Saturday, February 16, 2013
Saturdays are busy during tax season. I get up, get breakfast while starting laundry, hustle the laundry through in the morning so the washer and dryer will be free for my daughter in the afternoon, and go off to my volunteer job doing taxes in the afternoon. Some time in the morning, I need to get a long walk or I won't get my 10K steps for the day in.
Today the GPS was worse than before on the long walk. The app thought I covered over 8 miles in 50 minutes, for an average pace of around 6 minutes per mile. Nice thought, but I was *walking*. And hearing those split paces under 3 minutes per mile at times was just annoying. Map the route on SP, and of course it's around 3.6 miles, for a 14 minute per mile pace.
So when I got home, I made time to do what I should have done several days ago. First I did a search for GPS news, looking for whether there was a problem with GPS satellites. No such news. Then I searched for iPhone GPS accuracy. Aha!
I found a bunch of Apple forum posts complaining about iOS 6 breaking the GPS. Posts from last fall said that once the iPhone 4/4S upgraded to iOS 6, the GPS lost accuracy.
Hmm. I have an iPhone 5, and it shipped with iOS 6. When I got it, the GPS was wickedly accurate. Then I saw a post where a guy said he reset location & privacy on his iPhone 4, then powered it off and back on, and the GPS was accurate again.
I've had several minor upgrades to iOS. I think the last one was . . . shortly before the GPS burp on my long run last Sunday. What the heck, it can't hurt to try. Reset location & privacy, power down, power up, take an extra walk.
In 18 minutes or so, the app measured 1.22 miles. Sit down, map it out on SP. It comes to 1.22 miles, and every landmark where I noted a split distance was dead on. This is the way it worked when the iPhone was new.
So, my toy is back. I can trust the pace readout for my long run tomorrow.
Two thoughts on the experience. First, Apple is supposed to *just work*. This kind of nonsense about having to fix things after an update to the OS is what I would expect from Windows. I like my iPhone, but the experience is not selling me on the superiority of the Apple system.
Second, and with a bit of a red face . . . sometimes we old farts are just a little slow. You'd think by now I'd know that there is such a thing as an internet, and that searching to see if anyone else has encountered the same issue can solve a lot of problems faster than troublshooting the hard, slow way. But no, I had to go buy a $4 app thinking that the problem was the app, then test multiple apps, then blame the hardware or the sattelites, all before figuring out that it was the iOS location services and a stupid upgrade trick breaking something that worked before. Fortunately, it was fixable by a standard Windows trick that Apple products aren't supposed to need to mess with.
Yeah, I can hear all the Android fans laughing at me. Y'all have a point; but right now, I'm committed to the iPhone. And now that the GPS is working right again, I'm pretty happy with it.
The good news is that I easily beat my 10K steps today on this exercise.