Santa can trade in reindeer — he can now rely on one Bad Elf. Designed for Apple users, the Bad Elf GPS is an add-on accessory module that provides high-sensitivity and high-accuracy GPS for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. It easily plugs in to your device, giving you ultimate location awareness anywhere you go. You can even enhance it with apps and software (sold separately) for automotive navigation and more!
Simple to use. Easy to enjoy.
Bad Elf creates high quality, dependable products consistent with Apple's philosophy of "It just works!" Just plug in your Bad Elf GPS and go play. No complicated setup. No batteries to charge. No hassles.
Made for every iOS device.
The Bad Elf GPS is the best selling Apple-approved external GPS accessory designed to directly connect to your iPad, iPod touch and iPhone. The Bad Elf GPS accessory plugs into the dock connector and allows Apps to read your current location. To simplify your search for great Apps, Bad Elf has categorized many Apps that work well with a Bad Elf GPS by your favorite activities.
- About the size of a Quarter (US) or Euro (EUR) coin
- Approximately the same thickness as your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch
- Highly portable with a detachable lanyard for safe-keeping
- Enables charging of iOS device
- Allows syncing of iOS device
- Connects to standard Apple 30-pin connector on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
- Compatible with most protective cases, arm bands, and car kits — as long as they do not obstruct the 30-pin dock connector.
Please Note: The Bad Elf GPS adds a GPS receiver to a compatible device. It does not include maps or software for navigation, which much be purchased separately.
MPN: BE-GPS-1000 UPC: 793573991850
Q: Will the Bad Elf GPS Receiver work with my iPad (3rd generation)?
A: Yes! Apple has tested and approved the Bad Elf GPS for use on the iPad (3rd generation).
Q: Will the Bad Elf GPS Receiver work with my iPad 2?
A: Yes! Apple has tested and approved the Bad Elf GPS for use on the iPad2 as well as the original iPad. It's also approved on the iPod touch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th generations), iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, & iPhone.
Q: Will the Bad Elf GPS Receiver work on my Wi-Fi only device?
A: Yes. The Bad Elf GPS does not require any internet connection (Wi-Fi or 3G) to work. That said, many apps that use your location may themselves require Internet access. The default Maps app, for example, tries to fetch map tiles from the Internet as you move off the map. That's why Bad Elf keeps a list of some of the apps that work great without requiring Internet access here
Q: Does the Bad Elf GPS Receiver provide Internet access?
A: No. It simply determines your location and provides that information to any iOS app that requests it via the Core Location APIs.
Q: Does the Bad Elf GPS Receiver work in places outside North America?
A: Yes! There are happy customers using the Bad Elf GPS Receiver in North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. The Bad Elf GPS Receiver works ANYWHERE on Earth.
Q: Do I need to jailbreak my device to use the Bad Elf GPS?
A: No! The Bad Elf GPS is an Apple-authorized accessory, and has passed the rigorous "Made for iPod" compliance and testing program.
Q: How accurate is the Bad Elf GPS Receiver?
A: Typically you'll see the accuracy listed as 10m, after it comes thru the iOS Core Location APIs. The GPS chipset in the Bad Elf GPS actually provides data as precise as 2.5m, but as with any GPS receiver, this depends on your particular environment (interference, sky visibility, shielding, etc).
Q: Is the Bad Elf GPS Receiver better than the iPad/iPhone internal GPS?
A: In general, yes! The Bad Elf GPS Receiver uses the high-performance MTK3329 chipset, so it's capable of 2.5m resolution and 10Hz reporting. It can acquire a GPS lock in places the internal GPS will not, such as inside a commercial jet flying at 565mph at 29K feet. It also supports WAAS, so you'll see better vertical accuracy and at least 10m positional accuracy in almost all conditions. And finally, our receiver does not depend on Assisted GPS data to get a lock, so as long as you have a clear view of the sky, it will get a GPS lock within about 35 seconds.
Q: Does it work at the high altitudes, high speeds, and without Internet connectivity?
A: It has been have verified that the Bad Elf GPS Receiver performs very well in the conditions of both commercial and private aviation. It had no trouble at altitudes above 30,000 ft (9,000 m) and speeds around 600 mph (960 kph). If you've tried yours at more extreme conditions, tell us about it!
Q: Will the Bad Elf GPS Receiver work in the passenger section of a commercial airliner?
A: You won't be able to get a lock inside the plane without at least some sky visibility. Typically you can get a lock by holding the Bad Elf GPS near the window. Once you have the lock it should keep it as long as you are within about two seats distance from a window.
Q: How well suited are these units for the salty air of marine use?
A: Bad Elf hasn't taken any special precautions for salty air, so we cannot make any guarantees there. It's probably the same for the Apple devices, too. Many people use Otterboxes or other water-tight enclosures, which we would recommend for our accessory too.
Q: Can I put my iOS device into "airplane mode" and still use the Bad Elf GPS Receiver?
A: Yes! Airplane mode will not affect the operation of the Bad Elf GPS Receiver. We recommend airplane mode whenever you don't need to make phone calls, send and receive text messages, or access the Internet. It saves power and minimizes distractions. The default Maps app will not work with the Bad Elf GPS in "airplane mode" as of iOS 4.3. But most offline apps work just fine in "airplane mode" with the Bad Elf GPS.
Q: What do I need to use my iPad or iPod touch for car/marine/aviation navigation?
A: Navigation requires a global positioning system (GPS) device and mapping software. The Bad Elf GPS provides the location data, and is compatible with all location-based apps available on the App Store. If you want to use an iPod touch or Wi-Fi only iPad, then you need to make sure the navigation app does not require an Internet connection, and instead stores the map/route data locally. Bad Elf maintains a list of compatible apps with offline/disconnected mapping support.
