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  1. Speebs's Avatar
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    #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by hatoncat View Post
    You're much better off filing an FCC complaint on the basis that Verizon said publicly that they would no longer block third-party apps from their GPS's server.
    Link?

    The fix is probably in webOS 2.0, since Palm didn't want to take time to fix the issue while being acquired by HP. Plus they'll be in real hot water with the mobile media if they let the issue continue to new devices... and we've made that pretty clear to them by now.
    What do you mean by this? Which part is Palm's issue?
  2. #22  
    I don't like to toot my own horn, there are a couple of articles on PhoneNews.com, but this was well-covered by pretty much everyone in the mobile media back in 2009, the Touch Pro was the last device that was supposed to have neutered GPS, and HTC and Verizon later issued a software update that unlocked GPS on that device and all future devices.

    Which is why Verizon is saying that this is actually a webOS bug, they've pointed me to Palm over at media relations after invesigtating internally.

    Palm at this point has declined multiple opportunities to comment on it, which is where we transition from fact into theory.

    My theory is that Verizon wanted digital signatures on GPS, as they do on all devices, so they could separate signed and non-signed GPS traffic. Palm implemented the digital signature part, but failed to provide a pathway for non-signed LBS apps. That's why VZ Navigator can start a GPS session, but no other app.

    Since LBS/GPS sessions in webOS are not app-specific, other apps can then piggyback, which is why the GPS Fix app works so well.

    I suspect that with the advent of Pre 2 on Verizon, that Palm was finally forced to go back and fix this, since it has created a lot of controversy already. However, it was a low-priority bug when compared to stuff like the webOS 1.4.5 glitch. Also, keep in mind, Palm was running out of cash and losing experts left and right during the HP acquisition.

    I do hope that HP/Palm in the coming weeks will admit the issue finally, and confirm that a fix will be given to everyone in webOS 2.0. I suspect though that they won't do that unless/until webOS 2.0 is being pushed out. People have had enough "straining" while waiting for fixes from Palm that get pushed back by months.
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  3. Speebs's Avatar
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    #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by hatoncat View Post
    I don't like to toot my own horn, there are a couple of articles on PhoneNews.com, but this was well-covered by pretty much everyone in the mobile media back in 2009, the Touch Pro was the last device that was supposed to have neutered GPS, and HTC and Verizon later issued a software update that unlocked GPS on that device and all future devices.

    Which is why Verizon is saying that this is actually a webOS bug, they've pointed me to Palm over at media relations after invesigtating internally.

    Palm at this point has declined multiple opportunities to comment on it, which is where we transition from fact into theory.

    My theory is that Verizon wanted digital signatures on GPS, as they do on all devices, so they could separate signed and non-signed GPS traffic. Palm implemented the digital signature part, but failed to provide a pathway for non-signed LBS apps. That's why VZ Navigator can start a GPS session, but no other app.

    Since LBS/GPS sessions in webOS are not app-specific, other apps can then piggyback, which is why the GPS Fix app works so well.

    I suspect that with the advent of Pre 2 on Verizon, that Palm was finally forced to go back and fix this, since it has created a lot of controversy already. However, it was a low-priority bug when compared to stuff like the webOS 1.4.5 glitch. Also, keep in mind, Palm was running out of cash and losing experts left and right during the HP acquisition.

    I do hope that HP/Palm in the coming weeks will admit the issue finally, and confirm that a fix will be given to everyone in webOS 2.0. I suspect though that they won't do that unless/until webOS 2.0 is being pushed out. People have had enough "straining" while waiting for fixes from Palm that get pushed back by months.
    I'm still failing to see how it is a webOS bug if it's actually something "non-standard" being enforced by Verizon. The truth is that GPS and aGPS work fine on every other carrier and Verizon is the only one with these issues even with nearly identical hardware and identical software.
  4. #24  
    Verizon is no longer enforcing GPS digital signature requirements. It appears Palm fluked and forgot to implement unsigned LBS, only keeping to the bare minimum to get approval from Verizon.

    Verizon does require digital signatures for VZ Navigator and Family Locator, to prioritize LBS server traffic. In the (rare) instance that the server is overloaded, unsigned GPS activity takes a backseat to signed GPS traffic. This ensures some derelict/defective GPS application cannot hinder (paying) VZ Navigator users.

