Frequently Asked Questions


Yes! None of the Bad Elf GPS require an internet connection (Wi-Fi or cellular) 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 we keep a list of some of the apps that work great without requiring Internet access here.

It’s easy! All you need is the right app. Have a look at a collected list of our favorite compatible apps and find which one is perfect for you.

Yes! GPS is a global system. Bad Elf GPS products are used by our amazing customers in every corner of the globe!

All iPhones and some iPads come equipped with access to the internet via the cellular phone data network. These units also include “A-GPS. The “A stands for “assisted, as in assisted by the cell towers. So if your iPhone/iPad (with cellular) has a connection to the cell towers, the assisted GPS inside your iPhone/iPad will work well enough for most activities. But away from the cell towers, up in the sky, out in the woods, or at sea, the GPS can take 20 minutes or more to locate you (if at all). Because Bad Elf GPS products rely only on the satellites orbiting the earth and never on cell towers, they can locate you quickly and accurately anywhere on the planet.

None of our products provide internet connectivity.

Yes! Airplane mode will not affect the operation of the Bad Elf GPS. 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 in "airplane mode," but most offline apps work just fine in "airplane mode". If you are using the Bad Elf GPS Pro, however, you will need to manually turn on Bluetooth after switching to "airplane mode" because “airplane mode turns off Bluetooth.

When you connect to any Bad Elf GPS product, it immediately starts feeding location data to your iOS device. Any app that requires positional data will automatically be fed the more accurate location information, in almost all instances, this will be provided by the Bad Elf GPS.

Apple requires that apps using positional data note, "Continued use of the GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life." Ultimately the power drain occurs through the continuous interaction of the location services and the processing needs of the specific applications using that data – this is true of both external GPS and internal antennae.

How does the Plug-in Bad Elf GPS affect the battery life of my iOS device?

As with any external accessory, battery drain will occur and the plug-in Bad Elf GPS isn't the exception. The good news the amount of power needed to energize the elf is minimal.

How does the Bluetooth Bad Elf GPS affect the battery life of my iOS device?

The amount of power used to share positional data over Bluetooth is comparable to the power drain of any other Bluetooth accessory; headphones, speakers, etc. With thorough testing of Bad Elf hardware, we have concluded that the battery drain with our devices is significantly less than competitor products.

Bad Elf GPS App

The Bad Elf GPS app is useful to verify that your Bad Elf GPS product is functioning properly, to configure your Bad Elf product, and to apply any available firmware updates. If you have a Bad Elf GPS Pro, you can also use the app to download and share trips recorded with the Bad Elf GPS Pro. For more information on the Bad Elf GPS app, please visit the dedicated page with many more details.

The Bad Elf GPS app is available for free download on the Apple App Store.

Yes! Please visit our Version History page for more information.

Plug-In GPS

Yes! Plug-in Bad Elf GPS products all ship with a USB charging cable so you can charge your iOS device with the Bad Elf GPS plugged in. Just make sure your power source is appropriate for your device type.

OFF: not in use SLOW BLINK: searching for satellite lock SOLID ON: lock acquired. Keep in mind that if the Bad Elf GPS is plugged into your iOS device, but you are not running an app that requires location services, the LED will not be lit, and the Bad Elf GPS will not consume any power.

Many Bad Elf owners have found the cables from CableJive to work well, they make both 30-pin connector and Lightning versions.

While not officially compatible, we have tested both Apple manufactured adapters and they work great. You can find the direct connect version here and their jumper cable version here.

As always, we only recommend Apple specific adapters due to the inability to validate voltage, consistency, and reliability with 3rd party adapters.

***As of iOS 11.2.1 the Original Elf (BE-GPS-1000) for the Dock Connector is no longer compatible when used with an Apple Approved adapter. If running this release or later your Bad Elf will not work.***

The GPS engine on the plug-in Elf is capable of supplying data to an accuracy of 2.5m (8ft), but as with any GPS receiver this depends on your particular environment (interference, sky visibility, shielding, etc).

No! Plug-in Bad Elf GPS products do not require charging. They draw their power from your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch.

Bluetooth GPS

Yes, We have an external antennae designed for use expressly with the Bad Elf GPS PRO. You can read more about this configuration here.

We've built a chart for easy comparison of not only the associated accuracy from our different Bluetooth models, but also every feature that you might have a question about.

Every Bluetooth model ships with a Bad Elf authorized USB charging cable. This allows you to plug directly into any USB socket to charge your device.

Also included with every Bluetooth model is a 12-24V DC adapter which allows you to charge your Bad Elf device in your plane, boat, or car.

USB standardizes the output voltage for charging which allows you to also use any of the following for power: wall adapters, computer ports, external battery packs, and solar panels.


Please read our note about international purchases.

Of course, that varies by weight and destination. Bad Elf ships via US Mail, UPS, or FedEx usually from our primary warehouse in Scottsdale, AZ. The easiest way to get an accurate shipping quote is to simply begin a purchase and start checking out. You’ll be able to see the shipping costs before entering any credit card information.

See our detailed notes about shipping times and customs fees.

Since we sell primarily through distributors, we do not provide a list of individual retailers.


The short answer is Yes! Our Bluetooth models; the Bad Elf Pro, Bad Elf Pro+, and the Bad Elf Surveyor are all designed to supply data to non-iOS devices. Each scenario is different but we've developed How-To articles for the more common integrations here.

Kind of. Both of these apps need an Internet connection to download new map data any time you move or zoom the map. These apps do cache the current screen, so as long as your position does not move off the screen, it will work. Google’s Maps app allows you to cache maps before you leave Internet coverage. We recommend you save yourself the trouble and use one of the many mapping apps with offline support.

Waze certainly can get location data from Bad Elf GPS, but unfortunately, Waze requires an Internet connection for the majority of its features. So unless you have a decent mobile Internet connection, we don’t recommend Waze for offline use.

All you need is the right app. Have a look at our list of recommended apps.

Any app that employs location services will accept our data stream due to the way we pass it forward. We are sharing to the operating system and not the app directly, this level of abstraction makes for universal compatibility. If the app is on the iTunes store and uses location service - it can use our data stream.

As a service to our customers, we maintain a list of apps that we know work well with Bad Elf GPS Products. This list is by no means exhaustive.


You can read our warranty and return policy here.


Bad Elf Online Store The Bad Elf Store is a convenient place to purchase Bad Elf products and accessories from Bad Elf directly.

You can get information about an order you placed on the Bad Elf Online Store through your account page. If you prefer, you can also get order status or make changes by e-mail request from our Contact page.