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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    Fairbanks's Avatar

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    Default Google Maps GPS problems

    First off, switched from a BB Storm1 to the Fascinate, LOVE the phone, couldn't be happier.

    My only beef so far, when using Google Maps, the GPS is WAY off. Like 1/2 a mile off. All 3 of the GPS's are turned on, I've tried using different combination's to find a better signal, and nothing. I am standing outside, in metro Detroit with what I would think is a perfect connection area.

    My Storm1 had amazing accuracy with Google Maps, whats the deal?
  2. #2  
    Cory Streater's Avatar
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    Is your GPS icon blinking? If so, it's still using AGPS, and has not locked a connection to the satellites yet. And yes, it takes forever. I've also noticed that even after the GPS icon stops blinking (now using satellites), I have had to exit out of Google Maps and come back in again before it repositions properly. This is especially true with the Navigation app. Between that and the volume of Nav, the GPS is mediocre at best. Hopefully this gets fixed.
  3. #3  

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    Here's what I'd suggest.. Download GPS Test (Chartcross LTD) from the market (free). Make sure you're only using GPS (not wireless, etc..) and then load up GPS Test. Sit the phone down somewhere outside with a good view of the sky (the better the sky view, the better the reception). Let GPS Test run for 7-8 minutes by itself, and don't touch the phone. (You can choose to have GPS Test keep the screen live if you want to watch it).

    At some point it should find 10+ sats, and begin to use 8+ of them (assuming you have a good view of the sky). This won't always happen, but once it does you should feel comfortable that your GPS has obtained a solid initial lock. Once the 7-8 minutes is up, you're all done.

    Feel free to use the GPS as normal, and you should see consistent results.

    I've done this on multiple fascinates, and never had a GPS problem on any of them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Google Maps GPS problems-chart.png  
    Last edited by namebrandon; 09-16-2010 at 10:58 AM.
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  4. #4  
    Cory Streater's Avatar
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    Brandon, 7-8 minutes seems to be about the same amount of time that it takes for Google Maps to lock, so what's the difference between the two?

    That 7-8 minutes might not seem over the top bad, but when you're pulled over in a rental car, outside an airport like Edmonton (like I was yesterday), that 7-8 minutes seems like an eternity

    And then I have to repeat the above process everywhere I go.
  5. #5  

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    It probably doesn't make a difference. I like GPS Test because I can clearly tell what it's doing, and get direct GPS feedback. It also gives you a reference point to compare to others.. "I saw 3 satellites and was using 2, signal strength was xx".

    Google Maps seems to be a bit ambiguous, at least to me.
    Last edited by namebrandon; 09-16-2010 at 11:06 AM.
  6. #6  
    Cory Streater's Avatar
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    Gotchya. Yeah that is a compelling reason to use GPS test. Downloading now
  7. #7  

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    That seems about right. After a few minutes the gps locked and I was good to go and google maps worked like a charm and was pretty accurate. Just takes forever to get the lock. Lets hope this gets resolved as I really like this phone.
  8. #8  

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    Guys (and Gals), may I suggest that you do not turn GPS service off and see what happens to your lock speed? From a couple days trial, I have the feeling that little if any power is used if you are not running any GPS apps in the background and lock time is improved. Just be sure to exit out of GPS Test, Maps or Nav when your done. Leave the GPS enabled.

    My short test is showing this helps with the 5+ minute lock time that occurs if you shut GPS service off.
  9. #9  

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    A 5+ minute GPS lock time is typical of any device that needs to download the almanac from scratch (the base listing of satellites that a GPS device uses as a starting point for searching). If you are seeing accurate performance after that initial period, it sounds as if the GPS driver is throwing away the almanac data every time it's closed/unloaded/whatever. It would certainly be a software glitch, and it's pretty embarrassing that between the testing done at Samsung and Verizon that they didn't catch this.
  10. #10  

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    What's even more embarassing is that verizon and samsung knew about the issue well before the Fascinate was released and did nothing to fix it
  11. #11  

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJnc284 View Post
    What's even more embarassing is that verizon and samsung knew about the issue well before the Fascinate was released and did nothing to fix it
    That would be embarrassing, if we could confirm it's existence. Right now many people have to do an initial almanac download, and nothing more. I think the fact that this almanac download is not completing initially is cuasing a majority of the issues.

