Samsung Captivate GPS fix

Samsung just announced that the update currently being pushed to the Captivate -- AT&T's version of the Galaxy S -- does indeed include a fix for the GPS issues that plagued a good many of us at launch. Here's the official word:

An update to improve the Samsung Captivate's GPS performance is now available. Captivate customers will receive a notification on their device that an update is available and will simply need to download the file to update their phone. The updates will be pushed to customers’ devices over the next few weeks.

The update for the Captivate will also improve additional device functions, such as media scanning time, add the full version of Quickoffice and address Microsoft Exchange 2003 policy support.

If you haven't gotten the update yet, you can check from your phone's settings. (And ukulele_ninja in the Android Central Forums notes you can bypass the pesky one-check-per-24-hours thing by changing the date.)


Reader comments

Samsung says AT&T Captivate GPS is addressed in current update


Just updated and am about to see if the bit about media scanning is true. Thanks you to ukulele ninja for the changing the date tip.

Note that this is not a "fix". A fix implies that something not working properly is corrected. This is simply an "improvement". Even the Samsung press release avoids the term "fix".

First question: will this update remove Root from the phone, forcing me to redo the Root process?

Second question: If this update truly includes a GPS "improvement", does that mean I need to revert the GPS changes made in LibTestMode (based on the GPS fix I saw here on AC), or keep those settings?

This is MOST DEFINITELY a fix. Since GPS DID NOT work before the update I would call this a fix. I don't care if Samsung refuses to admit that the GPS was broken.

Be patient when you see the Galaxy S logo after the update. It does take a while (at least 5 minutes or more). The phone will eventually boot up to the main screen.

Weather they call it a fix or not, it JH7 didn't fix mine, and it didn't fix many of the gps issues for people who've been running this build for weeks on xda. It took an inclusion of the vibrant gps fix (the vibrants latest build is later than the captivates latest build) to get some real progress.

It was an improvement, but not a fix. I hope samsung has more of a fix later.

no official update sent to my phone yet. i checked for update and it failed. changed the date 24-hours ahead and the second update also failed. i would set it a week ahead but don't want to wait a week to attempt another update.
are these check for update failures common to other users?

I just tried it and I agree that it did not fix anything. Media scanning takes forever like it used to, it still says "SEARCHING FOR GPS" indefinitely like it did before. Didn't they test this first?!

I started with a normal, rooted phone. I downloaded the update then it rebooted my phone and began updating, it reached 100% but then said it failed and that it was rebooting the phone. The phone came back and said "The update was not completed. No update is applied to your phone". However, I noticed my firmware changed to I1897UCJH7, but i don't see a new app called QuickOffice or see a difference in gps or media scanning time. I set the clock 24hrs ahead again to redownload. I redownloaded the update, it rebooted the phone, and this time during the software update it got stuck at the "preparing" stage and then it failed and reboots the phone to tell me no updates are applied.

Ya pretty much the same thing happened to me. I restored the phone too and it didn't work. I unrooted my phone, but I removed the bloatware from the phone when I rooted it. I wonder if that has anything to do with it. I want to know how to get this update on my phone!

I was so excited to get this update. But still no gps lock, media scanning takes forever like always. I am very disappointed.

How much media do you have to have before scanning starts taking forever?

I've never seen this problem, nor the slow GPS lock. Must be just lucky I guess.

Sammy says pushed to users over the next weeks.

That differs from what was posted in the prior story about 15000 pushed per day thru the end of the week.

Then I went to ATT's site where they say:

A 12MB download is being pushed to Samsung Captivate owners starting on 09/21/2010 and will continue Tuesday through Friday at 15K customers per day until complete.

So it seems that they are keeping the network loading low, and we can actually not make any estimates of total captivate sales as Phil implied.

You're right, which is why I wrote "which gives you an upward ceiling of how many Captivate may be out there" -- and didn't write "that's how many Captivates must be out there."

Just updated. I will also confirm that it has addressed the GPS issue. Locks in a couple seconds now. SWEET!!!

Downloading the Update now via 3G, I did not want to flash the firmware before because I did not want to deal with 2.1 but when a froyo rom is released, now I will flash my phone! Will Test it out and add another comment!

Interesting, after the update when you enter the *#*#1472365#*#* no longer works to get into LBSTestMode.

In addition to fixing the GPS issue, they also REMOVED the USB tethering that was available under USB settings.

