MotionX-GPS Drive FAQ
Contact Support
2. GPS Signal


Q1. I am unable to acquire an active GPS signal when I touch the blinking red globe, even when I select the Outdoor Mode button. How can I correct this?

A1. Check your iPhone's Settings to see if Location Services is active for our application. With iOS 4, you can selectively turn Location Services on/off for each application. You should have seen a pop-up when you first launched MotionX-GPS Drive asking if it was okay for the app to use your location. If you selected "Don't Allow", you will not be able to select Outdoor Mode. To turn Location Services back on, go to iPhone Settings > General > Location Services. Switch Location Services ON for MotionX-GPS Drive.


Q2. “My iPhone has a clear view of the sky, but I'm still not able to acquire GPS signal. What should I do next?”

A2. GPS signal issues can often be resolved with a reboot. To reboot your iPhone, hold down the sleep/wake button for 5-6 seconds until you see a switch appear on the screen. Flick the switch to power off. Press the sleep/wake button again to power back on. Once rebooted, try launching MotionX-GPS Drive while outside with a clear view of the sky and wait a few minutes for the globe at the upper right to turn blue.

If you still cannot acquire and maintain a solid a GPS signal, it's possible your iPhone has a defective GPS chipset. Here is a test you can use to determine if the issue is with the GPS chipset. If you go to the native maps application that came with your iPhone and press the crosshairs button while outside, do you see the small blue dot animate with a "ping"? View the short video below to see what this should look like. It may take a minute or so to acquire a signal. If you don't see the blue dot animate persistently over a period of 3-4 minutes, your chipset may be defective and you may need to return your iPhone for one with a functional GPS chipset. If you can see it animate, switch back to MotionX-GPS Drive and wait for your GPS signal to be acquired (blue globe) before attempting to route to a destination.

Click to view gps signal "ping" animation video


Q3. “What does it mean when the globe in the upper right turns blue or red?”

A3. When the globe at the upper right is blue, you have a GPS signal. When spinning red, your device is searching for a signal. When solid red, MotionX-GPS Drive is in Indoor Offline Mode. Tap the globe to switch between Indoor Offline and Outdoor Online modes.


Q4. “What happens if I lose my GPS signal while navigating?”

A4. MotionX-GPS requires a GPS signal in order to provide accurate directions. There are several factors that can contribute to signal issues. A reboot of the iPhone often resolves signal acquisition issues.

  • If indoors, in a parking garage or tunnel you may not be acquire a signal.

  • If your device is trying to acquire a signal for the first time and you don't have a cellular or WiFi network connection, it's normal for the iPhone to take up to 15 minutes to acquire a signal.

  • If your device has traveled a long distance between uses of location services, it may take up to 15 minutes to acquire a signal.

  • Try locating your iPhone near the windshield to avoid interference from the roof.

  • Some window tintings use metallic substances which may interfere with the GPS signal.


Q5. “Can I start navigating without a signal?”

A5. Yes, you will be given several choices when starting guidance without a reliable GPS signal. You can use your last known accurate GPS position as the starting point for your route, or you can choose the best estimate of your current poisition according to cellular network triangulation. A third option is for MotionX-GPS Drive to wait for good GPS signal and then automatically begin guidance.


Q6. “How can I check my signal strength?”

A6. Signal strength can be viewed from the Position page. Touch Menu, then Position to get to the Position page.


Q7. “Is there any way to improve signal strength?”

A7. GPS signals are line of sight. Metal roofs, mountains, buildings and trees can interfere with the signal. When driving, we recommend a dash or windshield mount to give your iPhone the best view of the sky.

To further improve your GPS reception, plug your device into a power source and enable High Accuracy GPS Mode from Settings > Driving & Traffic Options.


Q8. “My position arrow on the Maps page has a "T" in it - what does this mean?”

A8. When a GPS signal is not present, your iPhone may be able to provide a rough estimate of your position using cell tower triangulation. This is indicated by a "T" in the center of the arrow.


Q9. “What can I do in MotionX-GPS Drive without GPS signal?”

A9. When a GPS signal is not present or when using Indoor Offline Mode, you can use the Search and Go To search tools, store maps by panning on the Maps page or running a Simulate This Trip route, save or edit your destinations, manage your settings and optional guidance packages from the Settings page, and play songs and podcasts from your iPod library. On an iPhone 4 or 3GS you can also use magnetic Compass features.


Q10. “Will the application work with an iPod touch or first generation iPhone if it is hooked up to an external GPS device?”

A10. The iPod touch does not contain a GPS chipset and does not offer a constant network connection as the iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 and iPad 3G do, so it is not compatible with MotionX-GPS Drive out of the box. Some iPod touch users are using an external cradle which includes a GPS chipset such as that offered by TomTom or Magellan in combination with a MiFi card (for the data connection).


Q11. “If I tether my iPhone 4 to my Wifi only iPad using the personal hotspot feature, will my Wifi iPad receive a GPS signal?”

A11. Unfortunately no. While there have been claims that one can obtain GPS location data by tethering an iPhone 4 to a Wifi iPad using the personal hotspot feature, this simply isn't the case. posted a video showing what appeared to be location data passed from the iPhone to the Wifi iPad, but this claim has since been debunked by our own testing and others.

If you'd like to confirm this yourself, try the following. Setup the personal hotspot feature ($20/mo from AT&T) using Bluetooth to connect your Wifi iPad to the iPhone 4. Turn Wifi off on your iPad to ensure the location on the map isn't being updated using Skyhook's Wifi access point database. Launch the native maps app on the iPhone 4 and wait until you see the blue dot "ping". Your iPhone now has a GPS signal. While tethered to your iPad via Bluetooth, launch the native Maps app on the iPad. When the maps app is opened, a popup will state "Cannot Determine Location". So the iPhone didn't send the iPad it's GPS location data. If you turn Wifi back on, you'll see your approximate location updated on the native maps app on the iPad, but this location is simply your iPad looking up Wifi access points in Skyhook's database to determine an approximate location.

Back to Top