Users claim iPhone 3.0 GPS mis-map mishaps
'Hi, luv. I'm under the sea, apparently.'
iPhone owners have begun filling forums with grumbles that Apple’s latest firmware causes Google Maps to become more than a little inaccurate.
The “GPS and Maps not working after 3.0 upgrade” thread on Apple’s own Discussions website is filled with comments from angry iPhone owners that the firmware update causes the bundled Google application to spit out current location results anywhere between a few hundred meters and four miles off course.
Since installing 3.0, “my current location has not work probably [sic] as it gives me like a location a few miles away from my location”, said one user.
Another alleged: “I had 2 meter accuracy before the update. Now it’s useless.”
The majority of postings refer to 3.0 mapping problems on the iPhone 3G, which incorporates a GPS chip. However, some owners of the first generation iPhone – which uses triangulation to determine your location – have also logged issues.
“On my first generation iPhone, while at home, it used to be pretty accurate. After upgrading it to 3.0 it puts me about 2 miles away,” said an iPhone 2G owner.
Apple has yet to make any official comment on the issue. But one forum posted claimed that an Apple support engineer suggested resetting the phone to try and overcome the issue.
If that didn’t work, the rep apparently suggested, the phone should be sent in for testing.
A quick look at the two iPhones in the Register Hardware office - a 2G and a 3G, both running iPhone OS 3.0 - but said Vulture Central was exactly where it should be. We've seen no accuracy issues anywhere else, either.
But don’t forget to let us know if you’ve experienced similar problems as Apple's forum posters. ®
Thanks to reader Josh for the heads up.
There are already solutions to both the real (atmospheric, inherent satellite based) and imaginary (the US screwing with the civilian data) problems such as:
in short you dead reckon a point on Earth through normal surveying means. You then stick a GPS receiver on that point. You now know where that receiver is to the millimetre.
When you receive the satellite stream you look at where it tells you the receiver is and compare it to where the receiver *actually* is. You then send an adjustment accordingly.
Doubt that Apple use this system but I thought some readers may find the information interesting.
@ Mr Burns
Exxxxcccelent… Thanks for making my point so eloquently. Much appreciated.
2 Blocks Off
I noticed this problem quite a while ago on my 1st generation iPhone. It was very accurate, even with the fake-GPS cell tower triangulation. It could spot my home to within about 50 meters. Then an upgrade came along, (2.1 I think) and suddenly, whenever I search for a street address, every location is about 500 meters northwest of its actual location, about two city blocks away. This makes it absolutely useless for searching street addresses and using directions, I always get directions to the wrong spot.
BTW, this is in the US midwest, I have converted to metric for you poor post-Imperial Measurement users.
Sounds good to me
Wildly inaccurate GPS and triangulation sounds like a bonus. The further off-kilter the better, so as to send the black helicopters far far away. :)
I just checked. The phone correctly showed my location (in my own backyard) on the satellite image, however the address it reported was off by four houses.