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GPS more attention, please

Added by Alexis PM over 1 year ago

First, thank you very much for the development and maintenance of Replicant as a free operating system for cell phones.

I want to appeal more attention to GPS, please! For those of us who intensely use the GPS of the cell phone for field research works, outdoor leisure activities or others, it is critical that the GPS of the cell phone works in order to use Replicant. At least in my work environment we are several people in the same situation. As we understand the effort to develop and maintain Replicant, we want to limit our request to appeal that there be at least 1 device with Replicant 6 (and later versions) support has GPS and telephony support (have GPS capabilities and can be used as phone that make phone calls).

Analyzing the list of supported devices ( https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/ReplicantStatus ), it seems that 3 are the most viable options:

1) Add free GPS support to Galaxy S2 / Galaxy S3, the devices that more attention seems to receive from the Replicant project. Pros: It is easy to find cheap used devices. Cons: No current or past Replicant version has supported GPS on these devices.

2) GTA04 with telephony and GPS support. Pros: The Replicant project claims to have interest in the Replicant 6 supports this device, and GTA04 has GPS support in Replicant 4.2 (although without telephony support, so GTA04/"Letux 2804" with Replicant 4.2 is not an option for us nowadays). Cons: Difficult or impossible to find cheap used devices and the price of new ones is high (although acceptable for us if we have no other option).

3) HTC Magic / Dream. Pros: GPS and telephony supports with Replicant 2.2, currently the best option for us. It is easy to find cheap used devices. Cons: Replicant 2.2 is an unmaintained version and probably with security bugs (the HTC Magic / Dream is a old but functional device, and if Replicant 6 supports devices of 2011, 6 years old, we do not think it's crazy to support a device a couple of years older).

Thank you very much!


Replies (9)

RE: GPS more attention, please - Added by Andrew - over 1 year ago

Hi Alexis,

I agree with you.
I tomorrow will try to buy Galaxy S3 to have possibility to try and play with replicant. For me S3 seems the most advanced device with already android 6. Paul and Wolfgang already did fantastic job, so I cannot asked them for another favour. If I will get device, it will be top priority issue for me (as then phone will be fully working for me with replicant), I am not hardware or C developer, but I will give a try and document my journey somehow, so even if I fail then somebody else will have easier start.

Andrew

RE: GPS more attention, please - Added by Xan VFR over 1 year ago

I don't remember why Replicant project doesn't (or can't) provide free GPS support (probably because of the manufacturers obscurity about their hardware).

REPLICANT PROJECT DOESN'T ENCOURAGE TO USE NON-FREE SOFTWARE NOR DISTRIBUTES NON-FREE SOFTWARE

If you want to have GPS working in Replicant I suggest you to look up in Simon Josefsson's blog, but you'd be using proprietary software at your own risk (I choosed to do so with my S3).

RE: GPS more attention, please - Added by Alexis PM over 1 year ago

Many thanks, Andrew. Much encouragement. Do not hesitate to tell us about the topic.

Thanks Xan too. Obviously getting the privative Lineage's GPS firmware is an existing possibility. But existing the free (as freedom) Replicant OS and having free GPS support in at least one model (HTC Magic / Dream), we discard the private option.

The best would be the free GPS support incorporation into the Replican 6 trunk itself, but Wolfgang Wiedmeyer and Paul Kocialkowski seem to have too busy personal agendas.

RE: GPS more attention, please - Added by robin p over 1 year ago

Alexis PM wrote:

The best would be the free GPS support incorporation into the Replican 6 trunk itself, but Wolfgang Wiedmeyer and Paul Kocialkowski seem to have too busy
personal agendas.

My favoured approach is also to use a Galaxy S3 with non-proprietary serial gps device. As stated above, there is no GPD daemon though, so getting the data from the gps to osmand etc. is currently not possible and Wolfgang + Paul are somewhat busy. I have asked for the developers of Termux to include gpsd for Android in the Termux repositories [1]. They appear to have a lot of requests for packaging though, so this may be a while, unless someone is able and willing to provide a pull request.

In the meantime I am tentatively examining whether I can write a simple gpsd in Python (which is in the Termux repository) and then use that. I found this [2], which I am using as a starting point. It currently takes data from /dev/[usb] and outputs it to dbus; I'm sure I can easily change the code so it outputs to a tcp port instead.

I'd be interested in feedback, I am a novice at programming on Android, so there may be security/API reasons why this is not possible

[1] https://github.com/termux/termux-packages/issues/1330
[2] https://github.com/In2Deep/python-gpsd

RE: GPS more attention, please - Added by Fernando Negro 26 days ago

Yes, please pay more attention to the GPS component of the supported smartphone models.

The main reason - or perhaps the reason - why I buy smartphones, instead of regular cell phones, is the GPS navigation functionality that smartphones have... And, with Replicant not supporting this function, I'm unfortunately forced to use other Android mods.

:(

RE: GPS more attention, please - Added by Fil Lupin 25 days ago

I remind using my GPS on OSMand back when I had my GT-I9300 (Galaxy S III).
Am I wrong if saying GPS works on this device?

Regards.

RE: GPS more attention, please - Added by Fernando Negro 24 days ago

Yes, you are wrong.

I've had a GT-I9300 (Galaxy S III) running Replicant, and the GPS function didn't work (as it's stated here: https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/ReplicantStatus).

I had to install CyanogenMod instead, to make the GPS work.

RE: GPS more attention, please - Added by G S 20 days ago

On related note, on my tablet Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (P3110) running Replicant 6, this free software allowed me to use external USB GPS with OsmAnd navigation software under Android: https://github.com/freshollie/UsbGps4Droid

I simply attached my USB GPS GlobalSat BU-353-S4 via OTG adapter to my tablet and run the above software. It acts as Android location provider (needs to be selected as provider of mock locations in Developer settings). OsmAnd then just worked without any additional steps.

Hope it helps.

George

RE: GPS more attention, please - Added by Fernando Negro 20 days ago

Hello, George.

Yes. I already suspected that, from what was written in previous comments on this thread. But, the problem is that, when using smartphones, it's not very practical (i.e. convenient) to have an extra device in your pocket, and to always have to deal with something connected to your USB port whenever you want to use the GPS function on the smartphone.

Nevertheless, that can be a useful tip, when one wants to use the smartphone inside a car, or something of the sort (or, when using a tablet instead, as you mention). Thanks.

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