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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

GPSSerial 1.4.1 released: allows for multi-tasking

A new version of GPSSerial (version 1.4.1) is available now from the Orange Gadgets website here.

Note: GPSSerial (version 1.4.1) that is currently on Cydia is not working correctly, so please follow the link above instead and install the new version manually. Make sure to first remove the old GPSSerial package completely and reboot your device as outlined in the above link.

Version 1.4.1 of GPSSerial has quite a few bug fixes and upgrades to it:

  • The new version allows multiple CoreLocationManagers to access the external GPS module. GPSSerial will route GPS data to each of them. Certain AppStore apps instance multiple CoreLocationManagers which sometimes caused problems with the older GPSSerial (version 1.3.x). This has been resolved now so a lot more AppStore apps will work correctly with GPSSerial.

  • The new version allows multiple applications to run simultaneously and GPSSerial will route GPS data to each of them from the external GPS module.

  • On iOS4, you can have multiple apps running without having to fully close them before switching to the next location aware app.

  • On firmware 3.x, you can install Backgrounder through Cydia and also run multiple location aware apps at the same time.

  • Apple's built-in functions correctly on both firmware 3.x and iOS4.

  • If you switch the settings in the GPSSerial user interface from e.g. iGPS360 to iPhone GPS, GPSSerial will switch from the external GPS module (in this case the iGPS360) to your iPhone's built-in GPS or if you don't have a built-in GPS (e.g. if you are on an iPod touch or an iPad WiFi only), it will use WiFi triangulation and forward that to the running application.

The above upgrades and bug fixes have taken up a great many hours and they would not have been possible without the feedback of all of you.

Try out the new version and post your feedback in the comments or visit the xGPS forum here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tips for iOS4 and the iGPS360

A few people have reported having difficulty to get the iGPS360 to work on the newer devices that can run iOS4 with multi-tasking.

Here are a few tips and things that you should keep in mind when running iOS4 that is capable of multi-tasking:

  • If you have a device that can do multi-tasking, keep in mind then when you hit the home button when you are in an application, that appplication doesn't fully close. It keeps running in the background.

  • In order to completely close an application, do the following:
    1. Hit the home button twice (double-press) and a bar will show up at the bottom of the screeen that shows all your apps that are currently running.

    2. Find the application that you wish to fully close, press and hold its icon until a red minus-sign shows up.

    3. Tap on the minus sign and the app will be full closed.

  • Even if you reboot, apps keep running in this way, that is, the applications that are visible in the bottom bar after you hit the home button twice, will stay there, even after a reboot.
  • Press the home button to exit the multi-tasking bar and return to the home screen.

So how does this relate to the iGPS360?

In order to use the iGPS360 with AppStore apps, a piece of software called GPSSerial needs to be installed and is available through Cydia. The current version of GPSSerial (version 1.3.4) was designed for firmware 2.x/3.x and is as such not capable yet of the multi-tasking environment of iOS4. GPSSerial does work however on iOS4 in the normal non-multi-tasking way as it did on firmware 2.x/3.x.

Here are some tips when your are using the iGPS360 on a multi-tasking iOS4 device:
  1. Before using the iGPS360 module, make sure that no apps are running in the background that could potentially access the iGPS360. By that I mean, apps that use the CoreLocation framework and ask for a GPS position. If an app that is using the iGPS360 would already be running, a second app that you want to start up will not be able to connect to the iGPS360 at the same time (at least not in version 1.3.4 of GPSSerial). GPSSerial will report that the serial port is already being used and that it can't open it.

  2. In order to smoothly use different apps with the iGPS360 module, make sure to always fully close an app through the double-home button procedure mentioned above, before starting up a new app that wants to use the iGPS360.

  3. If you wish to start from a completely clean slate, close all apps that are running in the background through the double-home procedure and directly after that reboot your device. Then after the reboot, you can be sure that no application is using the serial port.

The above "shortcomings" with respect to the multi-tasking environment of iOS4 will be addressed in the next scheduled update of GPSSerial which should be coming out very soon (that is within a week or maybe two weeks).

If you have trouble getting your iGPS360 module to work on iOS4, please post a comment or ask for help in the comments.

And stay tuned for the next major overhaul of GPSSerial!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 and the iGPS360

With the new jailbreak from comex, all devices that are running firmware up to and including iOS 4.0.1 can now be jailbroken.

For more details, visit with your desktop webbrowser first and when you are ready to jailbreak your device, open up Safari on your device , then visit the site and follow instructions. Your device will be jailbroken in a few minutes!

As such, all devices will now work with the Orange Gadgets iGPS360 module and this includes the latest third generation iPod touch models (MC models) as well as the iPad running firmware 3.2.1 (both WiFi and WiFi+3G) and the iPhone 4, running iOS 4.x.

And make sure not to forget to back up your SHSH blobs so you will always be able to revert back to an older firmware if you accidentally upgrade. If you wish to know how to do this, visit the Firmware Umbrella.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Falun Gong: Enduring 11 Years of Persecution

Tuesday July 20, 2010 marks the eleventh anniversary of the persecution against Falun Gong by the Chinese communist party.

