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Kindle Fire HD Has Never Once Found Its Position


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Showing 1-25 of 35 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 5, 2012 10:51:37 PM PST
marcusj says:
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Posted on Nov 6, 2012 6:23:47 AM PST
Fud53 says:
What don't you understand about no gps/positioning system(as they are one in the same except one uses satellites and one repeater towers).

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 6:27:19 AM PST
Fuzzy says:
I understand your confussion. Location apps all have to have a working GPS to work. Your Fire as you know does not have a GPS installed.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:28:11 AM PST
jsh1120 says:
Apologies if this seems condescending. I don't mean it to be. You have enabled location-based services via settings, haven't you?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:33:56 AM PST
Marcus says:
Fud53, let me explain what I understand about GPS and WiFi positioning.

GPS: Needs no special database / prior knowledge (although an almanac helps on cold fix time) - you listen for satellites, compare the timing of the signals and you do the math - from that information alone, you can work out where you are. The GPS receiver algorithm knows about the handful of satellites to listen for, and what their orbits are, that's basically it. The 'triangulation' on GPS is pretty clever, actually, it's not on signal strength, but on tiny, tiny timing differences / phase differences in the signal between received satellite transmissions. It requires some very clever clock synchronisation between satellites and the receiver. There's also some very clever compensation for atmospheric effects, orbit errors, etc.

WiFi: In the scheme of things, WiFi positioning is really dumb. WiFi access points do not tell you where they are, coordinate-wise. The receiver, your Kindle, needs to be told where the locations of each and every WiFi access point that it can hear is located. Once your Kindle has that information (plus, perhaps, some information about signal strengths, etc.) /then/ it can do some triangulation and get to some kind of location. And who tells your Kindle where those access points are located? That is the 6 million dollar question.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:36:01 AM PST
Why does the Fire have to know where you are? Can't you just look up from your shiny new electronic doohicky for two seconds and look for yourself?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:39:02 AM PST
Marcus says:
Yes. I have switched it on. Yes, I also have WiFi switched on. Yes, I am also in range of and connected to WiFi.

=> No position. I get the little icon on the status bar when I start an app that is requesting location. I think the problem is that whatever Kindle is talking to in order to get lat/lon positions of WiFi access points doesn't know about my WiFi access point. And it's not clear to me how I can ever fix that. How does Amazon build and update its WiFi positioning database? I'm fairly sure it isn't Skyhook, because that company makes a big deal about how various Kindle app developers are using the Skyhook service to get a better WiFi position fix than that which one would get from the normal Kindle API.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:46:45 AM PST
Marcus says:
Not sure I understand your point. There are lots of apps that one can install on a Kindle Fire that need to know your location in order to function, or in order to function /well/. Like a social media app like Twitter can add your location to your tweet. Or an electronic guide book (perhaps with a map) would benefit from being able to show your position on a map, or, say, show points of interest ordered by distance from your current location.

In short, there are benefits to you, the Kindle Fire user, that your Kindle Fire knows where it is.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:49:01 AM PST
Mine is on the chair, beside the desk.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:52:26 AM PST
Marcus says:
Yes and no. GPS would be great in that it gives a great position (outdoors). WiFi alone can also be used to derive one's coordinates - if you know the lat/lon coordinates of the WiFi access points then you can use the relative signal strengths of the various WiFi signals to calculate a rough position, say to within 20 metres/yards.

Even if you can only receive one WiFi signal, if you know that WiFi access point's location, you can conclude your position on the planet to within a few hundred metres - for many, many applications that's good enough. Say, you lost your Kindle or it got stolen or whatever, an app could report back to a server /roughly/ where your Kindle is. Also good enough for social media apps, guide book apps, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:53:18 AM PST
Marcus says:
And mine is going in the waste basket in favour of a Google Nexus 7 soon.

:-)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:54:11 AM PST
Not true. There are apps that would like you to provide your location, but very few that actually need it. There is no reason why Facebook, Twitter or any other social media app needs to know where I am physically located at any given moment. No reason whatsoever.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:54:27 AM PST
Why not give it to someone who could use it? If you're tossing it, why all the angst about GPS?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 6:58:10 AM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
My question to you is why you purchased something that did not have all the features you wanted?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:03:45 AM PST
Marcus says:
Meya: I am an app developer. I develop apps for Google Play and Amazon Kindle app store. Therefore, unfortunately, I need a Kindle for testing. It doesn't mean I like it, though.

