Is it possible for the iPhone 5S GPS to be off?

BearsFan4Life88

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
77
0
Had to use Google Maps last night and the little blue triangle would not stay locked on the road. In the past, with Google Maps it would constantly follow me as I drive. It did not do that last night. This is a new iPhone 5S replacement. It seemed that it could not lock onto anything. I tried Apple's Maps and it was the same thing.

Just performed a FULL factory reset and did not restore from a back up (which was a pain because I lost all my game scores) and it still is not resolved.

While, the GPS navigation did follow me while driving on Apple's maps, it did not on Google. Google even said it is beta. I figured I would google how to calibrate the iPhone GPS. It said to do it with the compass, which I have done. Will test again later.

I am just curious if the GPS inside the phone can be off, or defective?
 

inselstudent

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2012
616
4
Yea, it turns off to save battery. But it should stay on when you're using a maps app, so if it works with Apple maps, but not with Google maps, then it's probably a bug in the latter.
 

BearsFan4Life88

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
77
0
If it works with apple maps but not google, sounds like a software issue. However it is possible for a defective gps chip to be off or maybe a bad antenna.
When you use Google Maps and are driving, does it stay locked on the road and move continually?
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
I7Guy is nailing it. Both apps should be as accurate as each other. While in nav both lock onto the closest road (within reason).

Let me ask though. Have you recently moved? Do you have location services turn on for Google maps (other means are inaccurate namely wifi)? Any other random problems with the phone especially anything to do with the time/clock regardless how insignificant?
 

BearsFan4Life88

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
77
0
I7Guy is nailing it. Both apps should be as accurate as each other. While in nav both lock onto the closest road (within reason).

Let me ask though. Have you recently moved? Do you have location services turn on for Google maps (other means are inaccurate namely wifi)? Any other random problems with the phone especially anything to do with the time/clock regardless how insignificant?
Location services are enabled. I just tried another GPS program and it does the same thing. It drifts off the road and is lagging. It will move, then stop for 10 seconds, then move or completely put me off the road.

Time Zone settings seem fine. But this definitely not normal behavior. I was thinking maybe it was Google Maps. The little GPS thing that moves just is going all over the place and does not want to stay on the road.
 

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BearsFan4Life88

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
77
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So I'm gonna call Apple. Maybe they have some solution. I just have never seen this issue on an iPhone.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,509
3,101
I am just curious if the GPS inside the phone can be off, or defective?
Of course it can be defective. And inside a car, bad weather (lots of clouds), high buildings, tinted windows, being far away from the windscreen, possibly defective parts in the car producing electronic noise, can stop it from working. Metal protection case for the phone could stop it from working.
 

bigcstyle4

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2012
333
130
On my old 5S it was perfect in the same car and same case.
By any chance was the phone plugged in to a built-in USB port on your car? This same exact thing happened to me last weekend on a loaner iPhone 5 but only when plugged into the car. Google Maps would just give you the large blue circle and couldn't really track you when navigating. As soon as it was unplugged, the GPS signal returned.
 

BearsFan4Life88

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
77
0
It was plugged in but it does the same thing when it's not plugged in. It just can't properly track where I'm at. It's delayed and can't lock on the road. And I know it should because my old 5s did just fine.

Now Apple is gonna think I'm a nitpick because I can't prove this unless they were in the car with me.
 

BearsFan4Life88

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
77
0
When using the Apple maps it seems much better. The tracker still occasionally goes off the road. I just need someone who uses Apple maps to confirm that the tracker loads about every 3 seconds? Is that normal? Or should it just smoothly sail along the road when you drive?
 

mofunk

macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
2,400
154
Americas
Try restoring your iPhone? Sounds like what you are describing is software issue. I haven't had any issues with mine.

If you have a friend that has GPS in car or a GPS device, ride along with them and compare your results you get on your phone. Or borrow a friend's mobile phone and see if it's happening to them too.
 

BearsFan4Life88

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
77
0
Already restored the phone. GPS is always the same. Seems better in Apple Maps. Idk maybe I'll test it some more.
 

jr866gooner

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2013
1,438
302
I would go to apple and explain to them what's going on. They could tell you if there is an issue with the components etc
 

iolinux333

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2014
1,798
71
I've seen this behavior for many years with all sorts of phones and all sorts of operating systems, including standalone GPS units. I think it mostly has to do with the satellites being in weird positions, some of the satellites being offline occasionally, and very often weather or terrain. Some GPS software deals with these anomalies better than others and the issue usually goes away after a few hours or a few days. I've seen it on several iDevices too, including my 5 and my 5s.

There's a website somewhere that gives you operational status of the GPS satellites and they're often messed up.
 

BearsFan4Life88

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
77
0
I've seen this behavior for many years with all sorts of phones and all sorts of operating systems, including standalone GPS units. I think it mostly has to do with the satellites being in weird positions, some of the satellites being offline occasionally, and very often weather or terrain. Some GPS software deals with these anomalies better than others and the issue usually goes away after a few hours or a few days. I've seen it on several iDevices too, including my 5 and my 5s.

There's a website somewhere that gives you operational status of the GPS satellites and they're often messed up.
Makes sense. The phone works perfectly fine, other than that. I may hold off for a while. Maybe it will be better next month. I do not use GPS often enough to really care. It was just frustrating because the GPS tracker could not keep up with me. That, and it kept bouncing around everywhere. I wish there was a way to properly calibrate it.
 

iolinux333

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2014
1,798
71
Makes sense. The phone works perfectly fine, other than that. I may hold off for a while. Maybe it will be better next month. I do not use GPS often enough to really care. It was just frustrating because the GPS tracker could not keep up with me. That, and it kept bouncing around everywhere. I wish there was a way to properly calibrate it.
There used to be all sorts of things us early GPS users had to do to recalibrate the GPS all the time. It was a huge PITA. Both Android and iOS in the last two years or so seem to have made it all automatic and pretty darn foolproof. I could see how perhaps a config file deep in your phone is maybe corrupted, and the solution to that would be to hard reset the phone and "set up as new."


Lastly I suppose there is a slight possibility that there is a physical hardware problem with your GPS antenna, an app like this one:

http://www.psventures.co.uk/pv_view_iphone.php?iphone_id=14&iphone_app_name=GPS-Device-Data


might give you a few clues, and might let you reset the config file. I haven't used that one I just pasted the link for, but I've used similar for android and windows mobile in the past

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There used to be all sorts of things us early GPS users had to do to recalibrate the GPS all the time. It was a huge PITA. Both Android and iOS in the last two years or so seem to have made it all automatic and pretty darn foolproof. I could see how perhaps a config file deep in your phone is maybe corrupted, and the solution to that would be to hard reset the phone and "set up as new."


Lastly I suppose there is a slight possibility that there is a physical hardware problem with your GPS antenna, an app like this one:

http://www.psventures.co.uk/pv_view_iphone.php?iphone_id=14&iphone_app_name=GPS-Device-Data


might give you a few clues, and might let you reset the config file. I haven't used that one I just pasted the link for, but I've used similar for android and windows mobile in the past
Oh I see now you already "set up as new." I missed that whole "how to read" thing in second grade. :eek: