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[FIX] Resloving GPS problems on Xperia M

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Bonoboo
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(Last edited by Bonoboo; 16th July 2014 at 11:39 AM.)
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Arrow [FIX] Resloving GPS problems on Xperia M

Our phone have issues with GPS.

Firstly, antenna not so good.
Secondly, while long using GPS fix can permanently lost until you off an on GPS.

So using GPS for long time just impossible: recording track can stop and you will not notice that.
Also tracks quality are bad. Here example:
 

Red – phone in default non-modified state
Green – all fixes applied

This probably software bug and it affects all ROM's: all stock (new 4.3 too), CyanogenMod 11 and based on it
Dual version affected too.

Confirmations: 1, 2, 3, 4 and a lot posts from disappointed users on other forums.

--------------------------

Here is complex solutions that really helps me.
But workarounds must be applied ALL to give you acceptable result.


For now most recorded tracks smooth and correct even in cloudy weather.
Please, share your results in thread.


1. Disable network location
 

When it's on and GPS in use phone collecting information about Wi-Fi and mobile base-stations around you and sends to Google for better positioning in future.
Somehow this in correlation with our problem: track goes ragged, sometimes you "teleporting" into different location.

This was confirmed in my test a lot times.
And what advantage in this if we already have precise coordinates from GPS?
So disable it:

For stock: Settings > Location services > untick Google's location service

For CyanogenMod and other 4.4: Settings > Location > Mode > select Device Only


2. Software workaround
 

We just need to automatically regularly off and on GPS.
So bug with constantly lost fix just does not have time to appear – we preventively "rebooting" GPS. It's really helps.

Such shutdown doesn't causing gaps on track: last points just connecting. And then location determined instantly.
Surely you need to disable notification "GPS signal lost" in your track-recording / navigation app because it will be appears every 3 minutes.

Thanks to Tasker and App Factory I created standalone project as a separate application
It doesn't requires Tasker itself and haven't any settings: app just working in background.
To control GPS state needed Root and free plugin Secure Settings (XDA)

Task configured to launch if GPS was manually on. When GPS off by you task stops.
Don't left it "on" if not use – task may affect battery!


Specially for that, who enables GPS only when need it.
Below provided same profile for Tasker, so you can optimize it for your requirements, e.g. starting by shortcut or other conditions.

How task works
 

1. Wait 2 minutes for sure good first fixing satellites
–– If after this time GPS still on – goto p.2
–– If GPS was off – task ends. Protection from accidental starting cycle
2. Disables GPS
3. Wait 5 seconds
4. Enabling GPS
5. Wait 3 minutes
–– If for this time GPS don't disabled manually – goto p.2
–– If GPS was disabled manually – task ends to next enabling
Installing
For stock firmware:
1. Install from Google Play app BusyBox
2. Launch it and allow root permissions
3. Press button Install below
4. Delete that app, we do not need it anymore
5. Follow steps below

For custom ROM's (BusyBox already there):
6. Install from Google Play plugin Secure Settings
7. Launch it. On third tab System+ press button Disabled
8. Press OK and allow root permissions
9. Download and install this app: Fix GPS (you need installed gapps!)
10. Launch it. Nothing will happen, but the program is activated
11. Now the application will autorun in background when phone boots

Notes
– If you want to disable app delete or freeze it
– App creates persistent service that don't affects battery if GPS off. Takes up 10-14 MB RAM
– Don't forget to add Fix GPS app into white-list of your task-killer and Stamina
– You can hide installed apps from launcher, no longer needed to interact with them

---------------------------------

And here Tasker profile if someone want to edit states for task activation for own needs.
Or you can create shortcut at homescreen to control fix manually. There's a lot of variants.

Installing
1. Download archive and extract XML file from it
2. Put file in /storage/sdcard0/Tasker/profiles/ (internal memory/Tasker/profiles)
3. Launch Tasker, tap on Tasks tab > Import > Fix_GPS.prf.xml

3. Simple hardware addition to increase sensitivity of GPS receiver
 

Sensitivity of receiving a signal from the satellites we have lower than it could be
It seems cause is antenna: it small, located under the sticker in the corner of the camera.

