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Use your Smartphone as a GPS antenna and receiver for your laptop
Marvin Hlavac
I've used a variety of USB and Bluetooth GPS receivers with my laptop over the years, but a few weeks ago I tried something different. I wanted to see if it was possible to use my smartphone's built-in GPS capability to feed NMEA signal via Bluetooth to my laptop. Well, nothing could be easier!

On my LG phone, I went to Google Play Store, entered the search term "share gps", and was presented with many apps capable of doing just that. Some (most?) are free, some cost a few dollars. I didn't spend any time researching which application was the best, I simply installed the very first free one in the search results. The app is called Share GPS by Jillybunch, but there are many more, so feel free to experiment.



If you happen to install the same app like me,
- Go to settings and place a check mark beside "CREATE NMEA - If not receiving NMEA strings, check this to create from GPS status".
- In the CONNECTIONS pane, tap the device you want to share your GPS location with.
- Make sure your phone has been paired with your laptop

I've been using it in conjunction with Garmin Mobile PC navigation software on my laptop for about a month now. It is as reliable as any USB or Bluetooth GPS receiver I have ever used. The only unexpected behavior I've observed is that the utility software on my laptop that would normally show being connected simultaneously to 12 satellites now still shows 12 satellites, but it may show I have a fix on only two or three of them, then a second later it will show I have a fix on different three or four of the sattelites, then yet another second later it may show a fix to another set of a few satellites. It never shows fix on all at the same time. But don't let this confuse you into thinking you don't have a good enough GPS reception. Just start you favorite GPS navigation software on your laptop or tablet and start driving. It will work just perfectly fine, if not even better than what you've been used to with your old USB or Bluetooth GPS receiver.

I even tried to install this GPS sharing app on a 5 year old Samsung smartphone which I no longer use and I didn't even know had a GPS built-in. It worked perfectly fine with the old phone, too.
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