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I'm currently coding a gps location application, and I have found out, that there is huge difference between hardware and units.

Having tried on the Wildfire S, Galaxy S2, GalaxyTab 10,1, and others, I find that the GPS position update frequency seems to vary from about half a second to half a minute (after getting the initial fix, and having free sight up). The Wildfire S performing worst, and the tablet performing best.

Does there exist a table somewhere that compares the GPS hardware/chipset and CPU, with possible times?

I would be grateful to hear about your experiences.

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1 Answer 1

It is actually not the hardware at all.

There is a special file in the android system called gps.conf. This file specifies the GPS servers that the device will use. Each manufacturer wants to use their own special GPS servers instead of the main ones from Google (some have different values for different devices). This means that different devices connect to different servers for the same goal: GPS tracking.

This means 2 things for lockon time:

  1. The speed and hardware of the GPS servers the manufacturer has specified will determine the lockon time.
  2. The amount of traffic going to those servers will also significantly affect lockon time.

This is why many Samsung phones have notoriously slow GPS lockon times. Additionally, some manufacturers specify gps servers that arent even on the same continent (they specify one set of general servers for everybody). This means that if the servers are in europe, the lockon times will be better for people in europe due to low latency and the people in the US wont be so lucky.

The fix for this is simple (editing the file and replacing them with more region specific gps servers) but this requires root access.

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1  
Alright, interesting - absolutly not interested in telling my costumers to root their devices. I am in nothern europe, and I seem to have a better experience with the Samsung devices than the HTC devices. I am very interested in a chart/table, covering devices and the GPS services the device uses. Do you know of any? –  Ragnar123 Feb 10 '12 at 22:50
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sorry. I dont know of any such chart. You shouldn't worry too much about it though. If the problem is with GPS lock on times and not with your application, then they will see the same problem in other GPS enabled applications like Google Maps. The responsibility for correcting this is not you but the manufacturers :P –  Gautham C. Feb 10 '12 at 22:54

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