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  1.    #1  
    Verizon GPS fix in the app catalog

    <<Mod Edit>>
    Thank you to Jonathan I Ezor for suggesting this application.
    Details below:
    Last edited by ryleyinstl; 08/10/2010 at 08:42 AM.
    Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
    Writer, PreCentral
    Past Palm Real Reviewer
    @webOSquire on Twitter
  2. #2  
    GPS Fix
    Current Version: 1.0.0
    Download: GPS Fix in the Palm App Catalog

    Installing Patch:
    Use Preware to install this patch. It's in the Navigation category of the Patches named "GPS Fix for VZ Navigator". It is attached below for those who want to apply it manually. The patch is 1.4.1 and 1.4.5 compatible.

    INSTRUCTIONS ARE IN THE APP. It's also for Verizon users only.

    NOTE: This app does not solve GPS Accuracy Issues!
    Seriously, I am tired of questions about this. Read the details below.

    aGPS Patch by Ebag33
    The Verizon aGPS patch by Ebag33should be removed as it is NOT AUPT compatible. Upgrading to webOS 1.4.5 can render the patch "broken" and unable to remove/update itself.

    Questions & Help
    There is a fairly extensive HELP in the GPS Fix App. Please read it first. If you need more indepth help, then please post to these forums.

    Donate
    This app is free. GPS is a feature that should not malfunction or require special apps in order to function, so I will not charge for it. However, a lot of real time, effort, and energy went into the development of this app. Please consider donating or purchasing one of my Paid Apps.




    IMPORTANT: How this App & Patch Operate


    Understand The Problem

    All Apps (including this one) use an API provided by Palm to get your GPS based location. The problem we see, is that on some devices, is that the app does not get these coordinates. Things timeout. The innards that handle this seem to simply be asleep at the wheel.


    The Observations

    Through everyone's trial and error, we have noted some important observations that are important:

    1.) Loading VZ Navigator wakes up the GPS for Verizon Users
    2.) Once GPS is awake, it will remain awake for ~20 minutes before sleeping again
    3.) Hitting the GPS within the 20 minute period will extend the awake period ~20 minutes
    4.) Sometimes GPS can be woken with multiple calls to it

    * there are other minor tricks that I will not detail

    It has also been observed that at certain times, GPS just stops entirely. It goes on strike. A reboot of the device is required.

    The Solution

    GPS Fix combines all of the observations into app form.

    Once GPS is woken up, it will keep it alive by continually pinging GPS in the background (#3). It's simple and elegant in it's function.

    The background operation also sports the ability to attempt a wakeup should the device be asleep again (#1, #2, #4).


    The VZ Navigator Patch

    Sometimes, this 20 minute period will expire prematurely, or fail to get extended (#2). To awake GPS again, the same steps from the observations must be repeated. In the case of many Verizon customers, that involves loading VZ Navigator.

    This is where the patch comes in. It simply allows VZ Navigator to be loaded, then close itself as soon as GPS functions are awoken.

    It's a tool used to automate this process of waking GPS without asking YOU to do anything.

    The patch is also artistically simplistic in it's design and function.

    ** The patch is not required, but limits the capabilities of the app if you choose not to install/use it.


    Wrap Up

    That is what this app promises, and nothing more. It will attempt to keep GPS awake. If GPS falls asleep, the app will try itself to wake it up if all the necessary tools are available.

    It's like a road trip buddy that cranks up the music every time you start to doze off. Only this one has an off switch.

    When using the manual mode (button in app), exercise patience and let it do it's thing, on it's own time.



    Accuracy Not Included

    Accuracy of GPS is reliant on MANY factors, none of which this app can control. The app, nor the patch can do anything about this*.

    --

    Now that I said it does not improve accuracy, I will throw you for a loop and say that it does. Sometimes.

    The improved accuracy is attained by the very nature of the app. To understand why/how, you need to understand how GPS works. I recommend this page:

    HowStuffWorks "2-D Trilateration"

    In simplistic form, GPS works by determining how far away you are from 3+ known "reference points" in space (not outer space, just any space). By knowing the distance from each of the 3 or more places, it can determine the exact point in space you are. More reference points with good signals, more accuracy.

