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How do I use GPS when out of range of cell towers, wifi, and bluetooth?

Recently, I encountered the following problem using my RAZR MAXX as an offline GPS device.  I was in the Colorado back country trying to track my path with downloaded Topo maps, and found that the GPS was not responding to my app.  When I looked at the app's satellite tracker screen, it showed some satellites, but no fixes.  After some fumbling around, I found that, when I enabled cell tower communication by disabling Airplane mode, many more satellites showed up.  After a moment, fixes showed up, and the app was able to locate me and track my path.  This was IN SPITE OF the fact that the Droid never found a cell tower!

I also found that I had to keep the Droid out of Airplane mode, searching for service, in order for the GPS app to continue tracking.  Any time that I put it in Airplane mode to disable service searching, the app's ability to detect satellites slowly degraded.  After several seconds, it could no longer detect or fix on any satellites at all!!  In order to restore the app's GPS tracking ability, I had to enable cell tower searching by disabling Airplane mode again.

Now, my question is, of course, is this the normal operation of a RAZR MAXX on Verizon?  It would seem to me self-defeating to offer a functionality that only works when the Droid is draining the battery in attempts to contact non-existent cell towers.  Is this truly the intended operation?  Please tell me, so that I can either get my Droid fixed or pursue other ways of GPS tracking in back country.  Thank you.


Android version: 4.1.2

System version: 98.72.165.XT912.Verizon.en.US

Baseband version: CDMA_N_05.21.00R LTEDC_U_09.1D.00

Webtop version: wt-3.0.0

Kernel version: 3.08-g3617609 hudsoncm@ilclbld32 #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Nov 21 14:19:19 CST 2013

Build number: 9.8.2O-72_VZW-16-5

Build date: Thu Nov 21 14:10:17 CST 2013

System updates says system is up to date.

Labels (1)
Re: How do I use GPS when out of range of cell towers, wifi, and bluetooth?

NEVER MIND!!!  The app I was using was BackCountry.  May Need GPS Airtime! This app may need GPS Airtime to function properly on Droids. Please bundle GPS Airtime with the paid version of Backcountry. Had I but know this, I would not have posted on Verizon my question about Airplane mode and GPS functioning, and would have saved time on my recent trip to Colorado back country. As it was, I had to discover the Airplane mode/GPS relationship on my own. PS: App works great on my RAZR MAXX, now that I have GPS Airtime and doesn't work for sour apples without it.

HOWEVER, Verizon, what are you going to do to fix this?  I'd still like to know that.

Re: How do I use GPS when out of range of cell towers, wifi, and bluetooth?

GPS Airtime is far from an ideal solution.  Yes, it enables BackCountry to function, but my Droid throws stubborn fits, forcing GPS Airtime has to intervene several times a minute to keep BackCountry supplied with fixes!  I repeat, Verizon, what are you going to do about this?!?