    I think this is a Palm fluke, Verizon has pretty clearly unlocked GPS on every other smartphone sold today. Android, Windows Mobile, even Blackberry is now unlocked. It would not make sense for them to block it on Palm devices, especially after the touted that they had removed the requirement.

    Again, I think this is a Palm bug that Palm didn't prioritize properly in terms of fixing, and now it's been punted to webOS 2.0, so we're in for another long wait.
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  5. Speebs's Avatar
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    #25  
    OK, but if it is a Palm bug then why is it Verizon-specific? If Verizon isn't enforcing their own restrictions anymore, then what is it that makes GPS on Verizon different than the other carriers? I think that's the part I'm missing.
  6. #26  
    it's been made clear that verizon has locked the use of aGPS. This is not a plam issue. Hope the fix it with 2.0.
  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by Speebs View Post
    OK, but if it is a Palm bug then why is it Verizon-specific? If Verizon isn't enforcing their own restrictions anymore, then what is it that makes GPS on Verizon different than the other carriers? I think that's the part I'm missing.
    Because Verizon is the only carrier that requires their apps (VZ Nav, Family Locator) to be digitally signed.

    You're confusing the requirement of a digital signature with allowing unsigned apps. Verizon requires the signing of their apps, but permits device makers to allow unsigned GPS apps as well. I explained why this is (QoS) in my last post.

    Palm did what was needed to get the phone approved (enabled digitally-signed LBS apps), but did not do the optional part, which was to permit unsigned GPS apps at a lower LBS server priority.

    That's what Palm needs to fix.

    Quote Originally Posted by bullonparade85 View Post
    it's been made clear that verizon has locked the use of aGPS. This is not a plam issue. Hope the fix it with 2.0.
    Love to see your source for that, because Verizon Media Relations told me personally the exact opposite. Ask any Droid or Touch Pro 2, Omnia II, etc owner.

    I know people want to not think that Palm just didn't care about this bug, but it's the reality of the situation. ~99% of Palm's customers are not on Verizon. Their current lineup rivaled Microsoft KIN in sales. Yes, they're selling that slow on Verizon. No, the free 5 GB of Mobile Hotspot didn't help at all.

    FWIW, a lot of the delay on Pre 2 was due to the sluggish sales. I know Palm had a massive stockpile of phones in the system, and until HP took over and cash flowed, they did not have the money to launch Pre 2. It has been in the can for awhile...

    Palm was broke, out of cash, and had to bump this issue to the bottom of the barrel. They're still not done emptying out the barrel of bugs, unfortunately.
    Last edited by hatoncat; 11/01/2010 at 02:11 AM.
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  8. #28  
    a response I got from verizon when I filed a complaint with the BBB said so. And when I called verizon a few weeks ago to complain they also told me the same.Just don't see how it can be a palm problem when using vznav aGPS works instantly, but any other 3rd party app it doesn't.

    hope your right and there is a fix with 2.0.
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by bullonparade85 View Post
    a response I got from verizon when I filed a complaint with the BBB said so. And when I called verizon a few weeks ago to complainl they also told me the same.Just don't see how it can be a palm problem when using vznav aGPS works instantly, but any other 3rd party app it doesn't.
    I'll point back to my above reply, because I broke it down as technically as possible.

    As to BBB responses, they aren't very technical, and often don't convey correct technical information. Sorry you were misinformed, unfortunately those letters come from escalated customer service, and not from VZW engineers.

    Again, Verizon two years ago removed the requirement that all GPS apps be signed, and no current smartphone is required to block GPS apps. RIM, Android, and Windows Mobile devices have all permitted unsigned GPS apps ever since.

    The only catch is, Verizon requires device makers to take extra efforts to ensure unsigned GPS apps don't crash their LBS server. That's what Palm appears to not have done, and it likely won't get fixed until webOS 2.0.
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  10. #30  
    Don't assume this was an error on Palm's part. All available evidence suggests that (a) VZW told Palm to do something behind the scenes of webOS to give VZ Navigator all-but-sole access to the hardware GPS; (b) Palm did so; and (c) the contract between VZW and Palm prohibits anyone at Palm from saying so or otherwise commenting on this publicly. The question is whether HP will have (and have used) enough leverage to remedy that for webOS 2.0. {Jonathan}
  11. Speebs's Avatar
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    #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by hatoncat View Post
    The only catch is, Verizon requires device makers to take extra efforts to ensure unsigned GPS apps don't crash their LBS server. That's what Palm appears to not have done, and it likely won't get fixed until webOS 2.0.
    I understand what you're saying- I think you're clouding the issue by calling it a bug, though. It's not a programming error or glitch, it's just that the way Verizon is set up requires extra effort by the manufacturers (typical of Verizon to make everyone else change instead of upgrading their infrastructure).

