Samsung Galaxy S GPS Issue Update

Still not having luck with your Vibrant’s GPS signal?  Don’t worry then, you should know that you aren’t the only one.  Samsung has said that they are working on a fix, but maybe there is a solution that you can try right now.  You can try enabling the use of wireless networks (Settings>Location & Security).  This should improve your GPS signal when you are in areas with poor GPS signal strength, which is always where you actually need GPS.  Now, this fix won’t solve this issue entirely, but it should help until Samsung’s GPS fix is finalized (which they need to do since all the Samsung Galaxy S phone’s seem to have the same GPS issue).  Let us know how it works in the comments!


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  • Eric

    Mine works, I did the first “hack” fix by changing a few things, then this and my vibrant works perfectly. Love it

    • JH

      Do you have a link to the “hack” fix??

      • Ural

        all hacks work while you have solid network connection. The moment you lose it or if it becomes spoty the Vibrant will freeze and force close the OS, very annoying, actually use d my G1 when faced with that situation.

        This fact alone makes Samsung Galaxy a flop. Prices once again that programmers at Samsung are second rate

        Same sung

      • Ural

        Swype prediction makes it difficult sometimes.

        Meant to state that Samsung should have provided a fix by now. Both t mobile and Samsung are open for an easy lawsuit for advertising something that don’t deliver.

        Personally every single Android phone made by Samsung has great hardware but the worst software you wool ever find. Their quality control and quality assurance are non existent.

    • danny

      Do you have a link to that hack and how can I get the media hub to work please let me know ASAP thank you

    • James

      Can you tell me what hacks I have to change to get my gps to work on my vibriant

  • swehes

    This fix only allows for the cellphone to use the Wireless Towers to triangulate the position instead of using the GPS. Tried using it and it made my position to jump all over the place and at slower speeds it kept telling me to turn around at random times. However to turn off Tmobiles Navigation app helped my phone get a better location.

    • Yyevo

      TMoble doesn’t have a navigation app.

      • swehes

        TeleNav GPS Navigation

      • tmoled

        Google maps has a “navigate” option. I used the crap out of that on my mt3g, used it on the vibrant the other day and it would lose my location periodically, it was frustrating. I also did the “fix” and it does lock in on my location, but it jumps all over the place, not really an improvement for me over the original setting.

  • parahelium

    My GPS barely worked from day 1, tried this and it helped but sometimes still take long time to lock if lockable.

  • alex32

    my friend bought a vibrant a week ago and hasnt given him any trouble. Is it all vibrants having this issue?
    by the way, he showed me it and I had a chance to mess with the vibrant, its such a beautiful phone. The deal breaker for me was that horrible samsung UI.
    Waiting for that G2 Blaze.. (:

  • ScratchSF

    While there is a definite GPS problem on the Vibrant, I am exploring whether or not using Version 4.0 of Google Maps is more reliable that using Version 4.4. I’ve had more success using the build that came on the phone rather than downloading the latest and greatest from the Marketplace.

    This, of course, won’t fit the underlying GPS issues. But it might get you Google Maps and Navigation working again. (Assuming this turns out to be an actual work around).

  • Phaelenx

    I’m thinking they’re going to roll the fix out with Froyo…That way we get it all in one sweep

  • Nick

    I’m so glad I don’t have this issue. It sounds REALLY frustrating.

  • ScottinPittsburgh

    My Vibrant definitely has issues connecting to GPS. It sometimes works, but even when it does, it takes like 5 minutes to lock in. I did enable the use of my wireless, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. I’m really looking forward for this fix.

    I honestly think “Sammy” is waiting to release the GPS update along with 2.2 FROYO to be honest. It only makes sense to me.

  • slimdoggy05

    The GPS issue is mainly for people who actually go places… if ur sitting at home all day or ur in a radius of a couple miles, the GPS tends to work fine. the problem is when you start to travel, and now the gps will either not fix on ur location, or will be somewhere totally off of ur actual location. this is frustrating for when you have to drive 2 or 3 hours away and then have to pull over because you dont know what turn to make… really makes me wanna return the phone.. my G1 NEVER had this problem

  • Peter

    I actually get worse accuracy when I turn on the “Use Wireless Networks” It seems like even if I have a valid GPS lock using the wireless networks takes precedence so it locates me at the cell tower instead of where I am.

