GPS or AGPSSupport


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  1. popcanguy

    popcanguy New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi All,
    I'm new to android and I'm trying to decide on which phone to get. So far the LG Shine plus seems to have all the functions that I need, and I would go for it IF it has a standalone GPS. On the specs, it says it has AGPS, and I think it means it will only function if it can contact the cel towers. Personally I find that to be a bit usless as the time when I need GPS the most is when I don't even have cel coverage, so AGPS is only a compliment to the standalone GPS function. Anyway, can someone in this forum confirm for me whether it has a standalone GPS or just AGPS? I guess one easy way to test would be to remove the sim card and if you can get a location lock with GPS app like copilot, then its a standalone GPS.
    Thank you very much
    popcan
     

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  2. Smoked

    Smoked Well-Known Member

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    Confirmed it's AGPS. My wife is about to buy this phone...reviews i've read are mostly positive for a mid-range phone. Personally I'd get the Xperia X10 all over again but i'm a bit more techy than the wife :)
     
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  3. popcanguy

    popcanguy New Member This Topic's Starter

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    thanks Smoked for your answer...
    and damn for it not have a standalone gps! Thats a deal breaker for me. I'll take your advise and check out teh xperia x10. I just hope it works with telus.
    thanks again
    popcan
     
  4. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

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    First of all, wishing everybody a Merry Xmas.

    Could somebody explain to be how the AGPS works in the Shine Plus.

    I do not have a data plan. I have Google Map and Mapdroyd installed in my phone. At first, I could only get my location when I have wifi. I assumed that without the data plan, the gps would not work. But yesterday, the gps worked. I was driving around and the locator on both google and mapdroyd moved along the map. I was pretty thrilled (I have never used a gps before). Of course driving around with one hand on the phone was not a good idea, so I shut it off. But when I turned it back on, I could not get the gps to work again except in a wifi hotspot.

    Is it a weather related issue (we have had a very rainy Christmas)? What settings are required to make the GPS work? Do I need a data plan for the GPS to work? Did I just fluke out and happen to drive a stretch of road which happened to have a series of overlapping wifi hotspots? I am confused at this point.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  5. Landrew

    Landrew Active Member

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    The GPS in this phone seems to work better than my $500 stand-alone Garmin GPS. I tend to use it for nearly all my navigation now.

    The Shine Plus has been a pleasant surprise for the last 3 1/2 months. Everything works fairly well except for a few annoying glitches, which don't seem to happen very often. An example is the way the phone locked up while in a call. I couldn't hang up until I dug out the battery.

    I didn't see anything in the documentation about this, but the shine plus uses i-phone earbuds. It has a microphone and a multi-function button on it, which performs a variety of functions.
     
  6. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

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    I am still not sure how to make my GPS work consistently.

    Does the GPS require a data plan to work? (I don't have one).

    Does switching the mobile network to on or off make any difference?

    Is the GPS affected by weather (eg cloud cover, heavy rain)?

    Is anybody using Mapdroyds?

    Have you experienced any GPS problems which require reboot etc?

    I am trying to pinpoint the problem. Thanks.
     
  7. Burned

    Burned Well-Known Member

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    It was probably working off the cached data you got from the WiFi before you left in your car, or your accessing data thru Telus
    I have been playing around with this GPS for awhile and I get nothing more than a compass. I had Telus block my data when I got the phone. After they blocked it I get a notice every once in awhile from the weather service saying it could not access the weather. So if you guys are getting it to work, then you may have a bill coming from Telus for data access.
     
  8. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

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    I use mapdroyd which has the simple maps downloaded. I could always see the maps. It's just that the GPS locator does not seem to work properly.

    I just went for a run and I got it to work again. I powered the phone off and then back on and the gps worked the whole time. I tested the following settings:

    1. Satellite: On (obviously)

    2. Mobile Network: On or Off, GPS still worked (I don't have a data plan anyways)

    3. Airplane Mode: On or Off, GPS still worked (this surprised me a bit)

    The weather was cloudy today and it was not raining. I did notice, that I lost the gps locator when I was in some treed areas (probably blocked the satellite). I also lost the gps locator when I was in a wide open area near the river which may be because I was at the furthest point away from a cell tower. I am not sure, but I think this gps still needs a cell tower to help it to locate.

    I am just going to keep testing it. It could be hardware, software or just a signal/enviroment issue.

    PS. In addition to not having a monthly data plan, I got Telus to also block any data usage so that I do not inadvertently use the pay per use data.
     
  9. Burned

    Burned Well-Known Member

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    What are you getting for GPS data? All I get is a compass with my direction and indication of cell towers, but I do not get any latitude or longitude coordinates. Google maps does not work unless I connect to my WiFi network. What program are you using to test your GPS?
     
  10. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

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    Okay, here is the latest news. Sometimes the gps works and sometimes it does not. So I called Telus and spoke with a technician. He says that the gps should not work unless I have a data plan or I am on wifi.