    However, Verizon keeps telling us that aGPS is not supported for third-party applications. Are you saying that's not accurate? If it's Palm's fault, then why doesn't Verizon just explain what you have?

    And how come aGPS seems to function OK if you use a Qualcomm tool to change the aGPS servers? Doesn't that disprove the signed/unsigned and QoS argument?
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan I Ezor View Post
    Don't assume this was an error on Palm's part. All available evidence suggests that (a) VZW told Palm to do something behind the scenes of webOS to give VZ Navigator all-but-sole access to the hardware GPS; (b) Palm did so; and (c) the contract between VZW and Palm prohibits anyone at Palm from saying so or otherwise commenting on this publicly. The question is whether HP will have (and have used) enough leverage to remedy that for webOS 2.0. {Jonathan}
    VZNav does not have exclusive access to the GPS hardware. Any app can use the slow and weak built-in GPS functionality. VZNav does appear to have sole access to the aGPS servers on VZW's network. Hatoncat seems to be saying this is because Palm failed to program for NON-signed access to the aGPS servers. He goes on to say that Palm appears to have been programming to an old VZW requirement, no longer needed, and did not meet the new VZW standard. VZW prioritizes aGPS access so that its customers who are paying for VZNav get priority access. Proper NON-signed aGPS requests can get access after signed traffic is serviced first. If I am incorrect in my interpretation of what Hatoncat is writing, I'm sure he will correct any errors.
  13. #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by Speebs View Post
    ... It's not a programming error or glitch, it's just that the way Verizon is set up requires extra effort by the manufacturers (typical of Verizon to make everyone else change instead of upgrading their infrastructure).
    ...
    Verizon has a developers network that Palm could have used to avoid all of this. Because Palm was flat broke at the time it appears that they could not take advantage of any this due to lack of resources. Palm was not selling well on VZW so it made no sense to devote what limited resources they had to solve this problem that affected relatively few users.

    BTW, VZW's infrastructure is the envy of the cellphone world. I don't have to like their policies to praise their network.

    Disclosure: My VZW Palm has had every GPS problem in the book and I *would love* to have a reliable, fast, accurate GPS. I'm not blindly supporting VZW here.
  14. #34  
    Here is a link to the Verizon Wireless GPS related APIs for developers: NAVBuilder Inside

    Specifically, look at the Locationkit API information. PDK apps should be able to take advantage of all of this.
    Last edited by AWChuck; 11/02/2010 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Added info.
  15. #35  
    However, I believe the API for webOS is not available...it looks like only for BB and Android OS...

    Quote Originally Posted by AWChuck View Post
    Here is a link to the Verizon Wireless GPS related APIs for developers: NAVBuilder Inside

    Specifically, look at the Locationkit API information. PDK apps should be able to take advantage of all of this.
  16. #36  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kewl 700p View Post
    However, I believe the API for webOS is not available...it looks like only for BB and Android OS...
    Correct--these binary APIs do *not* work for webOS development, notwithstanding VZW's implication in its letter to me (published on PreCentral) that its new location-related initiatives would in fact be open to webOS.

    As for what Palm could or could not fix, I can personally attest that Palm is well aware of both the VZW GPS issue and the problems it is causing for users and developers alike. Palm will also not comment publicly on the situation, nor has it apparently made any effort to remedy it. Further, as James Harris (developer of GPS Fix) has demonstrated through his extensive experimentation and testing, the ability to even wake the hardware GPS is severely restricted for apps other than VZ Navigator, irrespective of any aGPS access. You may ascribe all of hte above to lack of resources or interest on the Palm side; I am confident that the issue is much more likely to be contractual. {Jonathan}
    Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
    Writer, PreCentral
    Past Palm Real Reviewer
    @webOSquire on Twitter
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