How to Get GPS Functionality on an iPod Touch

Add a third-party GPS accessory to your device

Add GPS to iPod touch

Stanislaw Pytel / Getty Images

While Apple's iPhone has native GPS functionality, the iPod touch doesn't include true GPS beyond limited location awareness. This is because iPhones have GPS chips, along with other technologies, that improve the accuracy and speed of their location features.

While the iPod touch doesn't have a GPS chip, third-party accessories can add GPS functionality to the iPod touch, so you'll be able to get directions and find your way around. Here's a look at a few of the best third-party GPS add-ons for the iPod touch.

Both the iPhone and the iPod touch have Wi-Fi positioning, allowing the iPod touch some limited location features. Without a Wi-Fi network, however, the iPod touch has no locational awareness.

iPod Touch GPS Accessories

Third-party devices with GPS chips provide true GPS functionality for the iPod touch. These devices are all external hardware add-ons with varying features.

Bad Elf GPS for Lightning

The Bad Elf GPS for Lightning dongle plugs into the Lightning connector at the bottom of the iPod touch, adding GPS and GLONASS support for a stable and accurate GPS signal. A free app provides updates and configuration tools. There's also a version of the accessory for devices that use the old Dock Connector. This device is also great for giving iPads GPS functionality. The device runs about $100.

Dual XGPS series

The Dual XGPS series of Bluetooth GPS receivers has two iPod touch-compatible devices: the XGPS150A and XGPS160. Both are small boxes that connect to the iPod touch over Bluetooth. Both support GPS, while the XGPS160 adds GLONASS and allows you to connect up to five devices. Expect to spend between $75 to $135, depending on the model and features.

Emprum UltiMate GPS

Emprum's UltiMate GPS device is a great option not only for the iPod touch, but also for older iPhones, due to its built-in Dock Connector plug. It's small, light, and portable, and can also work on your laptop or desktop computer. It offers GPS support, but not GLONASS, for around $100.

Garmin GLO

The Garmin GLO Portable GPS and GLONASS receiver provides your iPod touch with GPS and GLONASS via a wireless Bluetooth connection. It has a 12-hour battery life, weighs just over two ounces, and promises speedy location readings. Expect to spend around $100.

Magellan ToughCase

The Magellan Portable GPS Navigation and Battery ToughCase is another good option for older model iPhones as well as the iPod touch. In addition to providing GPS functionality, the ToughCase is also a rugged, waterproof case, incorporating protection, additional battery life, and more. Expect to spend around $30.