Both correct. You need to make a launcher pro shortcut to gps test mode, and need a rooted phone and download something like pdanet, or flash the cognition rom and get mobileAP.

Thanks for the Launcher tip and it looks like they basically changed the settings to what all the pre-fix posts had suggested.

Failed on me, went back to stock and still would not update.. I am running JH7 Now with Unleash the Beast and Root.. So far so good, just need to test the gps!

Failed on me, went back to stock and still would not update.. I am running JH7 Now with Unleash the Beast and Root.. So far so good, just need to test the gps!

Well, the jerks at AT&T really stuck it to us with this "update". It does NOT improve the GPS function, it does NOT improve "Media Scanning", it DOES eliminate the USB tethering we had.

Is there a way to undo the update? My phone is NOT rooted and does not have any third party apps.

thanks retnuh

Man that's lame!!! Got rid of the tether!?!?! No bueno!! And no one do the date jump! I did it like 6 times in all different ways.... Now I gotta wait 6 days for the update. But now I don't think I want it if it gets rid of the tether!

Hi, I have a Captivate and so far I don't see any update sent to my phone yet. Is there a way to download this manually and update the phone

My GPS is working now, tried it on the way home and my phone search function is a lot better..

my stock Captivate never had the tether option under Settings > Applications > USB Settings. am i looking in the correct location?

Tried it last night and my GPS went from locking in about 10-15 seconds pre-update to 3 seconds or less with the update and the accuracy is much improved as best as I can tell with quick testing to within a few feet.

yeah pc internet. Why the F would they remove that! What do they get out of it!?! Damn I sware, these big wigs making these decisions are full of it....

i received an AT&T text this morning telling me i would be getting an update so please accept and install. about an hour later i noticed the double arrow icon appear and my phone was trying to contact the server for the update but the update failed.
i don't want this update anyway because so many report that it doesn't help GPS and i don't want to lose the ability to tether.
btw - i've never had any media scan slowness, just GPS issues.

So I got a text from ATT that said:

"AT&T FREE MESSAGE: AT&T is providing a free update for your phone. When asked to install the update, please select OK. Thank you."

Now of course I got impatient and didn't feel like waiting for them to send me another message, and I tried to update only to get a "Server Error, try again later". Now I have to wait 24 hour to try again so that AT&T doesn't overload their precious servers.

Has anyone else encountered this problem?


I think everyone's experienced the same thing. Plus, if you advance the clock 24 hours on your phone and try it again, they add another 24 hours before you can try again.

Haven't received the update yet. I tweaked the GPS settings as recommended a couple of weeks ago and from zero GPS, I now get "some" GPS. Once in a while it actually shows exactly where I am, but usually it shows me about a mile and a half off to the east! Not very good.

I hope the update fixes this but I see mixed results in our discussion here.

Hasn't someone mentioned that once the update is done, you can't access the LBS Test Mode screen anymore?

So, before doing the update, should I go into settings and revert them back to the worthless original settings? I'm concerned that if I don't, the update may not do what it's supposed to. Or is it OK to leave it with my modified settings and do the update, and the update just plugs in the correct settings?

I like the Captivate a lot, but I need accurate GPS and Google turn by turn was one of the main reasons I got the phone. My previous Nokia 5800 with their OVI maps had almost perfect GPS. You could have the phone on your car's center console, away from the windshield, and still get a strong lock. No such luck with the Samsung so far. I've got until Oct. 4 to decide to keep the Samsung or not so I hope the fix works. Otherwise I guess it's back to buying another unlocked Nokia (and goodbye Android...)

Unrooted and updated my youtube widget, new navigation, jh7 update.

NO JOY on gps. Accurate to 3400 meters, same as before. BONUS hassles: every boot tells me I’ve successfully updated my system and requires me to tap OK in order to proceed. Settings > Software update now says, “no firmware” and does not drill down to the next level of menu choices. *#*#…#*#* does not work.

Used BetterCut to get to LbsTestMode. Quick fix tweaks worked no better now than before the update. Oh, wait, for about 2 glorious hours I got noticeable improvement. Now, it's back to a no-GPS phone. Can sometimes get some satellites if I put the phone on a car roof or hood, but that's not very practical now, is it?

Next time I won’t be suckered by just another pretty face (4-inch super AMOLED screen). I’ll demand a phone that knows where it’s going and how to get there :-)