12-28-11 01:32 PM
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  1. Chaddface's Avatar
    I like the idea of that app you mentioned. Like a hybrid of the offline and online maps.

    The gps in phones is aided by cell signals. My torch won't pick up gps signals inside without the assistance. We have a tom-tom that won't pickup a signal inside. That may be because of the stone and plaster walls. My wifi signal won't go through my walls easily either.
    12-27-11 12:54 PM
  2. Chaddface's Avatar
    OP: your question about the PB being a stand alone GPS device is interesting.

    Without an Internet connection to obtain data (bridge to BB Phone or tether > to Internet) there is limited possibility to make the PB = a mobile device like a Tom Tom or Garmin automobile GPS. There is also a question about Internet availability and network charges.
    I suppose these companies can offer limited regional area on-board maps specific for the PB; taking a substantial amount of memory. One problem is the PB's GPS antennas are not as strong enough to receive multiple satellite signals like stand-along automobile GPS. You just will not get the [I]accuracy of location.
    My PB GPS can follow me walking around my yard and is the same as the factory nav in my when driving so I don't think accuracy is an issue.
    12-27-11 12:59 PM
  3. nada_surf's Avatar
    OP: your question about the PB being a stand alone GPS device is interesting.

    Without an Internet connection to obtain data (bridge to BB Phone or tether > to Internet) there is limited possibility to make the PB = a mobile device like a Tom Tom or Garmin automobile GPS. There is also a question about Internet availability and network charges.
    I suppose these companies can offer limited regional area on-board maps specific for the PB; taking a substantial amount of memory. One problem is the PB's GPS antennas are not as strong enough to receive multiple satellite signals like stand-along automobile GPS. You just will not get the accuracy of location.

    In areas of the world where automobile GPS do not have maps, then, perhaps the PB with internet connection is an option. My friend, in the Netherlands swears his iPhone (with a special antenna in his car) is great. I think he imagines it is good as his Tom Tom.
    i use my iphone constantly as a standalone gps. i do have a data plan on it, but its not used when i use the navigon app. works perfectly ever since my garmin standalone was stolen and i literally use it every day. i don't use any special antennas or whatever you're referring to. its simply mounted to my charger.

    i dont think we'll ever see something like navigon on the playbook any time soon.

    and i agree with some other posters. the gps in the playbook is either incredibly weak or the software that controls it is awful. it barely works.
    12-27-11 01:05 PM
  4. dugggggg's Avatar
    According to What's Up, the PB GPS seems to deliver 2-3m accuracy when driving around in a vehicle---which should be adequate for a vehicle app. I don't think it's really fair to complain that a GPS can't get a fix from inside a building
    jamesharmeling likes this.
    12-27-11 01:16 PM
  5. FF22's Avatar
    "..ONLINE maps. No new maps to buy every 3, 6, 9 months or annually..."

    It's not one or the other. There is a third way.

    The MotionX GPS app on my iPhone allows one to cache maps in advance. One selects a location, radius, and zoom range - and the app tells you that it'll download XX or XXX MB of data, and you do this in advance, at home, over wifi, at zero cost.

    It works perfectly. I used it on a trip to the UK and used zero roaming data while there.

    PS: The GPS in the PB seems to be deaf. All the other GPS devices I own work inside my house. The PB GPS barely works. It takes forever to lock on, assuming it does at all. YMMV.
    That MotionX sounds about perfect. How much did the app cost? Maps are free to download?
    copperoak likes this.
    12-27-11 01:32 PM
  6. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    According to What's Up, the PB GPS seems to deliver 2-3m accuracy when driving around in a vehicle---which should be adequate for a vehicle app. I don't think it's really fair to complain that a GPS can't get a fix from inside a building
    Well, this just can't be true. As many people in this thread point out, the GPS chip in the PlayBook, if it has one at all, is a POS. And the thousands of users who use either my demo or paid version must also be wrong. They just haven't had time to complain about it, that all. They are probably much too busy enjoying the night sky.