    Certainly, my phone will snap to my gps location when I have the wifi on and I am at home on wifi. That is a given. But when I go out, I always turn off the wifi and sometimes gps works (driving through Delta and Richmond on the highway) and sometimes not. The Telus tech says that the phone gps should not work on those circumstances unless I have a data plan (which I do not and I have all data usage blocked at Telus' end. Plus I have checked my data usage online to confirm that I am not inadvertently using the pay per use data on the days that the gps worked). The technician says that the LG shine plus may have a built in gps function (I guess like in a Tom Tom or Garmin) independent from the Telus system gps which requires data from either wifi or a data network to work properly. But he was not specifically aware of this. He says my phone is actually doing something more than what is normally expected.

    Obviously what GPS that I get is really an unexpected bonus. If I want the full deal, I need to pay for the data plan.

    FYI, I use two apps:

    1. the built in google maps app (which gives beatifully detailed maps that get stored temporarily in the cache memory as I pan around the areas that I am interested in while in a wifi hotspot. If I go into an area that is not stored in cache, I get a blank screen).

    2. Mapdroyds is a free app which allows you to load up simple but complete street maps for any country in the world onto your SD card. I have loaded up BC, Washington and Oregon.

    I do not get any longtitude or latitude info (or at least I don't know how to access this info). I just get a blue arrow in google and a red X in Mapdroyds showing my location relative to the downloaded map. When it works and when I move the blue arrow/red X moves along the map. In the case of Mapdroyds, it leaves a faint dotted trail.

    When the gps works, it works on both google and mapdroyds. When it does not, both are kaput.
     
  11. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

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    Sunny day today. Went out in the sunshine and got the gps to work. I added a few gps apps to see what was going on: GPS Test, GPS Status and GPS Essentials.

    I think that the reason for the gps "not working" earlier was that I was not being patient enough. Using the GPS apps, I could see that it took 2 to 3 minutes for the gps to connect with the sufficient number of satellites to get a position. After it got a lock on the position, it was much quicker each time I turned on the gps app.

    From what I read, gps should work in the rain and on cloudy days. But if there is a layer of water, the signal can be weakened considerably. I was having trouble getting a signal in earlier bad weather because a) I did not want to stand outside and expose my new phone to the rain long enough to get a gps fix and b) I was sitting in a rain drenched car the other times (maybe I should have listened to my wife when she suggested I open the sunroof and stick my phone up into the air).

    I did notice that with the gps satellite receiver activated, my battery usage was being used up at a rapid rate.

    Anyways, the gps on the shine plus does work on its own (no data plan, both mobile network and wifi turned off). Just need to wait for it to acquire the satellite signals, suggest one of the apps above to see what is going on.

    Maybe all of this is old news to other people, but I had never used a gps before.
     
  12. Landrew

    Landrew Active Member

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    An Android phone without a data plan is like a Superbowl game without beer.
     
  13. Burned

    Burned Well-Known Member

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    I went outside with GPS turned on and walked around in the rain while puffing one, and never got anything more than a compass, and an indication of cell towers.

    BTW what have you got for a router and what security are you using with it?
    I have been having problems with keeping my phone on the Telus WiFi router I have.
     
  14. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

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    I have the Siemens router from Telus (few years old). Tip: I just renewed my home phone w/ only one feature ($21) and Turbo highspeed ($18) through the loyalty/retention dept for one year. I was hoping to get an N router, but they told me that they still only use the same G router that I have.

    Here is a tip re: GPS. It takes several minutes standing in one spot for the GPS to locate and lock onto the necessary number of satellites before your GPS will work. If you are moving (walking or driving), it never seems to lock. Apps like GPS Status or GPS Test are good for showing you the progress of the satellite acquisition. Once you get the lock, your GPS will follow you around on Mapdroyds until you shut off the phone. My friends tell me that some cheaper GPS receivers do take a while to get a lock. Using wifi to get the inital lock helps shorten the wait (or if you have a data plan, the GPS gets an "assist" from the mobile network to work faster)

    For a tiny phone with so many other things packed into such a small package, that is one of the compromises. If GPS is really important for you, you will probabably have to buy a better GPS receiver (or at least get the data plan which should improve performance with the round the clock "assist").

    Let me know if you can get it to work.
     
  15. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but to me a data plan is like watching the Super Bowl at home but still having to pay full bar prices to drink beer at home. I don't like paying for something that I don't need. I get enough browsing with wifi at home, work and hotspots and much prefer using a larger screen computer to do it. There is a reason why most providers force you to have a data plan with a smart phone (unless you want to pay the penalty to cancel). It is fortunate that Telus offered a couple of smartphones where the dataplan is not mandatory (shine plus, optimus one and the galaxy apollo).
     
  16. Burned

    Burned Well-Known Member

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    I have the same router and its been a hassle to keep this phone connected to it. I even went as far as sitting my phone on it while downloading and I am still getting disconnected. I have a new Siemens Gigaset in the box, maybe I will get better luck with it. My internet is the 6 Meg connection for $15 a month. Is that the same as what you got?

