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Support GPS less accurate on Motorola Atrix?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by StevenSeed, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast
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    I use an app called "Runkeeper" to track my walks and runs, and I noticed that the GPS is not as accurate as it was on my HTC Desire (the phone which I came from).

    I would have thought the GPS would have been more accurate in the newer phone, so I'm wondering whether it's the Runkeeper app not syncing with the GPS correctly?

    I'm interested to know if anyone else has noticed the GPS not being as good on the Atrix as other phones before I whistle up the wrong neck of the woods...
     

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  2. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast
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    In addition to the above, I've also made this picture to show the difference in the accuracy. As you can see, it makes quite a difference to the overall distance!

    http://www.stevenseed.com/gpsdiff.JPG

    (Top is Atrix, Bottom is HTC Desire)
     

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  3. chowmailap

    chowmailap Well-Known Member
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    From what I've noticed the gps on my atrix has been very accurate. Google maps latitude pinpoints me in the exact apartment that I'm in when I'm home.
     
  4. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm starting to think it may actually be the application's integration with the GPS software on the phone that's not very good. My Google Maps app works well too, which rules out it being a GPS issue.

    I have emailed the developers at Runkeeper for more information.
     
  5. WolfmanRobby

    WolfmanRobby Android Enthusiast
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    I think it's RunKeeper. I know several people that use it on the iPhone that also have problems.

    The GPS in the phone is VERY accurate. I beta test CacheSense (A GeoCaching app that started out on BB and is about to be released on the Android). I've had it walk me right up to a cache!

    You really don't need RunKeeper. You should have an app pre-installed on the Atrix Called "My Tracks" by Google. If not, grab it in the market, it's free. I use it to track my hikes.
    Here's a sample track of one of my local, Sunday morning hikes...
    Little Mulberry - Google Maps

    On the left side of the page, click on "Little Mullberry End" to get a popup window with a report of the speed/distance/elevation/time....
     
  6. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks for your reply Robby

    I wonder why it worked so well on HTC Desire then?! :thinking:

    That's good to know that it isn't the hardware. Apps and software can be replaced or upgraded, but hardware is, as I'm sure you know, less flexible.

    I really will miss Runkeeper! I have been using it since I started running in April, and have built up some nice looking graphs and stats! But I am grateful for the recommendation and if the Runkeeper development team don't come back to me I will swallow hard and make the change.
     
  7. WolfmanRobby

    WolfmanRobby Android Enthusiast
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    There is also one from Adidis called "Mi Coach" that is free.
    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.adidas.micoach&feature=search_result

    They bought the app I used to use on my BlackBerry called "Bones In Motion" - I wasn't impressed with Mi Coach because of the changes to the interface they made. They also geared it more towards runners and cyclists... 2 things I can't do. So, you might like it.
     
  8. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast
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    Again, I'm grateful for the recommendation. As it happens I'm in work now, and have just returned from my walk having tried My Tracks. Unfortunately, this is even worse than runkeeper. The route is 1.04 miles, but on my tracks it's 1.52 with all the inaccuracies! (I'd post a link to the map but haven't worked out how to do that yet).

    I'm therefore still at a bit of a loss, but I will try the others you recommended.
    .
     
  9. WolfmanRobby

    WolfmanRobby Android Enthusiast
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    That's weird... I've had google maps pinpoint right down to the parking space I'm in.

    Here's a question for you... how do you know what reading is right?

    I used to think that route I linked to was only about 5 miles. The Map says 7.6, but my 2 BlackBerry phones both tracked it at about 5.25 miles.

    When I got my Atrix, it shows the 7.8 miles. I figured it was WAY wrong. So, I took my handheld GPSr the next time... Guess what? It said 7.68 miles.

    It turned out that it was my 2 BlackBerry phones giving the wrong distance, not my Atrix.

    Also, make sure you don't have "Use Wireless networks" checked in the Location settings in the phone. That will throw it off by pulling A-GPS data from the tower and ignoring the internal GPS chip.
     
  10. itsallgood

    itsallgood Android Expert
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    I use Cardio trainer for walking and noticed that when it tracks me in Down Town Chicago, it jumps around a lot. But, when I'm out jogging or ridding my bike around my home, the GPS tracks are very accurate. I accounted the GPS jumping due to the tall buildings in Down Town.
     
  11. WolfmanRobby

    WolfmanRobby Android Enthusiast
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    Yeah, tall buildings will mess with any current GPS out there.
    The new Russian Sats they are putting up right now are supposed to fix that. Unfortunately, it will be next year before any phones come out with the chips that can talk to the Russian birds.
    Super accurate Russian GPS coming to a cell phone near you | DVICE
    (BTW - the app pictured on the phones in that article is "GPS Status and Test" that's free in the Market and GREAT for testing the GPS.)

