There's a new GPS fix out there for Android devices (including a special build for the Transformer Prime) that promises to fix the issues many have been seeing with the location services from ASUS' latest 10-inch tablet. We know that ASUS is set to give out GPS dongles to users affected by the bad hardware, but we had to take a look at this potential quick-fix and see how it works for us. Note that you will have to be rooted at a minimum to try this, and the developer states that it doesn't work with all custom ROMs. We used a stock, rooted ROM for our test.
Buyer beware: Before we go any further, you'll need to know that the developer, crypted from XDA, is using his own NTP server. An NTP (Network Time Protocol) server is used to keep computer clocks synchronized on networks that aren't always the same speed -- like a mobile or Wifi network. He explains that this allows for "better stability and speed by providing top-rated NTP servers", but doesn't explain how he guarantees this, nor why he feels his server is better. He also makes it clear that nobody should criticize or question him for doing so in his thread. Normally, that's where I would just close the tab and move on, but I figured I'd finish what I started here. I'll leave it to each of you to decide how much you trust this, but I felt the need to let you know ahead of time.
So I backed up a few files, and copied over the files for this fix. You can push them via adb, flash them via custom recovery, or do like I did and copy them in place and manually set the permissions. Sure enough, I got my first ever indoor GPS lock after about 45 seconds. Seeing this made me have to take it for a spin, so I grabbed the wife and took a little drive. Navigation was hit-or-miss (the device still won't stay locked while moving about), but I'm sure it found more satellites and locked faster outdoors than it did before. This fix certainly makes it locate those metal birds faster, but it isn't going to fix the whole issue for everyone. I'm very curious how these changes will work in tandem with any GPS dongle ASUS supplies, and if both will make the Prime a real GPS alternative for the car. I'm hopeful, and will test it again once the dongle's start shipping and I get mine. In the meantime, decide how you feel about the server situation, then give it a try if you're OK with it. It can't work any worse than it does now, right?
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