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I'm a new Android user. This is also my first time to use a GPS device so I don't have any idea on how long it takes for a typical GPS device to get a "lock".

I just bought the HTC Desire HD last week. Everything is running fine until I tested the GPS today.

I noticed something strange when I used the "Location" application and it gets stuck in "Waiting for location". To check if this is an app issue, I used "Maps" and pressed the "My Location" button, and it said something like "Your location is currently unavailable". I've tried other "map"-type applications but the story is the same, I can't get my location.

Now, I've done some research and it seems that it will actually take a long time for the device to get a lock for the firs time (something about "almanacs" and A-GPS "setting). I've also read about the limitations of GPS (you need to be in a line-of-sight, clear weather, etc).

So, what I've done is I've downloaded the "GPS Status and Toolbox" app from the market. I've gone ahead a cleared and re-downloaded my A-GPS setting. I've also removed the "CAPDASE" rubber-case from the device to reduce the chance of interference.

Using the said app, I was happy to see that my device was able to "fix" and "locate" GPS satellites (I get 4/5). The weird thing is, I can't get any "data" (LONG/LAT?) from the satellites. The numbers below (see image) are not showing in my device, instead, it is replaced by a "loading" animated image. (like the used to indicate an "AJAX" load from webpages). While all of this is happening the GPS icon in the notification bar is blinking (Should it not blink when I get a "lock"?)

enter image description here

What is happening here? Is this normal? How long should I wait before I get a lock? Please help!

Additional information:

  1. Android 2.2.1 and latest firmware from HTC.
  2. Tried rebooting and clearing/redownload A-GPS.
  3. Enabled "use network" on Settings->Location (Is this Assisted-GPS?)
  4. Left the device on line-of-sight with around 4/5 satellites for about an hour and still can't get "data".

Thanks!

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First fix should take about 5-10 minutes at most, if it takes you longer than that either you're either in a really, really bad area or there's something wrong with the device. –  Lie Ryan Apr 22 '11 at 19:36
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4 Answers 4

I advise you to use the application GPS test, where you can see (in a bar chart) the satellites your device sees and how good the reception is for each satellite.

If the GPS of my device is working, the first satellite shows up in less then 5 seconds or so. Then I gradually see more and more satellites appearing, with a lock taking something like a few minutes (or much less).

If my GPS is not working, no satellites appear, not even after 10 minutes or more of waiting. (However, take care, as the app does sometimes show old satellite charts, but you can easily see this because the reception values for each of the satellites remain constant, while they normally change every second or so)

And yes, the GPS icon stops blinking once it locks on a position. That's when the latitude and longitude values are available.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I was able to get a fix by doing the following:

  1. Remove any rubber-case or any case for that matter as most of them affects the reception of the GPS transceiver

  2. Go outside. Don't attempt to do this inside your house.

  3. Go to Settings -> Location and turn on "Use wireless networks" and "Use gps sattelites". (Connect to your wireless network now)

  4. Download and install the "GPS Status and Toolbox" app.

  5. Launch the app. Press Menu -> Tools -> Manage A-GPS state

  6. Press Reset

  7. Press Download

  8. Reboot your phone (Not sure if this is necessary).

  9. Re-launch the app (make sure that both GPS and network are turned-on)

  10. Leave your phone (while the app is running) in a place with clear line-of-sight for about an hour.

  11. Watch a movie, drink coffee, whatever. Just leave it for an hour.

BTW, You should see a few satellites after 30 seconds but without locks (no long/lat). After an hour, you should get a lock if there is at least one satellite.

After your first lock, it will be faster (a matter of seconds to a minute) to get your next lock. And oh, you no longer need to use "wireless networks" on your consecutive locks so you can just turn that off.

Good luck!

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I had same problem with my HTC Desire S and Nexus S, I has tried all options listed every where, the only thing that worked for me is uninstall GPS status application and reboot the phone. Now I never get any lock problem.

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I have the same problem on an HTC desire HD.

After the update from Android 2.2 it has been been much better.

Still if you switch of location services or go abroad and and don't want to pay your massive roaming data charges you're pretty much out of luck, even with precached map sections in google maps.

Without the data connection the GPS functions poorly, and takes up to 20 minutes to lock. Considering that most free-standing GPS devices, lock within about 1 minute it is very mysterious.

A cynic would say , this is a deliberate Android "feature" to ensure that Google gets to collect as much location data as possible.

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Not from my experience, it doesn't. When at new location abroad with all data turned off, GPS needs about a minute in a clear sky conditions to get a lock with 6-7 satellites at all times. After that, lock is maintained easily, with some 20-ish seconds needed to re-lock if the GPS has been turned off for a while. Besides, most (all?) Android devices have AGPS, which significantly speeds up the positioning, and the AGPS data is not dependent on Google in any way. –  Martin Tapankov Apr 16 '12 at 13:09
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