GPS Status

The Status screen displays the information received from the 
phone's GPS receiver and other sensors. In addition to the basic location information it can extract and display the state and location of each visible GPS satellite which is displayed on a simple sky view. The outer circle represents the horizon while the center corresponds to the zenith right above your head. The little red arrow represents true north, while blue means south. In addition there is a little compass needle that always shows the state of the phone's internal compass (magnetic north/south). Each satellite is represented by a dot, with a size corresponding to its signal strength. Green satellites are used to determine your location.

The sky grid is automatically rotated to match your real orientation using the internal compass or the GPS (if your speed is above 5 km/h). Please note that the internal compass may be inaccurate, because of environmental effects, while the GPS bearing is much more reliable, especially at higher speeds. If you see a difference between the north on the compass and the grid's north pole it is because of the compass hardware error. In such a case trust the grid (which shows true north) instead of the central magnetic compass needle. Magnetic declination is automatically calculated by the program based on your location. The program also shows your bearing (received from the GPS) as a small green arrow, if you are moving faster than 5 km/h.

You can set your preferred units, location format and datum in the settings menu along with several other useful options. Go and explore...

It is also possible to share your location via SMS or email. A single location can be marked as target and it is possible to navigate back to this point using a "radar" screen. The target point can be shown on Google Maps, RMaps, OruxMap or Locus. I highly recommend trying Locus which is a nice online/offline mapping application, supporting a lot of map sources and allows you to download maps and use them without network connection (good for geocaching).

This tool was primarily created to check the state of your phone and GPS. If your phone's GPS is behaving erratically there is an option in Tools | Manage A-GPS state which allows you to reset the GPS. This action will delete all received and cached data. (Please note that even a phone restart and battery removal cannot reset your GPS correctly because the data is stored persistently inside the GPS chip.) Android phones can get assistance data from the internet containing the orbital data of the satellites. You can initiate a download also on this dialog. The downloaded data is valid for 4-5 days and will give you a much faster GPS fix. If you want to use your GPS without cell coverage, I recommend doing a download before leaving. You will get much better performance.

The program displays a "leveling bubble" too, helping you to check if something is correctly aligned horizontally or vertically. You can calibrate the leveling tool in   TOOLS | Calibrate Pitch & Roll by placing your phone on a flat horizontal surface and selecting the Calibrate item. You can calibrate your phone even if it is in a car mount (i.e. the phone is not horizontal). Once calibrated, the bubble will correctly show the car's roll and pitch. It will also show the acceleration/deceleration of your car while driving. (But, PLEASE, watch the road!)

And something, for fun: There is a pitch indicator on the status screen which is a small green circle. If you can cover a satellite with the circle (by rotating and tilting your device), your device will point exactly towards the satellite.

Radar screen can store a single way point (Mark menu item) and allows you to navigate back using the GPS and the internal compass in your phone. Just move towards the point and use the screen as it would be a "radar". The radar screen will display heading and distance to the target point. It is possible to enter or edit the target coordinates and you can also share your current location by sing the Share menu. The marked point can be displayed on any of the supported mapping applications. 

Please check also the Settings screen carefully. Display units, UI language, sensor filtering, color scheme, message used for sharing your location and a bunch of other options can be configured to customize the application.

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Thank you.