Using an iPhone as GPS for your Mac

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Can you use an iPhone as the GPS for your Mac and MacENCx64?

Yes! With some caveats. (as usual)

The short answer is: The app “GPS2IP” can broadcast your iPhone’s GPS data over WiFi so your Mac can see it and MacENCx64 can use it. 

The Caveats.

You need WiFi. If you have a WiFi router on your boat, then you can connect your iPhone and Mac to that WiFi hotspot and even without internet, transmit the GPS data you need.

 

If you don’t have WiFi on board, you can use your iPhone’s WiFi hotspot to connect your Mac. The caveat for this option: You will only have connection while in cell range. Without internet from your cellular provider, the phone’s hotspot won’t turn on. In densely developed coastal areas, lakes, and rivers, this can work. Far afield, not so much. 

How to set it up:

  • Don’t run MacENCx64 just yet. You want the connection going first.
  • On your iPhone, go to the app store and search for “GPS2IP” and get the app.
  • Make sure your Mac and your iPhone are on the same WiFi network. If you don’t have a separate WiFi network, then turn on your iPhone’s hotspot (Settings => Personal Hotspot).
  • Go to GPS2IP on your phone and make note of the IP address and Port number. 
  • Slide the Enable switch to ON so the app starts broadcasting.
  • Then, start up MacENCx64.
  • Choose menu option GPS, then TCP/IP.
  • In that dialog, you want to set the Mode to TCP.
  • Then you will be able to put the Host: Address and the Port: value. (from your notes on the GPS2IP screen)

Once done, click enable. You should get a green dot next to Port indicating that data is flowing.

Finally, make sure GPS is set to IP Only. For this:

  • Choose GPS from menu, then Connect.
  • In the connect dialog, click the settings button and a drawer will slide out.
  • In the TYPE setting, use the drop down and select IP Only.

The circle should turn green and your Chart View window will center on your GPS position.

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