Samsung Testing GPS Fix For Galaxy S Phones

Many of you have been plagued by the Samsung Vibrant GPS’ problems and for a few of you; a little tinkering solved the problem. For the rest of you, rest assured that Samsung is working toward releasing an update according to Carla Saavedra, a product analyst for Samsung Mobile US they are testing it out right now. Looks like they are hoping to release an official fix in September, but more importantly they are being proactive in letting you know they are aware of the problem and taking steps to rectify it. That’s what counts right?

AndroidCentral Via Twitter

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  • rOB

    Finally!!! i hope they fix it, then it will make this phone nearly perfect. Have been running the lag fixes around and at 2.1 my quadrant scores are 1800-2200, So with 2.2 it’ll be the perfect phone. For Me at Least

    • Manus

      How do you do the lag fix and what is it thanks

      • rOB

        its on xda developers, if you have exp. rooting phones and tinkering with them, by all means, give it a try it makes it run smoother than it already is, it basically moves all of your apps data to a faster part of the internal memory.

  • NiiDiddy

    Never had issues…but still cant wait anyway.

  • Relikk2

    The Captivate version was leaked and supposedly works great

  • mtnman

    I seem to be the lucky one when it comes to GPS issues. I haven’t had any since I got my Vibrant. I was out last night using my Google Maps, it locked onto my exact location down the foot. Shocking I know, but I’m gald that they are coming out with fix anyway. I don’t want to have any issues down the road (if you what I mean)?

  • derrickps3

    they still working on this issue? i thought they been fixed it

  • AssassinX

    I will cry tears of joy once this is fixed…

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      LOL… I read your comment and for a second got confused and thought I was watching a late night infomercial about one of those food chopping thingamabobs, where the pitchman says “The only tears you have will be tears of joy as you chop your manhood into little pieces, I mean onions.”

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    I thought I’d put this in here since Vibrant owners will be tuning in.


    Want to be like the Evo, miss the Vibrant not have an HDMI port?

    I have been monitoring Samsung’s website for the cable that will allow us, just like the Evo, to get HDMI output on our Vibrants.

    On the off chance eBay might have it before Samsung has it, I just discovered it today.

    The cable picture on eBay is the same as that as on Samsung’s Site, so I am gambling it is the same one.

    Here is the eBay auction: $49.99 (same as Samsung’s price) and free shipping:

    Here is Samsung’s Site:

    NOTE THAT THE EBAY SELLER HAD FOUR. I BOUGHT ONE, SO AS OF 5:14 AM, PDT, thee are now only three left.

    Bonus Comment: This renders moot trying to get the lesser VGA quality out of the 3.5 mm port, unless you have the cable.

    • pavvy

      Have you experienced the GPS issue on your Vibrant?

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        Pavvy… for me Vibrant GPS malfunctioning was intermittent. Sometimes it would work great other times it would fail.

        I, like others, performed the workaround and my GPS now works much better.

        I actually performed tests before and after the “self-help” fix.


        Before changing the settings (which is all the workaround is), again like others, my Vibrant sometimes would not find a satellite or “turn on” for a few minutes (what some call “activating,” “finding a signal,” “connecting,” or other terms). Sometimes the wait was as long as five minutes.

        Worse (or more accurately — just as bad), when I finally got a connection my indicated location was about three city blocks from where I was physically situated.


        After the workaround my GPS locks on to a satellite within 15 to 30 seconds (that’s about as fast as properly working NAV systems fire up).

        Most important, the Vibrant now locates me within about 30 feet of my actual location, which is far, far better than before making the changes. (IMHO that’s still deficient because even on my old G1 it would get a fix exactly where I was in my condo, for example. And when using it to show my trail on vehicle road trips, the G1 would perform as well as my TomTom nav.)

        I considered the G1’s Nav performance amazing for January 2009. Back then we were all marveling at the accuracy of Android’s Google Maps on the G1. (For example, I would put Google Maps in “satellite / street view” and walk to the local market about four blocks away. The G1 would refresh about every 10 seconds and accurately show the EXACT spot where I was walking and even standing in the market.)

        When my Vibrant’s Google Maps performs like my G1 did in January ’09 I will consider the Vibrant’s GPS fixed. ;)

        Sidenote: I consider the Vibrant’s GPS feature extremely important since that’s one of the things I like about Android, all the programs using GPS, such as speedometer apps.

