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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!