    I'm not saying there is no actual "bug", but as of yet all we hear is "My GPS is slow". What we need to see are actual tests (outdoors) that are documented, and reproducible by others, and ideally, other phones/devices.

    As an example, I used GPSTest to test my signal strength, and MyTracks (Google) to record a ~.5 mile walk around near my house, then uploaded that data. I have no GPS problems on my end, but I'm happy to test stuff out if others want to do the same tests and compare results.
    Last edited by namebrandon; 09-16-2010 at 02:15 PM.
  12. #12  
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    My GPS is slow as well and when it does lock on its off by about 60 meters. The BB Storm 2 I'm coming from locked in less then a minute and it was always dead on.You could tell what room of the house you were in. If my lowly Storm 2 could do it I expect the Fascinate to be able to do it.
  13. #13  

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    Quote Originally Posted by namebrandon View Post
    That would be embarrassing, if we could confirm it's existence. Right now many people have to do an initial almanac download, and nothing more. I think the fact that this almanac download is not completing initially is cuasing a majority of the issues.

    I'm not saying there is no actual "bug", but as of yet all we hear is "My GPS is slow". What we need to see are actual tests (outdoors) that are documented, and reproducible by others, and ideally, other phones/devices.

    As an example, I used GPSTest to test my signal strength, and MyTracks (Google) to record a ~.5 mile walk around near my house, then uploaded that data. I have no GPS problems on my end, but I'm happy to test stuff out if others want to do the same tests and compare results.
    I don't think there is any denying that there is some underlying problem here. Its better than what the sibling units have, but its still wonky. I did my almanac download when I first got the unit. Left it on the deck with clear view to almost the entire sky for 20. A couple days ago it failed to lock after 10 minutes. By comparison, my DINC is a rock. Always gets a fix in less than a minute and seems to hold onto up to 10 sats at once. The SF seems much less stable in that regards even when it locks. It needs some fix but its usable in its current state if your patient JMHO
  14. #14  
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    My Fascinate is not showing the problems you guys are talking about. After initially letting it ---load the almanac-- I used it again the next day to return home from a place it had never seen before. Holding the unit in the car seat (not up in the windshield area) It was using 7 of 7 satellites in less than a minute. Accuracy to less than 10 ft. Held towards the windshield where a stanalone GPS would normally be mounted it got 15 of 15 with accuracy 4 ft.
    I could move the phone back in the middle of the car and it would momentarily get the gray approximation circle that shows when you first fire up the maps. Move it back slightly towards the windshield and the sats picked up again. I am very happy with the performance of my unit. Look guys, this thing, with google maps and nav is as good or better than many of the low to medium priced dedicated car GPS units out there.
  15. #15  

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    I agree with you wtherrell, both of my units have been just fine. For the record, I only use my GPS outdoors, so for those of you doing some sort of indoor i-don't-know-what, I don't have any experience there.

    As I mentioned, I'm happy for someone to design a reproducible test and then do it on my end and share the results from my specific unit. I actually enjoy that sort of geekery..
  16. #16  

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    Wow, the "hey my phone works fine so therefore yours does too" reasoning... I feel like I'm back on the blackberry forums. This is downright nostalgic.
  17. #17  

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    Quote Originally Posted by namebrandon View Post
    That would be embarrassing, if we could confirm it's existence. Right now many people have to do an initial almanac download, and nothing more. I think the fact that this almanac download is not completing initially is cuasing a majority of the issues.
    Just do a quick google search of "Galaxy S gps issues" and then tell me there isn't a problem. Every time I try to use GPS after not using it for a while, it takes 3min+ to get a lock on Google Maps and the GPS Test app. Doesn't matter if I'm underground or on top of a sky scraper, it's still delayed. And for the record, I leave all 3 gps options enabled all the time. There's clearly an issue especially when compared to non-galaxy S android devices that get a lock much quicker.
  18. #18  

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    So here is what I have experienced with the Fascinate GPS…
    I too am unfortunately on my second SF (angle was about half a day late… but I am still very grateful for his work!).