    I've heard RUMORS that the iPhone4s has the chip in it that will talk to them, but I've seen no proof.
     
  12. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast
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    I know because the map created by the HTC Desire is made up of predominantly straight lines, whereas the Atrix has a lot of jumping about and zig-zagging, thus increasing the overall distance.

    Hmm, good point actually. Guess I could drive round and see what the clock says.....

    I have the Use Wireless Networks selected otherwise it takes ages for it to get a fix on me. Next time I'll try it without that selected.
     
  13. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast
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    Scratch that, I've just gone into the settings and it's already de-delected (use GPS satellites only is selected).

    Ah well, back to square one!
     
  14. WolfmanRobby

    WolfmanRobby Android Enthusiast
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    NO, what that means is that the Atrix is taking readings more often than the HTC did.

    The longer the line, the longer the time between GPS data points.

    The Atrix is getting a reading more often. Remember, Current GPS chips are only accurate to about 30ft average (Even if the GPS software says less!!).

    To speed up the GPS fix time, download the app I mentioned above (GPS Status and Toolbox - https://market.android.com/details?id=com.eclipsim.gpsstatus2&feature=search_result ).
    Go into it's settings, Choose "GPS & Sensors" - in the "Auto-Download AGPS data" set it for 1 hour.
    Then, launch this app and let it get a fix first. It will update the AGPS data. This speeds the GPS fix time. I find this app usually gets a fix in around 5 to 10 seconds. RARELY does it take it longer than about 15 to 20 seconds unless I'm under heavy coverage.

    You'll only need to do this the first time you use the GPS for the day.
     
  15. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast
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    I'm genuinely not trying to be arguementative here, I'm just interested to get to the bottom of this.

    I have done another comparison here (Atrix top, Desire bottom) which shows the times at which the phone records the location from the GPS. As you can see, the frequency is the same, and as I came up to the roundabout the Atrix darted backwards for some reason.

    Also I've had a reply from Runkeeper - they have advised that the way they collect the data from the GPS on the phone does not change from phone to phone.

    Is it possible I have a faulty GPS on my Atrix?
     
  16. WolfmanRobby

    WolfmanRobby Android Enthusiast
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    Very possible.
     
  17. rlridgeway

    rlridgeway Lurker
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    There is some weird issues with the Atrix GPS system. A noted issue is that (at least for some) it will not return an accuracy value. Using a GPs monitoring app like GPS Status, you may see this. This does not mean the Atrix is not accurate but we just don't know what it is.
    A random issue I have is, at times, it will not will not get a "fix" even though the conditions are right for one. When this does happen, I can remedy the problem by powering down the phone and temporarily removing the battery. I place the battery back in and turn the phone on. The GPS seems to work fine.
    BTW, I use a mapping app called Backcountry Navigator for off road, off line use. You may want to check it out for hiking, hunting, geocaching, ect.
     
  18. WolfmanRobby

    WolfmanRobby Android Enthusiast
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    I have that from time to time. Opening "GPS Status and test," Clearing the A-GPS data, then telling it to re-download the data seems to fix that without having to do a battery pull.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. wilf1234

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    Hi guys,

    I'm totally confused and frustrated.

    I used Runkeeper on my first Atrix succesfully for 6-months - the Atrix then died and I had it replaced. The new Atrix still worked brilliantly, getting a GPS lock almost immediately, but over the last month or so, the CPS seems to be all over the shop.

    It takes an age to lock on and then the accuracy has dropped off.

    couple of thoughts:
    1) I use Google Latitude, it also worked flawlessly on my first Atrix, but the new Atrix didn't update my position on Latitude anywhere near as well as the first Atrix from day one.
    2) I installed the Great Land Grab and also MapMyRide a few weeks ago - these worked really well first of all, but in the last month have been rubbish - not seeming to get a GPS position without endless rebooting and restarting of Apps etc.
    3 Using GPS status - if I stand in a middle of a field, reset the datat and download new data - the quickest I can get a GPS fix recently has been circa 50 seconds - I've no idea what the time was before this all started happening.

    Is there anything else I can do other than reformat the phone (I've already removed MapMy ride and several other fringe apps that I thought may have had a gingerbread issue or similar)

    Cheers

    Wilf
     
  20. StevenSeed

    StevenSeed Android Enthusiast
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    Hmm, no I don't think there is. Unless anyone else can suggest anything I would say do a factory reset, and if that doesn't work it'll probably have to go back.

    Personally, I've given up on Runkeeper/Mapmyrun/etc and use a GPS watch to track my runs now - it's so much more accurate and not as expensive as you'd think.

    Interestingly though, the Google Maps and Google Navigation work perfectly.
     
  21. itsallgood

    itsallgood Android Expert
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    Try and recalibrate the compus. Sometimes this helps.
     

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