View Poll Results: Does the Palm Pre's data plan-dependent gps functionality bother you?

Voters
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  • Yes. It's a pain that they limit gps to provider coverage areas.

    47 48.96%
  • No. It doesn't bother me.

    44 45.83%
  • Other. (Please explain.)

    5 5.21%
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  1. Tmair's Avatar
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    #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by west3man View Post
    No offense, but I think you're missing the point. I don't want this to sound harsh, but to be clear - who cares whether you need a data connection for the internet? The point is that, at the time that you want to know where you are (using gps), you won't be able to if you don't have a mobile signal. That's potentially problematic.
    That's more then potentially problematic, that is exactly the reason i dumped telenav and went with Garmin, Telenav was great as long as you had a data connection, I travel out of bounds a lot.
  2.    #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tmair View Post
    That's more then potentially problematic, that is exactly the reason i dumped telenav and went with Garmin, Telenav was great as long as you had a data connection, I travel out of bounds a lot.
    Bingo.

    I'm fine with the two signals being able to complement each other and keep us connected/located, but I don't want my gps hardware to be useless without a mobile signal just like I don't want my mobile phone to be useless without a gps signal.

    It's too easy to slip into the boonies - which is exactly where I wanna know where the hell I am. Just the other week, in fact, I went somewhere unfamiliar while on the phone. My mobile signal was weak, so I got off the phone, but gps got me to my destination and then got me home after the event was over.

    I'd hate to have been up that particular creek without a paddle.
    * Stuck patches? Partial erase worked for me.
    * Stuck virtual keyboard? Partial erase AND folder deletion worked for me.
  3. #23  
    This is just Sprint locking down the GPS function so you only get it if you pay extra. Verizon has been doing this too, but recently announced they were unlocking GPS functions for free use. AT&T makes GPS free on my Blackberry Bold. I only pay the $10/month extra if I want spoken, turn-by-turn directions.
  4. #24  
    It could just be Palm covering their butts after getting hosed on all of the 800w returns due to the defective GPS.
  5. #25  
    As I recall, the Treo 800w requires you to be near any CDMA tower to get the time for the aGPS signal, then you can use the "stand-alone" GPS, without ever requiring a Sprint signal. The notion this was a carrier restriction seems unlikely, especially since the previous Sprint HTC devices, following Sprint HTC devices, and following Sprint Treo Pro do not have this limitation.

    I recently used the Treo 800w to navigate rural areas with spotty and often no coverage. I plotted the route with Sprint Navigator while in a coverage area first, and then it continued to guide me while displaying an icon indicating it had no information after I left the coverage area. Other than the lack of information on other side streets as I went in and out of coverage, there was no problem. I continued to see every curve and every turn that I needed to take (though not the intersections I was not supposed to take). I will grant you that if you get lost, a map of only the route you are supposed to be on is not as useful, but if you pay attention you should spot the problem and backtrack immediately.

    I think you will find that this does not have the restriction at all based upon the Treo Pro (other than a lack of stand-alone GPS applications initially), but if it does it might be less of a restriction than you might expect.
  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by rhewitt View Post
    As I recall, the Treo 800w requires you to be near any CDMA tower to get the time for the aGPS signal, then you can use the "stand-alone" GPS, without ever requiring a Sprint signal. The notion this was a carrier restriction seems unlikely, especially since the previous Sprint HTC devices, following Sprint HTC devices, and following Sprint Treo Pro do not have this limitation.
    1) HTC devices do standalone perfectly --But the 800w which is not an HTC branded device (and cant do standalone).

    2) Standalone specifically precludes the forced aGSP method used by 800w. That business of forcing aGSP time from a tower, is forced aGPS by engineering definition and this means it will never work in standalone.

    Partial standalone is not standalone. if partial standalone is then every handset today with some kind of restriction or network dependence is standalone!

    Standalone does not mean: if you are in a problem area, go to a Sprint tower area, and then use GPS. It means what engineering professionals and GPS trande publication people say it means in any marketing to consumers: your device and the satellites are the only requisites it initialize and use the system. (not your device and the satellites AND your carrier are all required.)

    Ask a GPS engineer: Can Standalone have a carrier time aGPS requirement at all?: answer NO (and for good reason!).

    3) The problem people ran into right away was many users started losing satellites and not recovering them. Users who drove back into carrier coverage area in a certain number of minutes were OK -- for a while. Users who did not started losing accuracy and then losing track all together and were not able to get it again until hitting Sprint again.

    User crazy eddie reported losing GPS ability minutes after leaving Sprint immediately. Others did to. I tested this extensively and found it to be the casd as well.

    If you look at the NMEA logging data showing sat tracking you drop sats after 10 minutes and often don't recover them. If you started with 10 sats and drove on only flat ground with no clouds etc, it might take an hour before your 800w GPS left you lost. If you started with seven you could lose it in 15 minutes. So you can lose your track in 10 minutes, or 20 or 30 minutes or an hour.

