HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Member

no matter what i do, google maps places my location in northern india. i live in the tampa bay area of florida.

when i turn on the gps services under an open sky, my location is correct maybe half the time but i should be able to obtain a coarse location without using the battery hogging gps.

the google maps mobile support site states google locator (non gps) should work with any android device.


in google's troubleshooting tips it says:


"If you have a Java-enabled (J2ME) device, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile device, you can easily check whether or not My Location (beta) is available. Just go to "Help" > "About" from the application. If the box contains "myl: N/A," it means your device isn't reporting a cell ID location, and your location may not be available."


i followed these steps and found that the above referenced "about" box in my phone's app does contain "myl:N/A" which means it is a droid device that is not My Location capable.


does anyone know how to turn on cell tower discovery in the droid eris?


thanks in advance!

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Re: HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Sr. Member

"My Location" is an extension of Google Maps, which allows more accurate ways to determine your location (Along with other cool features, too.). If the Eris isn't eligible for it just yet then you'll have to wait.

 

My best suggestion is actually to go check on the Market for Google Maps, they sometimes have the upgraded version there (Yes, it's legitly from Google. Why they don't just update the Native "Maps" App, I don't know).  But when you download the Google Maps, it replaces the "Maps" app you had before.

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Re: HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Member

thanks mike. i tried all of the obvious solutions.

every combination of wi-fi, gps and 3G. nothing i do moves my latitude/google maps location from northern india to my actual location in florida.

the key is that the "about" information in google maps still shows "myl: N/A". as long as it's like that, my phone can not use cell towers to determine location. even the tower locator tool in gears only shows my wi-fi router mac address.

because this forum isn't blowing up with other eris users having the same issue, i have to believe it's something peculiar to my handset. some app conflict, cache corruption, something along those lines. so if anyone can help me ferret out the demon in my phone i will be very grateful.

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Re: HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Member

so i took my droid eris into the verizon store and showed the guy there the problem. his highly technical response was "you are not alone... verizon is having some problems with the towers... just wait until some over-the-air fixes".

 

the trouble i have with the promised firmware/bug fix updates is verizon is timing them so they fall beyond their 30 day product return window. we either have to commit to our buggy new product and keep fingers crossed that the updates and patches work or exchange for something tried and true and potentially miss out on some really cool stuff.

 

example: my brother got a blackberry storm 2 the day i took a chance and got my droid eris. while in the same vehicle we simultaneously used google maps to track travel through sarasota fl. with both of us in GPS mode, his worked flawlessly while mine showed i was travelling through northern india. so the conundrum for me is, do i hope the promised patches make my device work like the storm 2 or do i just return it while i can and get the one that really works?

 

i'm leaning toward choice 2.

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Re: HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Member

well, now my htc eris droid has moved me to nepal.

unsure whether this is progress.

i would much rather see the blue "my location" dot move to right where i am

in tampa bay florida.


this issue not only renders apps like google maps worthless but also other location based

apps like cardio trainer, foxyring and locale.


once again... does anyone know of a way to make the htc droid eris cell tower aware?

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Re: HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Verizon is known to block the GPS access requests from third party applications. Only their own and their partner's applications can access GPS.

One of the main application features of the droid advertized on verizons own website suggest that latitude works but it may not, verizon has a family locator service that they charge $9.99per month per trackee (friend you want to see location of) and only offer it on select devices i.e. very basic phones or very expensive phones that lack features and only on a family plan.

The droid sells itself and having free unlimited third party tracking software would undermine their profits. it would not seem logical to make it available and using only cell phone tower triangulation in a rural area means that the data you collect could be up to 10km (6.2 Miles) inaccurate in some cases.

Tower triangulation used to be used by law enforcement before it was manditory to have gps recievers in all phones although cingular still uses triangulation. pinging a phone took several minutes, was inaccurate unless used in an urban area with several cell phone masts and could cost hundreds of dollars.


Some phones that do seem to work with third party gps tracking software include:

Motorola iDEN Phones: i265, i290, i335, i355, i415, i425, i450, i455, i465, i560, i576, i580, i605, i670, i710, i730, i733, i736, i760, i776, i830, i833, i835, i836, i850, i855, i860, i870, i875, i880.

