Droid gps- real or fake?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by CBLJazz, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. CBLJazz
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    CBLJazz New Member

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    I"ve been doing research and i can't seem to get a definitive answer.

    Does the droid use a real satilite gps or a cell signal like VZ nav?


    I know that google maps nav is enhanced by the internet for searches but is it dependent on the internet?
  2. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    Uses both....you need cell service to dl maps. Unless you cache them.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  3. Jonny Kansas
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    Jonny Kansas Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    Yeah. You get a VERY accurate GPS tracking when you have GPS enabled, but if you're Data Roaming, the phone won't be able to reroute. [This setting CAN be changed, but then you pay data roaming charges. Best advice, check the path before heading out if you're going on a long trip, and then stick to it unless you KNOW you'll have coverage.]
  4. mikes
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    mikes New Member

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    It uses aGPS and "real" GPS. Settings/location: If "Use wireless networks" is checked, it will use aGPS (and other methods); if "Use GPS satellites" is checked, it will use standalone GPS (which provides better accuracy).
  5. Jonny Kansas
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    Jonny Kansas Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    Thanks for adding details to my response! I personally don't have "Use GPS satellites" enabled unless I'm using Navigation or one of a very few apps that I have that require it to function best. As I'm pretty sure it states in the settings menu, it conserves battery to turn this off when not using it.

    To add to YOUR response, aGPS is what the Alltell/VZW nav phones tend to use, if that helps clarify anything to the OP.
  6. Big Cam
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    Big Cam New Member

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    GPS is accurate to about 3-6 meters, standing outside my house with gps on it is accurate to 6.5 feet.

    With it off, it places me about a mile away from my home.

    it is definetaly real GPS.
  7. mikes
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    mikes New Member

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    All US cell phones have been required by the FCC to be location capable since 2005. Sprint and T-Mobile 3G also use aGPS.

    I'm pretty sure that, even when standalone GPS is turned on, the Droid makes use of aGPS when it can. By doing so, it can get almanac and ephemeris data from the local cell site, reducing time to first fix to a couple of seconds (vs. a minimum mean of 45 seconds for GPS without aGPS support).
  8. Jonny Kansas
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    Jonny Kansas Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    @Mikes Thanks for the additional info!
  9. takeshi
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    takeshi New Member

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    I'm guessing you didn't check the Droid's technical specs page first?
    DROID by Motorola - Android phone - Motorola USA

    sGPS is what you're asking about and it's listed under the Connectivity section. Keep in mind that the sGPS receiver and Google Maps are 2 separate things. The sGPS receiver does not need data. Google Maps does need data.

    If you want to navigate without data coverage then you need to use a suitable GPS nav app.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  10. Sleeve
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    Sleeve New Member

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    BTW, GPS is only actually in use and consuming battery when the GPS icon is visible in the right group of status icons at the top of the screen. There is no real need to shut off and turn on GPS all the time unless you have certain apps that will activate the GPS on their own regardless of whether you're actively using the app, such as Locale. I use WeatherBug, and when I unlock, its widget checks where I am if it's been a few hours since it last checked my location. It doesn't activate the GPS every time I unlock. If I use a GPS-capable app, the icon appears when I start it, then disappears when I switch to another app. For a day or so, there was some buzz about the new Dolphin browser turning on GPS and leaving it on, but that seems to have been pinned down to using Google as the start page. The fact that people reacted strongly to any app that left GPS on says that we've become accustomed to apps making sparing use of the GPS ability.

    Certainly, anyone who wants to shut off their GPS for any reason can do so, my comments are only to reassure the OP that this is not a requirement.
  11. wsbsteven
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    wsbsteven New Member

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    Dear blahblah,

    Thank you for your email. My name is Ebony and I welcome the opportunity to assist you with your data roaming inquiry.

    If data services are available to you while traveling in an Extended Network in the United States, then there are no additional charges for data usage, as it is covered under your existing data plan. The same also applies with voice calls made in the Extended Network. No additional charges will apply based on your current Nationwide calling plan.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you today. I hope you continue to find the “Contact Us” section of verizonwireless.com a helpful option to resolve any issue you may experience the first time you email us. We appreciate your business and thank you for being a valued Verizon Wireless customer.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    Verizon Wireless
    Customer Service


    Roaming charges only apply if you are outside the US.
  12. Big Cam
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    Big Cam New Member

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    That sounds like great news, but I thought there were cases where people left it on and aftera few hours the phone said the GPS was using the majority of the battery?

    I'm going to turn mine on and try today.
  13. JhankG
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    JhankG New Member

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    No, you just need to cache your maps and you won't need data.
  14. CBLJazz
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    CBLJazz New Member

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    I do check the Droid specs. the problem is cell company's frequently want to sell theIr "fake gps" cell/ internet product as a true alternative to STANDALONE gps units.

    VZ Nav and software like it are great until you're not in cell range

    True story- i took a trip to the Great Lakes with VZ nav on a voyager and lost my cell/ gps signal for 2 hours near lake Michigan- NO FUN!!!!!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  15. mikes
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    mikes New Member

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    I'm guessing you haven't checked on what sGPS really is, because it's not what you think it is.

    sGPS is just basically sharing one antenna between the phone and the GPS, which improves the operation of both. sGPS is not the method by which location is determined.

    More here.
  16. brochaos
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    brochaos New Member

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    vznav requires data and cell coverage, but it wasn't a "fake" gps. it still provided the same accuracy in the location as any other gps unit or the droid. it was not just using the aGPS, otherwise, others have said, you would only be within miles of your location, not just a few meters.
  17. CBLJazz
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    CBLJazz New Member

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    not true- vz nav actually stopped working when i had no cell signal.
  18. RW-1
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    RW-1 New Member

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    One of the first google maps updates were to correct it NOT turning off the GPS after you closed the program, since then it has always turned on GPS in the notification area when I start it (or nav), and it turns it off afterwards.

    So I can see where there were reports of the GPS staying on, but it was not inherant, but an app coding issue, not with 2.0, or 2.0.1 ...

    I leave it enabled in the power widget all the time, no battery impact.
  19. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    It quit working due to no access to maps....they had to be downloaded over cell...
  20. mikes
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    mikes New Member

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    It depends upon the phone. But, for the vast majority of Verizon phones, aGPS is all there is.

    "The FCC Phase II location accuracy standard for network-based technologies is 100 meters for 67 percent of calls and 300 meters for 95 percent of the calls." - that's aGPS, and referring to that as "within miles of your location," while correct, is very misleading.

    That's not even close to what standalone GPS can do, which is more on the order of 15 meters, or 6x better.

    I just fired up Google maps, with GPS turned off. It claims to know my location "Accurate to 70 meters," but it's probably 200 meters off. When I turn GPS on, it says "Accurate to 20 meters," and it's off by about 5.

    VzNav no doubt works as most current auto navigation GPSs (e.g. Garmin, Tom Tom, etc.) do, by locking you onto a road, and assuming that you're on the roads which it is giving you instructions to follow. I suspect that it's much worse than those, however, at really knowing whether you're driving on the freeway or on a parallel access road.
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