Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2011 10:06 AM by raskolnikov773
musicspirit Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
Since buying an iPhone 3GS just under a year ago I have not bothered to update. (Model MC131ZP & software version 3.1.3(7E18)

Apart from loads of dropped calls ( which seems to be par for the course for iPhones compared to Blackberrys and more basic phones) I have not had any operational problems whatsoever until recently.. when the GPS function which had always been brilliant stopped updating the current position when I was driving. So you would get in a situation where you crucially needed to know exactly where you were in relation to the destination and the current location would lag behind making precise navigation very much worse...

My question: is it safe to update several versions from 3.1.3 to 4.2 and is likely to be the cure for the malfunctioning GPS?

I have backed up but thought I would check here before doing the update

thanks in advance


Mac Pro1,1 Dual-Core Intel Xeon 3GHz 5GB RAM + L9 + Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, Mac OS X (10.5.8), MacBookPro OS X (10.6.3) 2.66 + M Audio Fast Track Ultra
  • roaminggnome Level 10 Level 10 (93,810 points)
    Dropped calls are not par for the course.

    In over three years with iphone, I have not noticed dropped calls, nor has my wife, brother or anyone else I know.

    I think it is always a good idea to upgrade to the latest version. Not sure why you wouldn't.

    Of course it is safe.

    No idea if it will cure your GPS problem, but upgrading would certainly be one of the first troubleshooting steps followed by restart, reset, restore.
  • bbfc Level 3 Level 3 (845 points)
    ^ I too have NEVER experienced dropped calls.

    I would always update to the latest version of iOS. The whole point of an update is to fix problems. Sure you'll find people having issues on these forums, but nobody would come on to say that they are not having any issues.

    Message was edited by: bbfc
  • TITNTUFF Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    Could Location services have been turned off accidentally? Try a different location app and see if it is an app problem.
  • Ziatron Level 4 Level 4 (3,755 points)
    Apart from loads of dropped calls ( which seems to be par for the course for iPhones compared to Blackberrys and more basic phones)

    My experience has been just the opposite. With my iPhone (firmware 3.0.1) I lose about one call per 200. My friends with blackberries report more dropped calls than I experience with iPhone.

    I am unaware of any GPS problems associated with firmware 3.1.3.
  • musicspirit Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
    thanks for your replies folks, it is reassuring to hear that the dropped calls dont seem to be an iPhone issue .. so perhaps it is the network

    Regarding location - this does work. ie it still recognises location but specifically it gets 'stuck' at a location of a few minutes ago and doesnt rapidly update like it used to.

    The brilliant aspect about the GPS on iPhone ( which renders it IMO so superior to dedicated car GPS like Tom tom, Garmin etc) is that it shows you an absolutely current blue dot where you are in relation to the route that you chose. So it is easy to get back on track when you go wrong.

    But if this blue dot 'lags' or get stuck as it has been doing recently a lot ( and I have tried it in 2 different countries) then there is an issue I still need to resolve

    Can anyone confirm that the issues of recent iPhone updates have been resolved? ( I seem to remember quite a lot of traffic on the forum about people having problems with updates)

    thanks again

  • AnaMusic Level 9 Level 9 (57,075 points)
    Hi MS,

    My iPhone 3GS is 18 months old and I had encountered a few performance issues with IOS 4…

    BUT after doing a " Restore as New…" I am very Happy to say that the phone performs Brilliantly… Smooth, Fast and Issue Free…

    Before doing the Restore I Deleted a lot of Unused Apps and made sure my Current Apps were all Up To Date…

    Sure I lost some Data, but nothing of consequence to me, and nothing of Value that a Re-sync to iTunes did not fix…

    Another plus is that you get to rediscover the iPhone all over again…

    Hope this Helps,

  • musicspirit Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
    thanks very much for your input Anamusic - good to hear that your phone is up and running well.

    * * *

    For the information of everyone who has kindly contributed to this thread, I just updated fully my iTunes and iPhone firmware etc but the main problem still remains:

    *The GPS location device is still lagging and inaccurate. For example right now, I am at home but the GPS on the iPhone shows my current location as a few streets away.*

    It never used to do this - and the software update seems to have done nothing whatsoever to cure this my main issue.

