1. researchrat's Avatar
    Not the first time this has happened, do I have a PB setting wrong?

    Sitting in the Hyatt hotel lobby in Reston VA. I want to know what bars are close by, fire up Bing maps on PB. It churns for a minute and then says 'cant find current location - please try again later'. This happens every time ie nog an isolated incident.

    Pick up my iPhone start its map app. It finds my location fairly immediately.

    Is this a function of the cellular network? Will a 4G PB solve this? Or is the gps in the PB just flawed?

    Help? / Suggestions?
    06-05-12 05:15 AM
  2. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    There are many threads on this particular topic. Here is a summary of informed opinion on the matter:
    1. The PB's GPS implementation is somewhat less than stellar but some developers have made it work better than others. The consensus is that Bing's implementation is not "patient" enough and gives up trying to get the initial fix too soon. Other mapping apps perform better. You can search the forum to find information about such apps.
    2. The PB's GPS is is not of the "assisted" variety. It does not work reliably indoors.
    3. Some location-based apps require more accurate geolocation abilities than others. For example, Bing (being a mapping app) needs very accurate longitude and latitude so using information about cell tower locations would not be practical, even if PlayBooks did have assisted geolaction capability (which it does not). Apps used to locate nearby restaurants, etc do not need absolute accuracy so inexact methods for determining your location will suffice.
    4. There is no doubt that the iPhone uses assisted GPS or even non-GPS ways to locate you if this is appropriate. So do BlackBerry smartphones. Attempting to compare iPhone's geolocation ability with PB's abilities is like comparing apples to oranges.
    4. The 4G enabled PB will certainly be equipped to provide a greater variety of geolocation methods than does the WiFi version. Since it is not possible to know the future, only time will tell if RIM's implements the features well or if the services are found wanting.
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 06-05-12 at 07:10 AM.
    06-05-12 06:55 AM
  3. rkennedy01's Avatar
    People have reported mixed results with the PB's GPS. I never liked Bing Maps - too unstable/buggy, with a skittish zoom mechanism that tended to jump around. Google Maps for Android 6.2, on the other hand, is running like a champ on my PB under the OS 2.1 Dev Beta. Found my location in seconds while at my house and then faithfully tracked my position while my PB sat in a carrying case in the door of my car as I traveled to our construction site. When I pulled the unit from the case, Google Maps had already updated the location.

    So, your mileage may vary...but for me, it works as expected.

    RCK
    06-05-12 06:57 AM
  4. kg4icg's Avatar
    Don't know why you just didn't use Poynt?
    06-05-12 09:46 AM
  5. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Don't know why you just didn't use Poynt?
    OP would have encountered the same problem with Poynt. PB's GPS is not reliable indoors.
    researchrat likes this.
    06-05-12 10:38 AM
  6. kg4icg's Avatar
    OP would have encountered the same problem with Poynt. PB's GPS is not reliable indoors.
    Poynt is 1 of those apps that does work better with the Playbooks gps, plus the fact you can just enter the address you are at and and shows you where the places you are looking for.
    06-05-12 10:47 AM
  7. tjseaman's Avatar
    I find Poynt does a better job than Bing. Never had an issue, streamlines my searching to what I'm looking for and can map my route, then sync it with my phone.
    06-05-12 11:18 AM
  8. FF22's Avatar
    As has been mentioned, the gps receiever in the pb is just like the gps receiver in my Garmin hiking unit. It will rarely work indoors as it needs to "see" or "hear" the satellites and due to the satellite designs, the signal is very weak and will not penetrate most structures.

    Most cell phones use an additional ability - they can figure out the closest cell tower and closely locate you that way if you are inside.
    06-05-12 11:19 AM
  9. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Poynt is 1 of those apps that does work better with the Playbooks gps, plus the fact you can just enter the address you are at and and shows you where the places you are looking for.
    True. I use Poynt all the time and I love it. If I were in the OP's shoes, I would record my location using GPS while outside the Hotel (or note the address) and then I would have no problem using Poynt while inside to find a bar in the neighbourhood.

