Do You Have GPS Lag on the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro?

(img adapted from Cyphol's original)

We here at WMExperts write this with due amount of trepidation, humility, and a willingness to admit we are completely in over our heads on the technical aspects of what we're about to discuss, but here goes:

It appears that the Touch Diamond and the Touch Pro have some issues with regard to GPS. Namely -- many users are reporting a significant lag -- not in satellite acquisition, but in the actual reporting of your position as you move. On these devices, GPS often (but not always) seem to be several seconds behind on reporting your position. While a lag of several seconds (or more) doesn't sound like much, it is pretty much a deal-breaker when you're attempting to use GPS for driving or biking directions.

Missed turns aren't fun, so read on for more.

Folks over at XDA-Developers are reporting/discussing GPS lag issues with both the HTC Touch Diamond and HTC Touch Pro. Additionally, at PPCGeeks we read that certain software on the CDMA Touch Diamond on Sprint sometimes lags. Here's what the the situation looks like right now: GPS lags of up to several seconds are being reported for different people, across several different GPS apps, and in different parts of the world.

As we've said before and at-length here at WMExperts, these sorts of issues are often very difficult to pin down as they lie at the intersection of different kinds of chip hardware, processing power, drivers, software, antennae, and the like.  In fact, all of the above have been posited and tested as possible causes. Adding insult to diagnostic injury, some report fixes based on radio or ROM updates while others don't.

Based on some of the discussion over at XDA, it does look like HTC may be aware of a problem and is looking into it.

Both the Diamond and the Touch Pro utilize the Qualcomm MSM7201a chipset, leading us to worry just a teensy little bit that we're looking at a redux of that other complicated issue involving HTC, Qualcomm, software, drivers, and graphical performance. We're not going to go there quite yet, though, since GPS on smartphones is notoriously difficult to get right and even more notoriously dependent on localized circumstances like location, installed software, the day, the weather, building interference, and heck, we don't know, the phases of the moon.

The Treo Pro, for example, shares the same Qualcomm MSM7201a chipset with the Touch Diamond and the Touch Pro and we have even floated the idea that it was not only manufactured but designed by HTC. In our own Windows Mobile Forums we are now seeing reports of unduly long acquisition times and GPS drops that vary by software. The Treo Pro does seem to have differing performance depending on which app you use it with, as this roundabout solution to getting it to work faster in Windows Live Search details. We haven't run across any Treo Pro users reporting GPS lag, however.

If nothing else, it's becoming clear that something is going on here. The number of reports from users who clearly know their stuff when it comes to smartphones appears to have risen above the level of sporadic GPS problems. In fact, users in the XDA threads have reported that their GPS lag problems vanish when they use an external bluetooth GPS receiver.

What we need now are more datapoints. Have you ever experienced GPS lag? We are talking the kind where your position is well behind where if should be, not simply long acquisition times. If you've had GPS lag, what smartphone and what software are you using?

WC Staff
  • I had this GPS lag on my Diamond when using iGuidance. I installed Franson GPS gate and have not had any GPS issues since.
  • I had that lag on my BB Curve so when the 30 day trial was up it went back to Alltel. It is absolutly a deal breaker!
    Cant see the street signs,,,,,,GPS shows the turn coming ahead,,,,,,not yet,,,, not this one,,,,,,, WTF the marker just jumped 2 blocks,,,,,%$#*&^ Missed my turn,,,, how am I going to get turned around on this devided highway,,,,, drive 2 more miles>do u-turn>drive 3 miles back>do u-turn>drive 1 mile back to correct turn!!!
  • Have HTC Touch HD and have run TomTom on it in parallel with a TomTom Go 520. There is a delay, which becomes more noticeable at speed. The same delay is apparent using Google Maps. However, when walking, Google Maps can tell when I've crossed the street, so this seems to be a delay in the data reaching the navigation software rather than inaccuracy in positioning. I'd like to be able to remove the 'External GPS' layer in Windows to see if that's the culprit, but I can't disable it. The delay does not render the device useless, but instructions in TomTom are about a second later than with a dedicated unit.
  • Over on XDA Sleuth has narrowed it down to a fault in the GPS driver which is inside the radio. It can also be a fault in the GPS, but most probably its the driver in the radio thats causing the lag. Read more here: Now for HTC and Qualcomm to admit that they have a fault in their driver/radio and come with a patch a.s.a.p.!!
  • I have just bought an HTC Touch Pro and found this delay. I counted 3 seconds delay in everything. 3 seconds from when i come to a stop that the map does, 3 seconds delay passing intersections
  • I believe that this is a Microsoft issue. I see the problem on both a new AT&T Fuze and an older Tilt. However, the problem seems to have appeared on the Tilt only after upgrading to Windows Mobile 6.1. With WM 6.0 the Tilt worked fine with iNav.
  • treo pro, sprint. using google mobile map app, i've not been impressed with how long it takes to lock in my location. Start up app, "dialing (connecting EVDO)" wait 10 seconds, "Seeking GPS Satellites" wait 20 seconds, "GPS active" wait forever, turn off GPS in the app (unclick "Use GPS"), turn it on... bam. there I am (in downtown SF) It has the feeling of a hardware driver issue, maybe google map app isn't getting a response from the hardware interface until I stop/start the gps. Was playing around with Google Latitude this morning. Watching my wife on her commute to work. Half way there, I stop seeing updates. Sorta new to this technology, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was sorta hoping it would be more reliable than this. shouldn't it be? I guess I can't be sure if this is google's app having an issue but I smell a rat in the underlying hardware/driver.
  • I've got a HTC Touch Pro and getting lag to when using TomTom 7.0. Did the last firmwareupdate that was on the HTC website. Still got the lag. It is about 2 or 3 seconds. Romversion 5.05.404.1 NLD
    Romdate: 01/22/09
    Protocolversion: I'll keep testing and keep you all posted!
  • I read that if you uncheck all the boxes in the Show POI on Map for TomTom, it fixes the 3 seconds lag. You might want to give that a try.
  • I think wow gold and wow gold