Gps??

Discussion in 'Acer Iconia Tab A500 Forum' started by karlsl, May 15, 2011.

  1. karlsl
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    karlsl Junior Member

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    does anyone know how to make GPS in Iconia work? I have turned on GPS on my cell phone and it has found 3 GPS satellites. but when I turn on GPS and map program, but it cant find any satellite at all.

    Thanks,
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  2. nrage23
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    nrage23 Junior Member

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    It takes a bit to get the satellites the first but mine works great. There is a great free app called GPS Status that will help aswell.
  3. robdroid
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    robdroid Junior Member

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    +1
    You may want to take the tablet outside the first time to speed up acquisition and fix. There's another free app from the Google MArket called "GPS Test" which really works well and gives you lots of info on the GPS system.

    Also, make sure you have "Use GPS satellites" enabled from the "Location and Privacy" sub-menu in the tab settings menu.
  4. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Junior Member

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    I have serious concerns about both the WiFi and GPS antennas in this tablet. I've been trying as hard as I can to fall in love this with machine, but the poor WiFI and GPS are causing me headaches.

    I'm using GPS test now..and in the same location, my phone easily locks onto several satelites, while the A500 seems to struggle really hard. I have barely seem it lock onto more than 2 satellite and none are in use. Phone (Droid Incredible) has 7 in use right next to the A500.

    I see a similar thing going on with WIFI. The signal strength is about 5-10 dbm weaker on the A500 than my Droid Incredible, depending on location and orientation. Get farther away and the problem increases almost to the point where the signal is too weak to use WIFI.

    Edit: I left GPS Test on for a good while....actually, it's now been running for several hours...I now have 8 satellites in view and 5 in use...this in side my house, too.
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  5. Samoa Joe
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    Samoa Joe Junior Member

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    I have yet to get the GPS to work on mine, but haven't been outside yet to pick up a GPS. It would be awesome if the UI was like a TomTom or Garmin, but sadly it's not.

    -Joe.
  6. Samoa Joe
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    Samoa Joe Junior Member

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    Actuaaly, I just got it to work. Its working great at the moment.

    -Joe.

    Sent from my A500 using Android Tablet Forum
  7. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Junior Member

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    I'm using mine inside near a window. My Droid Incredible has no problems picking up a GPS signal - and it does so very quickly too. With the A500 and DI right next to each other, the A500 would see nothing for several minutes (I mean like 20 minutes or so) while the DI would get them immediately. However, after a good long while (talking over an hour to more), the A500 came alive and started seeing satellites. Also, it didn't seem to matter if I was inside or outside on this pick up thing. I'm using GPS Test, BTW.

    After having it see several satellites for several hours, I turned off GPS Test overnight. This morning, I started it back up on the A500. Surprisingly, it came to life very quickly (compared to the first time) and now, while inside near a window, it sees 7 to 8 satellites and as 5 to 6 in use. It's like the GPS hardware had to burn in or something.

    So, I conclude that the GPS device in the A500 is not super sensitive or fast, but it seems usable. It is not nearly as powerful as that in my HTC Drod Incredible.

    Also, on a related issue, the WIFI hardware inside the A500 seems weak as well. When I am near my router, it still gets a much weaker signal (using WIFI Analyser) than my Droid Incredible. However, in this location near the router, it gets much higher download scores than my DI, using Speedtest.net. However, if I go downstairs, my DI gets much stronger still still, but now because the signal on the A500 is so weak, the I can't even download webpages. The DI still can, though the download rate drops relative to the location near the router. Also, my iPad 2 works well in this latter location too (I don't have Wifi Analyzer for it, and it has no GPS).

    My conclusion is that Acer is saving money by using inferior Wifi, GPS, and probably bluetooth hardware inside this device. Either that, or they have simply done a poor job of antenna design and placement within the unit.

    I don't mean to poo on anyone's parade here because I wanted an inexpensive 2nd pad computer inside my house. I also wanted a GPS pad that I could use on trips. I was really hoping this one would be it, but I'm now thinking about taking it back and getting a Samsung 8.9 when it comes out. I will go drive around a bit to see how it works in my car before making a final decision about returning it.
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  8. robdroid
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    robdroid Junior Member

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    If you browse a few of the tablet forums, you'll notice three major (and one minor mystery) complaints regarding the A500 being mentioned over and over again:

    1) Phantom wake up from sleep mode issue (I never experienced this issue)
    2) Poor Wifi range
    3) Slow & poor sensitivity for GPS
    4) Phantom battery drain from non existent cell modem in wifi only A500's

    Hopefully all these issues can/will be fixed by software & firmware by Acer, because barring these issues the A500 is a really great tablet.
  9. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Junior Member

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    Yes, I have noticed all 4 of these on mine. Of them, your #1 is the least of a problem for me.

    I did use the GPS this morning. I waited at my house with my WIFI and get both a GPS lock and the route locked. From there, the GPS was able to direct me to my destination. As I first drove off, the map showed me off the road...I guess I had too few satellites in view...but it did improve from there, showing me following the road. I even drove off the route and it kept trying to bring me back.

    I would get Navigon and use its "on device" maps for navigation via GPS. I would, that is, if I keep this device. Your #2 and #3 are the major issues for me. I might have to return it and buy it again to ensure I get a working unit.
  10. robdroid
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    robdroid Junior Member

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    Unless your GPS never acquires and locks on (even outdoors) and your Wifi is completely unusable- you may have to go through many, many A500's to see any noticeable difference in the GPS and Wifi performance over your current A500 (you could even get one that's worse).
    Slow/weak GPS and weak Wifi just seem to be the norm in the current crop of A500's.