    But that wasn't the OP's question. In essence, he/she wanted to know if the PB's GPS was flawed relative to the iPhone's and why this might be so. I suspected that a bit of baiting was going on but I wasn't sure. Personally, I don't think that the iPhone's GPS would necessarily be guaranteed to work inside a Hotel either. However, I just wanted to communicate the fact that PB's GPS is not flawed at all - it is just "unassisted". Whether Poynt could be used and whether it is better than Bing is just a red herring.
    06-05-12 11:25 AM
  10. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    OP would have encountered the same problem with Poynt. PB's GPS is not reliable indoors.
    Actualy, so far I know ... No GPS will work indoor (need to be exposed to satellite). At best you'll get an estimated position (as in cars) if your devie has a built-in gyro-meter and compass, or triangulation antennas method for phones.

    Also, it has been reporter that the PB GPS antenna is at the bottom left so if your hand covers it ... you may flip you PB upside-down (not tested). Still ... outside.
    06-05-12 11:27 AM
  11. krondor's Avatar
    Does bing map require Internet connection to work? Just wondering coz if we can only get the GPS outdoor that would mean we need to tether with our BB?
    06-05-12 11:43 AM
  12. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Actualy, so far I know ... No GPS will work indoor (need to be exposed to satellite). At best you'll get an estimated position (as in cars) if your devie has a built-in gyro-meter and compass, or triangulation antennas method for phones.

    Also, it has been reporter that the PB GPS antenna is at the bottom left so if your hand covers it ... you may flip you PB upside-down (not tested). Still ... outside.
    I have done extensive testing with GPS on PB. It works intermittently inside my single-level bungalow except when I am near a window where it works "often". If I haven't used the device in a while, I could wait forever if I am inside for an initial fix. Outside, I can wait forever if I'm using Bing or Poynt for that initial fix. My own app works a lot faster and is more reliable than either Bing or Poynt (and no need to continually restart/retry).

    After that initial fix has been obtained both Bing and Poynt work reliably but only outside.
    06-05-12 12:04 PM
  13. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Does bing map require Internet connection to work? Just wondering coz if we can only get the GPS outdoor that would mean we need to tether with our BB?
    Since OS 2.0.1, Bing requires WiFi to connect to the Internet. It is unable to connect via the Bridge or while tethered using Bluetooth. However it should work just fine if your phone can be configured as a WiFi hot spot and you connect via that channel.

    To the best of my knowledge, all other mapping apps can connect to the Internet via Bluetooth when it is necessary to fetch maps from their servers.
    06-05-12 12:27 PM
  14. BB_Bmore's Avatar
    When I want a good GPS fix, I go outside and sit through playbook down alone to let it get a fix.
    06-05-12 01:22 PM
  15. researchrat's Avatar
    thanks all,

    Didn't know about POYNT .. will give that a try.
    Sounds like the GPS will be better when 4G PB comes out, which I will be first in line for.

    As far as baiting .. no way. I am a professional researcher and I have to be able to search fast on the fly. The current BB's have improved but I truthfully cannot read the small type on the screens and they still are slow in browser and search speed. Anxiously awaiting the new BB10 phones .. but for now the iPhone (or Android which I don't personally like the feel) is my best option. News has leaked that iPhone 5 is coming in Sept, but i am going to wait until I see what BB10 has to offer before I get my next phone. I hope like h*ll they wont make us wait and miss deadlines like the last releases.

    Have a great day everyone!
    06-07-12 09:09 AM
  16. researchrat's Avatar
    True. I use Poynt all the time and I love it. If I were in the OP's shoes, I would record my location using GPS while outside the Hotel (or note the address) and then I would have no problem using Poynt while inside to find a bar in the neighbourhood.

    But that wasn't the OP's question. In essence, he/she wanted to know if the PB's GPS was flawed relative to the iPhone's and why this might be so. I suspected that a bit of baiting was going on but I wasn't sure. Personally, I don't think that the iPhone's GPS would necessarily be guaranteed to work inside a Hotel either. However, I just wanted to communicate the fact that PB's GPS is not flawed at all - it is just "unassisted". Whether Poynt could be used and whether it is better than Bing is just a red herring.
    Wasnt baiting, just will be first in line for the 4G playbook. Love the PB .. take it with me everywhere, just can't use it in all the circumstances I need .. maybe BB10 phones will solve that. Have a great day.
    06-07-12 09:14 AM
  17. Stewartj1's Avatar
    Google maps finds me right away every time.
    06-07-12 11:09 AM
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