GPS

Why doesn't Uber know where I'm at?

Episode 1417

George from Santa Monica, CA
Uber for iOS

George uses his iPad to call Uber, but they don't know where to pick him up. Leo says that's because the iPad doesn't have GPS. The app just has to ask for the address of where he is in order to find him. With a mobile phone, they would have his coordinates in the app. Without GPS, the app has to use other means to find his general location, usually it uses "WiFi triangulation," and that's not always very accurate. The app puts a pin where he is, and if it's using WiFi triangulation, the pin just goes close to where he is. The good news is he can move the pin in the app.

Why doesn't GPS work on my phone?

Episode 1381

Milian from Seattle, WA
Samsung Galaxy S8

Milian wants to know why he can't use his maps app on his Samsung Galaxy S5. Leo says that Milian may have not given the app permission to use his location and as such, it won't access the GPS. But if it used to work, then there may be a hardware issue, like a flakey antenna. It may have a lose connection. He may want to go to the store and ask them to check it. If it's out of warranty, then it may be time to get a new phone and the timing is perfect since the Samsung Galaxy S8 is coming out this week. That will drop the price of the S7 as well.

Is there a GPS watch that can be locked onto the wrist?

Tom from Colorado Springs, CO

Episode 1368

Tom is looking for a GPS watch that has cellular service, which can be worn by a sleep walking child. They need to have a lockable wrist band so he can't take it off. Leo suggests several GPS watches out there, but none with a lockable watch band. Leo recently got the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier. It has all the features Tom is looking for, as well as a 22mm removable band that can be replaced. You can also make calls to and from it. The battery life is on long side for a smart watch.. MSRP for $350. It is compatible with Android or iOS.

Why is my phone's GPS inaccurate after updating?

Episode 1347

Mark from Riverside, CA
Motorola Moto G

Mark drives for Uber, but now his Moto G Android phone is having GPS issues after updating. Leo says it could be that his GPS is damaged or he got a bad update. He should try restoring the phone first. But since the Moto G is a few years old, it may be time to get a new one. They're pretty cheap.

Can he go back to the previous Android OS? Leo says he may be able to, but Marshmallow was an important update.

Why can't I use my cell phone's GPS signal?

Episode 1346

Scott from Orange, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Scott has an iPhone 6 and he uses it to get around while hauling equipment, but lately it hasn't been working well -- ever since the last update. Leo thinks that Scott's iPhone has a damaged GPS receiver. He hasn't heard reports of GPS problems after updating, so he has a hunch it's a physical hardware issue. Scott should bring it into the Apple Store.

Image By Должин Жаргалсайхан (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons