Excellent points Alex, and congratulations on winning the challenge…
>>1) Basically, you're right, those problems exist and, for example, Commandro has some tricks inside it in order to correctly respond to missing signals, as well as it can be run as a background service (without UI at all) with minimal and rare GPS interaction in order to keep saving battery.<<
That’s my approach too.
There are a lot of tricks and shortcuts which need to be implemented
to make consumer LBS a realistic proposition. My plan was to build
all of this into an intelligent platform (see Snowball), rather than
having each developer try and work it out on their own.
>>2) There are also some solutions on the hardware side which we hope will be used in new Android phones, such as u-blog highly sensitive low-power chips as well as increasing the number of signal processing correlators.<<
This hardware is in the pipeline, but don’t expect the fundamental
limitations of GPS to be solved any time soon. Rule of thumb says -
technology in experimental chips now can be in phones in something
like a 3-5 year timescale.
Currently we have a big drop off in performance when comparing the
best dedicated GPS devices (say a TomTom) to a GPS enabled phone (say
an N95). I expect this to be a problem for some time.
>>3) A sophisticated Location Provider created by Google which will be able to integrate the last known GPS position data with Cell ID approximations (when the phone is out of GPS range) can also become really helpful, do you read me Google? <<
Agreed, if Google want some expert consultancy on this issue then I’m
your man. ;-)