Wednesday, May 30, 2012


It's only been a few months since my running life met the benefits of GPS technology in the form of a new smartphone and the MapMyRun app. My last-adopter status and Luddite past make for a long learning curve.

Up until recently, there was never a problem picking up satellites to log a run. There would be the occasional wait and maybe a phone restart to get a better signal, but it always worked. Until Saturday with Jamoosh and then last night on my exploratory three-mile route.

Both times my phone said the GPS signal was weak. Both times I just started the run anyway. Both times no mileage was logged.

In the past, when I've started my run with a weak signal, my phone would eventually latch onto a satellite beam and start tracking my mileage, foreshortening my run by a few tenths of a mile. No big deal.

Never before had my phone just not logged any distance like this. As the kids say, WTF?

My phone always gives me troubleshooting tips for a weak GPS signal. No. 1, restart the phone. Done. But I never bothered to look at No. 2.

Only in the last month have I discovered that using the Wi-Fi makes most of my other apps run faster. Up until then, I never used it and kept it turned off because I thought it would drain my battery faster. Then I discovered how quickly I could look up baseball scores or check my Facebook or refer to IMDB for that guy who was in that one movie with that girl about the thing that does the thing.

And so, if the Wi-Fi makes those other apps work better, then why not leave it on all the time?

Troubleshooting weak GPS signal tip No. 2: turn off Wi-Fi. Oh, facepalm ...

And just to make things worse, I almost posted this entry without realizing I was composing it in the drafts for my banjo blog. Thank goodness for copy and paste. Cheers!

1 comment:

C said...

This is what happens when hippies take up with technology.

Having said that, I still don't have a smartphone. When anyone hands me their iphone and asks me to answer a call or send a text for them, I look at it like it's from another planet...which to me it is.