    In real world use, i.e. using the A500's GPS in my car this morning- it saw 10-12 sats and was using 6-7 at any given time for 16ft accuracy- that's fine for me.

    Also as a real world test for the Wifi- I got the same exact parking spot this morning I had last week when I brought my Galaxy Tab to work with me. I was able to see the same hot spots with the A500, and the connection was actually more stable on the A500 as it was on the GTab.... again, real world.

    For many posters (not referring to you AQ_OC) it seems they only test their GPS from their desks inside the house... and get disappointing results from indoors. Well, in the real world- how much practical use is there for a GPS inside your house?. I hazard to guess many of us just really need to use the GPS feature of the A500 outdoors. Well, luckily the A500's GPS works very well outdoors!

    FWIW- I ran Google Sky maps last night and it was spot-on with the location of the moon, stars and planets (wonderful app!). I ran Copilot this morning from home to work- and it was extremely accurate with roads, etc. Nice thing- GPS runtime from home to work was 50min, battery was at 88% when I got into the parking lot at work. The A500 has a great battery too!
  11. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Junior Member

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    Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant to say I might return it, wait for Acer and Google to get the software straight, and then rebuy it, assuming that some of these problems are somehow software related. That might not be the case, I realize, but with a limited time return window, you have to play these games.

    I'll continue to test things. However, I don't want to buy Navigon until I'm certain the device will work well and that I'm going to keep it. Also, if I had 6 or 7 satellites in use I'm sure it would have been fine. Frankly, I think it did a fine job. But without 3G you need the software to really make navigation robust.

    I will try Google Sky and Copilot (assuming I don't have to buy it). More data is better than no data.

    Thanks for the interaction.
  12. robdroid
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    robdroid Junior Member

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    Google Sky is free, Copilot is free- you have to buy the maps, but it's only $5 for the whole USA.
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  13. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Junior Member

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    Wow...that's sounds like a really good deal. Does it support HC in terms of working fine on a tablet? I have seen some apps which seem to suffer on HC rather than froyo.
  14. robdroid
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    robdroid Junior Member

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    I'll assume you're referring to Copilot...
    Had a few FC's while setting up in the menu, turned off the annoying "welcome to copilot live professional" super loud voice greeting, and interactive feedback sounds... and haven't had a FC since. It does use the full HC screen real estate- you choose via the menu for portrait or landscape mode- or let the tablet decide. One nice feature is- tap the POI's and it gives you basic info and the phone number to the POI. I DL's the maps for Eastern US to save some room on the SD card, but could of had all the US for $5.

    If you want to try a nice free mapping (no nav feature AFAIK) app try- "MapDroyd"- not as nice as Copilot- but it's free and works well!
  15. robdroid
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    robdroid Junior Member

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    Maybe the GPS chip really does need burn-in.
    I'm getting solid 8 and sometimes up to 10 sats indoors now with 16.4' accuracy! :D

    Attached Files:

  16. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Junior Member

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    I was willing to pay the $5 to test out Copilot with maps....but a lot of the reviews claim that the software is hard to install and use -- apparently due to copy protection schemes. What is your experience? Also, it sounds as if you were able to download only some of the maps for free...is that correct?
  17. robdroid
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    robdroid Junior Member

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    Install is a snap, no problems at all.
    As to the maps- no free maps. You download and install the app, but does not include any maps. You pay the $5 and that gives you access to all of the US- all 50 states.
    You then have the choice to download the whole set (all 50 states) or in sections; like Eastern States to save space on your SD card, or even individual states to save even more space on your SD card. At any time you can go into the menu and download the areas you've paid for (in my case the whole USA) but haven't installed yet. So, you really can't lose- you have the ability to save SD card resources and control which maps you'd like to install based on your usage needs- but maintain the ability to install additional maps at any time (that wifi is available) you need the additional coverage.
    It's a very well thought out scheme, and the program works great on the 10" screen of the A500.
  18. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Junior Member

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    Thanks for this reply. I'm sorry for asking so many questions, but I'm borderline on returning the A500 right now. I do want to test the GPS feature though. Given that, do you think that if I return the A500 and get something else later on that I will be able to get Copilot to install on that new device without paying again? The reason I ask is that I have Navigon on my Droid Incredible, but it won't install in the Acer. Some paid apps would, but not all. Also, some free apps that were installed on my phone disappear from the phone once I installed them on the Acer. I don't know how app sellers track which Android devices their software is on, so I'm still unsure on how best to proceed.

    GPS on the larger screen is one of the main reasons I bought the Acer, as I already have an iPad 2.

    Thanks again.
  19. robdroid
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    robdroid Junior Member

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    Don't know the answer to that one, assume it's a single device license and you'll be out the $5 if you return the A500.

    If you just want to test the GPS on the road- try the free MapDroid app (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.osa.android.mapdroyd&feature=search_result). It's not fancy like copilot with POI's and navigation guidance, etc... but it works and it cost nothing for the app and the maps are free. I ran it last night on the way home- and it was perfectly accurate and you can download just your sate map if you'd like too. Give it a shot!
  20. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Junior Member

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    Great. Getting it now. Thanks.
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