    PS Thanks for mentioning my app. It is, in fact, an off-line mapping/navigation app (with a working GPS). Unfortunately, it maps the sky and not the highway system so it's probably not much use to the OP. But it does answer his question about whether such things are possible on the PlayBook. The news about possible enhancements to Magellan Compass is great - I love that app!
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 12-27-11 at 02:30 PM.
    jamesharmeling and FF22 like this.
    12-27-11 01:55 PM
  7. stillers2's Avatar
    i would just like to point out that many people in this thread are comparing apples to oranges. The playbook doesnt have assisted gps so you cant compare it to the gps in your phone. It will never be able to lock on as quick or be able to lock on as well in your house without the use of the cellular network to help.

    that being said it will work fine as a nav device for your car. The only thing holding it back is the software.
    jamesharmeling and FF22 like this.
    12-27-11 02:13 PM
  8. Unsure2's Avatar
    I'm afraid however you spin it, GPS is another area in which RIM dropped the ball badly. Why increase the expense of the Playbook by incorporating GPS hardware at all unless you arrange for an app allowing the feature to be used (and showcased)? But, that's exactly what RIM did. Hard to understand for a large, sophisticated company supposedly well connected when it comes to this type of technology.

    GPS, like the Internet itself, really is an amazing deal for the consumer. With a very minimal investment, one gets to piggy-back on the trillion-dollar investments of the American military in global satelite positioning technology. I suppose kids take it for granted; but I'm old enough to remember when it was the stuff of science fiction...
    12-27-11 03:35 PM
  9. Chaddface's Avatar
    I'm afraid however you spin it, GPS is another area in which RIM dropped the ball badly. Why increase the expense of the Playbook by incorporating GPS hardware at all unless you arrange for an app allowing the feature to be used (and showcased)? But, that's exactly what RIM did. Hard to understand for a large, sophisticated company supposedly well connected when it comes to this type of technology.

    GPS, like the Internet itself, really is an amazing deal for the consumer. With a very minimal investment, one gets to piggy-back on the trillion-dollar investments of the American military in global satelite positioning technology. I suppose kids take it for granted; but I'm old enough to remember when it was the stuff of science fiction...
    Once again the GPS works fine and with an app like magellan it also works as a navigation aid. You can't expect RIM to preload maps for the world. Getting data to the PB via smartphone isn't to much to ask these days.
    12-27-11 03:43 PM
  10. nada_surf's Avatar
    Once again the GPS works fine and with an app like magellan it also works as a navigation aid. You can't expect RIM to preload maps for the world. Getting data to the PB via smartphone isn't to much to ask these days.
    no one is expecting rim to do that. its 3rd party developers who are lacking. after such a crappy gps experience on my playbook (most apps barely EVER find where i am) theres no i would ever pay for a gps app. then again im also spoiled by my iphone and android for numerous gps nav apps.
    12-27-11 03:46 PM
  11. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I'm afraid however you spin it, GPS is another area in which RIM dropped the ball badly. Why increase the expense of the Playbook by incorporating GPS hardware at all unless you arrange for an app allowing the feature to be used (and showcased)? But, that's exactly what RIM did. Hard to understand for a large, sophisticated company supposedly well connected when it comes to this type of technology.

    GPS, like the Internet itself, really is an amazing deal for the consumer. With a very minimal investment, one gets to piggy-back on the trillion-dollar investments of the American military in global satelite positioning technology. I suppose kids take it for granted; but I'm old enough to remember when it was the stuff of science fiction...
    My goodness, you are persistent, aren't you?

    There is nothing wrong with RIM's implementation of GPS on the PlayBook. Which ever way you want to spin it, our programs can access the service with no problems at all. (I wish I could say the same thing about the magnetometer, but that a different topic altogether).
    12-27-11 03:48 PM
  12. Unsure2's Avatar
    My goodness, you are persistent, aren't you?

    There is nothing wrong with RIM's implementation of GPS on the PlayBook. Which ever way you want to spin it, our programs can access the service with no problems at all. (I wish I could say the same thing about the magnetometer, but that a different topic altogether).
    I don't think I've posted any more than you on this topic, and certainly not excessively. Also, ad hominem attacks are unseemly and probably violate the rules of the forum.

