If the news that RIM had released BlackBerry Maps for all Blackberrys wasnâ€™t enough, our exposure to USGlobalSatâ€™s Bluetooth GPS Receiver made it a no-brainer: we have to talk more about the wonders of LBS (Location-Based Services).
However, like most good things, GPS on your BlackBerry doesnâ€™t necessarily come easy. Which is why BBCool HQ has put together a handy guide to get you started.
Note: Because most BlackBerry users will likely want to use GPS in conjunction with BlackBerry Maps, most of our How-To focuses on that lovely piece of RIM software. However, most of the general info about paring a GPS puck to your BlackBerry and proper GPS procedure applies to pretty much any other piece of LBS software (might we recommend Chronicle Road ).
Adding a Bluetooth GPS Receiver to the BlackBerry
If you want to use the LBS features of BlackBerry Maps, youâ€™re going to need either a BlackBerry with internal GPS like the 7520 (not recommended as they are old and clunky), or a Bluetooth GPS Receiver, usually referred to as a GPS puck, to pair with your BlackBerry. Because we like rocking the new hotness, weâ€™re going to show you how to pair said GPS puck with a BlackBerry Pearl.
Step 1: Turn on your GPS Receiver. Itâ€™s important to note that most brand new GPS pucks are fresh off the boat from Taiwan, so itâ€™s going to take up to 10 minutes for it to acquire satellites and get your position. Subsequent attempts to get your position will usually take around 30 seconds to 1 minute once the GPS puck has acclimated itself to its new North American home.
Itâ€™s best if the puckâ€™s first time is done outside, away from large buildings and with a clear view of the sky. Considering the weather this time of year, this can easily be done by throwing it on the dashboard of your car and checking back in 10 minutes. Make sure that you let the GPS puck acquire a signal first before you turn on your BlackBerryâ€™s Bluetooth or BlackBerry Maps â€“ otherwise, your puck will perform what is called a â€œwarmâ€ (i.e. less intensive) search, which might make it more difficult to find a satellite signal in bad weather or during certain times of the day when most satellites are on the horizon and hard to pick up. If you feel like your puck isnâ€™t performing its due diligence, pull out the battery and pop it back in to guarantee itâ€™s not doing a warm search.