My GPS got worse and worse. How I got it back.

Sep 11, 2009
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3Gs/32. We got it for the wife about a month ago. I did a jailbreak and was running 3.0.1. I did not unlock. In addition to Cydia, I had the Winterboard and a few themes, but not much else. Had a few apps from the iTunes store, but again, nothing major.

We bought the Navigon on about the 15th of September. It was working great. Got a pretty good GPS lock and did lose GPS signal a couple times when driving, but generally worked pretty good. Gradually, over the next couple of weeks, the GPS would fail to lock more and more. Finally, about 4 days ago, it would not hold a lock at all. You can go the the settings in Navigon and click on GPS data and get a readout on the position. It was alternating from a true position reading to all zeros, back and forth about every second.

I downloaded GPSxMotion, or whatever that free app is that gives a pretty good readout on position and GPS signal strength. The strength was showing 2 or less bars (out of 7 or 8 bars) and no change. This was outside in the clear, just crappy reception.

The most important thing she uses the iPhone for, besides phone/text is navigation. So I was caught between a rock and a hard place. Do I return the phone? I can't restore to 3.0 UNjailed - thank you Apple.

I decided to wipe and upgrade to 3.1, because if the signal was still crappy, I would just return the phone and hope for a 3.0. I did a backup and installed 3.1 as a new phone.

Once it all came back, I installed only the Navigon and the GPSx apps. Once done, I was getting 7 or 8 bars on the signal strength readout of the GPSx app and Navigon was back to locking on real nice. And this was sitting inside my house, just having the phone near the window.

Great, so maybe it was a problem with jailbreaking. I did a restore of her texts, contacts and settings, and BAM, signal in the crapper again. Hmmmm. Something carried over in the settings from being jailbroken that put the GPS on the fritz.

I did another wipe/install as new phone, and the signal came right back. I synced her contacts with Yahoo, and she wound up losing all her saved messages/notes/settings, but the Navigon works great again.

So, 2 things. First, I feel strongly that jailbreaking was causing the problem with the GPS lock, tho I cannot even begin to guess as to why.

Second, it would be really great to be able to restore only some things from a backup. Like just restore contacts and texts. But having it setup with the all or nothing, she wound up losing some of her data. This needs to change.

She kind of misses some things about being jailbroken. Themes mostly. Other than that, we are not too sad about going to 3.1, if it means the GPS works better.

I must also say that her battery drain is at least 1/2 of what it was before. She was lucky to have 40% after 8 hours on the old 3.0.1/JB. Now she is still at about 70% at the end of a day. 12 or 14 hours easy.

So, sadly, if you are having GPS issues, and you are jailbroken, the 2 may be related.

YMMV,
Michael
 
Jun 19, 2009
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#2
Thanks for the informative post. Sounds like my exact problems (posted another thread about my GPS sucking). I am also on 3.0 and JB..so that is probably why my GPS started out strong (when I first got my phone) and now can barely keep a signal (if I can even get it in the first place).

Just have to decide whats more important to me now.. JB or GPS Nav... damn. Might wait to see if they JB 3.1 soon (on 3GS) and try that first...before going back to the no JB option.

Thanks
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Michael,

Which JB did you use? Curious if that makes a difference. I did Purplera1n.