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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Friday, 3 April 2009

Google Maps over 3G / GSM on the i600 (techie)

I'm fairly sure I've mentioned during earlier blog entries that Orange does an 'Orange World' all-day internet tariff for just £1. This is extremely useful for occasions when I'm out and about (as I was last Monday) but despite my best efforts, I couldn't get Google Maps working over the phone's cellular internet connection.

No matter which version I installed, whenever I tried to run it, it would say "This application requires a data connection" and it steadfastly refused to acknowledge the dialled-up line.

It was when I was (once again!) wrestling with this, just before I took the trip into London with Chris a couple of Mondays ago, that I was reminded of a setting I changed to stop the phone dialling up whenever I opened an application that required the internet. I wrote about it in a past blog entry:

If my i600 can't find a wi-fi connection (or can't find it in time!), it'll dial up a GPRS connection, which - certainly since I'm on a pay-as-you-go arrangement - costs money, and is very very slow.

To avoid this happening, I change the settings for GPRS thus:

Start -> Connections -> More -> GPRS -> Orange Internet

Change the Connects To menu item
from The Internet
to WAP Gateway

Obviously, this stops it from connecting to the GPRS system entirely anyway, so I need to put it back if I want to browse when I'm out and about...

In fact, what I did when I wanted to use GPRS/3G connections for any particular application was to change the application's individual connection settings to "WAP Gateway" - which, of course, worked. Google Maps doesn't have the option to change the connection, so it occurred to me that what I needed to do was - for the duration of the day's internet use - change the GPRS settings back:

Start -> Connections -> More -> GPRS -> Orange Internet

Change the Connects To menu item
from WAP Gateway
to The Internet

... doing this had exactly the right effect: Google Maps worked perfectly (with Streetview, too!) and I didn't have to change the settings for email or Opera to be able to check my messages and surf the internet while I was out. Most importantly, I could actually work out where to go without getting lost - something of a miracle, given my poor sense of direction!

Of course, when I got home, I had to change it back; because wi-fi doesn't connect straight away when the phone is in use, it's far too easy to dial up and - once again - spend unnecessary pay-as-you-go credit!

Posted by james at April 3, 2009 9:57 PM

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