Are you tired of the crappy signal quality produced by the generic GPS receiver that is built inside your mobile device? Are you a frequent driver who relies on apps like Google maps and Waze as your primary navigation source? Millions of people a week often find themselves in a situation where their mobile device took to long or even failed to provide an accurate location due to either poor data connection or inadequate GPS signal. The issues essentially result in lost time and money.
Here’s a quick lesson about your smartphone –most are not equipped with true GPS receivers. Most smartphones get their GPS signals from Assisted GPS (AGPS) chips. Most phones equipped with AGPS operate well in highly populated cities and areas because it also utilizes cellular networks, Wi-Fi, and your existing data connection to provide you with the most accurate point of your current location.
The problems with cellular GPS technology will begin to rear its ugly head when you begin your travels in remote and rural places, and that’s where most standalone GPS devices are the most reliable. But you don’t have to go and purchase a $200 Garmin or TomTom device, there are cheaper and smaller bluetooth receivers that you can pair with virtually any smartphone device, tablet, and laptop.
You can use these portable bluetooth devices to get outstanding GPS location data for apps like Google Maps and more. The bluetooth receiver is the ultimate wireless portable device, and because of its small size, you can store it anywhere yet still receive accurate satellite reception.
I’ve tried a few models of GPS receivers, and currently I use the Holux GPSlim 236 (discontinued). It provides superb accuracy and it works with a variety of Windows and Android phones and tablets (tested with a Samsung Galaxy S3). When it comes to turn-by-turn navigation, this device delivers results as if it were a TomTom or Garmin device! Truly amazing accuracy, and I have refrained from turning on the GPS built into my smartphone because it basically sucks!
Connecting an Android Phone or Tablet to a Bluetooth GPS Receiver:
Tips for users with Android Devices
1. Your Android must have developer settings option.
On older Android devices, you can find the developer settings in the Android Settings app, under Applications > Development. For newer devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III and beyond, navigate to More –> Developer options.
On some Android devices you may need to make the Developer option visible. You can accomplish this by navigating to Android Settings –> About phone. Scroll down to find the Build number. Tap the build number 7 times or more and a message will appear displaying the text ‘count down until you become a developer’.
If the Developer Options menu is already present, then you are already a developer!
2. Enable the ‘Allow mock locations‘ feature
Select the check-box ‘Allow mock locations‘ , located in the Developer settings page of your device. This is required for the Bluetooth GPS device and application you will be using to navigate. (This option must be selected).
3. Install the Bluetooth GPS app from the Google Play Store.
This app connects to the GPS receiver and provides a “mock location” to other apps, such as Google Maps.
Here’s a link to this app on the google play store:
The Bluetooth GPS app is the most accurate and user friendly app in the google play store in my opinion. I use it above all others.
4. Pair and connect your Android to the Bluetooth GPS receiver. Make sure both devices are turned on and that your phone is discoverable.
5. Connect the Bluetooth GPS app to the GPS Receiver.
6. Open the Bluetooth GPS app, check “Enable Mock GPS Provider,” and then select your GPS receiver in the menu at top-left and click Connect.
If you’re lucky, you’ll start seeing live location data on the app’s screen (even if you’re indoors ).
7. Depending on your device, you may have to select the option — Use fused Provider. This is located on the GPS App setting menu.
Once you’re connected, apps will start getting their location data from your external Bluetooth GPS receiver.
We highly recommend you use the bluetooth receiver and app while driving. Make sure all devices are plugged into a USB charger. Also turn off all devices and turn off your phones bluetooth when not in use.