Should I use an external GPS with my iPad or iPhone?

iPad's that are "Wi-Fi only" do not have an internal GPS receiver built into them and will require an external GPS receiver if you want to view GPS position information within ForeFlight Mobile EFB.

For users of iPhones and iPads that are "Wi-Fi + Cellular" equipped, there is is an internal GPS receiver built into the device.  A cellular data plan is not required in order for this GPS receiver to function.  For many users, the built in GPS receiver works just fine.

Some users have found that the internal GPS receiver is not adequate for their particular application.  Here are some common reasons for why the internal GPS receiver was not adequate:

- Cockpit has a lot of structure obscuring the GPS reception capability.

- Robust device cases.

- Electrically heated windshields.

- A need to mount the iPad in a location where GPS reception is poor.

- Using an older iPad in an aircraft flying at higher altitudes and faster speeds.

ForeFlight Mobile currently recommends the Bad Elf or the DUAL external GPS'.  ADS-B receivers, such as the SentryStratus or Garmin GDL-39, not only provide ADS-B data, but also provide GPS position information.

Last, ForeFlight is able to receive available GPS position information from avionics systems that connect to ForeFlight through the ForeFlight Connect option.  You can learn more about that here: