How to enable true standalone GPS on the CDMA Pre | webOS Nation

How to enable true standalone GPS on the CDMA Pre

by Robert Werlinger Wed, 28 Oct 2009 9:22 am EDT


Longtime Palm fans will remember Ebag333's investigations into the drama of true standalone, autonomous GPS on Windows Mobile Treos. He's back at it for the Palm Pre, looking into whether or not the GPS module on the Pre can work without a data connect. Turns out it can, but it takes some doing. Ebag in the forums have been tinkering with the Qualcomm GPS equipment and its associated drivers in the CDMA version of the Pre. They've been able to gain access to additional GPS modes that'll work without that active data connection, including Autonomous, Assisted, and Cached. Read: true, standalone GPS.

The hack isn't terribly useful at this point outside of an area without data coverage, as webOS currently doesn't have much in the way of standalone software written for it to take advantage of such a scenario, such as TomTom for the iPhone. Where the hack does come in handy, however, are acquisition times and overall accuracy: currently it can take 30 seconds to 2 minutes to get a lock using aGPS, and the accuracy of the lock can be hit or miss.   The changes this hack makes can vastly improve both of those items.

These modifications are certainly not for the faint of heart, as the steps here are rather involved (think proprietary Qualcomm programs, MSL numbers, and Palm SDK's). Honestly, unless you are a hardcore GPS chip nerd, we suggest you observe rather than act - flashing GPS chips can be risky business.

Thanks Ebag for the tip!