Q: Will the Bad Elf GPS work with the Maps app on my WiFi iPad or iPod touch?
A: Kind of. The default Maps application relies on Google Maps, and needs an Internet connection to download new map data anytime you move or zoom the Map view. The app does cache the current screen, so as long as your position does not move off the screen, it will work. We recommend you save yourself the trouble and use one of the many free/inexpensive mapping apps with offline support.
Q: Do I need to pay $10/month to AT&T for navigation services?
A: No! With the Bad Elf GPS, you can use any of the navigation apps available on the App Store.
Q: How does charging work?
A: The USB power is passed through the Bad Elf GPS Receiver, so it will charge the iOS device when connected. The Bad Elf GPS gets power only from the iOS device, and does not draw any power from the USB power source. iOS devices are more strict about chargers that are connected via accessory pass-thru ports, so make sure you are using a charger that officially supports your iOS device. This is especially true for the iPad.
Q: Do I need to charge my Bad Elf GPS Receiver before use?
A: No. The Bad Elf GPS Receiver draws its power from your iOS device. Just use the Bad Elf GPS Receiver and don't worry about its internal battery.
Q: Can I charge my iOS device and the Bad Elf GPS Receiver while it's in the car?
A: Sure. You can buy a charger that plugs into your car power source and allows you to plug USB into it. Then use the cable included with your Bad Elf GPS Receiver to connect to that charger. This will keep both your Bad Elf GPS Receiver and your iOS device charging while you're in the car.
Q: Why, when my iPod touch 4G locks itself after a period of non-use or if I manually lock it, does the Bad Elf GPS Receiver shut off also?
A: The iPod touch 4G has a pretty aggressive power save mode. Unfortunately there's nothing we can do from our side except to recommend that you use apps that have their own screen lock/dim feature and/or support background mode. One other thing that will usually keep the iPod touch awake is if you are playing music – even if the volume is way down, it will at least keep everything powered. Of course, the iPod touch battery is not that large, so you probably won't get more than 4-5 hours of continuous GPS usage before your battery gets low.
Q: Why does the Bad Elf GPS app say "server unreachable"?
A: The Bad Elf GPS Receiver uses "assisted GPS" to allow the hardware to get a faster lock by reading some satellite information from the Internet. When you use the Bad Elf GPS Utility app on your device, it attempts to load this information via our server. On occasion, our server is down or has received invalid data from our third party source. When this is the case, you'll see the "server unreachable" message. The Bad Elf GPS Receiver works great with or without this Assisted GPS data, so don't worry if it's not available.
Q: Why when I try to charge my iPad 2 in the car through the Bad Elf GPS Receiver with the supplied cable does it say, "not charging"?
A: Most laptops and many car chargers don't provide enough power to charge the iPad 2 while it's being used and the display is on. Once the display turns off, it does charge. Also, if you charge your iPad 2 through the Bad Elf GPS Receiver using the wall charger, it should charge just fine. You will need a car charger that officially supports the iPad 2.
Q: What kind of warranty is provided?
A: You can read our warranty and return policy here
Q: What is the Bad Elf GPS app used for? Do I need to use it every time I plug in the unit?
A: The Bad Elf GPS app is used for firmware updates and to preload the assisted GPS data into your accessory. Most people will never need to run our app! But it does allow us to distribute bug fixes and possibly enable new features in the hardware down the road. Preloading assisted GPS data is not at all necessary. In theory, it can speed up lock times, but in reality it only saves a few seconds at best, so it's not worth worrying about. It's certainly not required for everyday use.
Q: My Bad Elf GPS Receiver blinks when I plug it in, but then it stops blinking and the light goes off. Is it broken?
A: No. Try running an app that uses the GPS, like the default Maps app. You should see the light blink while the unit acquires a satellite lock. This typically takes about 35 seconds with a good view of the sky. Once the lock is acquired, the light stays on while it is in use by the app. Please refer to our troubleshooting guide for more details.
Q: What does the LED light on the Bad Elf GPS Receiver mean?
A: First, launch an app that makes use of location services, such as the default Maps app. The green LED indicates:
Q: Why are only some location-based apps listed as compatible?
A: Ultimately the app's compatibility with a given platform, especially the iPod touch or iPad Wi-Fi, is up to the application developer. Some vendors chose to restrict their apps to 3G devices only, even if the Bad Elf GPS would allow them to run on non-3G devices. If you find an app you want to use on your non-3G device, drop the application developer a note asking for them to reconsider their choice.
Q: How does the Bad Elf GPS Receiver affect battery life?
A: The Bad Elf GPS Receiver is powered by the 30-pin dock connector, so battery life is really a function of what iOS device you are using. GPS receivers are power-hungry devices, and running location-based apps continuously can drain your battery quickly. This is true of both the iPhone/iPad internal GPS chips and the external Bad Elf GPS Receiver. Luckily the iPad battery is HUGE in comparison, so battery drain is not as much of an issue. In our experience, a fully charged iPod touch can power the Bad Elf GPS Receiver for four hours or more. For an iPad, it's 12 hours or more — screen brightness usually has a greater impact on battery life than the Bad Elf GPS Receiver!
Q: What is the purpose of the cable that comes with the Bad Elf GPS Receiver?
A: It's for syncing and charging your iOS device while the Bad Elf GPS Receiver is still plugged in. You can plug the cable into any USB power source that you would normally connect your iOS device to, such as your laptop, car charger, or wall charger.