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We have covered the issues with the GPS on Verizon Wireless' Pre Plus in great detail (see here and here for just a few of our stories), and our forums have been filled with complaints, suggestions and patches all working to allow apps other than the VZ Navigator program reliably get correct GPS fixes on the Verizon devices. Yesterday, based on a suggestion I made in the forum, webOS developer James Harris (creator of Flashcards and other great apps) quickly put together GPS Fix, now available via the Palm Beta feed.

The app is very simple: once the GPS is initially woken up (most reliably by launching the VZ Navigator app to its splash screen), GPS Fix periodically polls the GPS for a current location fix, based on a user-set schedule (from 5 minutes on up), and keeps it awake. In my initial testing, the app does what I was hoping it would do: allow apps like Minimap and Navit (which do not read the stored GPS location as do others like Google Maps and YP Mobile, and therefore need current fixes to work), as well as the built-in GPS test (found by dialing ##GPS# on the keypad) to continue to function without having to relaunch VZ Navigator. There are also some nice little features (optional notifications and a manual GPS Fix button), with more coming as James continues to work on the app (in its fourth iteration since last night).

At this point, James isn't sure how long his app can go between fixes and still keep the GPS alive; the more frequent the "pings," the greater the impact on battery life (beyond merely leaving GPS enabled), so he's asking those who try out the app to leave feedback on the forum page.

Thanks to James (following in the footsteps of Verizon aGPS patch creator Ebag333) for his help in creating this latest workaround!

UPDATE: According to James' tweet this afternoon,

GPS Fix 0.1.0 submitted. Removes need for VZ Navigator entirely.

Please remember to report your experiences in our forums.