    When I spoke with T-mobile last week the tech implied that the GPS fix was going to come bundled with the 2.2 update. But, in full disclosure mode, he seemed sort of clueless since he was blaming the GPS problem on the Android OS and not on anything related to the phone.

  • Patience people. This is something they can fix and it’s not looking like any of the upcoming phones later this year are vibrant killers. At least our phones don’t drop calls when we hold them in our hands like they’re phones. :)

    That said, yeah, GPS prob sucks and waiting for Froyo sucks. Just have to learn patience. I kinda wish I had kept one of my backup phones but hey, for the next couple months (or until the problem is fixed), my old fashioned Garmin nuvi gets to finally come out of the glove box again.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Well said Hilton.

      As I mentioned a few months ago, and the reason I bought the Vibrant, I don’t see anything coming out this year that will trump it.

      For sure there will be handsets with different features or form factors that might please someone over what the Vibrant offers, but that’s simply a matter of opinion and choice, not who has the better phone.

      I may bite at one of the new superphones to use on our second line, but I may simply make my HD2 into a dual-boot handset, with the option of running Android or WinMo. That way I have the best both OSs have to offer.

      As to FroYo, people do need to have patience. 2.2 is only beginning to roll out on phones, so a September release (and I did go on record with evidence to show we will get 2.2 in September) is perfectly reasonable in terms of manufacturer/carrier conduct.

      People demanding all this stuff immediately, if not sooner, need to take a chill pill.

      • vibrant/hd2 user

        I have one of Cyanogen’s android rom’s on my hd2 and I must say it gives my phone new life. Everythin works like a charm. And to boot its android 2.2 with root access! Some phones don’t even have that. Its works so well I don’t even use my vibrant. Give a try.

      • Amen. The way I think of it, if you really want Froyo that bad, get on Ebay and find a Nexus one, or root and wait for xda to come out with a ROM. I just sold my Nexus so I’m all in with the Vibrant and I don’t do the whole rooting thing so for me it’s just a matter of patience.

      • dan

        In brief- if you have this problem, please CALL your carrier and tell them about it, and CONTACT SAMSUNG and tell them about it.
        It can only help to resolve it if they hear from more customers experiencing the problem(s) with GPS on the Galaxy S series.

        And my two cents: Hacks and works around tried, GPS on this phone ships broken. FAIL.

        • Andrew

          to a point, yes. There is a disconnect between the GPS hardware and software that makes it difficult to determine the gps location based on the location of the satellites. All in all, don’t expect anything to work until FroYo or some sooner update

        • mtnman

          I absolutly love this site, ever since I descovered it. I belive that everyone who puts it together and dose the work deservers major cudos. For those that think it’s easy to run your own site, and do it on your own dime, tell them that if they don’t like it, then to host a site of thier own. Trust me, it’s not easy. But then again, some people like to complain just for the sake of complaining.

          Again, love this site, you guys rock, keep up the good work!

        • Andrew

          Many thanks, we appreciate the recognition, it makes posting worthwhile and easier. We do it for people like you!

    • Dick Richards

      Again, all well said. I had the pleasure of getting my Vibrant on Saturday. My BB 8900 crashed (2nd time white screen of death). Got the kitchen pass from the little lady and ran down to the T-Mobile store before she changed her mind. I absolutely love the Vibrant, the GPS has probs here and there, but nothing too major. I have no probs waiting a month for the update, patience is a virtue they say!

  • Khurt

    Glad mines works ok, I have used the navigation plenty of times and it has always been dead on and takes no time to find my location. Running stock rom and everything else.

  • TheAnalyst

    TMobile customer service had told me to try this last week. It does work, not perfectly accurate, but it is better than nothing.

  • db

    I don’t just have that issue. My phone locks up and does a soft reboot when using the GPS some of the time.

  • Neil

    My Vibrant has locked up 4 or 5 times, requiring me to remove the battery in order to reboot. I have also had 3 or 4 instances where the device did a soft reboot.
    Anyone else having this issue?

    • poopman

      ive had the locking up issue, where i had to remove the batter 2 times in which i used google navigation. kind of annoying this thing doesnt work correctly out of the box. i havent been using my navigation or gps since the last lock up.

    • Ural

      Yep, it happens when you lose hspa connection. Pay attention and you wul notice that you don’t have coverage our its edge. Then the gps routine seems too hang up trying to connect with your supl server.

