Monday, March 19, 2012

Fix Transformer Prime GPS by Tethering Phone GPS to Tablet

Lets be clear, the TF201, or asus eeepad transformer prime release was not executed at a high level.  Many early models had wifi issues due to manufacturing issues with the diversity antennas, that seems to be fixed now.  All Primes have a GPS that is inherently ineffective due to poor antenna design.  If yours gets some satellites while standing still that's a win.  It is not effective enough to navigate even on a boat in the ocean with just a canvas top blocking the sky. 

I gave up trying to fix the GPS and was happy that my WIFI worked so well.  When I bought my prime GPS was still listed as a feature, I've been really lucky to have this tablet since the beginning of 2012, and have enjoyed it immensely.  I realized a BT GPS solution was possible after working with some iPad's set up for ocean navigation.  I decided one day to stream the GPS from a phone over BT to the transformer prime, and I couldn't be happier with the results. 

Here's the step by step to setup GPS BT Streaming to a TF201 (although it is applicable to many tablets including an iPad with suitable changes to the instructions). 

1) root the PHONE (not the Tablet)

2) download "Bluetooth GPS" on the prime (or tablet) by googoo android. This will receive the GPS signal over bluetooth. 
 
3) enable mock locations under developer settings on the prime settings

 4) download a GPS to Bluetooth app on the PHONE.  There are several

4.1) I use "Bluetooth gps" by meowsbox free trial 1.49 full version

 4.2) you will need to grant su privileges to the GPS to Bluetooth app you use

 4.3) some apps work better with certain phones

 5) start GPS and gps streaming utilizing utility from #4 on the phone

 6) pair phone and prime under bluetooth settings, in the settings menu of both tech.

 7) open up Bluetooth GPS on the prime choose the PHONE from the dropdown source menu and click connect

8) you should now be able to utilize GPS as if it were native on the prime

 8.1) you can see feed from bluetooth gps, see sats with GPS test, utilize maps or special nav charts e.g. boats planes etc.



Let me know if I skipped a step or can make this clearer.

3 comments:

  1. Great way to do it. The new update for the prime promised to fix the problem but never did.
    I used my rooted Motorola photon phone but I didn't have to grant the app any SU permissions, though.
    The app I used was shareGPS by shareDROID.

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  2. Thanks for sharing, I know some are hesitant to root.

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