Hopefully most of you, and those who have ordered from Orange Gadgets, know that my humanitarian cause in life is raising worldwide awareness about the brutal persecution and human rights violations against Falun Gong by the Chinese communist party, a persecution which started on July 20, 1999.

Another year has passed and as such, this post today is dedicated to the many Falun Gong practitioners who have suffered or been killed at the hands of the Chinese communist party and the many that have disappeared or have been imprisoned innocently as well as their families and relatives who have suffered as a consequence.

On July 20, 1999, China's former president Jiang Zemin started a brutal persecution campaign against the practice of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) with his policy of extinction: "Ruin their reputation, exhaust their financial resources and destroy them physically."

Eleven years later, the persecution has not ended and innocent people are still being killed.

Falun Gong teaches people to be truthful, kind and tolerant.

Inform yourself. You can find more information at

Recent in-depth newspaper articles can be found at

Friday, June 25, 2010

iGPS360 module running on iOS4.0

Today a brief post to confirm that the iGPS360 module also works on iOS4.0.

Credit for this post goes to Yannick, a user of the iGPS360 module located in Holland. Yannick was so courteous to sent us an email confirming that the iGPS360 module works on iOS4.0.

This is what he is using:

Feel free to post your own results with iOS4.0 in the comments.

Monday, May 3, 2010

iGPS360 module running on Wi-Fi only iPad

It was a long wait, but the Spirit jailbreak finally came out.

I have used Spirit to jailbreak my newly acquired Wi-Fi only iPad. Amazingly it took only 10-20 seconds or so. Really the fastest jailbreak I have ever seen.

I did a few things that everyone should consider when jailbreaking their iDevice:

  1. For all new Apple devices it is crucial you save your SHSH blobs so that you can always revert back to an older firmware version in case Apple stops signing that older firmware version and will only allow you to restore/upgrade to the latest firmware version with iTunes.

  2. You will need to do two things in order to save your SHSH blobs to your local computer (note that this is only required for newer iDevices like the iPhone 3Gs, the iPod touch 2G and the iPad):

    • Get the ECID for your iDevice. You can find instructions for how to do this here. I used USBView (see the instructions in the link) to find the iPad ECID. Write it down and save it in a text file on your computer.

    • Get the Firmware Umbrella and save your SHSH blobs to your local computer. You will need the ECID for this. I used Firmware Umbrella version 2.2.2. Instructions can be found in the link above.
    • I saved a version of the file using both Apple's server and Cydia's server. Using Cydia's server will make sure a copy of your blobs is saved on its servers as well for double safety.

  3. Make sure you back up your iDevice before doing the jailbreak. Just open iTunes and right click on your iDevice and hit Backup.

  4. If you wish to stay jailbroken for future firmware release, never just upgrade your firmware through iTunes without checking with the jailbreak Dev Teams whether the new firmware can still be jailbroken or not. Also, never arbitrarily upgrade iTunes; stay on the iTunes version that you currently have until the Dev Teams say it is OK to upgrade. I am currently using iTunes, but it seems 9.1.1 is working fine too.

That's it with respect to the jailbreak and then now the real news:

The iGPS360 module works flawlessly with the (Wi-Fi only) iPad.

As you can see from the picture above, I have installed all the major navigation apps on the iPad (they run in 2x screen mode) as well as xGPS and GPSSerial and things work as expected!

The Orange Gadgets store will be updated shortly so that you can select the iPad as well as ordering option when you add the iGPS360 to your shopping cart :-)

Due to the high charging voltage/current requirements of the iPad (yes, this thing eats current, hence Apple's new 2.1A/5.25V/10.5W iPad wall charger), the iGPS360 module requires a special USB cable when used with the iPad. These new USB cables are already in stock and will be available through the Orange Gadgets website as well.

Now let's wait for a nice dash-board mount for the iPad ;-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

GPSSerial version 1.3.3 update

A new post today with an update on the new GPSSerial v1.3.3. The last beta version of GPSSerial v1.3.2 fixed a lot of problems but there were still a few things left to be debugged.

In particular, the following specific fixes were made:

  • The TomTom application would show a grey screen once in a while when not moving. This bug is now fixed and TomTom should work flawlessly. Most major AppStore navigation applications now work with the iGPS360 module. Customers have confirmed operation with Navigon, TomTom, Sygic, Magellan, NDrive and iGo and many more.

  • GPSSerial is now also compatible with the built-in Google Maps application, just start it up and wait until you have a satellite lock and the Google Maps application will point to your current position. This can be useful for people who are connected to the internet while on the road (assuming you have an iPhone) and who don't want to spend any money on a paid navigation application from the AppStore.

The new version can be found in the regular place right here and until it becomes available on Cydia (not sure when) it will need to be installed manually as explained in the link above.

Feel free to leave any feedback on the new version either in the comments for this post or visit the GPSSerial forum with feedback or if you require help.