How To Connect GPS to a Cell Phone

A lot of modern mobile phones come with the ability to run applications from third parties. For example, Nokia’s Symbian Series 60 (3rd and 5th editions) can run native Symbian applications. Symbian Series 40 phones, meanwhile, can run Java applications, which are smaller and less functional. Other platforms, like Windows Mobile, Android and even the iPhone, have their own applications and software development kits.

One breakthrough application on mobile phones is Google Maps, which comes built-into many phone handsets today. Google Maps, along with other mapping applications like Nokia’s OVI maps, let users navigate their way through maps and satellite photographs of the Earth. Some phones have built-in GPS receivers, which enable their phones to pinpoint where exactly they are on the Earth using triangulation.

Not all mobile phones have GPS receivers, though. Other phones will estimate the location based on information from nearby cellular towers. However, some phones like the Symbian Series 60, can use external GPS devices through Bluetooth. This can be done in conjunction with a compatible application, like Google Maps, and a Bluetooth-enabled GPS receiver.

  • Find and acquire a Bluetooth-enabled GPS receiver. Some notable examples would include Garmin GPS 10, HAiCOM Bluetooth Slipper, AVL Bluetooth Receiver, and Globalsat BE-328. These will usually cost anywhere from $100 up, depending on the features, brand and functionality. Some will have built-in maps. However, if you prefer the ease-of-use and functionality of Google Maps, then it’s worth connecting your phone to the GPS receiver.
  • Enable your mobile phone’s Bluetooth radio. On the Nokia Series 60 (such as the E51, E72, E63, and other such phones), for example, this can be accessed through the Home menu, Connectivity and Bluetooth.
  • Consult your GPS device’s user manual on how to enable it for pairing. This usually involves pressing and holding a key on your GPS receiver. Your manual will also have the Bluetooth pairing key, which is a four to eight digit passcode that you will need to input on your cellphone.
  • On your mobile phone, open the Paired Devices tab. Click Options, then click New paired device. If Bluetooth is currently off, your mobile phone will ask if you want to power up Bluetooth.
  • Click “Yes.” The phone will now search for devices. Select the one corresponding to your GPS receiver. Connect to that device.
  • You will be asked to input the pairing key. Enter the number found on your user’s manual. If you can’t find the key, you can also try the usual default pairing keys: 0000 or 1234.
  • Once pairing is successful, you can already use your GPS device with your cellphone.
  • Now you will need to use your GPS device with a compatible application. We shall use Google Maps in this case. Open your Installations folder, and run Google Maps.
  • Turn on GPS use. Click on Options, then Settings.
  • Check the item for “Use GPS.” Then, close the settings window.
  • Your phone will now search for your paired GPS device via Bluetooth.

Using a GPS device alongside a mapping application can be useful in a lot of circumstances. You can use it while traveling (don’t drive and use your mobile phone, though).


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