In identical conditions SNR (signal-noise ratio) from satellites in Sony 20-30, in LG P500 – 30-40
This also causes regular deterioration of accuracy and artifacts on track.

So basing on this thread I created similar primitive "additional antenna".
This is anti-technical, but really helps a bit.

Result: additional 2-7 SNR points
Check this yourself with and without modified back cover using GPS Test app.

Installing
1. Cut strip of cooper foil with width approx. 4 mm. Internet says that aluminum foil gives worst results
2. Attach it using adhesive tape inside cover at camera hole as on photo below
3. Length - as you wish. Pieces can be connected lapped by making small incisions


4. Change settings for recording tracks
 

If your beloved app allow to change recording settings edit them similar as below.
This is make tracks more smooth and steady.
Here is for MyTracks

– Recording time interval: 2 s
– Recording distance interval: 20 m
– Max distance: 200 m
– GPS accuracy: 30 m
Attached Files
File Type: apk Fix_GPS.apk - [Click for QR Code] (965.8 KB, 293 views)
File Type: zip Fix_GPS_Tasker_Profile.zip - [Click for QR Code] (952 Bytes, 178 views)
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Bonoboo For This Useful Post: [ Click to Expand ]
 
Barua
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I had teleporting problem about gps. I think it's because of google service.
 
MartyMantion
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I'm trying to install fix gps apk and getting error "app not installed". Any ideas on what could be the issue?
 
Bonoboo
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(Last edited by Bonoboo; 11th July 2014 at 06:26 PM.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyMantion View Post
I'm trying to install fix gps apk and getting error "app not installed". Any ideas on what could be the issue?
Hmm, strange.
This will be clear if you record logcat in txt while installing APK and attach here.
Use app Logcat Extreme

UPD: Also, gapps installed (if you use custom rom) ?
 
mikee286
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Do all Sony xperia M have the same gps issues or are these issues just plaguing some people? I am thinking of buying this phone but I am a heavy gps user I use offline maps like Osmand and I can't have a gps that cuts out and doesn't regain connection.
 
MartyMantion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonoboo View Post
Hmm, strange.
This will be clear if you record logcat in txt while installing APK and attach here.
Use app Logcat Extreme

UPD: Also, gapps installed (if you use custom rom) ?
I see, it depends on google maps. I do not have gapps installed (trying to live sans-google).


Code:
~>cat fixgps.log | grep gps
E/PackageManager(  742): Package fix.gps requires unavailable shared library com.google.android.maps; failing!
W/PackageManager(  742): Package couldn't be installed in /data/app/fix.gps-1.apk
I/InstallAppProgress( 9907): Finished installing fix.gps


---------- Post added at 07:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:00 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikee286 View Post
Do all Sony xperia M have the same gps issues or are these issues just plaguing some people? I am thinking of buying this phone but I am a heavy gps user I use offline maps like Osmand and I can't have a gps that cuts out and doesn't regain connection.
I got my second one and they both have this issue. First one I got used second one new. Both are C1904.
 
Bonoboo
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(Last edited by Bonoboo; 14th July 2014 at 07:04 AM.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikee286 View Post
Do all Sony xperia M have the same gps issues?
Seems yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyMantion View Post
it depends on google maps. I do not have gapps installed
Yep, Tasker standalone apps always depends from Google Maps Framework which part of gapps (not just Maps app).
And because I pointed to logcat to confirm this.
I added info about gapps into first post.
 
pedroj666
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To which folder I copy the file "Fix_GPS_Tasker_Profile"?
 
Bonoboo
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(Last edited by Bonoboo; 16th July 2014 at 11:40 AM.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedroj666 View Post
To which folder I copy the file "Fix_GPS_Tasker_Profile"?
1. Extract XML file from archive
2. Put file in /storage/sdcard0/Tasker/profiles/ (internal memory/Tasker/profiles)
3. Launch Tasker, tap on Tasks tab > Import > Fix_GPS.prf.xml

Now this in first post, thanks for tip.

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