Samsung Galaxy Tab A & GPS without WiFi

Jerry Bransford

New member
might be due to A-GPS (aka aGPS). originally this meant Assisted-GPS and was a technology for using data from the internet to help the GPS achieve a faster initial satellite lock. but then some manufactures started using the same term to mean a GPS chip that ONLY works with the assistance of the network. so if you see a tablet with A-GPS you've got a 50/50 shot of whether it's a nice extra feature or if the tablet is completely useless off grid.
Samsung verified my wifi TAB A tablet has a true GPS receiver chip in it. That 'A-GPS' term is from Apple and it has confused a lot or people... their cellular iPads contain a true GPS receiver chip and the assisted part just means Apple also uses triangulation from cell towers to help provide a faster fix than the GPS receiver chip would do on its own.
 

theksmith

Explorer
This is the confusion with Apple, "Assisted GPS" means it has an actual GPS receiver (e.g. the cell-enabled ones). I guess the perspective is WiFi location is acceptable location and to get better requires "assistance" from real satellites.

It's not a cell or WiFi limitation per say but that the components Apple used have the real GPS receiver co-located in the cell modem component. I know @snare has previously mentioned that this is not a true statement with Android devices but I've often wondered if it's safe to say it's always true. It's still a confusing question because there's no single answer that covers all tablets, all OSes (e.g. both iOS and Android) and brands. There's lots of components and device combination that might be exceptions.

This has been one thing holding me back from buying a tablet that it's sometimes hard to tell for sure what is and isn't true with respect to GPS receivers in them. Like them or not iPads have always been cell capable equals stand-alone GPS included, WiFi-only equals needing a GPS puck.
Samsung verified my wifi TAB A tablet has a true GPS receiver chip in it. That 'A-GPS' term is from Apple and it has confused a lot or people... their cellular iPads contain a true GPS receiver chip and the assisted part just means Apple also uses triangulation from cell towers to help provide a faster fix than the GPS receiver chip would do on its own.

actually what i was talking about is not Apple specific. this better explains the 2 very different versions of A-GPS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisted_GPS

originally A-GPS was only what that article calls MSB, i.e. getting orbital data from the internet in order to establish a faster first-fix. however now MSA is also sometimes labeled as A-GPS, and it is a network-required positioning technology.
 
Finally had the opportunity to test it in the backwoods of Maine. I had downloaded a Google Map for the area, as well as several different layers for Gaia. Worked perfectly on both systems. Now to get more acquainted with all of Gaia's features before navigating from Denali to Banff. Thank you, everyone, for all of the help!
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Finally had the opportunity to test it in the backwoods of Maine. I had downloaded a Google Map for the area, as well as several different layers for Gaia. Worked perfectly on both systems. Now to get more acquainted with all of Gaia's features before navigating from Denali to Banff. Thank you, everyone, for all of the help!

so what was the glitch that was preventing it from working previously? My 7 is getting outdated and moving to an 8 would be a nice enough cheap upgrade. As long as the GPS works.
 

Tswhit15

Member
I was able to effectively use the Gaia GPS maps with my tab A to get me through the Kentucky adventure trail in the woods of Kentucky/Virginia/West Virginia and worked fairly flawlessly. Only a few minor issues which I attributed to the tracks I downloaded and not the GPS tracking.
 

ohiobenz

Member
I would like to hear what the solution was as well. It was one of the reasons I went with a Surface and run Maps pro.
 
yeah, i wish the free one was a full featured time trial or something instead so people could really test it. but $10 is really cheap to even try something and not keep it.

their own support forums are great, the developer responds within a day usually on there: http://www.alpinequest.net/forum/

FYI, in the "available maps" screen, scroll down to the bottom and click the "additional maps" button (or something like that)... then look for the map sources with stars. specifically near the end of the list are the Caltop maps - which include great ones such as Forest Service Topo, USGS Topo, land ownership overlays, etc. also you might add the HERE/Yahoo maps which have nice road maps and satellite/hybrid maps (because you can't save the Google map sources for offline use - per Google's License terms,

i used to try and teach some clinics for our club (offroadpassport.com) on general tablet/phone GPS use covering multiple apps. now i just cover AlpineQuest to keep it simple. most folks i've turned on to it really like it after playing with it a few days. the exception being really non-techy people that still prefer older dedicated GPS units like Garmin/Magellan/etc.

i also like Copilot USA as an on-road/nav app. it does full offline routing and such after you download the ~2GB complete US map. it covers a ton of larger forest roads actually too, at least out here in the Southwest. however, i don't use this app as much anymore since i have a Verizon tablet and seem to get service often enough that Google Maps usually works for my on-road navigation needs.
What level of detail does it show?
 

Reh5108

New member
OP did you find a solution? Since owning mine the GPS takes a looong time to connect, days even. There was one update that seemed to have fixed it then the next update screwed it up again. Currently in the process of downgrading back to Marshmallow to hopefully find the version that worked.
 

Reh5108

New member
No luck with different software versions. However I did find that I can use my phones gps on the tablet.

Download bluenmea app on the phone and Bluetooth gps on the tablet.

Connect both phone and tablet to Bluetooth

Add the tablet on the bluenmea app

In developer options allow mock location on the tablet. Also enable this in the app as well.

Open any GPS app and it should have your phones location.

This should work on any android tablet. Not really a fix but it works. It's quite frustrating because occasionally my tablet does get a fix but it seems completely random.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
The longer intervals between using your GPS, the longer the startup / initialization time is. Something to do with updating a satellite location table / ephemeris during startup.
 
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