    I see you are in the hometown of Sprints own coprorate HQ, the terrain is nice and flat there and you have a perfect signal given your extreme proximity to Sprint.

    When you say you doubt the restriction that broke standalone on the 800w it is carrier mandated, the consensus here among people talking to Palm and Sprint at high levels, is that it probably was mandated. There is actually no other real reason. The irony is the restriction was probably based on the 800w being originally a device for Verizon which intentional disabling of features more than Sprint. There is left over Verizon specific code, Verizon specific images, mentions of Verizon, all more than Sprint when you get down into the 800w.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhewitt View Post
    I think you will find that this does not have the restriction at all based upon the Treo Pro (other than a lack of stand-alone GPS applications initially), but if it does it might be less of a restriction than you might expect.
    The treo pro was made by HTC for Palm. HTC was an ODM meaning nearly everything was done by HTC. Teh treo Pro was not.
    Also the Treo Pro had no carrier. How (and why) could they restrict you to a carrier if Palm could not find a carrier for the Treo Pro? Would they have marketed to individual buyers as having no GPS at all until Palm found a carrier to buy 500,000?
    Last edited by aero; 01/09/2009 at 06:13 AM.
  7. #27  
    If it means that if I'm out of the coverage area, I can't get to my gps, then that's a problem. I like stand alone gps. I don't want to be connected to the internet in order to get my directions and I want the device to speak to give me turn-by-turn directions. I don't want to have to read the map and know that it's the next street when it's dark (can't see street signs well) or the sun is hitting the display screen the wrong way.
  8. #28  
    Personally, I don't expect to buy a Pre until they've got TomTom running well on it, assuming it has standalone. Garmin is cool, but I find TomTom to be simpler and quicker to work with. Telenav, Google Maps, Sprint Nav, and any other data dependent GPS apps are not an option at all IMO. There's just no reason for me to have to rely on Sprint to be able to use my GPS. I definitely like aGPS for quick locks, but I hate how I can't start my GPS if I'm in the middle of a call on my 800w (because it's aGPS only and can't start its data connection while I'm in a call). My Mogul had both standalone and aGPS - when not in a call, the aGPS would get locks very quickly, and when I was in a call, it usually took a minute or two to get a fix. That's how it should be IMO.
  9. #29  
    It is all about using features to drive more revenue. if that feature is truly new and requires network resources then carriers should get revenue. If that feature does not require it inherently, forcing its dependence in order to garner more revenue is a disservice.

    In a nutshell, devices are more integratable to networks then ever. In some cases lack of processing power requires that integration (dumb units made smart by the carrier network's processors, ala Sprint instinct) . The poor processing or poor hardware issues would not be present on the Pre.

    So do you want: highly integrated, when the user needs it (ala Treo Pro) or forced dependence on services with a financial premium when the device does not need that dependence to work equally well for the task?

    For a history lesson, consider what happened when bluetooth started appearing on camera and mp3 playback phones that had no removable memory card. Significant revenue streams were being made by people having to use carrier data to get their pictures off of the phones or transfer music onto the phone outside of verizon's paid music scheme. Verizon went out of their way to have Motorola remove the existing capability to transfer files over bluetooth. They didn't just accidentally forget it, they mandated the maker break standard bluetoooth protocols, in order to force dependence. It is called walled garden and walled garden revenue.

    One user above mentioned telenav. That is Sprints "walled garden revenue" premium service. It is only on premium plans and users pay extra whether on a premium plan or through use charges if not on a premium plan.

    My guess is Palm and Sprint are on the fence right now about whetehr to disable it or not.
  10. #30  
    There once was a blog post titled: Help us Save GPS on Windows Mobile

    Anyone who has not read that already really should.

    Looks like there needs to be a new blog post titled "Help us Save GPS on webOS".
  11.    #31  
    Another reason this kind of thing concerns me is that I consider my device's usefulness beyond the point at which I may have it active with a particular carrier.

    My 650 is useful to me, still, despite the fact that I haven't had it on Sprint's network in over a year and a half. (Although, surprisingly, it told me I had a voicemail message, the other day... right when I got one or two on my active 755p.)

    If I get a Pre and keep it until the Pre v2.5 debuts, I'd like to still enjoy its functionality as much as possible. With gps that's crippled without a carrier signal, its usefulness would be even more limited.
    * Stuck patches? Partial erase worked for me.
    * Stuck virtual keyboard? Partial erase AND folder deletion worked for me.
  12. #32  
    And another thing some of you may want to consider...resale value. A crippled GPS does not help when years from now you may want to sell your old Pre on Ebay and there are other devices that have full stand alone and assisted GPS out there.

    Bad enough the Pre does not even have a MicroSDHC slot .
  13. #33  
    For the common usage of GPS, mapping - you need ... maps. The GPS just tells the device long/lat, which isn't useful for most people. What you want is to see a little dot on a map with street names, etc..

    To be able to do that, you either need to have all the map data on your device (and a way to get updates), or you need to get snapshots dynamically via WiFi/Cell network.

