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  1. ihatelogitech's Avatar
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    Default [Rant] Playbook GPS

    From my experience, with two Playbooks, the GPS function does not work adequately.
    Twice so far, I have succeeded in getting a lock.
    Each time was outside, under a clear sky.
    However, after trying many times since, under the same conditions, I gave up after 1 - 3 hours waiting.

    This is the second Playbook I've owned. The previous was returned as I thought the GPS was faulty.
    It seems that it was not faulty after all, but rather a crappy GPS implementation.
    As this is the second device that has demonstrated the same issue, I have to assume that it is not a "one off" fault, but rather a design flaw.

    My brother was recently in the market for a tablet with GPS capability and, given my experience with the PB, I suggested that he buy something else.
    After hunting around I found a Freeleander PD10 for him.
    Similar specs (not quite as good in some areas) running Android.
    It's GPS provided a graphical representation of the "local" satellites, their signal strengths and what satellites it locked on to.
    Inside, under a tiled roof, it had a solid lock inside of 5 mins.

    Your geographical location should not matter, as the GPS triangulates by satellite signal.
    Wireless connectivity shouldn't matter, "once" maps have been downloaded.
    And as for being under a clear sky and away from any buildings . . . . It's a bloody GPS! At the very least it needs to function well in a car.
    All this bulls#!t about having to be outside, with a wireless connection to get a lock is just that, Bulls#!t.

    Say it loud, say it proud "The GPS function on the Playbook is a piece of crap".
    It is my fervent hope that anyone who considers buying a Playbook, expecting to use it's GPS function, is turned away due to this post.
    If it you need a GPS to function while in a car ( i.e. no clear sky) then the Playbook is NOT the product for you.

    I am not a troll.
    I am not trying to advocate Android.
    The Freelander comparison is mentioned here ONLY for the purpose of comparing the Playbook device, with a crappy GPS, with another device that has a GPS that functions normally.
    Last edited by ihatelogitech; 03-18-2013 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Spelling error
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    sexybabe88 (03-19-2013) 
  2. Gatmyer's Avatar
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    Mine always works like a charm within a minute in a clear sky condition. Don't know what problem you may be having.
    CerveloJohn and mpetrol like this.
  3. StanWiz's Avatar
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    Itis common knowledge that the playbook's gps feature leaves a lot to be desired but I think that you're exaggerating a bit. I have 2 playbooks and both get a fix in under 2 minutes .
    CerveloJohn likes this.
  4. Enyigma's Avatar
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    Could be the unit is defective. I have no trouble getting a GPS signal lock in a couple of minutes outside and maybe 5 minutes in my house.

    Another consideration is possible interference from a case. My PlayBook is in the mini-keyboard case and it interferes with the magnetron's ability to function. I have to take the PlayBook out of the case to get a proper orientation fr the compass. Perhaps other cases out there interfere with the PlayBook's ability to get satellite signals.
    PlayBook 64GB, PlayBook 32GB (gone the way of my Coleco ADAM)
  5. CBCListener's Avatar
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    If the unit in question doesn't have the most recent update (1526) then that might be a reason...the earlier versions weren't great in the GPS area, from what I've seen. I mention it to eliminate all possibilities...but I would think that the PB would be yammering repeatedly to take the update.
  6. BigBadWulf's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ihatelogitech View Post
    I am not a troll.
    From my experience, if you don't look for help where you're posting, and your intent is only to deter others from purchasing the product, well......

    I'll give you benefit of doubt, as our fine members have, assume you're just making this thread out of frustration, and are willing to listen/follow the advice given. Maybe we in the CrackBerry community can turn this thread around. Surely you have some good things to share about the PlayBook, and we some wisdom to share with you.
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  7. Chaddface's Avatar
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    If it you need a GPS to function while in a car ( i.e. no clear sky) then the Playbook is NOT the product for you.
    I use the PB with the Magellan Compass app often. Works fine in my car down by the gear shift. I don't do windshield mount anything. In fact, I place the PB in front of my factory Nav because the method for entering an address in the factory unit is ridiculous. If anyone has a RNSE you know what I'm talking about.
    In my experience, some apps work better then others. There is a speedometer app that gets my speed dead on with very little lag.
  8. tjseaman's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that both PB have issues but I have no problem even when in the basement.

