turn-by-turn directions, support of apps that provide restaurant reviews, movie times, social media, and more. The iPod Touch, for example, does not have a built-in GPS chip, but you may enable an iPod Touch with GPS using a charging car mount or an accessory such as the Bad Elf docking port device.
The iPad has created some confusion in the marketplace, because the Wi-Fi versions do not have built-in GPS chips, while the more costly Wi-Fi+3G models do. My recent article on iPad GPS (and A-GPS) provides a clear guide for those wondering about iPad location capabilities, and which iPad model to buy.
Less confusing is the iPhone, with all iPhone models including a built-in A-GPS chip and always-on internet connectivity (at least when within WiFi and cell tower range) that can update maps and location-service databased on the fly. This is a powerful combination that can provide everything from turn-by-turn driving, cycling, and walking directions (example, Garmin StreetPilot app), to golf GPS apps to free fitness & training apps that tell you distance, speed, time, calorie burn, and other important information.