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Using an External GPS Device

In general, most newer Android and Apple devices can use an external GPS even if they have an internal GPS. The external devices can actually be a bit more accurate than an internal device. However, some phone manufacturers do an exceptional job with GPS data and as such there may be no real benefit from an external device. For those devices without built-in GPS, an external GPS is the only option available for data collection using the TNP Mobile App.

Note: Before you purchase an external GPS make sure it is compatible with your Android or Apple device. Many devices that are compatible with Android will not work with Apple devices. And, many Apple compatible devices will not work with Android devices.

Use of Apple devices tends to be pretty straightforward as the peripherals that are made for Apple devices go through quite a bit of testing. When looking for a device, ensure it is mFI certified. This will give you a better indication that it will work well with your Apple device. Devices such as newer iPod touch's, iPads with WIFI only, and even iPhones or 3G iPads can work with an external GPS.

Note: If your device can download the TNP Mobile App from the iTunes store it is compatible with external GPS hardware. If you are unable to download the the TNP Mobile App from the iTunes store, ensure that the external GPS hardware is configured properly for use with your mobile device.

We suggest you download the manufacturer's test application and configure the external GPS you acquire before using the TNP Mobile App. Once you are satisfied the device is working according to the manufacturer's instructions, the TNP Mobile App will use the GPS from the external device the moment the app is launched. There is a side benefit to Bluetooth GPS devices as they don't require a physical connection to your device and in some instances may help reduce the power used by your device (if it is an iPhone or a 3G iPad).

Note: If you startup your external GPS while using the TNP Mobile App, it may not recognize the GPS is on. To avert this issue, exit to the home TNP screen and then go back into the screen you were monitoring.

Android devices are highly variant on how they connect to external GPS devices. For this reason we suggest following the manufacturer's instructions to pair with the device first. Then, use the manufacturer's test application, if available, to determine proper connectivity. Generally, if you can pair the device with the phone or tablet, the device should work when you start the TNP Mobile App.

Note: In some instances Android devices may not pair with a Bluetooth device automatically upon loss of connection. Please follow the instructions to re-establish connectivity between your specific Android device and the GPS device.

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