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[APP][1.5+][2013/03/09] Bluetooth GPS for Android : BlueGPS4Droid (version 1.2.6)

OP herbert1

8th November 2010, 07:23 PM   |  #1  
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I have a bluetooth GPS that I used to use some years ago with a GPS navigation application on my windows mobile phone (HTC BlueAngel, then HTC Elf).

When I switched for an Android phone (HTC Magic, then Acer Liquid), I was strangely unable to use it. It wasn't a big issue for me since both phones have an internal GPS. However, recently I bought a Samsung S galaxy, which GPS is barely usable...

I've searched something for using my bluetooth GPS, but I haven't found any open source application.

So I've developed one:
  • it' free,
  • it's open-source (you can verify what it's really doing and you can improve it!),
  • it just asks for needed permissions.

The application allows to use an external bluetooth GPS on Android devices:
The application starts a service, then connects to a Bluetooth device (NMEA GPS) and creates a mock GPS provider which can be used to replace the internal GPS.
It's also possible to log the external GPS NMEA data in a file on the device.

The app needs the following permissions:
  • bluetooth and bluetooth admin (connection to the GPS device),
  • location and mock location (replace the GPS location provider by a new one using the bluetooth GPS device),
  • write external storage (if you want to log the NMEA data into a file on the sdcard).

It should run on all android devices (2.0 and above) and NMEA bluetooth devices (there is now also a special version for Cupcake and Donuts - see below).
I have tested it with a GlobalSat BT-338 bluetooth GPS (SiRF III), a Galaxy S (I9000) and a HTC Sapphire (Froyo CM-6).
It works with Google Maps, Wikitude, GoPenS and my own personal navigation app. It should work with all applications that use Android official location API.

Note: in order to install the app:
  • enable Settings/Applications/Unknown sources,
  • enable Settings/Applications/Development/Allow mock locations,
  • download and install the apk.

Project page: Bluetooth GPS for Android on SourceForge
BlueGPS4Droid apk: BlueGps4Droid_1.2.6.apk for Eclair or newer.
BlueGPS4Cupcake apk: BlueGps4Cupcake_1.2.6.apk special version only for Cupcake and Donuts.
User guide an review (thanks to Leszek Pawlowicz): http://androgeoid.com/2010/09/androi...s-for-android/

I want to thank Globalsat U.S. which, kindly, has sent me, free of charge, a USB GPS and a replacement for my old bluetooth GPS, in order to support this work.
Last edited by herbert1; 29th March 2013 at 10:08 AM.
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8th November 2010, 07:23 PM   |  #2  
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Change log
BlueGps4Cupcake 1.2.6 (2013-03-09)BlueGps4Droid 1.2.6 (2013-03-09)
  • Bug fix : correction in SiRF options summary description (English/French/Russian/Portugese/Spanish)
  • Bug fix : correction in NMEA checksum calcul
  • Bug fix : NMEA sentences without checksum weren't correctly parsed
  • Update copyright info in source and about app message
BlueGps4Cupcake 1.2.5 (2012-05-11)BlueGps4Droid 1.2.5 (2012-05-01)
  • Add Portuguese translation (thanks to rsantospereira (XDA: rikpereira) and meiji (XDA: meiji.emperor))
BlueGps4Cupcake 1.2.4 (2012-03-27)BlueGps4Droid 1.2.4 (2012-03-26)BlueGps4Droid 1.2.3 (2011-09-08)
  • Add Russian translation (thanks to skleroz)
BlueGps4Cupcake 1.2.2 (2011-05-24)BlueGps4Droid 1.2.2 (2011-05-14)BlueGps4Droid 1.2.1 (2011-01-20)BlueGps4Droid 1.2.0 (2010-12-10)
  • Add SiRF configuration management (NMEA sentences - SBAS - Static Navigation)
  • Add verifications: if bluetooth or mock locations are not enabled, the service is not started.
  • Add alert messages to explain why the service cannot be started if bluetooth or mock locations are not enabled
  • If device doesn't have an internal GPS, the bluetooth GPS provider is enabled automatically
  • Add an about window that gives the version of application, licensing information and where the sources may be downloaded.
BlueGps4Droid 1.2 alpha (2010-10-25)
  • SiRF configuration management (NMEA sentences - SBAS - Static Navigation)
BlueGps4Droid 1.1.2 (2010-11-04)
  • Add verifications: if bluetooth or mock locations are not enabled, the service is not started.
  • Add alert messages to explain why the service cannot be started if bluetooth or mock locations are not enabled
  • If device doesn't have an internal GPS, the bluetooth GPS provider will be enabled automatically
BlueGps4Droid 1.1.1 (2010-09-29)
  • Bug fix (Ticket #4: Connection service is not properly closed https://sourceforge.net/p/bluegps4droid/tickets/4/).
  • Add notifications when the connection with the GPS fails and when the connection service is closed because of two many connection retry.
  • Add settings to choose the number of connection retries before exiting.

