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Verizon Pre Plus

If you happen to own a Verizon Palm Pre Plus or Palm Pixi Plus, then you likely know the pain of Verizon’s intentional GPS crippling. The culprit, at least on the technology side of things, is that when looking for its position, webOS first turns to aGPS (cellular tower assisted GPS) to get a general location, and then looks to the sky for the more accurate triangulated positioning. Verizon’s aGPS for whatever reason was set such that unless you have a VZ Navigator subscription your aGPS data is locked down, but you still have a connection that the phone will continue to ping, looking for a response it isn’t going to receive. Eventually webOS gives up and turns to satellite GPS, but it takes long enough that users will give up rather than wait several minutes (or longer) for their location.

Intrepid PreCentral forum member Troy Miller may have found one workable solution, and it comes in our favorite form: a homebrew patch. His idea was to block the aGPS ping, such that the phone would ask for the general location from Verizon, not even get the metaphorical dial tone, and immediately move on to trying with standalone GPS. The patch that Miller put together forcibly redirects an aGPS request to an IP where it will get no response, thus tricking webOS into thinking there’s no available aGPS data (whereas before the phone would sit patiently and wait for Verizon to not respond). Of course, that means that you won't get aGPS at all and will need a clear view of the sky, but at least your fix will come in more quickly.

Several forum members have tried out the patch with varying degrees of success, but now at least many are getting a precise GPS lock in a minute or two. This is a huge improvement over what Verizon Pre and Pixi owners have been living with, and at the very least should serve as a stepping stone to getting Verizon GPS working properly. Of course, if Verizon would just stop being big meanie poo poo heads we wouldn’t have to be bothering with this.

Source: PreCentral Forums; Thanks be to Troy!