    The app is designed to attempt a GPS Fix at the interval you set, so it is constantly looking for these "reference points". By having a fresh set of these points, it can shorten the time to find them since it already knows. This translates to better accuracy, in SOME cases.

    This helps the underpowered mobile devices that do so many things and cannot devote all t's power to GPS alone.


    ------------------------

    * There is a solution from Ebag33 which can improve accuracy. If you want to try it, know that it can brick your device and should only be attempted if you know what you are doing. Should you break your phone, you have only yourself to blame.

    Proceed with caution: http://forums.precentral.net/palm-pr...ed-cached.html
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by spdsktr; 08/10/2010 at 01:25 PM.
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
    Rennat likes this.
  3.    #3  
    As one of the many who are suffering with VZW's GPS problems on my Pre Plus, I have noted that, once I've woken the GPS using the VZ Navigator splash screen, the GPS will stay awake as long as it is actively being used (e.g. by Minimap or another GPS program) and for some time afterwards. After an undetermined duration, though, it "times out," goes back to sleep, and most be woken again with VZ Navigator, the *only* reliable method that works for just about everyone.

    I'd love to just leave the GPS running in the background, ready for any app to access it, once I trigger it with VZ Navigator, without either a major drain on the battery caused by an open card or overheating due to heavy duty GPS radio use. I would *really* love someone to code a very small background app that, once toggled on (or even automatically when VZ Navigator was launched!), would just request info from the GPS every couple of minutes or so without any further operation, and would keep going until the app was manually stopped, the GPS radio turned off, or the Pre Plus was reset. Ideally, either there would be no on-screen notification during operation (my preference) or putting one up would be an option.

    While I struggle to get VZW to fix this issue (I'm working on it, I promise!), having something keep my GPS alive would go a *long* way toward ameliorating the functional problem, and allow me to use apps like Foursquare/Zipsquare or other GPS-enabled features without having to guess whether it's been too long since the last time I started VZ Navigator.

    What say you? Anyone willing to take this on and make *many* VZW customers happy? {Jonathan}

    ---------------------------------------------

    First of all, THANKS! Second, I'm in the midst of testing this, and after some early oddities, it *seems* to be working as follows:

    Some GPS apps (Google Maps, Zipsquare, YPMobile) seem to be fine pulling cached GPS data when they can't get live location information; they can show a fix where there isn't one, and a location that is past. Two of my other apps, though, are not that tolerant. Navit (still homebrew) and Minimap (now in the App Catalog) both need a live fix to get location, and both have in the past needed me to launch VZ Navigator to successfully wake the GPS and give them a fix.

    A few minutes ago, I launched VZ Navigator and then Minimap, getting a fix. I then closed both and turned on your new GPS Fix app, then relaunched Minimap after a few minutes. For a long time, Minimap just sat there "Waiting for GPS." Then, I saw the notification on the bottom of my screen that GPS Fix had triggered (I had it on a 5 minute interval), and almost *instantly*, Minimap had a fix as well. Navit too found a fix where it hadn't earlier.

    It's difficult for me to test this methodically. I'd like to set the GPS Fix interval to 1 minute, or to trigger a GPS Fix "fix" manually, but the former doesn't seem to work and the latter isn't available (yet).

    I will keep GPS Fix running today with a 5 minute interval and check Minimap throughout the day, but for now, this may *just* do the trick. Thanks again, James! {Jonathan}
    Last edited by ryleyinstl; 08/10/2010 at 08:38 AM.
    Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
    Writer, PreCentral
    Past Palm Real Reviewer
    @webOSquire on Twitter
  4. #4  
    Roger that. I'll add capabilities to do an instant fix within the app.

    I left the 1 minute interval in by accident. It only works on the emulator. The shortest interval on an actual device is 5 minutes, so it's the best that can be done.

    If we can get some more people to test this out over the next few days, then I can refine and ensure no issues arise. Large scale testing always shows up some kind of issues that just a few people will not experience.
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
  5. MiDoJo's Avatar
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    #5  
    questions:
    1) should we remove gps fix patch to test this
    2) one launch of vzw nav is required per device boot, correct?
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by MiDoJo View Post
    questions:
    1) should we remove gps fix patch to test this
    2) one launch of vzw nav is required per device boot, correct?
    1.) Leave it on for now. Let's see how it works both ways.