      If you wait long enough (up to an hour) it will recover but the gps wont work at all until you reboot.

      If samsung doesn’t provide a fix soon, I’ll be visiting a lawyer.
      Or else Th mobile should provide a full refund.

      Don’t want to do it, but Samsung had provided awful customer support. Any one else care to comment?

  • On a further note, I’ve had the problems with the phone locking up when using GPS and the problem with travelling and not having the GPS lock the new location. I haven’t tried navigating with it yet but I used the simplest fix I could find. There’s an app called “GPS status” I have on my home screen. I just run it before I run any GPS aware app (usually foursquare) and once it locks onto GPS I go back to my app and GPS works. GPS status is in the market. I tried a couple of the service menu changes but I settled on GPS status as a temporary solution til a fix is out because I didn’t want to muck around in any settings that I’d forget before having to change it back after the fix.

    • George

      wow this actually works thankyou sooo much…. well it worked for the first 30 secs then i lost gps again but at least its progress.

  • Ryan

    Come on TMoNews… you can do better than copying straight from Engadget. Do you really think we haven’t tried this yet? The issue is much deeper than this, otherwise Samsung wouldn’t be rolling out an OTA fix. I’m disappointed that you’ve taken an incorrect assumption from Engadget and posted it here. Sad.

  • Shawn

    Does TMOnews do any of their own journalism, or do you rip off everything from other sites. You totally ripped this from engadget. I’ve noticed you guys do nothing more than rip off other sites, and post it on tmonews, thats just wrong.

    • Andrew

      Seriously? Do you really think that? Maybe you should check some of the big leaks or, you know, our whole site. It’s a big internet, and there is a lot out there. If we don’t get it, some one else does. It is a world of reporting on other stories, but most of the stuff we post is our own, unlike all the major blogs (especially Engadget). Small things like “try this to fix your gps” is not our business, especially when it applies to ALL galaxy s phone. When we have news, we post it, and right now there isn’t much.

      • NiiDiddy

        @Andrew–Don’t pay attention to trolls like Shawn! He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He has no idea!!!

        @Shawn—when it hits like 10pm or 11pm where you live, turn on the new on NBC, ABC…etc, ow whatever crappy news stations you guys may have a compare notes. YES, they all basically report the same things. It’s a matter of preference where/how people decide to get their news whether it originated from there or not. I LOVE this site because it’s T-Mobile specific…not that this site is never original because they have been many times over; other sites may report anything and everything about mobile news. This site filters everything and gives me what I’m interested in, hence a unique niche market. Who cares where the news cam from first?? Basic journalism 101!!! Take your whining elsewhere…

      • Shawn

        Yes Andrew, I really believe and stand behind my statement. I’ve noticed many times, the news you provide is nothing more than a compilation of news gathered/stolen from other sites.

        You can honestly say, you guys at tmonews, don’t troll around other sites like Gizmodo, Engadget, Androidandme, androidcentral, phandroid, etc..and sometimes just regurgitate articles from those sites? Answer honestly.

        Look I like Tmonews, but I think thit site could be better. I will continue to visit it. Even if you are stealing info from other sites, at least you are compiling it all into 1 website geared to T-mobile customers. I just think you should admit the truth, thats all.

      • Shawn

        Oh, since you guys always post everything late. Why don’t I give you some inside scoop. You can be the first to post this, instead of stealing it from another site.

        The Vibrant will be 99 bucks on the 18th for new customers(1 day only)
        Or starting the 19th, you can get it for 50 bucks after 150 instant coupon savings, for new or upgrading customers. (pricing will run for several weeks)

        • David

          “Shawn,” stolen would insinuate that we are taking stories and posting them without PROPER credit. None of that is true and I think you know that and just happen to in some way are managing to use the word “stolen” improperly. Not to mention, the above sites you named, AndroidCentral, Phandroid all post stories on a daily basis from other sites, significantly more often than they post their own stories. Each and every one of those sites, including our own is a repository for their respective themes, in our case T-Mobile, in their case Android, Engadget does gadgets etc. Check Engadget out today, tell me how many stories are posted without links to other sites as sources and how many are cited on their own, as their own breaking stories. Nobody is stealing and I think its blatantly obvious that we aren’t the ONLY source of T-Mobile information on the web no matter how much we might like to be. Some sites get stuff before we do and as you seem to be wildly missing, the reverse is true as well. You might want to check their sites for “TmoNews” and see how many stories are referenced through them back to us…then we can discuss “regurgitation,” which seems you be missing the bigger picture, is part of how this little tech blog world works. No site has enough independent information to run continuously day after day, they need information from elsewhere to fill in the gaps.

