Why is GPSID tricky to configure on PocketPC/SP?

Some customers have brought up the fact that in order to configure GPSID on a Windows Mobile5 device, they have to go through many steps.  With a simple application that went to read raw NMEA in the past, they'd "only" have to open up the right COM port.  "Only" emphasized because even this could be tricky for non-techies.  With GPSID they have to open up a GPS control panel applet to set the hardware COM port and then they have to potentially setup an "application port" (aka the Multiplexer Port) for GPSID, then they have to go to their app and have it read from that.

I was aware of this when implementing GPSID and the control panel app.  (Yes I wrote the control panel app for PPC.  This is my one and only one UI feature I've ever done for a product and the 2nd UI I've ever written in my life, and I hope it'll be my last.  I made the right decision going into systems programming and not UI 🙂

The reasons that we went ahead with GPSID and the tricky to configure CPL are
* Short Term: Apps written to GPSID won't have to re-implement this "configure GPS" UI on their own since they can just plug into the system API's.  In the past the only apps that really did GPS were map drawing/navigation, but as GPS becomes more common we think a whole new generation of applications will want to tie into location services.

* Long Term: In the future, OEMs are going to be configuring their devices such that the GPS plugs into GPSID right out of the box.  In that world, the user won't need to use the control panel to change their hardware settings at all because their apps will just work.

I do mean OEMs *will* play well with GPSID, not "I hope they will".  I've spoken already with a number of GPS chip manufacturers & OEMs about their future products.  All of them really want to tie into the existing GPSID API's so that the app experience on their GPS chip is a good one.  I know there's short-term unpleasantness of more buttons to push, but we think the short term and especially the long-term gains from GPSID more than make up for it.

[Author: John Spaith]

Comments (2)

  1. Nino.Mobile says:

    Software / Hardware 

    msmobiles.com has a review and some nice photos of the HTC TyTN  I…

  2. When I implemented GPSID to abstract out GPS hardware via a nice set of API’s, I thought when people

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