    I am going to give it another go tonight with the GPS. If it doesn't happen for me then I guess its time to open the TOM TOM I bought boxing day last year.

    Wow this phone sure eats the battery up. I sometimes have to charge it twice a day! :rolleyes:
     
  17. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

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    I currently have the highspeed 6 meg. The 15 meg turbo does not start until January. You may want to check your security encryption/configuration/wireless settings. I saw somebody in some other thread, not sure if it was shine plus or ally, complaining that they kept losing the connection and they fixed it by changing the encryption. At home I just use the 128-bit wep and it seems to work fine. Also, try a free app called wifi analyser on your phone. I also recall years ago when I set up the wireless that certain anti-virus can really mess with the connections. I currently just use AVG. Call telus tech support if you cannot adjust your settings.

    When I turn on the satellite receiver and wifi and keep one of the gps apps open (eg gps test or gps status) I burn up about 20-25% of the battery per hour. If I enable the satellite receiver and the wifi and let the phone go into standby over night (I never turn off my phones) I only burn about 5 - 7% in about 12 hours; I did not notice a big difference with the satellite and wifi disabled during overnight standby. But when the phone is on, the enabled wifi seems to use up battery, but the satellite only seems to use battery if you turn on a gps app (but it uses alot of battery when the gps app is on).

    Right now I just charge once a day (about 20% left after full day with a couple of hours of playing on the phone using various apps over about 15 hours, maybe 5-10 minutes of voice calls, several emails, 3 to 6 syncs (I manually sync), 30 - 60 minutes of gps testing and maybe 30 minutes on the browser or checking out the Android Market. Generally, I disable the wifi, bluetooth (have not even tested that, yet), satellite and mobile network (blocked anyways so I am not sure if it makes any difference) unless I need to use it. I have turned off the auto sync and only do manual syncs when I choose to in wifi hotspots. The phone is always enabled, but usually goes into standby (screen time out set to 2 minutes). Screen brightness set to minimum. Once the novelty of the new phone wears off, I hope to get at least a couple of days. On my old Treo, I only charged my battery every 5 days or so.

    If you already own the tom tom and need to use the gps on a regular basis, you are probably better off using the dedicated gps for better performance. For me, I am just playing around with the features of this new phone. Eventually, I will only use the gps if I am truly lost or in some sort of emergency. Having all of the offline maps downloaded in Mapdroyd is nice to have even if I don't turn on the GPS.
     
  18. Pivzavod

    Pivzavod Member

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    First of all, Agps is always an improvement over the usual gps; it just gets your initial location faster by using the information provided by the network. The rest is done by tracking your position with the satellites. I've recently tried to use NavDroyd in Europe, where I did not have any roaming, and it worked. Just takes some time to get the initial set up, and you should be outside to get a decent signal. As it was suggested above, try the software like GPS Test, which shows your coordinates, signal strength, satellite location, reads time, date etc.
     
  19. dri001

    dri001 Well-Known Member

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    When I first got this phone it would get a lock in about 10 seconds. After I installed the GPS Status and Tools app things got really bad. I was waiting about 3-5 minutes to get a lock if indeed I was going to get one at all. I had resigned myself to this level of service for now. However when I unmounted and reformatted the SD card for another reason and did a factory reset I got the GPS back. It is locking on in about 10-15 seconds again while in a car and almost immediately when I am standing outside. Don't know why but that is what happened.
     
  20. Nordo

    Nordo Member

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    Thanks for all the info here guys! Was wondering how the GPS could be so erratic at times.

    Dri001: Interesting about the factory reset... Have you by any chance reinstalled any gps software again (like GPS test/status)? I'm just wondering if the problem has truly been isolated to those programs causing the position fix delay.
     
  21. dri001

    dri001 Well-Known Member

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    I reinstalled the GPS test app but not the GPS Status and Tools. I don't trust it anymore. GPS seems to be OK. I can't guarantee it was the reset that did it but things got better after.

    For interest sakes my phone is in for service. I was receiving an error message on the status bar saying my SD card was unexpectedly removed then the phone would shut down and/or the screen turned a faint blue. I would have to take the battery out and re-install it to get the phone working ( until the next time). It will be interesting to see what this is about.
     
  22. Nordo

    Nordo Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply Dri001! Interesting about which programs are causing you GPS problems, as I'm starting to think my situation is the reverse (GPS status is compatible, and GPS test may have caused the position fix delay). At any rate it would appear that the LG shine is finicky with GPS altogether.

    Your other problem also reminded me of a similar problem I had in the past. I picked up a SD card made by Duracell (why I bought an SD card from a battery company in the first place..i don't know) and after filling the card up with data, I started getting the same problem you describe (minus the faint blue screen). So hopefully that problem of yours is as simple as a buggered SD card...
     

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