The images come ...

What iPad for navigation ?

You are more likely to wonder about the choice of an iPad to use navigation. Unfortunately did not have time to respond to every request (retirement is still beyond my horizon), a ticket is required. Almost two years to the day after a similar item (¹), course now obsolete, I will try to make a point on this issue.

Selection criteria

There are several, which does not only depend on marine use, but also the land that you will use your tablet.

  • Model : I have written many times on my website (²) and several tickets (³), model Wifi 3G or WiFi Cellular is imperative to have the integrated GPS. With a simple WiFi model, you must add, either GPS Bluetooth, either multiplexer to retrieve data from the GPS board.
  • The memory size : of 16 up to 128 Go next versions, the choice is wide. A strict use navigation, with applications using the vector mapping, 16 Go ample to go around the world. If you use the raster mapping, about ten times larger than the vector mapping equivalent geographic area, therefore 32 GB will certainly be needed. But beware : if you store your photos and videos travel, if you add music and movies, 64 Go will be necessary.
  • The size and screen resolution : iPad (9,7 inches) or iPad Mini (7,9 inches), I would say that the choice depends mainly on the distance to find the browser's screen. So to a certain extent on the size of vessel. I will ship a Mini iPad on a Corsair, one Muscadet, or an Etap 21. But above 6m50/7m, the distance between the helmsman and the location of the iPad might warrant a screen 10 inches for easier reading. We must also consider the size of the iPad, much smaller for iPad Mini in its waterproof case the iPad equivalent in the case. On the resolution, screens Retina High resolution generalize, but provide absolutely no comfort reading for vector mapping and most marine applications (Weather, tides, aso.). The inverse, they provide a much better finesse to display raster maps.

Different versions

We are in the 5th generation iPad and iPad 2nd generation Mini.

The first iPad Mini in october 2012 had the same characteristics as the iPad 2. It is always found for sale on the store refurbished products from Apple. I think for much longer. This is a great tablet, with a screen that has nothing to envy to his sister, autonomy for long days of navigation and fast charging. Replaced by’iPad Mini Retina en octobre 2013, it is now available to 16 up to 128 GB of storage.

Initial iPad, 1 and 2, excellent tablets, some of which have traveled thousands of miles for several years, are unfortunately supported by Apple. This means more possible update of the OS and the rapid obsolescence of applications that developers will not retain backwards compatible. The ’iPad 3, called New iPad at its output, is certainly the worst tablet range. Certainly marketed too fast, it was replaced after only seven months by’iPad 4 which corrected its many flaws, which mainly very slow to refresh Retina screen and a cooldown more 5 hours. iPad 4 is still for sale at the Apple Store, although replaced in November 2013 par l’iPad Air. This latest tablet has a real increase in quality : plus fine, lighter, much more powerful and faster, it has a much brighter screen very responsive, therefore a better vision in bright sunlight. A new battery technology has led to a significant decrease in consumption associated with a cooldown reduced to the iPad 2. Some experts consider the iPad Air as the true second Apple tablet after iPad 1 !

As new Apple devices are usually announced shortly before the holiday season, it is useless to expect news for these devices by summer.

5 iPad versions since 2010

My advice

  • iPad 1 and 2, if you already have, keep them as they work, if not buy them used for that price or a "spare tire".
  • iPad 3, avoid. I am in my second, I know what I'm talking !
  • iPad 4, if you find a good opportunity, but beware of very long recharge time.
  • iPad Air, buy eyes closed, this number is after 1 Apple the best tablet.

We'll talk in two years when the ticket is, à son tour, obsolete.

(¹) Why I'll keep my iPad 1
(³) iPad, GPS and 3G cellular network subscription


  1. jean-pierre this:

    off topic, but I am a fan of powerbook or mac mini despite the price cards

    1. Pierre-François this:

      I totally agree, but Mac ENC is not followed …

  2. Dusollier this:

    Thank you for this update and your excellent regular updates.
    For your info, j'ai iPhone 2 et un iphone 5, both recently updated (to end of February, it seems to me) vers la version IOS 7.1. I do not understand your sentence on the iPad 2: « means more possible update of the OS».

    1. Francis this:

      Simply that what happened to the 1 probably happen also for the 2, which is no longer supported by Apple, during the transition to iOS 8.

  3. Steph this:

    Super article, thank you. Really good summary, it is almost perfect.
    If I had « push the plug» it would have been to integrate top ipad mini in this table, and indicate the last line power consumption (during refill) of each device (and optionally the battery capacity of each apparatus).
    If at the time of such data you spend at your fingertips, Perhaps you could add to your article.
    A part that mini-mini-point, really interesting this article.

    1. Francis this:

      As I wrote in the article, iPad Mini incorporates the same features as the iPad 2, in all respects including autonomy and cooldown 0% up to 100%. On the iPad Retina I have no information other than that provided by Apple. Released in autumn, given the weather conditions months, few browsers have had the opportunity to test their device !

  4. Benoit Cornet this:

    Same as above.. iPad 2 seems to enjoy a long life complementary probably due to its pro use (pilot planes etc..) and is THE choice for me… Cheap, relatively compatible with the 1, while the latter suffers from manifest incompatibility with the latest versions of 4D Weather… and gribs and other info which made the application crash.

    À mon humble avis, However, we are at an interesting time because we feel that everything tends to unite the world « computer» and the world « Tablet» but as gateways slow in coming… Any purchase can be displayed in a window of technological continuity over 24 up to 36 months it seems…

  5. Dominique this:

    Francis thank you for this update more useful day. For my own, I do not see much difference in use between iPad and iPad mini, large model, because I used to sail with the iPad close to me. This is also essential when there is too much sun. The difference is at the manipulation menus, a little easier with the large model, without it being really remarkable.
    I think the iPad 2 is one of the best iPad for the boat, and it's a shame he does not pass iOS8.

  6. Francis this:

    Good, This post made me leap… Cases for Air… Thank you Francis

  7. Stephane this:

    Hello Francis,

    Ca and is, boat tickles me again, but this time on a small.
    I want to know if the AIS are reliable for Ipad. I plan to cross the Channel on my astus 18.2 ! Gonna change my Guma.

    1. Francis this:

      For 18 feet with limited energy, AIS receiver directly transmitting data via WiFi, as Digital Yacht IAIS seems perfectly suited. Reception quality and reliability are widely recognized.