    With my first SF the initial lock took (in my opinion) WAY TOO LONG! But once locked it was just as accurate as my original Droid and Incredible. All subsequent uses (both indoor (for testing not actual navigation) and outdoor) produced similar results. The SF took longer (by a few seconds not minutes) to get a fix compared to the Incredible but once on, it was just as accurate.

    Then I got my “replacement” SF… and now GPS sucks some serious arse! I have tried just about every trick to get this thing to work and no matter what I do, it takes several minutes to get a fix. On my first SF, once I installed “GPS Status” and let it get the initial fix (populate the almanac) it was almost as quick to get subsequent fixes as the Incredible but my current SF doesn’t seem to retain the almanac.

    So I would have to say that there seems to be two issues here. There is the initial issue that we all seem to experience; the “longer than what would be expected (and without question much longer than comparable aGPS enabled cell phones) amount of time it takes to get the initial fix” as well as the issue that only a smaller subset of us are experiencing; the “WTF!?!? I already let you sit on my dash for 10 F*@$ing minutes while you downloaded the almanac! Why the hell do you need to do it AGAIN?” issue.

    Just my $0.02
  19. #19  

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJnc284 View Post
    Just do a quick google search of "Galaxy S gps issues" and then tell me there isn't a problem. Every time I try to use GPS after not using it for a while, it takes 3min+ to get a lock on Google Maps and the GPS Test app. Doesn't matter if I'm underground or on top of a sky scraper, it's still delayed. And for the record, I leave all 3 gps options enabled all the time. There's clearly an issue especially when compared to non-galaxy S android devices that get a lock much quicker.
    Oh, there's absolutely a general Galaxy S GPS issue. The question here is did it get addressed since Verizon released their device months most everyone else. I haven't seen any problems on my end. Others are saying they are having problems. With the other Galaxy S devices, they were ALL experiencing the same issue. The Fascinate seems to have some working, and some that don't.
  20. #20  

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    Excuse me for being a newbie, but can someone enlighten me on what the "almanac" is?
  21. #21  

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    Quote Originally Posted by namebrandon View Post
    Oh, there's absolutely a general Galaxy S GPS issue. The question here is did it get addressed since Verizon released their device months most everyone else. I haven't seen any problems on my end. Others are saying they are having problems. With the other Galaxy S devices, they were ALL experiencing the same issue. The Fascinate seems to have some working, and some that don't.
    I just booted my DINC for the first time in a week or so. My SF GPS works fine, but compared to the DINC its just so sloooooow in aquiring and locking on. Its not in the same league. I hope they can fix it with a software update.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Google Maps GPS problems

    GPS lock-on is very slow on the Fascinate.
    I don't use it much, but I needed it yesterday and it was borderline annoying waiting for the lock.
    It's alright though, nothing is perfect.

    [tapatalk on android]
  23. #23  

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    I don't think they'll ever work the same. The Incredible uses a Qualcom chip w/ integrated GPS. Samsung uses a Broadcom GPS chip in the Galaxy S devices (in fact, Broadcom's newest). This chip is supposed to be very energy conservative, so perhaps we're seeing a bit of that going awry, with possible delayed wake-up times.

    It seems that most GPS issues with other Galaxy S devices were problems relating to positional accuracy. From my quick research, the BCM4751 should be able to get down to 2m accuracy. I have seen that accuracy, consistently, with my device (given optimal conditions).

    I think it's more likely that the accuracy issue has been addressed, but that in doing so, something else has cropped up where many people are seeing very long-lock on times.

    Just a thought.
  24. #24  

    Default Re: Google Maps GPS problems

    Very insightful, thanks.

    [tapatalk on android]
  25. #25  

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    Firstly, I'm not suggesting you do this, but just reporting it as something that worked for another person.

    Ripped out the battery, rebuilt my roaming profile (*228 -> 2). Now I'm sitting on 9 fixed out of 10 known satellites, 6 meters of accuracy. Snappy as hell to locate, too.
    Seems like this might improve aGPS in some manner. I've done it on mine, but my GPS still works fine, as it did originally.
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