  • Robert

    Using GPS Test my Slide picks up 12-13 satellites for gps. Glad HTC didn’t have that problem!

  • DinBama

    Is there a hard date for the froyo 2.2 release? I did read Sept. in the comments… but anything more hard than that? I haven’t purchased my Vibrant yet and it’s little stuff like this that’s keeping me from buying. Wondering if I should wait till froyo comes out to make sure it really gets “fixed”. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to research this stuff.

    • DinBama

      Nvermind… a quick search after I posted this and I answered my own question! For those that haven’t seen this:

      Still no hard date but at least it’s something!

      If anyone finds more info, please share! Thanks

    • Andrew

      Froyo should be out in September. Samsung NEEDS to keep the Galaxy S line up to date, they don’t have a choice. There are so many different variations, and so many have sold already that they will be forced to update it, plus the Vibrant is capable of running FroYo easily. This GPS fix may gum up the works though, and take some more time. Other than that, it will be up to the carrier to push it out.

  • Mike

    This is not really a fix. Wireless networks is on by default. Wireless networks is part of the “Assisted” in Assisted GPS. Wireless networks by itself will locate you a various degrees of accuracy, most accurately if the phone picks up a WiFi network that is cataloged. The cataloging of WiFi networks that is done by the Google Street View project that got Google in trouble recently.

    • Andrew

      wireless networks is not on by default anymore. Google mandated that it be disabled by default.

  • Vibebrator guy

    look out it’s a HARDWARE ISSUE

    • Relikk2

      There has been a firmware leak on the captivate for the gps fix and the rumor is that its all good now. I guess time will tell.

  • PlowRox

    Well for all it’s worth…

    I have done/installed both so called “fixs”……

    And my phone still thinks it’s two miles away in the middle of the highway! I’m glad the “beam me to my phone feature” is disabled otherwise I would be road kill rather quickly!

    They will fix it soon I hope…

    P.S. I still love the phone :)

  • Robert

    From Samsung via Engadget:

    “We have tested and validated both Network Assisted (indoor) and Autonomous (outdoor) GPS on the Epic 4G. With regards to Vibrant and Captivate, we are currently testing software updates which will optimize GPS performance. We expect to be able to make the updates available in September and will communicate more information and download instructions in the next few weeks.”

    So the Epic is just fine? What is the truth here? Why wasn’t the Vibrant “tested and validated?”

  • Thats me

    when is the update coming?

  • xminer

    So what makes you think a “Software” fix is going to fix it? They haven’t even disclosed what the problem is?

    A software fix sounds to me like there’s a software problem, if it was a software probably it would be affecting every vibrant user, regardless of the handset as they all ship with the same software.

    It has to be hardware problem… identical hardware can perform differently on different handsets due to Q&A and component failure rate issues… but software doesn’t degrade in the same way, you weither have the software or you don’t, it either the right software or its not, it either works well, or it doesn’t work well… the handset either has working GPS or it doesn’t… it has to be a hardware issue… perhaps a driver firmware issue for the GPS component? or perhaps the handsets don’t all have identical hardware at the component level? Tmobile/Samsung should be coughing up this info!?!

  • Stephen

    I work in the industry. And the issue us software related. Samsung is aware of the problem.

    Also I’m sick of people complaining. There’s not a phone ever released without bugs it problems. I see then everyday. With phones of every manufacturer and every carrier. In the lab and testing there’s just certain things you don’t experience.

    my galaxy gps works fine sometimes. Other times I gave the same issue.

    But don’t expect to get any device and it be perfect. at least samsung is trying to fix the problem. Many phones go with issues never solved.

    Samsung really is trying to make an impact with this phone. And they will solve any issues with it.

    I have met with many samsung reps in my job.

  • den

    I would LOVE for Sam to fix the GPS issue and roll out 2.2 soon! I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I like the Vibrant more than my Nexus One. The only reason my N1 wins is 2.2, (wireless tethering- kinda mifi-ish), and the fact that it’s factory unlocked.