4S GPS does NOT work in any App

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Patrick J, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Patrick J, Dec 2, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Oporto, Portugal
    #1
    iPhone 4s is 1.5 weeks old. Updated it the day I got it to 5.0.1.

    Yesterday the GPS just stopped working. Up to then I had been using location services in the Camera, Maps, Compass, and third party apps like Geocaching.

    Now none of these work.

    I have tried a hard reset, and resetting Network Settings (worked for someone else).

    Location services are ON, and only third party apps are turned off in the list below. In system services, I had turned off everything since the first day, but it doesn’t work with everything turned on.

    EDIT - Trying to restore the phone. Extremely disappointed with the situation.
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Comeagain?

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Oporto, Portugal
    #3
    Restored both as new phone and as backup. GPS worked in neither situation.

    I think this points to a hardware failure?

    In Portugal there are no Apple stores, and I want to avoid going through Vodafone. Where can I find an Apple number for portugal?
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
  5. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #5
    Your warranty goes through Vodafone if you bought it there, and even though Apple offers supports, it's best to do this via Vodafone (because you may have issues later on, and than Apple might say "go to the store where you bought it", and Vodafone might say "this is not the iPhone 4S we sold you, it's got a different UDID".
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Oporto, Portugal
    #6
    Thanks for the link, although I had already found that number. It prompts you to contact your operator to fix the problem. I have played this game with Vodafone before and they will try to bounce me back and forth from Apple.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    chakraj

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Location:
    So Cal
    #7
    Dumb question here, but you do have it turned on in settings right?
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Oporto, Portugal
    #8
    Yes. Everything is on under Location Services except for a few third party applications.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Oporto, Portugal
    #9
    A small update.

    I turned off my iPhone last night. This morning, I turned it on and immediately checked to see if my GPS was working again. No joy. Location cannot be determined.

    15 minutes later I come back and see the Location icon on my menu bar. I fire up maps and it locates me perfectly. Same in the other apps.

    Any theories as to what happened?
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    M Quick

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #10
    Could either be a software bug for you (hopefully) or it could be that the GPS antenna connection is intermittent (hardware failure).

    Let's see how it works under a time of period, if it works flawlessly, no need to do anything about!

    I wish you the best of luck.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    left coast, US
    #11
    Maybe a hardware problem, or a nasty software bug.

    If it's a software problem, it sounds like the GPS lost track of where it was, and had to reinitialize it's location without wifi or cell tower triangulation assistance, which can take minutes with a good view of the satellites (e.g., outside). It can take even longer inside, or it may be impossible if you're somewhere that blocks the satellite signals (e.g., inside a stone room).

    (Well, in normal operation, the GPS can also lose track if you turn off the GPS, move the iPhone some great distance -- as in tens to hundreds of kilometers -- and then turn the GPS back on. Without wifi or cell tower assistance, the GPS can take minutes to determine its location, and that assumes decent satellite signals.)
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Oporto, Portugal
    #12
    Thanks for both your replies. What I find strange is that there was a ~24 hour interval in which the gps didn't work. Most of this time I was in fact in a stone house in the countryside, however, I had full EDGE connection all the time.

    The hours before this problem I moved from Oporto to my country house ~150km (93miles). During the trip I didn't touch any location apps. I happen to have had all the "system services" turned off under Location Services, I wonder if this might have anything to do with it?

    Stranger still is that it fixed itself without me taking it outside.

    Really hoping for a software bug, but lots of warranty time left so I'm not THAT worried about a hardware bug.

    I also find it strange that I can't find anyone else with a 4s with the same problem.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    EDGE and GPS don't use the same wavelengths. You just happened to be in a location where GPS signal couldn't penetrate the walls well, but got lucky in a particular position.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Oporto, Portugal
    #14
    I made that point as I know that Apple uses Cell masts for speeding up the connection, maybe this only works on 3G and not on EDGE?
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    left coast, US
    #15
    GPS won't work if the satellite signals are blocked (by stone walls, etc.). Cellular signals (e.g., EDGE) and wifi can be used to estimate your location, but cannot be used to accurately determine your location. (This also assumes that the cell tower database is available/accurate in your country.) If available, this estimate helps the GPS quickly determine your location; without the estimate, the GPS takes longer to locate your position. (And this assumes that the GPS gets decent satellite signals, which it often cannot get inside a stone house.)

    GPS satellite signals can often be received inside a house -- such as near a window or on the top floor of a building, if the roof does not significantly block the signals. Wooden roofs are often good -- stone or metal roofs are not so good. I don't know if GPS signals will go through tile roofs.

    Your problem might have been caused by an unfortunate combination of moving a significant distance and being in a stone house. If it happens again, try using the GPS outside; depending on how far you've moved, and how long you haven't used the GPS, it may take 30 seconds to several minutes to determine your location.
     

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