Originally Posted by chascent
Just updated my BB 8830 with the VZ navagator. Called Verizon to activate and I was up and running in minutes. I have to admit I am totally shocked on how good this is! I have a Nuvi 660 that cost me over 600 dollars and this is just as good. Voice activated turns with street names. Accurate to within 50 feet. Redraw is amazing and never lags. Has all the same features as the Nuvi like looking up restaurants, gas stations etc.
All and all I have to say that if you have a BB 8830 and do alot of traveling like I do this is a must get.
Hello Charlie C. I am glad that you're experience with VZ Navigator on your 8830 with Verizon is working out for you.
My experience, though, has been less than pleasing. My reply will focus exclusively on my experiences with and the operational characteristics of VZ Navigator on my BB 8830 WE on Verizon Wireless's network. Where Am I
First of all, when I select "Where Am I" from the Maps menu, I am constantly positioned in the wrong place. If I am patient, I can get an accurate measurement some of the time. My first attempts involved over twenty (20) "Where Am I" selections, my using the Escape key to get back to the menu listing and doing it over and over again.
My initial results using "Where Am I" to plot my current position resulted in about four or five accurate readings--two of which were dead-on, though not at the same time--while the rest put me constantly three to five miles distant from my current location.
Now there was something telltale that may or may not shed light on just what VZ Navigator is doing to get it's initial fix. I'll detail my surmise on that in a moment. What I observed throughout my initial first trial was that the incorrect locations came up more than once in the same place, or very near the same place. Mistakes on first-fix in the same or nearly the same location? Near the same streets?
My thoughts on this is that this is near the cell tower sites and it is occurring due to tower triangulation via the Assisted GPS system. I was told that VZ Navigator downloads the mapping and augmented (corrected?) GPS data from whatever third-party provider with whom VZW is working, and the conglomerate is then dispatched to the handheld and displayed on VZ Navigator's screen. Follow Me Map
This tool was the most useful feature for me to see and diagnose just how VZ Navigator was behaving on my 8830. Well, it works. Just adequately, though. It works because the map in this mode auto refreshes when the somewhat large cross-hatch indicator showing your position goes off the screen during Initial Time to First Fix (ITFF) when in this mapping mode.
I experienced the initial screen error I received most of the time when using the "Where Am I" feature discussed earlier. Then, when it was obvious that the map area in view was not the correct location, the screen refreshed, the cross-hatch icon jumped, moved, or otherwise was not visible, and the screen refreshed again.
When I finally recognized my street and road shapes, the cross-hatch icon had calmed down a bit. It moved slowly southeast, right along the edge of my road, then, when the cross-hatch center moved to the screen edge, it refreshed, and finally showed my true position, after moving a little as the GPS system balanced out.
I finally had my position. So what to do now but to plan a route. I selected a general search for a gas station 2.5 miles up the road, a place I know well. I know it well because I spent many the last couple of days on the phone with VZW Data Tech Support regarding this very issue...but that's another story
Continuing, I selected this gas station when it came up (I'm thankful that the gas station POI database is fairly current for my area) and sought to navigate to it. Well, this is where VZ Navigator, for me, is a bust! The program did finally navigate, but not after getting the location wrong again, this time three times!
I was finally able to get the navigation feature--selected from the "Follow Me Map" mode--to get my location wrong just once, and then show the correct starting point. I suppose if I had started moving at that point in my car, I would have been able to see how it handled re-routes and the like. CONCLUSION
: VZ Navigator does not store the location, but rather recalculates a new position each time a mode change occurs!
This happens when one switches from "Where Am I" to "Follow Me Map" as well as when switching to navigation mode to a point of interest from "Follow Me Map!" Not very useful at all.
The fact is, VZ Navigator always seems to be doing an ITFF sequence, regardless of what mode is selected. When you make a change of mode, you have to get your position all over again. These are, to me, serious design flaws with this software, flaws that I would hope would have been addressed by it's designers; people who, I suspect, are not particularly designers of GPS software in general or by specialty.
Here is an example of normal GPS activity: Turn unit on, wait for GPS to get or update GPS Almanac from satellites (if necessary), consult almanac for GPS satellite positions, wait for needed satellite signals for first fix, consult almanac to see where we were last time (if applicable), apply new signals, when ready, to current device state, display location icon on screen with proper mapping area (on mapping units) in view. Read location on map screen!
The above is just a rough guide, and is not meant to be all-encompassing. My sequences may be off slightly, but that's the general gist of how a normal, handheld GPS Receiver gets it's information and displays in on it's screen. I am using my Garmin GPSmap 76CSx with a SiRF Star III chipset in it as a reference.
I do not find VZ Navigator particularly useful when it behaves like this. I was told that VZ Navigator also does not work in Extended Coverage Areas, of which I am on the fringe of one such area. Why would this not work if said 8830 is supposed to have an active GPS when using VZ Navigator? Simply because of the network involvement.
GPS data is filtered through VZW's mapping data partner, which takes a reading from the internal GPS chip--perhaps once each time, which would explain much between mode changes--downloads it from the handheld, then re-sends the information with the mapping data back to the handheld.
If VZ Navigator is not even using the full autonomous capabilities of the Qualcomm gpsOne integrated GPS chipset in this handheld for its own software, then further imposing technological restrictions by limiting the GPS data for use on its own network towers only, then how can anyone truly be expected to pay for this service?
These are my thoughts.
Stephen A. Brown