    To have the maps locally, would obviously take storage space, depending on the area you want covered, and the level of detail, but also, there'd be considerable $$$ cost.

    The mapping companies don't just give away free standalone data, it's surprisingly expensive. They pay telenav (or whomever) zero to use Google Maps, I'd assume. Last time I looked (a while ago) a copy of US Map data was something like $100 from Garmin.

    Sprint isn't motivated to incur additional per unit costs when "it just works" if you're within their network.

    That said, I've wanted to use Google Maps on my iPhone when I was out "in the sticks" and was plenty frustrated.
  14. #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by Iggie View Post
    That said, I've wanted to use Google Maps on my iPhone when I was out "in the sticks" and was plenty frustrated.
    And if you had a device that had stand alone GPS capabilities and you were "in the sticks" with maps on your device you would not have had any problems at all. Space is not an issue, devices today have more than enough space. Sprint Navigation cost $10 a month separately, that's over $100 a year, more than the cost of buying maps to store on a device. The Sprint Everything Plan that includes GPS cost $99.99/month, that's the cost of maps right there. Someone on a $50/month plan with their own maps pays $700/year assuming they pay $100 for maps annually, while the Sprint Everything customer pays 1199.88/year.

    So there's no issue of space and for most who will be able to afford the Palm Pre, there is no issue of the cost of maps being a major concern. The maps are cheaper than Sprint's options and even work in the sticks when a device has stand alone GPS.

    Storing maps cost more than using Google maps, but if you want something to help you in the sticks, it does not come for free and having your own is cheaper than using Sprint's, which often has no coverage in the sticks.

    And really, someone could have a Palm Pre and a plan with Sprint that is voice only, no data. They could use WiFi for Internet access. And if the Palm Pre had stand alone GPS capabilities, they could use their own maps. Overall they'd save more than someone who has a Sprint plan that includes data.
  15. #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by darnell View Post
    Sprint Navigation cost $10 a month separately, that's over $100 a year, more than the cost of buying maps to store on a device. The Sprint Everything Plan that includes GPS cost $99.99/month, that's the cost of maps right there. Someone on a $50/month plan with their own maps pays $700/year assuming they pay $100 for maps annually, while the Sprint Everything customer pays 1199.88/year.
    Sprint also includes unlimited navigation on their Everything 450 plan.
  16. #36  
    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    Sprint also includes unlimited navigation on their Everything 450 plan.
    True.

    The Everything 450 plan costs 69.99/month. That's 839.88/year.
  17. #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by darnell View Post
    True.

    The Everything 450 plan costs 69.99/month. That's 839.88/year.
    True but there are some things that are better on Sprint Navigation/ Telenav anyway. The big example that I can think of is how it is able to speak the name of the street you need to turn on rather than "left turn ahead". To me, that's worth quite a bit.

    Also, I was never able to get on SERO myself anyway, so the Everything 450 was the best plan I was able to get anyway.
  18. #38  
    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    True but there are some things that are better on Sprint Navigation/ Telenav anyway. The big example that I can think of is how it is able to speak the name of the street you need to turn on rather than "left turn ahead". To me, that's worth quite a bit.
    I totally agree. I have it myself. I was just pointing out how it's not necessarily expensive to pay for maps and how stand alone GPS provides benefit.

    The Palm Pre would be best to allow the device owners to decide. But that requires the device having a GPS that can be accessed stand alone.
  19. #39  
    Quote Originally Posted by darnell View Post

    And really, someone could have a Palm Pre and a plan with Sprint that is voice only, no data. They could use WiFi for Internet access. And if the Palm Pre had stand alone GPS capabilities, they could use their own maps. Overall they'd save more than someone who has a Sprint plan that includes data.
    I assume the segment of those buying the uber-connected Pre without a data plan is pretty slim.

    But then again, I can't imagine paying a monthly premium for GPS, so what do I know.

    In any case, I think the 450 plan that includes GPS is about what I pay for my iPhone, so I guess they're just sticking it to you in a different way, and I'd only balk at incremental net stickage.

    If you really want frequent access to remote (outside cell range) GPS, a dedicated unit would be a lot less hassle.
  20. #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by Iggie View Post

    If you really want frequent access to remote (outside cell range) GPS, a dedicated unit would be a lot less hassle.
    An additional device is a lot more hassle, not less. (I know I don't want a seperate device for WiFi, or Phone usage, or Text Messaging, or music playback. No need in having a separate unit just for GPS when my smart phone can do it.)

    The question here, is whether the owner being able to decide with an open GPS is best or is it better for nobody to have a choice and GPS be a locked down aGPS? Even if the Palm Pre had full stand alone and aGPS, it would work exactly the same for someone who uses Google or Sprint Navigation. Having full stand alone GPS would provide the option to those who would make use of it.

    Give Dieter's article a read and see if it makes sense. Only difference is we're talking about a webOS device instead of a WM device.

    If they're already locking down access to stand alone GPS, what makes you so certain it will always work with Google?
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