How to get GPS working on the N95

Nokia N95I picked up a N95 when I was on my Honeymoon in Malaysia recently and I have to say it is probably the best phone I have ever used. My biggest fear now is that I accidentally drop it like I normally do to most of my phones at some stage. I was planning on doing a review of the phone soon but thought I would do a quick post on how to get GPS and Nokia Maps working as I see a few people had trouble getting it started.

The first thing to do is get your initial GPS position. This can take a few minutes and you have no way of looking at the progress in the Nokia maps application which is a pain. I use the GPS Data application to do this as it allows you to see if you are getting any Satellite connections. This is in:
Tools–>applications–>GPS Data

This contains some handy tools for the GPS navigation feature of the phone. It would be better if it was integrated into the Nokia Maps application or a even short cut to them from within the application.

If you select position it will give you your current position. What will probably appear first is Waiting for GPS . This will normally appear until you have a connection to at least 3 satellites.

If you select options and then Satellite status you can see the progress of your connection. It is best to do this outdoors the first time you are using it as you get a better signal. The basic idea is that each number represents a GPS satellite. The size of the rectangle beside the number represents the strength of the signal.

As soon as three of the signals become black you have located your position. This does take a few minutes the first time you use the application.

Once you have the position when you open Nokia Maps, it should zoom into your exact location if you have loaded the map for that area.

If you have a network connection it will automatically download the map of the area for you. As you can guess this would not work too well when you are on the move or in the car. I used the Nokia Maploader application to download my maps to the phone. The maps are free but you need to pay for the Navigation.

If anyone has found an easier way to get this working let me know. You can skips the steps of using the GPS Data application and just open Nokia Maps and wait. I’d say the problem that most people get when they do this is that they can’t see any connection progress so just close the application presuming it does not work in their area.

By the way I used Screenshot for Symbian OS to generate all the screenshots. I also have the vista bliss theme by Alfa, hence the windows logos.

You can actually see the Satellite status inside Nokia maps. Go to Options–>View–>Satellite status

  1. #1 by Paul Browne - Technology and People on August 23, 2007 - 8:54 am


    Congrats on the getting married thing – I know you mentioned it before at the Java meetup , but I’ve got the memory span of a goldfish 🙂

    I’ve exceeded my gadget quota for the year, but the N95 looks pretty good … must ask Santa.


  2. #2 by Stephen Downey on August 23, 2007 - 9:39 am

    Thanks Paul,
    Everyday I keep find something new with the phone. Last night, I managed to stream music, video and a web cam from my PC at home to the phone over the web using Orb. I can also view the hard drive of the PC. All I need is a WIFI connection for the phone!

    I hope Santa is good to you 🙂

  3. #3 by colm on September 6, 2007 - 12:39 am

    I’m going to Malaysia in December AND I’m lusting afer an N95. Is there much of a saving?

  4. #4 by Stephen Downey on September 6, 2007 - 9:55 am

    Hi Colm,
    I’m pretty jealous, it’s an amazing place. Make sure you try the food you get in the stalls at the side of the road. The food is amazing and it will cost about 4 ringgit or 80 cent!

    I picked my N95 up in Kuala Lumpur for about 2300 ringgit, the exchange rate was about 4.6 at the time. So it was about 500 euro. You can go to some of the dodgy looking malls and get it a bit cheaper but I didn’t want to take the risk.

    At the time they were about 800 in Ireland and none of the networks were offering it as an upgrade. I have heard that they are going to be about the 400 euro mark with upgrade offers so it might be worth holding on and getting it as an upgrade.

  5. #5 by colm on September 7, 2007 - 2:49 pm

    I’ll try the food. I’m going over to a confrence so there should be some Malaysians with us who can translate the menu for me.

    It’s probably a good tip to stick to the official looking shops when I get there. Don’t want to come home with a Mokia N95

  6. #6 by Stephen Downey on September 7, 2007 - 2:52 pm

    Yep, there’s nothing like a good ole Mokia 🙂

  7. #7 by colm on September 26, 2007 - 4:07 pm

    Hi Stephen,
    It turns out I don’t need to get one in Malaysia. I was one of the lucky winners in the competition in Newstalk. First thing I have ever won on a radio station competition. I nearly fell off my seat when George called out my name.

    I got the phone yesterday. Talk about gadget heaven. It’s going to take me weeks to figure it all out. Great fun ahead. Your post was a big help in setting up the GPS. Thanks


  8. #8 by Stephen Downey on September 26, 2007 - 4:14 pm

    That is great news Colm. Good ole George!!
    Glad the post helped.

    I was using the GPS to get around Galway city last week and was a bit disappointed to be honest. I am finding that it works great in the car but if I try to use it when I am on foot, I can’t get a GPS position. Hope you have better luck.

  9. #9 by colm on September 26, 2007 - 4:22 pm

    That’s interesting. I haven’t tried it on foot yet. I will and see what happens.

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