    2.) Correct, nav is required for each reboot.
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
  7. #7  
    v0.0.3 Posted for download with new features, better coding, etc. Tap on the Last Ran option to see much more detail about the GPS Fix. Will also throw this in the Palm beta feed so it can be distributed easier.
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
  8.    #8  
    FYI:

    1) I uninstalled the Verizon patch this a.m. before my successful uses.
    2) ##GPS# is also now working properly long after I last launched VZ Navigator
    3) I've long since activated all the various GPS chip options using QPST as per this thread.

    James, on a related note, I took a quick non-developer look this am at this Developer info page and it got me to thinking: could the difference be which apps use getCurrentPosition versus those that use startTracking? Or am I just too much a novice to understand? {Jonathan}
    Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
    Writer, PreCentral
    Past Palm Real Reviewer
    @webOSquire on Twitter
  9.    #9  
    Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
    Writer, PreCentral
    Past Palm Real Reviewer
    @webOSquire on Twitter
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan I Ezor View Post
    James, on a related note, I took a quick non-developer look this am at this Developer info page and it got me to thinking: could the difference be which apps use getCurrentPosition versus those that use startTracking? Or am I just too much a novice to understand? {Jonathan}
    I'm not a GPS expert, but by using startTracking, it should basically just do a call to getCurrentPosition every time and send the data along in the subscribe. I have not done any apps that use startTracking, so I cannot say for sure.

    This app uses getCurrentPosition every time to ensure a fresh fix.

    It's working, which is really great. Now just need to dial the frequency down to see how long you can go between fixes while still keeping it active. Every 5 minutes can definitely kill your battery in short order. Best practices say I should not do this, but it's an extreme situation that calls for extreme measures.
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
  11. #11  
    FYI -- I submitted to the Beta Feed:

    http://developer.palm.com/appredirec...sharris.gpsfix

    Should be live in 2 hours from this moment.
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
  12. #12  
    I am not very well informed about this topic, but I am desperate to get some type of jogstats or runtracking app working on my verizon pre+.

    based on this conversation, I am wondering if those types of apps require the "tracking" method instead of the get current position method?

    Will this app be helpful for those types of situations?
  13. #13  
    Courousant, give it a try. I cannot say 100% that this will solve it, but should go a long way to helping it. As Jonathan mentioned, one app that used startTracking did not respond until my app forced an update. This leads me to believe the app truly functions to 'wake up' the GPS and keep the connection alive.
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
  14. #14  
    I went to install this from the Beta - Feeds and I get the message "This is not a valid webOS application"
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by upsidedown View Post
    I went to install this from the Beta - Feeds and I get the message "This is not a valid webOS application"
    That usually means it's about to go live but isn't yet. Give it a few minutes or hours. {Jonathan}
    Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
    Writer, PreCentral
    Past Palm Real Reviewer
    @webOSquire on Twitter
  16. #16  
    I just saw this app show up in Preware - is there any benefit in installing it if you are on Sprint?
    My device history:

    - Jim J.

    (On Sprint for many years)
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by jjeffcoat View Post
    I just saw this app show up in Preware - is there any benefit in installing it if you are on Sprint?
    Good question. It should help ensure a fresh GPS location at all times -- only at the expense of battery life.
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
  18. #18  
    I guess it wouldn't hurt anything, then (other than battery life)?
    My device history:

    - Jim J.

    (On Sprint for many years)
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by jjeffcoat View Post
    I guess it wouldn't hurt anything, then (other than battery life)?
    No, it would not hurt anything but your battery. Although, I have mine set at 5 min interval, and it runs smooth. I'm on Sprint and all GPS apps come up very quick now. I have support for my business, so been on the phone a LOT today. Still at 30% and it will last me another hour at least. Battery drain is there, but not unreasonable for the convenience.

    It's as efficient as it can be. YMMV, which is why I would like everyone to try it out.
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
  20. #20  
    v0.0.4 has been submitted to the Beta Feed. Should be out in 2-3 hours. It adds the final pieces to the puzzle, and by request, a donate link
    - James Harris

    Author of:
    WhitePages, FlashCards (and FlashCards Lite), GPS Fix, Anonymous Texter, TripThat, and Mobile Florist

    Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
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