My Round Trip to Russia
Posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
If your looking for reasons why your iPhone GPS is reporting that you are in another country, I may have found an answer; keep reading.
Yesterday, whilst texting my wife, I notcied that the time on my 4S was some 6 hours ahead, I immediately went on over to the settings menu and checked that "Automatically Set Timezone" was on, sure enough it was on, and it was stating Perm, Russia.
Highly confused I booted up Google Maps, only to discover that it too was telling me I was in Russia, besides a nice river and a factory for automobiles.
I rooted around with the settings, resetting wireless and cellular data, hard resetting the iPhone (Pressing the Home button and Power switch simultaneously resets the device, it does not delete anything); but to no avail. I was still stuck in Russia. 3 days 11 hours from home, I just had to see what Google Maps came up with when I tapped on directions.
My search on Google turned nothing new up either. Many people with the same problem, nobody with a solution. I was beginning to think my shiny new phone may be broken.
I finally left work homeward bound last night, hoping that a physical change of location may get a different tower and resolve the oddities of GPS. Half way home when it was safe to do so, I checked what location I was at. I had not moved.
Upon arriving home, and connecting to my personal wifi, GPS had sorted itself out. I thought to myself, just a glitch. Just a glitch.
Back to work this morning, I recieved a phone call. Noting the time I instantly slumped in my chair. I was back in Russia.
I told the story to a collegue. He suggested it may be the fact that Google are incorrectly reporting wifi signals in this area as being in Russia, even though my phone does not connect to any wifi in this office. I decided to query my computer as to where HTML5 GeoLocation thought I was. My search term "Where am I?" directed me to a blog on it, some links to Google Maps for Mobile the HTML5 web service for maps on mobile devices, I assume without a native maps browser. I gave that a go, with the vague hope that it may correctly retrieve my location.
It worked. Almost imediately upon opening the web page, and the Safari browser alerting me to the fact that the page wants to use my location services on the phone, did the time correctly report my timezone. A short check on Maps, I was back in Hadleigh, Suffolk.
I hope to not go back to Russia in the near future.
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