        Bonus Sidenote: I hope Samsung is fixing the Vibrant’s GPS in ways MORE THAN simply automatically entering the code workaround like we did. If that’s all Samsung does, that will not have sufficiently improved the Vibrant’s GPS.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    This is one of the reasons I enjoy TMoNews, the Site keeps me updated with… well… what do we call it? Oh yeah… NEWS!

    • Qbert

      I saw this cable micro->HDMI while searching for accessories also their was (on youtube) a guy using the 3.5mm jack to view phone content on tv..

  • ObsceneJesster

    I told you all it was a software issue. To all the idiots who kept on saying it was a hardware issue, I will be serving crow until 2am.

    • Shawn

      Don’t get too cocky too fast. It may very well be hardware, and samsung is using software to work around the hardware flaws. yes this is possible.

      secondly, the fix is not out yet, so don’t get too happy. You still don’t know how well the fix will perform once it’s released.

      Getting a fix that increases accuracy from 500 ft to 200 ft is not a fix. Getting a fix that increases accuracy from 500 ft down to 8 ft, now we are talking

    • sambalam

      Read what they said… “testing software to optimize GPS”. No where in this statement did they say they are fixing a problem or even that there is a problem. If they are going to try and optimize my broken GPS then I don’t want it. I want them to fix my broken GPS.

  • david

    Really, product released this way and two months to fix. They need to pony up “we are sorry, so here is a $50 -$100 rebate” (Now selling $100 less than 1st came out) or docking station. etc….some kind of “good-will” as the BOLD now this two strikes – fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me…lost business…other than the BLOAT-ware, LAG, and GPS issues what a great phone…however, so are many others therefore they could release two 2.2 version, a Google – no bloat version and a samsung bloat version see what the market goes for and BE A LEADER, for the rest of the manufactures, yea might have to compromise with the carriers having their bloat

    • Maverick128

      It happens. The Droid X has Exchange problems out the wazoo (completely unusable without SSL on Exchange 2003) with people threatening to take it back right and left and the best Motorola came up with was that they would release a fix with Froyo in early September. I’m assuming this is the same thing. They said we’d get Froyo in September, so they will just release it together.

  • mtnman

    Thanks ItsMichaelNotMike for the Websites. I just put my mini USB/HDMI cable on back order. They’ll send me e-mail when it comes back in stock. The only other choice was a 3.5 to RCA connection. That would lessen the value of having 720p video playback.

    • Shawn

      The advantage of 3.5-RCA connection over USB/HDMI is the ability to charge your phone and watch a very long movie at the same time.

  • Qbert

    has anyone successfully used their phone to control their tv? I know I’m totally off topic

    • M.

      I remembered seeing that functionality in the Galaxy S presentation but don’t see the option to turn my phone into a Samsung tv remote. What gives?

  • Pablo

    I will be so glad when this finally works. I have been using the temporary fix and it sucks. Maps have simply been freezing, and I even tried crappy TeleNav. Yuck. I will be so happy when this actually works.

  • PathogenX

    Glad to see that they are going to fix it.
    Now they should bundle it up with Froyo and were all good!

  • peter

    Coincidence that Samsung UK mentions on their Tweet:

    “We receive questions about the Android 2.2 update. It’s currently in development & will be released for all networks at the end of September.”

    So a GPS fix + Froyo 2.2? Next month? Is the sky blue?

    • Green Robot

      That of course was a tweet from Samsung UK. Now did they mean that they will be releasing Froyo updates for all networks in UK, in Europe, or in the world? I have a feeling that we might need to wait at least few more weeks here in the US.

      Regarding the GPS, the sooner the better. My Vibrant is freezing and rebooting like crazy before the fix, after the fix, after hard reset, before hard reset, when I’m moving, when I’m standing still, pretty much any time it feels like it. I finally called T-Mobile and I’m getting a replacement. I don’t expect GPS to work any better as far as lock times and tracking but I at least hope that it won’t freeze na reboot so much – this thing is pretty much useless as it is now.

  • blablabla

    ok so if this update comes in september…when the heck is 2.2?

  • Jymmyblanka

    Does any body can tell me how is your signal reception because on my vibrant really sucks…. i have a nokia NURon and i get 4 bars on 3G network when on my vibrant i get 1 bar on EDGE and lay donw i get 2 or 3 bars on EDGE >>>> :'(…. i think this phone have the same issue like the Iphone….??? please i waiting answers :(

  • Rick

    I’m in outside sales and rely heavily on my gps. It fails on route to each and every appointment. I curse this phone every time I try to get somewhere. Why couldn’t Samsung make this the perfect phone this almost was?! And why are they taking so long to fix it?!!
    I don’t get it…doesn’t Samsung want happy customers that would be thrilled to refer others to their products?!