    There is very little right about RIM's implementation and support of the GPS on the Playbook. The GPS on my Playbook, at least with current apps, works poorly and is almost useless--just no way around that conclusion. On my Android tablet (Samsung 10.1), even with one of the free map programs, I can set the route while connected to the Internet, then leave the Wifi zone and still get turn-by-turn directions while driving the route (with one of the map apps, there are even spoken directions). With a paid app that cost me something like $20, I have downloaded maps for the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and don't even need Wifi to plan the trip. By contrast, with the Playbook, for anything involving driving or maps, the Playbook GPS is essentially useless without an Internet connection. If you can get the Playbook GPS to work as I've described for my Android tablet, by all means, please tell us how, as I would like to know. Given its small size, I had hoped to be able to use it as an alternative to my Garmin GPS, something I have pretty much given up on.
    12-27-11 04:19 PM
  13. JeffyPooh's Avatar
    That MotionX sounds about perfect. How much did the app cost? Maps are free to download?
    Yes it is. About $2 (varies over time and they've got different versions). Yes, free to cache certain maps. To be clear - this is an iPhone app.

    Carry on...
    12-27-11 04:32 PM
  14. JeffyPooh's Avatar
    ...The playbook doesnt have assisted gps so you cant compare it to the gps in your phone. It will never be able to lock on as quick or be able to lock on as well in your house without the use of the cellular network to help.
    I can compare the PB to my old Garmin portable-automobile GPS (also not A-GPS). The PB GPS seems to be deaf in comparison and is much slower to acquire GPS lock.
    12-27-11 04:50 PM
  15. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I don't think I've posted any more than you on this topic, and certainly not excessively. Also, ad hominem attacks are unseemly and probably violate the rules of the forum.

    There is very little right about RIM's implementation and support of the GPS on the Playbook. The GPS on my Playbook, at least with current apps, works poorly and is almost useless--just no way around that conclusion. On my Android tablet (Samsung 10.1), even with one of the free map programs, I can set the route while connected to the Internet, then leave the Wifi zone and still get turn-by-turn directions while driving the route (with one of the map apps, there are even spoken directions). With a paid app that cost me something like $20, I have downloaded maps for the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and don't even need Wifi to plan the trip. By contrast, with the Playbook, for anything involving driving or maps, the Playbook GPS is essentially useless without an Internet connection. If you can get the Playbook GPS to work as I've described for my Android tablet, by all means, please tell us how, as I would like to know. Given its small size, I had hoped to be able to use it as an alternative to my Garmin GPS, something I have pretty much given up on.
    The OP's question was: "Is it possible to build a stand-alone GPS on the PlayBook". So we're talking about apples and oranges. You are correct, the PlayBook is a very poor substitute for your Garmin GPS. In addition, PlayBook does not have a stand-alone Sat/Nav app with turn-by-turn directions. There is also no doubt that PlayBook does not have the app selection enjoyed by users of apple's devices. Have I missed anything? Obviously, the PlayBook does not meet your requirements. Thank you for educating me.

    One thing you could do for the sake of idiots like me, is to try to differentiate between usage of the term "GPS" and the concept of integrating GPS technology, digital mapping technologies, voice technologies, and artificial ntelligentce technologies into a complete navigation system.

    PlayBook does indeed have well-implemented GPS capability. But PlayBook does not have on-board support required for an integrated nav system like the ones you describe. I hope that soon the PB will meet your specifications but it won't happen until one or two developers can see fit to write the missing components. Right now PB developers are limited to using map imagery from providers like Google. The downside of using the imagery is the the providers like Google do not allow us to store the map data locally. In addition images are not the most efficient means of storing maps in the map database. Garmin and the like use digital formats which are much smaller and more efficient. the trouble is, Garmin is not about to license their intellectual property to just anybody - and it would not be cheap.

