External GPS for iPod and iPhone


Ever wish your iPod touch or older generation iPhone had GPS capability? Now it can by using a Bluetooth GPS module along with the roqyGPS app.

In April we saw a pretty creative way to add GPS to an iPod by using a homebrew accessory. The new app is a better solution because it utilizes the larger screen and more functional UI of the iPod touch. We’re glad to see this come along because we’d rather not upgrade to the iPhone 3G just to get GPS support. roqyGPS has a fairly long supported hardware list, which should make it relatively inexpensive to pick up a GPS module either on sale or second-hand.

We’ve got a video of the release candidate after the break. As always, we’d like to hear from anyone already using this so please leave your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Jay says:

    This isn’t the first GPS for iPod touch to be released. Orange Gadgets has the iGPS360 and xGPS is on Cydia.

    I’t works pretty well.

    (no i don’t work for them)

  2. davr says:

    Should have been built into the iphone from day one…my five year old palm treo worked just fine out of the box with an external bluetooth GPS.

  3. aztraph says:

    I agree davr, my Nokia N800 has a bluetooth which is linked to earthmate bt-20, better than a garmin, especially in rural areas.

  4. Gabriel says:

    Costs about a $100 for a decent sirfIII bt receiver.
    For not much more you can get a dedicated device.

  5. Ned Scott says:

    Hack-a-day is confused. The big breakthrough with Roqy is that the developer for it was able to use the internal bluetooth in the iPod touch to connect to a bluetooth GPS. No dongle required!

  6. strider_mt2k says:


    It’s like I’ve been transported back in time four or five years!

    Welcome to…well…the present. :|

  7. Ian Tester says:

    Wow. Well, I guess this is news. But other phones have been able to do this for years now. Face it – the iPhone is an interesting device and can do a lot of neat things, but Apple has crippled it quite badly. It could do so much more. But at the moment I can do simple things with my Nokia 5220 phone (at a quarter of the price) that the iPhone cannot do e.g send contacts over Bluetooth.

  8. TheFu says:

    This also works for the Nokia Internet Tablets. Been Geocaching with my N800 for 18 months. The free Geo-code programs also perform direction+range calculations, which is nice.

  9. Post Master says:

    The big breakthrough regarding external GPS with the iphone / ipod touch isn’t the capability technology, it’s that the capability and technology was integrated regardless or in spite of Apple.

    Apple needs to realize that their big brother antics are 1) alienating their customers and 2) the biggest obstacle to more mainstream (read business) acceptance.

  10. dsi r4 says:

    This is best news for who want to use this External GPS facility on their i-pod or i-phone I am waiting for this facility Thank you for this post it has very useful information..please keep posting like this with this useful information

  11. The_hairy_whale says:

    This is brilliant… Would you be able to use a mobile phone with built in GPS as an external GPS antenna?

    I have a new Nokia E72 (work mobile) and it would be great if this could supply my Ipod Touch with the GPS signal it needs.

  12. Lman900 says:

    Would this method work as a golf gps?

  13. Nintendo Guy says:

    But I am thinking if you have a data plan you could just use xGPS from Cydia.

  14. regtweaker says:

    Would this method work as a golf gps?

  15. Ned Scott says:

    Regtweaker: yes! There are a few golf GPS apps on the App Store from a quick search. Because this is using an external GPS of your choice you can even buy a GPS that is more accurate than the standard one inside the iPhone 3G.

  16. Anyone trying to use some Holux BT gps receiver with iPhone 3GS, will it works?

  17. eight0 says:

    i would like to know hear from anyone who owns or has had experience with any of the devices on the above mentioned “supported hardware list”… i’m looking to purchase a device for use with my ipod touch and am curious as to which of these is the best value/ most reliable, etc… i was thinking holux but i don’t know much about ANY of them… THANKS!

  18. Ned Scott says:


    I personally have the GlobalSAT BT-359, which I got for $30 (I think on ebay, new), which has served me very well. There’s a lot of reports about what GPS hardware has been used at the Roqy forums at:


    I would give those posts a look for more information.

  19. Jumping on this right away, great work.

  20. TB says:

    Is there any free release of thwe RoqyBT for IPOD touch or I need to enter and buy it from their website?


  21. Ned Scott says:

    there’s no free version. You’ll have to install the app and then either use the in-app link to buy (easiest) or copy the S/N into your desktop browser to complete registration. Roqy will then e-mail you the code in a few days (I know, wtf is with the non-instant registration, but it’s worth the wait).

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  23. Mike says:

    Is it possible convert the microsoft external gps module from STREETS AND TRIPS to the new ipod touch?

  24. Could it be used as Golf GPS ?

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