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GPS Question - Too Good To Be True?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by DroidIsMyFirstCell, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. DroidIsMyFirstCell

    Thread Starter

    Really basic question about GPS in Androids...

    Monday I buy my first smartphone EVER... HTC Desire. Can't wait! Thing is.. I am completely green about the inner workings and have a question about the GPS...

    Basically how does it work? :)

    Is it just like having a GPS from Magellan etc.? Or is it based on cell phone tower triangulation etc. Thing is... it sounds like it is a seperate system that talks to a gps sattelite.. but that seems "too good to be true"... I can get a fully functional GPS in my cell phone???? I just pee'd a little.

    Also how well does it work outside major urban areas? I would love to take it hiking in remote areas.. but do you need a signal from a tower to use the gps or can it still use the GPS portion independant?


  2. jroc

    jroc Android Expert

    Yes it is true. U turn on the GPS settings and it connects to GPS satellites. U can use the wireless networks too, but the GPS satellites should be better, more accurate.

    This is what made me want an Android phone: the free GPS. Didnt wanna pay a subscription for this cuz I dont use it that much.

    I just got an X. I have an orig Droid too. Besides using it for Wifi, I will keep my Droid as a stand alone GPS, even tho I have GPS in the X too. I just tested it; even with my Droid not activated, ( I cant make calls on it cuz I have the X activated) I can still get a GPS lock.

    Welcome to the World of Android.
    DroidIsMyFirstCell likes this.
  3. nkk

    nkk Android Expert

    What the poster above me said. :)

    Google maps is pretty good outside urban areas in my experience.


    RAND0M1ZER Member

    It tracks you by sattelite.

    The Wi-fi or 3g connection is just required to download the maps/images. Which is why you can see maps without a sattelite connections.

    And I guess you could get your coordinates without internet.
  5. DroidIsMyFirstCell

    Thread Starter


    I was hoping for that. I've been desperate for a good GPS solution for jogging, hiking, ATV'ing and hunting for awhile now and was bracing myself to shell out the big bucks till the Droids came along :). Just wish Droid X was available in Canada. I'm going with Telus so it will be HTC Desire.
  6. DroidIsMyFirstCell

    Thread Starter

    And thank you very much for your responses... I thought that was the case.. but just figured it had to be me misunderstanding things... this is going to be awesome!

    Edit: How is the accuracy in remote rural areas, like say 3-4 hours away from a city?
  7. mrmojoz

    mrmojoz Android Enthusiast

    Wrong question, location isn't important for GPS. It is important for using programs that rely on the internet for map display though. If you are in areas with no signal your GPS will work, but you'll need a program that stores maps on the phone to make use of it.
    DroidIsMyFirstCell likes this.
  8. DroidIsMyFirstCell

    Thread Starter

    Excellent! Don't care if it is an empty google "map" view... long as I can use it in remote areas when I am camping or hiking, topology is 2ndary to not getting lost ;). Having said that.. now to find some topology maps... :)
  9. Demache

    Demache Android Expert

    As long as you have a clear view of the sky, you should get a very accurate lock. I've seen it get as accurate as 8 feet (2.4384 meters) before. Also, get a GPS test app like GPS Test by Chartcross Ltd. Its very detailed. It gives accuracy, what and how many satellites you are connected to and strength, speed, and global coordinates and heading among other things.

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