Blackberry Phones with Built-in GPS: 7520, 7100i, 8110/8130 (Pearl), 8310/8330/8330m/8900 (Curve), 8350i, 8800, 8820, 8830, 9000 (Bold), 9500, 9530 (Storm), 9630(Tour). Also possible on 7130e, 8703e. Blackberry Phones with Bluetooth GPS: AccuTracking also works on Blackberries with external Bluetooth GPS provided that the Blackberry phone firmware version is v4.2 or later

(Note: BlackBerry Pearl has 4 different models: 8100, 8110, 8120, 8130, of which only 8110 and 8130 have built-in GPS. BlackBerry Curve also has 6 different models: 8300, 8310, 8320, 8330, 8830m, 8900, of which only 8310, 8330, 8830m, 8900 have built-in GPS. Other models need external Bluetooth GPS)

Windows Mobile Phones: HP hw6915, hw6925, hw6945, HTC Touch Pro, HTC Tilt 8925, HTC Mogul/XV6800/PPC6800/P4000/P6500, Moto Q9 series, BlackJack II (SGH-i617). Also possible on: HTC Touch, HTC 5800/Fusion/S720, Moto Q# seriers with built-in GPS, Palm Treo 700w/700wx, UTStarcom PPC-6700/XV-6700/HTC Apache.

Android Phones: T-Mobile G1, HTC myTouch 3G/Magic


Some of the blackberry phones still seem to work despite being on the verizon network otherwise if you use verizon same rules apply: No 3rd party GPS
I'm hoping that this post will stirr up some verizon employees to let us all know how to use 3rd party GPS software like latitude on their devices and prove me wrong.

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Re: HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Member

thanks for all of that well-researched 411 foodforthought... kudos! not a solution but good to know. has me leaning even harder toward exchanging my htc droid eris for a blackberry storm 2. maybe go back to the droid when i'm upgrade eligible again and after all of the bugs are worked out and/or customer demand builds enough to pressure verizon to uncripple popular and/or necessary features.


bottom line, the htc droid eris does seem to have its ROM intentionally programmed to disable cell tower triangulation per google's my location troubleshooting website. the handset info for the droid eris, when you access google maps|menu|more|about, does include "myl:N/A" (myl:NA). until the ROM is reprogrammed over the air or otherwise (app or hack?) the phone can only be located while outdoors via GPS. that means any geosensitive app is worthless when used indoors including local weather, foxyring, latitude, layar, location search... you name it. plus photos cannot be geotagged.


i like the droid eris but it seems verizon has turned it into a thoroughbred with one leg lopped off.

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Re: HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Member

I am having the same problem here in Dunedin, FL ... seems to be a prob;lem with Tampa Bay Area?????

 

Verizon what is the fix?????????????????

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Re: HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Member

Not as drastic an error as India but my HTC Droid Eris pegs my location in West Union, IA instead of Decorah, IA (30 miles off) using any combination of location settings.  My wife has a Blackberry Storm which does not have a locator issue.

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Re: HTC Droid Eris - Google Locator issue

Novice

The India thing is more serious than the common cell towers issue.  Android phones are not subject to the third party app block.  The problem with Blackberry is that the GPS requires an access code and verizon and/or blackberry won't supply the code unless the app is officially approved.  Another problem is the coding is different for each phone as far as how it accesses the GPS.  My wife has the Curve 8530 and she can get GPS on all apps but Google Maps right now.  I figure that is an odd problem but some other blackberry users had issues with just released phones and GMaps previously with them not working for a while till they program it specifically for the phone.  It is just getting too weird out there.  I have to say I think Android does somethings easier and somethings way harder  for developers.  For one the programs are available and how to access features is available easily.  However, there are currently 3 active releases out and they have to program for each one in order to make their program available to everyone.  Then there are so many different phones made by so many different manufacturers using so many different specs it is difficult to program for all that variety.  Something that I am sure is going to either force device manufacturers or Google to standardize and/or work around. 

 

This is either a system or phone issue.  The Eris at our stores here pinpoint with remarkable accuracy.  It is one of the only things I could do on that phone when I played with it in the store.  Everything else I tried required the keypad and I just could not make that work for me.

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