3Gs GPS vs. Droid

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jjprusk, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. jjprusk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #1
    I've been testing out the Droid for the last week and one item that's VERY noticeable is the differences in GPS. The Droid GPS gets a lock on location almost instantly. The apps that use the GPS turn off the GPS when they're not in focus and then turn it back on when they're activated. Even if the GPS is completely turned off and then its turned on while using Google Maps, it still gets an almost instant lock. It doesn't hunt in a large circle like the 3Gs and tracks amazingly well.

    Is this a hardware problem or software? Overall, the iPhone's user experience is hard to beat, but the way the apps interacted with the GPS and how quickly it got a lock made several location-base apps usable. On the iPhone, I always turn off GPS as it burns battery, but on the Droid I don't have to worry about that. BTW - I was carrying both of them side by side for comparison.
     
  2. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    Actually, the iPhone works the same way. You can have Location Services always on and it won't drain the battery since the GPS will only be in use when you use a location based app.
     
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
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    #3
    not in my expereince

    the iphone takes a good 10 sec to lock on for me
     
  4. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    That's great but did you even read what I wrote? I said nothing about how long it takes for the GPS to lock on.

    What I said was that in the iPhone just having Location Services on doesn't drain the battery, it only actually drains the battery when you actually use a location based app.
     
  5. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #5
    On the Iphone it's usually around 20sec or less for a GPS lock on Google maps. When using other apps it can be quicker. The Waze and Motion X LTE app are near instant lock.

    As far as battery life is concerned. When I'm using GPS is usually in my ride while pluged into the car charger so that's something I can't judge. Only time I use it is while on foot cause I'm just playing with an app or geotagging a photo.

    I bet battery life decreases quickly when using GPS on both the Iphone and Droid.
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
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    #6
    my point was i leave location services always on and my gps takes like 10 sec to lock

    not sure why i quoted you lol
     
  7. jjprusk thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #7
    This has been my experience as well. The lock takes FOREVER. Now that I can compare it to another (the Droid) at the same exact location its like night and day. Its amazing how quickly the Droid locks onto the location. As I said, it makes location-based services usable.

    BTW - how can you tell that the GPS isn't being used on the iPhone when there are not location-based apps running? On the Droid, there's a GPS icon that clearly shows whether the GPS is in use of not.
     
  8. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #8
    It really depends on how recently I've used it. If I haven't used it for a long time, it takes I while to get an accurate fix. I get a cell-tower lock almost instantly, then it takes 5-10 seconds, depending on weather and obstructions, to get a more accurate fix (after all, it has to locate the satellites). Once I have a lock, I can return to a GPS-enabled app and have an almost instant fix.
     
  9. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #9
    When you close a location based app the GPS stops running.
     
  10. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #10
    In the SDK (and its documentation) it's clear that you are only using the GPS when you make the appropriate SDK calls to do so.
     
  11. fab5freddy macrumors 65816

    fab5freddy

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Heaven or Hell
    #11
    I think what he is trying to say,
    is that the iPhone GPS and Battery Life sucks.

    I am simply bored with my iPhone.
    Can't wait to get the Droid!
     
  12. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #12
    If you think the Droid's GPS will be any different in terms of battery life you're going to be very disappointed.
     
  13. davelanger macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #13
    The GPS in the my car takes 10 secs or so to lock on, is 10 secs that really long of a wait?
     
  14. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    #14
    Actually, he might not be. My droid has been consistently getting 2-3x the battery life of my iPhone under similar usage. I'm keeping both, but there is no way to argue that the iPhone's GPS is as good...it is most definitely not. My droid tracks far more accurately, recalculates much faster, and has a normal navigation screen instead of a top-down map. MUCH easier to use.
     
  15. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    around/about
    #15
    Your Droid is using a totally new and different version of Google Maps, so it's a bit tough to do a direct comparison, don't you think?

    Wait until Google brings it to iPhone.
     
  16. stockscalper macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

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    Location:
    Area 51
    #16
    The GPS in my iPhone locks on fast. Could it be how you are holding the phone?
     
  17. dagomike macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #17
    I think a "lock" can be subjective. If you want to compare GPS performance, you're going to need a diagnostics tool better than Google Maps.
     

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