[time-nuts] iPhone app

Pieter ten Pierick time-nuts-mail at tenpierick.com
Wed Feb 17 06:32:24 EST 2010


On 17 Feb 2010, at 07:37, Thomas A. Frank wrote:

> I don't believe that there is a 1pps available to the OS.
> The GPS chipset seems to provide a very limited amount of data to  
> the phone.  For example, there does not appear to be any way to get  
> satellite status info from the GPS chip to the OS.  At least none  
> of the apps I've tried thus far (and I've tried a fair number)  
> provide anything like that.
The iPhone OS provides an 'Location Manager' that will (try to)  
provide a location based on available hardware and environment:
The hardware might not have a GPS (Early iPhone, iPod touch) or you  
might be indoors.
The system will try to get a location using WiFi access points  
(Skyhook Wireless) and/or Cell tower triangulation and GPS
if available and determines heading based on either a compass or  
position differences.
I would assume that the GPS hardware provides the satellite  
information, but to abstract the used method,
the Location Manager does not provide the satellite info. For the  
average consumer it is not really interesting,
they just want to know where they are...

However: I am disappointed that my iPhone, although:
- Having a GPS
- Having a data connection usable for (S)NTP
- Is a participant in the cell phone network
- Sometimes connected via USB to iTunes for syncing content and  
performing a backup
is still not displaying the correct time. (Not even having a 'Set  
Now' button...)

Using the location even the time zone can be set, although the user  
might want to override that one to stay in sync with home.
But for (modern) cell phones to not have a notion of the correct time  
is disappointing...
All my previous cell phones had the same problem: Present in the GSM  
network, but you still have to set the time.
As I synchronize my calendar with the desktop, they will both give an  
alert for an appointment,
but they have a delta of many seconds...

Hoping this will be fixed in iPhone OS 4.0...


> Tom Frank
> On Feb 17, 2010, at 12:23 AM, Jim Palfreyman wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Having recently acquired a new iPhone with a built in GPS, I was  
>> wondering
>> if anyone is aware of an application that uses the GPS 1PPS to  
>> produce
>> accurate time. I seem to remember reading somewhere that it is not  
>> possible
>> to adjust the internal clock, but one could still produce an  
>> accurate time
>> display based on the GPS 1 PPS and even provide time pips. Combine  
>> that with
>> the internal video there seems a myriad of possibilities.
>> However, trying to find such applications is a large effort and I  
>> was hoping
>> the time-nuts community may be  aware of some time-aware  
>> cleverness on the
>> iPhone.
>> Regards,
>> Jim Palfreyman
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