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Which GPS works with Kindle Fire?
Van Kleiner
I am a newbie with absolutely no knowledge of GPS instruments and limited knowledge about computers and such.
We have a Kindle Fire and wish to buy a portable GPS that will work with it.
My purpose is to be able to read the latitude and longitude on a screen when I am standing and holding the device in my hand.
If anyone has a suggestion, please E-mail it to me since I may not be able to retrieve this forum...
Boyd
There's no way to e-mail you since we don't know your address. Regardless, the whole point of asking questions in a forum is so that a larger audience can follow the discussion. It then becomes a valuable resource in the future for others that have similar questions. So I will only respond here to the forum when people ask questions.

I don't know anything about the Kindle Fire. Does it behave like a regular Android based tablet? If so, you can download the free Bluetooth GPS app from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=googoo.android.btgps&hl=en

Android does not directly support external GPS receivers, but this app provides a work-around. After you set it up you should be able to use any bluetooth GPS with the tablet. For example, I have used a Garmin GLO with the OruxMaps app on Android. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/109827

But there are a number of other compatible bluetooth devices that should work. Garmin provides specific instructions for paring the GLO with an Android device here. The same instructions should work for any other bluetooth GPS: https://support.garmin.com/faqSearch/en-US/faq/content/1BEq2yXIPj5SdcTfdXrdd6

Now this will allow the tablet to use a variety of GPS-enabled maps on the tablet, but there are still some issues. Even though you have the external GPS functioning, this isn't treated the same as a tablet that has an internal gps chip. For example, there will be many apps on the Google Play store that you won't even be allowed to download because the tablet doesn't have an internal chip.

Like I said, I know nothing about the Kindle Fire but from what you are saying I'm assuming it doesn't have an internal GPS. Depending on what you plan to do with the GPS (plus your lack of computer knowledge), you might want to reconsider your plan. Bluetooth GPS units tend to be somewhat expensive, perhaps between $70 to $100. If you really need GPS capabilities, it might be more practical to just get another tablet that has a built-in GPS. Have not shopped recently, but there used to be some very nice options in the $100 to $200 price range. You would need to do some research though and make sure that the one you choose really has an internal chip.

Now the external receivers like the GLO will probably be more accurate than an internal chip, but it depends on how you'll use it as to whether that matters.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Kleiner
I am a newbie with absolutely no knowledge of GPS instruments and limited knowledge about computers and such.
We have a Kindle Fire and wish to buy a portable GPS that will work with it.
My purpose is to be able to read the latitude and longitude on a screen when I am standing and holding the device in my hand.
If anyone has a suggestion, please E-mail it to me since I may not be able to retrieve this forum...
I think the Amazon Fire products normally have to get apps from Amazon rather than google play.

There's probably a way to get around that, but I'm not familiar with it.

In basic terms, you'll need a GPS receiver and an app to display the lat & long information you want to see on your tablet, for example, something like this: GPS Essentials

I'd suggest checking to see if that app or something like it is available for your Fire tablet. There are many different models of Fire tablets, but evidently most of them do not have built-in GPS. You should check to see if your tablet already has a built-in GPS receiver, but if it does not, you'd want to find an external GPS receiver that works with your tablet.

Here's a video I just stumbled across that might be helpful:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYmlu0CLRQs
...
Boyd
That video doesn't provide any info on exactly what we're looking at. But apparently they are using this app:

http://comptonsoft.com/apps/tethergps/
https://www.amazon.com/Compton-Software-TetherGPS/dp/B004WFXB6O

That might be a good solution, but you will need an android phone powered up all the time to make it work so it's not the same thing as connecting to a dedicated GPS receiver.

Note that it costs $3.00, although that's not much. The Bluetooth GPS app is free but does not seem to be available from the Amazon app store. I suppose another question that needs answering is whether your Fire tablet even supports bluetooth connections.

Another question is: what are you going to do with the lat/long readings that you take? How accurate do you expect it to be? Typically consumer gps receivers only give readings of +/- 5 meters (16 feet) under ideal conditions. Some of the better (more expensive) bluetooth receivers can get closer to +/- 3 meters (10 feet) in good conditions. Then there are some VERY expensive pro devices costing in the thousands of dollars that can give sub-meter accuracy.
Boyd
FWIW, I did some testing of the Garmi GLO in my review here: https://gpstracklog.com/2013/04/garmin-glo-review.html

And here are some more recent tests: http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/30108/what-is-gps-accuracy-testing-the-garmin-glo-in-the-forest
Boyd
Here are a couple other thoughts... if all you want are coordinates, then the tetherGPS app doesn't make any sense since it requires a smartphone. And if you have a smartphone, you could just run the app that GoneNomad suggested (or others) on the phone itself - no need for the tablet. The only advantage to the tablet would be a larger screen if you were using maps.

If you don't have a smartphone, maybe a friend or relative will give you an old one for nothing? You don't need any kind of cell service or data plan to use a phone as a gps. You can use it for free with wifi to load software and transfer data.

Another idea would be to get an inexpensive dedicated GPS, I see the Garmin eTrex 10 for $75 at Cabelas for example. It will give you coordinates, takes regular batteries and probably runs a lot longer than a phone or tablet. It should also be more accurate. And you can easily mark locations or record your track, then transfer to a computer when you return home.
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