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Thread: Droid 3 - Standalone GPS functionality

  1. #1
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    Droid 3 - Standalone GPS functionality

    Does anyone know if Droid 3 has the same issues as Droid (and, I'm told, other Motorola phones) where GPS does not fully function when voice and data are disabled (ie in airplane mode)? I would like to be able to use some tracking apps while hiking in places with no service. If I try to do that without going into airplane mode, the battery is going to drain pretty quick.
    A little background for anyone who's not familiar: I'm not talking about the extra time it takes to get a fix without aGPS. When in airplane mode the Droid will not get a GPS fix. It works fine out of airplane mode, even when there is no service. Apparently the only workaround is to get a fix before going into airplane mode, and then it will continue to work-- until the screen shuts off, then it stops. So, as long as you can keep the screen on, you're fine... except the whole point of putting it in airplane mode is to conserve battery life, so that doesn't really help.

    Has anyone tried this with Droid 3 yet? Is it fully capable of operating as a standalone GPS receiver?

  2. #2
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    The Droid 3 GPS works exceptionally well but definitely differently than all previous Droid devices in that they all utilized the Qualcomm GPS receiver on the radio chipset and the Droid 3 uses the TI OMAP GPS receiver on the SOC instead. This would explain why the Droid 3 does, in fact, get a fix while in Airplane mode very quickly(avg. 3-7s) whereas the D1 cannot, because the radio is disabled and therefore the GPS receiver as well.

    Another significant difference with the D3 is that the TI OMAP GPS receiver does not pass on the raw NMEA data from the satellites to the Android system and therefore you will not get a display of the satellite positions in GPS Status or other apps whether graphic or text based.
    Rather you just get compass display and pitch/roll from the accellerometer and then the fix position data will populate.
    kbman

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  3. #3
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    Thanks! That is good news. Disappointing that the satellite data can't be viewed, but no real functional drawback there. I hope Motorola uses this design for future phones. I strongly prefer to have a phone with a keyboard, so my options are limited.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbman View Post
    The Droid 3 GPS works exceptionally well but definitely differently than all previous Droid devices in that they all utilized the Qualcomm GPS receiver on the radio chipset and the Droid 3 uses the TI OMAP GPS receiver on the SOC instead.
    Sometimes I forget how good your information is. It is almost scary at times.

  5. #5
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    Hehe thanks! I do try to be well informed about Motorola devices and I have a lot of resources that some others may not.

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    any new aps for gps and droid 3?

    Droid 3 seems to be able to track on an airplane, like Droid 1, but none of the apps give any sat info. Anything out there or coming that will give sat number and s/n?

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    How about Droid 4?

    Digging this one back up--
    Does the same apply to Droid 4? Can its GPS functionality work while voice and data are disabled (airplane mode)?

  8. #8
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    Check out the App "GPS Airtime" It deals with GPS and Airplane Mode. Back Country Navigator recommended it for their App. www.gpsairtime.com/2011/11/03/android-gps-airplane-mode

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbman View Post
    The Droid 3 GPS works exceptionally well but definitely differently than all previous Droid devices in that they all utilized the Qualcomm GPS receiver on the radio chipset and the Droid 3 uses the TI OMAP GPS receiver on the SOC instead. This would explain why the Droid 3 does, in fact, get a fix while in Airplane mode very quickly(avg. 3-7s) whereas the D1 cannot, because the radio is disabled and therefore the GPS receiver as well.

    Another significant difference with the D3 is that the TI OMAP GPS receiver does not pass on the raw NMEA data from the satellites to the Android system and therefore you will not get a display of the satellite positions in GPS Status or other apps whether graphic or text based.
    Rather you just get compass display and pitch/roll from the accellerometer and then the fix position data will populate.
    thanks for the great information - where did you get this info from? also, if the ti omap is used for the droid 3 gps then how does the Qualcomm XTRA data get processed? do you know how they work together?

    thanks! ted

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