    Posted via CB10
    BlackBerry 10...don't care what anyone says...I'm loving it and that's all that matters to me!.
  9. Tsaishen's Avatar
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    I understand the OP's frustration! I am currently going thru the exact same BS.

    Bing Maps is useless... sometimes I get a lock fast, other days nothing or spotty at best.

    I purchased Navigator via app world and it's a glitchy type app - not overly impressed - it's not very intuitive but once you figure out what you need to do it's alright until 5 minutes after you start driving the screens blacks out. Then the app struggles to recalculate it's position.

    I bought a $0.99 (I think) music app called DashPlayer and that developer figured out how to keep the app/screen up and running without blacking out at all...you would think this would be a standard option on all navigation apps.

    I've sideloaded several Google Apps with Navigation and they constantly and I mean constantly drop the gps signal. I get a hit for 5 seconds then it's gone.

    I wish Blackberry would bring blackberry traffic to the playbook.... LOVE THIS APP! Has never failed, always worked - so what if I can't see a map or me travelling down a road. It tells me my next turn, and I see the following turn coming up - fantastic.

    I didn't buy the playbook for the GPS - but considering it has it, it would be nice if it was stable.

    If someone knows of a great, stable navigation app for the Playbook - I'm all ears!
    David in Durham likes this.
  10. Blackman91's Avatar
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    This might be helpful: Best turn by turn GPS app?

    Also download this app to get a gps fix faster, then all the maps apps will get your location right away:
    http://www.google.com.mx/url?sa=t&rc...42261806,d.b2U
    Thanked by:
    Paullybob (09-11-2013) 
  11. djpailo's Avatar
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    And as for being under a clear sky and away from any buildings . . . . It's a bloody GPS! At the very least it needs to function well in a car.
    All this bulls#!t about having to be outside, with a wireless connection to get a lock is just that, Bulls#!t.
    Its not bull****. I did a design project at university on a satellite and the communication band emitted from the antenna on the scientific satellites are easily attenuated by rain depending on the band you are using. I did not specifically do GPS satellites, but they may have the similar issues.

    I don't have any problems you face. Is your wireless connection working?


    Secondly, if GPS is your primary concern, why are you looking for a tablet? Why not just get a proper SatNav system?
  12. rkennedy01's Avatar
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    Using Google Maps 6.11.1 sideloaded. With the local area cached for offline use, I get a lock within 5-15 seconds consistently. This is true with or without without a wifi connection (i.e. middle of nowhere).

    Just went outside and tested it again before posting. Turned off wifi, walked out the door and launched Latitude. Took all of 8 seconds to lock my position and scroll the relevant area into view.

    RCK

    Sent from my BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps using Tapatalk 2
  13. sexybabe88's Avatar
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    This is the one thing I really dislike about my pb.
  14. ChrisMay's Avatar
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    My 2 pence worth.
    I'd agree that the GPS is not the best, but I have not had the sort of problems the OP mentions. Can take a while to get an initial fix, but usually only a few minutes, even indoors.
    What has having a WiFi connection got to do with it? As far as I know, the Playbook GPS is not assisted, so should not make any difference if you are on the WiFi or not. (I'm talking about the native setup. Other programs (Google?) might use WiFi to give an approximate location - but even then, I'm not sure it can do anything to improve the time to initial fix on the actual GPS).

    The GPS aerial/receiver is in the bottom left (or right?) corner of the Playbook. I find I get improved results if I hold the PB up-side-down.
  15. MedChemist's Avatar
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    Well - the OP has had his rant. But as an outdoorsman, I have had similar experiences with high end GPS equipment from Garmin. I once took a trip with one of my Garmin units turned off. When I landed at my destination I turned it on and it took 6 hours to get even close to my location. I lose GPS in the woods all the time. That's with antenna much better than what's in this little play book. That said, many times I get a GPS fix very close to my location in about 10 minutes time on the PB. From Bing Maps its shown me that I am in my living room even.

