Nexus 7 2013

Word is definitely spreading about GPS problems that a number of folk are having with the new Nexus 7 — mainly that you'll be locked on for a while, only to see the signal drop and not return until a reset, and sometimes not even then. Supposed causes are all over the place, from Google Play Services to Google Maps, Wifi on, Wifi off, to too many apps calling in a GPS signal at one time, to aliens and Area 51.(OK, maybe not that last one.)

A good seven pages (and counting) in our forums point to this being more than a localized problem at this point. We've got an e-mail in to Google to see what's what. 

In the meantime, hit up the poll after the break and let us know what you're seeing.


Reader comments

Is GPS broken on your new Nexus 7?


Yes, the app is called GPS Test. And those of you not reporting gps issues, perhaps haven't used gps long enough or hard enough to see how it drops and doesn't lock again till it feels like it. I've thought it was fine/fixed at various points only to realize otherwise. Just saying...

I'm currently running mine through its paces while just sitting here every so often. I'm switching between Maps and GPS test. I get a shit signal inside this building, so when I first booted up GPS test and didn't see anything, I didn't put too much stock into it. However, after a reboot I seemed to have locked onto a few satellites.

Nothing absolutely conclusive yet, but from the sounds of it, I expect it to fail to find any satellites at some point today. Crossing my fingers (I have godawful luck with hardware).

Yes, I've been encountering GPS problems too! Thank you for confirming that I'm not crazy (at least about this).

No GPS problems with either gen N7s I own. I had to swap my 2013 N7 due to defective wireless charging however.

Its made by Asus. Of course its going to have issues. Not expected for anyone who has a Asus G series laptop. They love to cut corners.

My Asus g73 have BDoDs since I bought it a year ago...all this driver failed to start nvidia crap...never buy Asus again

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I've only had issues with the Nexus tablets (well, besides the notoriously slow storage in their previous-gen tabs). I have a shit-ton of Asus hardware at home, and for a good reason: their shit most often works very well.

Here's a short list off the top of my head, all of which have been working splendidly (except a few defective 2012 N7's):
- laptop
- nettop
- netbook
- TF300
- N7 (2012)
- N7 (2013)
- WiFi router (I have gone through SO MANY other brands before settling on the Asus)
- 2 monitors
- A couple motherboards

For the most part, I have faith in Asus hardware. This isn't for the lack of trying other brands, either.

There needs to be like a "yes/no" and then a "who the hell cares, why would I use my WiFi only tablet as a GPS ever?"

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Because phones and hotspots and other apps besides navigation and because it's there and therefore should work.

It works quite well as Garmin or Tom Tom like navigation aid. I use my 2012 Nexus 7 for lots of road trips. There are several free navigation apps in the Play store that let you download free maps and use your tablet as a turn by turn navigation system even with voice prompts. So for people like me when I purchased the 2013 version and none of this worked it does make a difference. It's nice to have one device that can do several things so I don't need to lug around several devices and have to try to keep them all charged.

I used my previous Gen N7 on long roadtrips tethering from my phone. worked really well, was able to make/take calls all while having the GPS (and music) up and running.

while i dont use it a lot, it is useful in a hand full of times. the first day I got the tab, i tried navigating home with it....thing cut out after abou 10 minutes and refused to connect again.
that WAS on my first a replacement and haven't tried it since.

Which is why some people are not affected, but I used my N7 primarily as a car computer. Bought the first one when my trusty TomTom died, as I could use it for Navigation, but also pair it to an OBDII BT dongle and track all sorts of cool car info not displayed in the vehicle instruments. N7 died due to negligence and repeatedly leaving it on the dashmount and finally the screen cooked itself... result 2nd gen N7, but the GPS not working affects Nav, extremely useful Waze (when tethered to phone) and Torque which has OBD monitors that track the difference between the OBD speed and GPS speed.... so I use it all the time and it not working really sucks, as the 2012 N7 was flawless in that regard.

Because I like to play Ingress while tethered to my phone or MiFi.. I'm unable to do this because the GPS lock isn't working.

Get that stick out of your ass.

Had a similar problem with my HTC Desire HD, solution was to turn off GPS and then back on. Very easy compared to most other temp fixes.

I would say it comes from Android 4.3. I keep having same GPS issues on my Nexus 4 using Maps and Navigon South Africa. Could it be?

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I also agree. I had the exact same problem with my first gen N7 the other day. Never had that before android 4.3.