It's not just the lack of GPS, nor the failure of WiFi positioning to ever give me one fix in over 2 weeks' use, nope, there's a longer, much, much longer list of reasons that I'd love to toss the Kindle Fire. (Off the top of my head: no VPN (which is something I actually use (on other, 'proper', Android devices)), Kindle email is far inferior to the Google GMail app (e.g. searching the bodies of your email archive), Amazon app store has far, far fewer apps than Google Play, no YouTube app (the web experience is no comparison to a dedicated app), no Google Currents (something I read daily on normal Android devices), no nice screen lock features, just PIN (i.e. no face recognition / join-the-dots pattern, etc), I don't like the carousel compared to the desktop icon + widget of a normal Android device), there, that's enough for now...)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:06:30 AM PST
Marcus says:
Jeff: The Amazon bumph says it has WiFi positioning. So the sales pitch is: given a WiFi connection, you get a position. Right? Except that has never worked for me - my Kindle Fire HD has never worked out its position, despite having being connected to WiFi in several different places.

(Plus, as mentioned elsewhere, I'm an app developer, so I need to keep the Kindle Fire, whether I like it or not, for testing my apps.)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:11:53 AM PST
Marcus says:
Indeed, the very few apps /need/ it. But there are plenty of (popular, useful) apps that work better and provide more value to you, the Kindle user, if the app knows where you are. Some people like their tweets to go out with a location of where they tweeted from. And the Twitter apps can (according to the user's preference) automatically add that location, /if/ the app knows where it is. Same applies for Facebook posts. And maps / guide books. And device recovery apps like Prey. Etc.

So, agree, not essential, but pretty useful.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:13:34 AM PST
jsh1120 says:
Obviously you're forced to use the KFHD despite the fact that you don't like or want the device. That, however, doesn't change the fact that the location services using wifi on my KFHD works perfectly and yours apparently does not. This is not a problem that other users (especially those who have no problem) can solve.

Rather than continuing to engage in a fruitless discussion of whether or not you (or others) need the functionality we all already have, why don't you simply contact Kindle CS to see if they can help you with your device?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:17:07 AM PST
I agree with that. Nice little feature to have, but cool, useful, popular, value does nott equal necessity. :O) Just sayin'.

I have only had a cell phone for about 2 years because I lived in Alaska for ten years when they became "the thing to have" and there was no point in having a cell phone in Alaska because the coverage and signal service flat out sucked. I moved back to the Lower 48 and went a few months without one because I didn't think I needed it. I had friends & family say "but people can get a hold of you wherever you are at any time of te day or night!". I tried explaining to them that I don't WANT people to get a hold of me wherever I am. I'm not so sure why privacy and "alone time" is such a hard concept for folks to grasp. LOL

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 7:21:02 AM PST
CBRetriever says:
I saw some sort of VPN setting on my Kindle Fire HD and two apps required that I turn on the location services

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:29:56 AM PST
Marcus says:
jsh: OK, so let's get back to the original point / question: How does Amazon build and update its WiFi positioning database and/or what can I do to help improve their database so that my KFHD /does/ find its position with WiFi? I can't be the only KFHD user in the world with this problem.

I assume that some people in the know or who work for Amazon read these forums.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:33:15 AM PST
jsh1120 says:
In fact, Amazon does not regularly monitor these forums. And the question you're asking goes to the heart of what neither other customers nor first tier Kindle CS folks will know. Since you are a developer, I suggest you use your contacts with Amazon to see if you can find answers to your question. You're not going to get them here.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:36:58 AM PST
Marcus says:
jsh: OK.

(And, believe me, being a developer gets me no special access to any privileged technical information about Kindle, nor any special Amazon contacts.)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 7:44:30 AM PST
jsh1120 says:
M. Jenkins,

That doesn't surprise me but you should recognize that you're asking questions that may well border on or involve proprietary information that neither other customers nor first tier Kindle CS folks (whose job it is to get your KF working correctly, not handing out technical information about the device itself) are likely to know or (even if they do) are authorized to share.

If you want to know why you are having what appears to be a very rare problem with location services, Kindle CS may be able to help you. If you're simply ignoring that question and want Amazon to share their technical architecture with you, you need to find another avenue.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 8:04:55 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 6, 2012 8:13:55 AM PST]
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  35
Initial post:  Nov 5, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 22, 2013

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