    Perhaps the biggest issue with the playbook GPS is that it has a poor antenna. I would not expect it to all perform that we'll. I have found that the PB if given a chance to acquire all the birds available does a pretty good job. Using the GPS Info app, to get the PB primed, I can almost always get good precise locations. I think the issue is mostly in the GPS application not so much the GPS hardware with the exception of the antenna. Most of the applications give up on acquiring the satellites way too soon.
  16. kwelamnp's Avatar
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    I use my PB with a marine nav app and it works fine. It takes a little while to get a first fix, but because we are getting boat ready to leave dock, we don't notice that. After that it works great.

    With other apps that use gps in car, I can't usually get a fix. But my marine app does, even in car. Right now, I am on top floor of an 18 story bldg in South Carolina. I put the PB near an outside window. It achieved a fix in under 2 minutes. This worked with Poynz, Bing Maps and gps Tester (from app world).

    I have several other gps devices and there is no doubt that the gps implementation on the PB is second rate. I researched it once, but can't recall the details except that the PB uses a combined gps/wifi chip, made I believe by Texas Instruments. Nothing like the superb Sirf III units used in stand alone gps.

    PS: Different subject, but my son has a mini ipad. It has a map app (not sure which). The maps are at least 10 yeras out of date. We know this area and have been coming here for 10 years. Newer roads are missing. It shows golf courses where there are now housing developments. Absolutely useless. (But so are some of the PB mapping apps.)
  17. Bakamushi's Avatar
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    Initially I was very proud to have a tablet with GPS. Then I began to have doubts when I had to use a Nokia Symbian phone and saw it found my location immediately. Then the same with a Samsung tab.

    I can't believe I followed the advice on Crackberry and stayed 30 minutes on my balcony in winter night in order to have a lock.
  18. rkennedy01's Avatar
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    Again, I'm getting a lock in under 15 seconds using Google Maps 6.11.1. However, it may be more to do with the software version than the hardware. For example, if I try a newer version of Maps I can never achieve a lock. But Bing Maps seems to work fine - similar 15 seconds or so to grab the lock once launched.

    Maybe I'm just lucky and got a good one?

    RCK
  19. Chaddface's Avatar
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    I have a strong like of Logitech. The batteries last forever in the wireless keyboards and the Harmony One remote is second to none.
  20. kwelamnp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaddface View Post
    I have a strong like of Logitech. The batteries last forever in the wireless keyboards and the Harmony One remote is second to none.
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????
  21. BigBadWulf's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaddface View Post
    I have a strong like of Logitech. The batteries last forever in the wireless keyboards and the Harmony One remote is second to none.
    How do you feel about grandma?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwelamnp View Post
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????
    http://forums.crackberry.com/members...itech-3724273/

    WAPers do it With A Passion

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  22. Chaddface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadWulf View Post
    How do you feel about grandma?
    She made me go to church and eat spinach. She's cool though.
    I stopped going to church but eat twice as much spinach to make up for it.
  23. ihatelogitech's Avatar
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    Djpailo,
    Thanks for the reply.
    Your std GPS has a screen size of about 4 - 5".
    With the Playbook having a 7" screen, it seemed like it would make an excellent GPS alternative.
    With regards to attenuation, that is irrelevant in this situation, as I have tried it several times, in optimum circumstances, and it has not worked.

    Under the optimum circumstance I mentioned, I have had wireless access most of the time.
    However, once the maps have been downloaded, a wireless connection should not be required.
    Last edited by ihatelogitech; 03-26-2013 at 12:58 AM. Reason: Missed a word
  24. ihatelogitech's Avatar
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    rkennedy01,
    Thanks for your reply.
    Perhaps you received a good one, and I have received two duds ;-(
    Perhaps the most frustrating issue has been that when I have spoken with RIM, their response was "You can send it in for repair, but we cannot promise that it will be repaired".
    And at no time was there any mention of a replacement unit, either new or used.
    I mean, really . . . . . WTF!
    Last edited by ihatelogitech; 03-26-2013 at 12:59 AM.
  25. ihatelogitech's Avatar
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    Bakamushi, I feel your pain.
    Perhaps RIM will start taking this issue seriously.
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