  • Epicly Disappointed

    Here’s the deal Sprint and Samsung. I pre-order the Epic 4G, but if you don’t fix this GPS problem before Aug. 31, you’ll have to sell it to someone else, cause I”m NOT paying TOP dollar for a defective phone!!!!!

  • Kamran

    For anyone whose GPS still lacks in performance after the xda fix, try disabling telenav by downloading Startup Auditor from the market. This helped my GPS tremendously while the xda fix didn’t completely solve it. It seems the two programs running at once causes some interference. Sounds kinda stupid but, for me, it really worked and will do good until the official patch comes out.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Excellent post Kamran.

      People, listen up to Kamran’s tip.

      Startup Auditor has a free and 99 cent version, the free version is fine.

      Load this program and click it. You will be totally shocked at how many programs are loaded when starting your Android-base phone.

      A lot of programs are Net based that simply load small scripts, but those add up.

      And Telenav that Kamran mentions is enabled, so disable it.

      Oh, when you run SA for the first time it will ask permission to send an anonymous e-mail containing ID of your device, OS version, etc. You should send that so the developer can continue to perfect this excellent app.

    • swehes

      I’m going to try this out and update you guys how it worked for me.

  • blablabla

    I’m not sure if this is something affecting all devices but I’ve only used the GPS a few times and it always manage to locate me just fine. Maybe I just lucked out. Not sure.

    • androidjon

      blablabla GPS problems are effecting all Galaxy S phones, even the not yet released Galaxy S EPIC 4G on Sprint has it. Engadget confirmed the problem on the Epic.

      There has been some reports that the GPS gets worse the more you use it, so while it may be working today, it may start messing up soon.

      Come on samsung, get the fix out ASAP.

  • jonathan

    My Vibrant has an ETA of Wednesday to replace my Cliq so I’ll be reporting back if I have this GPS issue. I certainly hope not. However, I’ll go ahead and say… THANKS T-MOBILE FOR CLEANING UP SOME OF MOTOROLA’S MESS. If only they knew how much I appreciated the deal they gave me.

  • Phaelenx

    I used it in Atlanta when I was visiting a friend and it locked on very quickly and the nav worked. Back home in Tallahassee, it tends to not want to work.

  • N.C.

    I’ll take a no GPS running Samsung Galaxy Vibrant over the useless and non-updatable Motorola Cliq any day! And thank you T-Mobile for allowing me to get the new Vibrant at the upgrade price five months after getting the Cliq. You guys are great!

  • jmts80

    Once this software update comes out I think I will get this phone. Hopefully the signal strength issue is also addressed.

  • Soldo

    Who cares about the GPS? Well OK it’s bad, but the infernal LAGGING is a bigger problem. Fastest phone out there? Please!

    • swehes

      run the lag fix and your problem will be gone. My phone jumped from scores of 900 in the benchmark to around 2100+ in the benchmark. However it roots your phone when you are performing the fix.

  • Daniel

    I am frankly astonished that there isn;t more of an outrage about the GPS flaw and the lack of a fix for two months now. Have we all become sheeps that accept to pay good money for a device that’s not working as advertised? No one can tell me that it should take 2 months to develop a software patch in this day and age.

    Since there is no significant complaining from users, even though the problem is real and acknowledged by tech support and many users, we just get what we all deserve: sub-par hardware and service at premium cost. I used to have an Iphone, they had their own problems, but at least Apple acknoweldged them and fixed them in a timely fashion….


    except GPS , often Samsung mobiles does not pick other brand blue-tooth

    • Wiebej

      Bough a new Galaxy S Fascinate from Telus Ontario Canada about a month a go. Love the phone! The GPS is crap! Dos not work most of the time. Just got the phone replaced with new unit after upgrading to 2.2 and doing everything else the support techs would suggest. New unit is the same GPS is crap.
      Samsung needs to step up to the plate and fix the problem with GPS or not sell these units anymore.
      I am an android developer and was hoping on using this phone to test my GPS app’s but it is too inconsistent would not recommend this phone if you want to use GPS. Otherwise great phone.


    except GPS , often Samsung mobiles does not pick other brand blue-tooth