    To make a long story shiort, when Garmin sees that it can make a profit on PB, we will have a nav system to be proud of. The user-base will have to grow quite a bit and it will take some time. Until then, it doesn't make any sense at all to complain about RIM's shortcomings. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    dugggggg likes this.
    12-27-11 05:01 PM
  16. gailsher's Avatar
    With Android under OS2, there are a number of apps that work just fine with the ability to cache offline maps created with apps like Mobile Atlas Creator.....Mapdroyd, Locus, Maverick, OsmAnd... and the list goes on. I have tried them and they get fixes easily and track.
    12-27-11 05:11 PM
  17. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    With Android under OS2, there are a number of apps that work just fine with the ability to cache offline maps created with apps like Mobile Atlas Creator.....Mapdroyd, Locus, Maverick, OsmAnd... and the list goes on. I have tried them and they get fixes easily and track.
    I have been using Mobile Map Creator to make maps for TrekBuddy which I have installed on my 9700. They had some problems using major providers' map data (the usual cease-and-desist stuff) and now only OpenStreetMap imagery is available. I found that it takes a long time to download the map imagery and the coverage that can be stored in an atlas on the device is quite limited (due to file size). Do any of the solutions that you mention use digital map data? Do any of them have voice directions, automatic rerouting and the other stuff that we are used to on a Garmin-like device? It would be great if they did!
    12-27-11 05:24 PM
  18. gailsher's Avatar
    The only one I recall that provides directions is Google Maps 6 - but it relies on online data and does seem to crash a lot.

    I personally like Locus which allows you to use imported or online maps, both vector and bitmaps. I have an older version of Mobile Map Creator which enables you to build maps from Google Maps (from before they removed that function from the downloadable current version). Locus also allows POI's etc - pretty much what you would get from a navigation device sans the routing. I think Locus has some routing/navigation capability when in online mode, but to be honest, I have never tried to use it.
    12-27-11 05:46 PM
  19. FF22's Avatar
    Well, this just can't be true. As many people in this thread point out, the GPS chip in the PlayBook, if it has one at all, is a POS. And the thousands of users who use either my demo or paid version must also be wrong. They just haven't had time to complain about it, that all. They are probably much too busy enjoying the night sky.

    PS Thanks for mentioning my app. It is, in fact, an off-line mapping/navigation app (with a working GPS). Unfortunately, it maps the sky and not the highway system so it's probably not much use to the OP. But it does answer his question about whether such things are possible on the PlayBook. The news about possible enhancements to Magellan Compass is great - I love that app!
    I do hope you realize your irony may be missed by some users.

    FINALLY....

    ONCE AGAIN....

    IN CONCLUSION....

    The Playbook (pb) DOES HAVE a gps chip.

    It does what it is intended to do, provide certain gps data (such as longitude and latitude) that can be used/interpreted by apps.

    What those apps do with it is entirely a question of, well, what they do with it. They can merely provide a readout of lat/long. They can pinpoint your location on a map. They can track your movement as merely a squiggly line or show your movement on an underlying map. They can show speed and direction of movement. They can download places that are located near your current position. They can route you on streets or as the crow flies.

    They can do all of those things or some or a mix.

    If the app can handle it, they can use maps provided by the Bridge or wifi. And maybe even maps that are located on the device. My TomTom with Maps or the US and Canada and Europe fits on 4gigs and also the apps or programs or means to calculate routes from those maps and also show points-of-interest along the way. So a 16gig pb could store some nice maps. But that's only if the app provider creates such a system.
    12-27-11 05:52 PM
  20. FF22's Avatar
    Yes it is. About $2 (varies over time and they've got different versions). Yes, free to cache certain maps. To be clear - this is an iPhone app.

    Carry on...
    Yes, I originally caught that it was an iphone app. I was more curious about what they charged for such features. Now, do they also have a version for the ipad?
    12-27-11 05:56 PM
  21. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I do hope you realize your irony may be missed by some users.
    No doubt about it: some users may have been confused by my apparent capitulation!. Thanks for coming to my rescue.

    I bet your clarification will slay the myth of PlayBook's MIA GPS chip once and for all. There will never be another thread on this subject ever again. Yay!
    12-27-11 06:32 PM
  22. Unsure2's Avatar
    The OP's question was: "Is it possible to build a stand-alone GPS on the PlayBook". So we're talking about apples and oranges. You are correct, the PlayBook is a very poor substitute for your Garmin GPS. In addition, PlayBook does not have a stand-alone Sat/Nav app with turn-by-turn directions. There is also no doubt that PlayBook does not have the app selection enjoyed by users of apple's devices. Have I missed anything? Obviously, the PlayBook does not meet your requirements. Thank you for educating me.