    Looking forward to more suggestions

  • schveiguy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Not an expert, but...

    A phone is not a dedicated GPS device. It is generally *good enough* to do GPS detection, but a GPS is usually going to do a better job.

    1. GPS depends on line-of-site from the satellites. If you are in an area with tall buildings, or indoors, the GPS is likely to be inaccurate.
    2. Dedicated GPS devices use software to correct for possible changes. For instance, if you go into a tunnel, it knows it's a tunnel, and will estimate your position based on your last known speed. I don't know if the iphone app you are using takes this into account (there are some apps that are specifically for navigation, I'm not sure how these fare).
    3. Some advanced GPS' include a gyroscope to allow more accurate navigation through low-signal areas (such as tall buildings). I think iphone4 has a gyroscope, but I'm not sure if it would be used by your GPS software.
    4. Your assessment that iphone GPS is better because it shows you where you are, and where your original route is doesn't make any sense. Don't you just want to get to your destination from where you are? Likely this leads you back to the original route. I imagine in London that you are in a similar situation as in Boston where it's not obvious how to get back onto a road you were on, and often another road is a better option once you are off course.

    I understand your GPS signal got worse recently, but I would not blame this on software, it sounds like a hardware issue.
  • musicspirit Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
    thanks for your detailed input schveiguy...

    However, the main puzzle I need to solve is why there has been a noticeable *step change* in the quality of my iPhone GPS as a usable navigation tool.

    The simple fact is that I have in the past year used the iPhone as a navigation tool extensively in 3 completely different countries: UK, France and South Africa - in all these different locations the GPS worked absolutely brilliantly - the blue dot and screen display updated in real time with complete accuracy to the exact location I was.

    This accuracy was the key factor in being able to navigate from destination to destination - and with a driving partner take quick decisions for turning off left right, highways etc etc

    schveiguy wrote:
    4. Your assessment that iphone GPS is better because it shows you where you are, and where your original route is doesn't make any sense. Don't you just want to get to your destination from where you are?

    Not so - I do not want to just follow blindly instructions from a car satnav ( which I have and still use occasionally)
    Often the satnav is just plain stupid and the iPhone GPS allows one to make intelligent detours, orient oneself in terms of N, W, E and S and to quickly correct a mistake.

    As soon as the accuracy of the GPS update degrades or lags, you are left wandering where the **** you actually are and the GPS becomes worse than useless.

    * * *

    Still needing an explanation and a cure for the change in efficacy

  • inkkapaul Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I had the same problem, the solution when it lags is to turn your IPhone off for a minute, then back on, it allows the phone to find the network towers that are in the area, giving you better reception and precise gps...
    it works for me!!!
  • TITNTUFF Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    My 3GS is 18 months old, and running IOS 4.2.1
    In Google maps, Trapster, Waze, GlobalScout and other gps apps I am within 10 feet of actual location. At 65 mph the phone tracks me very accurately, with a small lag, maybe a second behind my actual location.
    During the initial turn on when the phone is using towers for a quick fix, it might show me 1/2 mile away at the tower location, but it narrows down fairly fast.
    There is a weather app that shows me about 2 miles n/e of my actual location that has never got me correctly located.
  • musicspirit Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)

    thanks for your suggestion - I have tried turning my iPhone on and off and it makes no difference.


    I am glad your phone works so well for you... perhaps the beacons in Louisiana are better than in London. Though until quite recently the standard iPhone GPS Map worked perfectly

    Perhaps I should try another App

    * * *

    Still need an answer. Anyone?


    Message was edited by: musicspirit
  • TITNTUFF Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    Maybe your gps chip is going out?
    We got 3G service last month, prior to that we had Edge only.
    In my experience, most of the time if the gps is off it is a tower problem. Software would be my second choice. Maybe the buildings in London are causing loss of signal, or interference? We have pine trees around here, LOTS of pine trees.
    I've had good luck with Trapster and GlobalScout on locations, Google Maps has been accurate also.
  • TITNTUFF Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    My iPhone came with 3.0, I upgraded to 3.1, and from 3.1 to 4.2.1. But the gps accuracy was not a problem, except for an occasional quickfix being off and the afore mentioned weather app.
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