NONE of the 4 other Nexus 7 owners that I tested their units and found a problem thought they had a problem. SO asking people if they are having a GPS problem is not going to be very representative of the number of units that have this problem. You HAVE to load a navigation app and drive around and preferably drive a decent distance so that it tries to acquire and reacquire satellites. I have yet to handle a Nexus 7 2013 that doesn't have this problem. When this problem first raised its head on forums there were several people that said their units were fine, when they were told to go use a navigation program and actually drive around for an hour or two they all reported the glitch. There are lots of people thinking just because the activate the GPS and it is working that they don't have the problem. You won't know unless you get out and drive around with it running. If you re-word your survey to state how many of you have driven for more than an hour with your GPS navigation running on your New Nexus 7 and have had the GPS will be closer to finding out. It amazes me how people want to believe their Nexus doesn't have this problem. Again none of the people I showed the problem to on their Nexus thought they had an issue. And one of them still thinks he doesn't (?!?!?!?). So just take the results of your survey with this in mind.

So you took four people's new Nexus 7 and drove around for hours to prove to them that they had the glitch?

Valid question. But no. They assumed because they were getting location info that there GPS was fine. I loaded up Google Maps and activated the navigation program and disabled WIFI. Exiting in and out of that program will cause the problem to occur most of the time. And it did in all of the units I had the opportunity to mess with. If you begin going through the various fixes mentioned on many boards you have to get more vigorous with your testing. After disabling Google Services on my N7 I thought the problem was fixed until I drove for 45 minutes with the navigation on. My point I think many of the people reporting they don't have a problem haven't actually done the things that cause the GPS to fail.

I used my new nexus 7s gps extensively the other day. No issues to speak off. No dropping, etc.

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I've also not had any of the touch screen input issues some have had. In Yamtt I can use ten fingers and the tablet recognizes all appropriately.

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I dont have a tablet by my GNex has been having issues with locking into GPS. I have done the GPS test it only finds 8 sat (sometimes less) with the best signal at 27. I hope its one of the updates from maps or something. I like using WAZE but it takes some time to lock in if I at a red light and start it up, never had theses issues until a few weeks ago.

+1. My GN bought from the Play Store behaves the same way while I was traveling from state state. Luckily T Mobile has connections along the way so I can restart the phone and navigate again.

The best example I can give you that this issue is hard for people to detect, is not ONE of the reviewers of this product prior to launch mentioned it. NOT ONE. Google handed out hundreds of these things to supposedly people that are very tech minded, and yet none of them noticed the GPS glitch. Not one. Nada. Zero.

All the time... now the camera on the other hand, I would never know if it worked or not. Had the first N7 for a year before the sun cooked it on my dashboard, never took a picture, so never knew if it worked.

What no selfies in the bathroom mirror? You know that is a mandatory part of setting up the tablet for first time use

Mystery solved. NoNexus is Anothony Weiner. What? Carlos Danger not a cool enough moniker for tech sites?

I assume by tough, you mean impossible. It doesn't work for me at all, I'll get a lock for like 10 minutes or so then it just freezes in place and forgets to track.

I wish this was the only issue. Trying to gesture type on the buggy screen makes it basically unusable.

So I assume this is happening on both 16 and 32 gb models? Just curious.. I haven't pulled the trigger yet since most stores are out of the 32's. Regardless it's not pretty, LOL

I have a 32 gig model, GPS Test says I'm using 7-12 of 21 satellites in view and I'm inside, 3 feet from the window, curtains closed. It did take awhile for GPS on to go from yellow searching?) to green (lock?) and it hasn't lost lock since. Almost all signals are 13-28 range.

I can't get to any of the poles using the android central app. Just saying

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Why use GPS on WiFi anyway must be some signal, unless your tethering or somehow got the 4g version before me which is an outrage since I just bought mine today. Arg

from my lean mean jelly bean machine N7!

Google needs to either post daily updates as to what they think the problem is and the expected time frame of its resolution OR they need to inform potential buyers upfront that the GPS is currently not working correctly.

Most prospective purchasers are only going to search for "Review Google Nexus 7" or something similar. If you do that the first few pages that come up only list glowingly positive reviews. No mention of this problem whatsoever.

Personally I just think that is poor customer relations. Sure people can return in if in the two weeks they own it they figure out the GPS isn't working, but it still seems underhanded to sell a product that you KNOW doesn't work as advertised and stay mum about it.

Why bother buying another Google Nexus anything if they don't want to fix them when they are broken? Seems to me they are extremely slow at repairing this and my thoughts are ( BECAUSE THEY WANT YOU TO DUMP THE CUURENT PAD YOU OWN & AND BUY THE NEW . ) Just my two cents worth, but then again how long has this been going on now? Look back and you find it is a on going issue sense the first NEXUS anything. Always the same issue comes up just as a new pad release comes up. A update comes out and the current pad GPS fails. Hmmm kind of strange. Go figure. I will not be buying anything else unless they fix this GPS issue and soon. Shame too, because I really liked it until this happened. it is total B S .