    One thing you could do for the sake of idiots like me, is to try to differentiate between usage of the term "GPS" and the concept of integrating GPS technology, digital mapping technologies, voice technologies, and artificial ntelligentce technologies into a complete navigation system.

    PlayBook does indeed have well-implemented GPS capability. But PlayBook does not have on-board support required for an integrated nav system like the ones you describe. I hope that soon the PB will meet your specifications but it won't happen until one or two developers can see fit to write the missing components. Right now PB developers are limited to using map imagery from providers like Google. The downside of using the imagery is the the providers like Google do not allow us to store the map data locally. In addition images are not the most efficient means of storing maps in the map database. Garmin and the like use digital formats which are much smaller and more efficient. the trouble is, Garmin is not about to license their intellectual property to just anybody - and it would not be cheap.

    To make a long story shiort, when Garmin sees that it can make a profit on PB, we will have a nav system to be proud of. The user-base will have to grow quite a bit and it will take some time. Until then, it doesn't make any sense at all to complain about RIM's shortcomings. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    I guess sarcasm is a little better than attacking me personally...

    In my initial post, I made quite clear that the GPS hardware worked--the available software is sufficient to establish that, if little else... If anyone is using semantics to confuse here, it is you. As we all should know, hardware is useless without software; and I've been talking about the lack of software making it possible to use the GPS hardware, as you well knew. RIM should have been able to line up at least one working app at a price it could afford. As for maps, they are on the market and not impossible to license or purchase. Apparently, you do not know that most (all?) GPS device makers do not themselves produce the maps they use; they license them from companies like Navteq. Garmin gets its maps from Navteq. Those guys in Eastern Europe that I bought my Android program from apparently knew who to call; and I'm sure RIM's developers could have figured it out, too.

    It is a shame to leave the Playbook (which does "meet my requirements," thank you) crippled in an area in which it could otherwise claim some legitimate advantages over other 7" contenders like the Fire that lack GPS capability. I'd also consider it strange if RIM had supplied the Playbook with good cameras, but no software allowing their use...
    12-27-11 07:25 PM
  23. Angus_CB's Avatar
    Unsure2; the wording of your posts confused me also. I thought you were saying the GPS receiver itself was not implemented correctly by RIM. Now I see you mean RIM didn't include software to use the GPS.
    I am not surprised that RIM didn't bundle an offline mapping program. Navigation software is a bit different than a piece of software to utilize the camera. They could have included a compass to show that the GPS receiver works I suppose.

    The cost of the Navteq or Tele Atlas base mapping is just the beginning. Garmin, TomTom, GM, Ford all add features to the base mapping to suit their own devices.
    RIM has to buy Navteq or Tele Atlas base mapping then manipulate it to suit their own navigation software or outsource navigation software and mapping from someone like Garmin. It would be silly for RIM to reinvent the wheel.
    I have an iPAQ that came preloaded with TomTom mapping and software but that was the selling point of the device. I also have a laptop with a built in GPS receiver that did not include software to use it.

    Now, it would have been nice if RIM had the forethought to get Garmin, TomTom, Magellan onboard so we could have at least had the option of buying navigation software when the Playbook was released.
    12-27-11 10:25 PM
  24. blackberrystorm1234's Avatar
    mapdroid has offline maps that you can download. The program works on the PB and you don't need to have a network connection. Keep in mind, it only plots you on the map. It's very accurate. But it does not have turn by turn navigation.

    You can download different maps depending on which country you need.
    12-27-11 10:51 PM
  25. Unsure2's Avatar
    I'll try to word my postings more clearly Yeah, I'm pretty sure my Playbook's GPS hardware works; I just can't find software that utilizes it for navigating streets (or anything else I would use it for) without an Internet connection. Some of the apps complain about the lack of Wifi; one gave me a pointer in the middle of a blank screen apparently showing my position. Disappointing. I realize it's more difficult to write a good GPS program than a tic-tac-toe game, especially when you consider the map data that needs to be obtained and incorporated. But, it is being done for all kinds of devices... Maybe I'll email those guys in Eastern Europe from which I bought my Android GPS program, to see if they are going to develop one for the Playbook. You'd think the small size of the Playbook would make such an app a natural.
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    12-28-11 12:07 AM
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