BlueGps4Droid 1.1 (2010-09-26) - does not work properly because of bug #4. Use either version 1.0 or 1.1.1 !
  • Reconnect automatically when the connection with the GPS is lost (5 attempts in 5 minutes)
  • Replace Android default internal GPS or use a new location provider
  • Send status notifications when GPS loses fix or is disconnected.
BlueGps4Droid 1.0.1 (2010-10-25)
  • Add verifications: if bluetooth or mock locations are not enabled, the service is not started.
  • Add alert messages to explain why the service cannot be started if bluetooth or mock locations are not enabled
  • If device doesn't have an internal GPS, the bluetooth GPS provider will be enabled automatically
BlueGps4Droid 1.0 (2010-09-12)
  • Connect to bluetooth GPS (NMEA) and replace the internal GPS of an Android device.
  • Record GPS tracks in NMEA files
  • Compatible with Android version 2.0 and above
  • English and French translations
Last edited by herbert1; 29th March 2013 at 09:41 AM. Reason: update changelog
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8th November 2010, 07:25 PM   |  #3  
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Localizing BlueGPS4Droid for other languages...
BlueGPS4Droid has been downloaded more than 25,000 times from more than 100 countries.

However, actually BlueGPS4Droid is only available in the following languages:

If you find it useful, help us to improve the translations and support new languages !
Last edited by herbert1; 11th May 2012 at 08:25 PM.
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8th November 2010, 09:16 PM   |  #4  
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Thank you!
Man, you rock! I thought this is never going to happen!

You made my SGS with half-broken gps useable as I have spare Nokia gps unit that I bought back in E70 days.

Keep up your great job!
9th November 2010, 03:24 AM   |  #5  
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I'll give this one a try.. I've tried two others in the market, one I paid for (and is still pay-for) which technically works but doesn't reconnect well or at all. The other was pay-for and now is free, and it works FLAWLESS.

Doesn't hurt to try one more for fun. Plus, maybe this one will behave on tablets, as I understand the other two don't. I don't have a tablet yet to try though..
8th December 2010, 03:48 PM   |  #6  
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I'm interested in having my Android send GPS NMEA as a BT GPS unit. Seems like all the pieces are there in this project. Has the author considered this use-case?

Thanks,
Jae
9th December 2010, 10:27 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaebird

I'm interested in having my Android send GPS NMEA as a BT GPS unit. Seems like all the pieces are there in this project. Has the author considered this use-case?

Thanks,
Jae

You're right, it's even simpler since you don't have to analyze the NMEA sentences.

However,
  1. It' wasn't what I needed (sharing Galaxy S GPS is not really the best idea you can have... )
  2. there is already several free (and open source) applications available for that purpose...

For an open source app see, for example, BlueNMEA here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=553053
http://max.kellermann.name/projects/blue-nmea/

There is also GPS 2 Bluetooth which is free (but not open source) :
http://www.androidpit.com/en/android...-Bluetooth-v-2
http://www.android-software.fr/gps-2-bluetooth (review in french)
10th December 2010, 11:32 PM   |  #8  
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New version 1.2.0 is out
BlueGps4Droid 1.2.0
  • Add SiRF configuration management (NMEA sentences - SBAS - Static Navigation)
  • Add verifications: if bluetooth or mock locations are not enabled, the service is not started.
  • Add alert messages to explain why the service cannot be started if bluetooth or mock locations are not enabled
  • If device doesn't have an internal GPS, the bluetooth GPS provider is enabled automatically
  • Add an about window that gives the version of application, licensing information and where the sources may be downloaded.
12th December 2010, 05:58 AM   |  #9  
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Some real nice work, your package is very complete. It seems like not too many people have discovered your incredible asset to our Androids. Keep up the good work.
12th December 2010, 07:20 AM   |  #10  
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Wonderful! Keep up the good work! I'll be testing this all day tmr! Thanks!

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