Patching instructions in an app totally cool with Palm
Just the other day Palm pushed out a new app in the App Catalog called GPS Fix. The app, which aims to frequently ping the GPS system for fresh coordinates was designed to counteract whatever voodoo magic is preventing the Verizon Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus from providing accurate GPS data. The problem with those phones? For whatever reason, GPS is locked down on those phones, leaving VZ Navigator as the only app with unrestricted GPS access. Somehow, launching VZ Navigator (even without a subscription) magically enables other apps to access that GPS data.
Firing up one app to use another is obviously not an optimal solution, so that’s why developer James Harris whipped up GPS Fix. But even continual checking for fresh GPS data only can do so much before the phone craps out again and needs VZ Navigator to be launched again. James, being the awesome developer guy that he is, also whipped up a patch to supplement GPS Fix: GPS Fix for VZ Navigator.
The patch is fairly simple in concept and operation: it periodically launches VZ Navigator and then closes VZ Navigator. Due to the nature of webOS and VZ Navigator, a background session for VZ Navigator continues even after the app has been closed, allowing other GPS apps not authorized access on Verizon devices to piggyback off that service. Periodically pinging can keep the service alive, but even then it can still shut down without warning. Firing up VZ Navigator restarts the session and lets the ping-extending begin all over again.
So what’s the fuss about? James put the instructions for how to install the patch in his app, and Palm approved it as is. With all the caveats of ‘Palm doesn’t support or endorse homebrew,’ we supposed the Developer Relations team looked at that and said, “That’ll do,” and then fired up Preware and installed a few dozen patches. Okay, maybe it didn’t go quite like that, but do we need any more evidence of Palm’s continued acceptance and embrace of the homebrew community?
Source: GPS Fix