Sep 22 AT 11:47 AM Taylor Wimberly 42 Comments

Samsung finally releases GPS fix for Captivate, no ETA for 2.2

The Samsung Captivate was released back in July and since that time a small number of users have experienced GPS issues that made navigation nearly impossible. An unofficial software hack has been available for quite some time which resolved the issue, but now all Captivate owners can enjoy improved GPS performance thanks to a new update that is rolling out now.

Samsung’s GPS fix was a long time in coming and we were beginning to think it would be rolled into the Android 2.2 update, but that is not the case. All Captivates will remain at Android 2.1, but the update brings additional improvements such as media scanning time, adding the full version of Quickoffice and addressing Microsoft Exchange 2003 policy support.

Now that HTC and Motorola have updated their flagship devices to Android 2.2, Samsung is on the clock as everyone waits for them to upgrade their entire lineup of Galaxy S phones. We initially heard it would be ready by September, but Samsung has been quiet and rumblings suggest we now might see Android 2.2 in October.

One interesting thing to note is that this update will be pushed over the air by AT&T. We were told the Captivate would require a wired update to receive Android 2.2, so maybe the smaller file size played a factor in this rollout.

If you own a Captivate, please let us know how your update experience goes. Are you satisfied with the timeliness that Samsung is delivering updates?

Show Press Release

An update to improve the Samsung Captivate’s GPS performance is now available. Captivate customers will receive a notification on their device that an update is available and will simply need to download the file to update their phone. The updates will be pushed to customers’ devices over the next few weeks.

The update for the Captivate will also improve additional device functions, such as media scanning time, add the full version of Quickoffice and address Microsoft Exchange 2003 policy support.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Steve

    I am happy with the update so far, Navigation was actually quick (not HTC device quick, but acceptable) to lock and got me about 26 miles with NO wonkiness, erroneous re-routes, or having me in the wrong location. Maps and My Tracks tracked me surprisingly (given previous experience and posts about the leaked JH7) well, almost flawlessly actually. The only GPS issue I see still remaining is that the compass pointer was all over the place in Maps and My Tracks both, but that is a different sensor and so a separate issue I guess.
    After the initial boot-up, boot-up has been quick, and it is so nice to not have a sluggish device while media scanner runs.
    I haven’t played with/tested the other parts of the “update” as the GPS was my main problem/concern. I wonder if Angry Birds shows up in the market yet… [YES IT DOES!!!]

    Other than Froyo (which I can be patient about), I am happy that my device is finally as it should have been at release!

  • http://Florida SJ

    ^ That’s good to hear. Still waiting for my update…GPS has been near unusable for me (it takes 20+ secs to grab my location and barely keeps a lock on it, and google navigation then works all over the place).

    • http://Website Steve

      Try checking under settings, and if you can’t for a while yet, change your system time under “date and time” to when you would be able to, check again, then change the time back after the reboot/install (that’s what I did)

  • http://Website Derek

    Mine is finally downloading the update… If we were rooted and running the lagfix hack, what’s going to happen?

    • http://Website MvdL

      Tried the upgrade with it rooted and the lag fix. It just said the phone did not receive the upgrade after reboot.

  • http://Website Oskar

    Sooo the GPS issue was only for the captivate? I thought it was all galaxy s phones.

    • http://Website Mocha K

      That’s what im trying to figure out too. I own a Vibrant and I have problems with my gps locking my position too. I thought they were releasing a gps fix to all device. I also know others that have problems with the gps on vibrant. I hope there is a fix for this.

      • http://Website Derek

        Check on XDA, some people have taken the update and ported it to vibrant and are having good success with GPS.

    • http://Website Drew

      Scamsung, scamsung, scamsung..2.2? mabye… anything else? never!
      -behold 2 owner

  • http://Website Jason

    I forced the update, and I cannot speak on gps, but it seems to be working properly. As far as the compass issue, you might have to do a figure 8 in order to reset the compass. But Angry Birds is installing…..YEAH. Do I really need a stupid program like Office on my phone. I don’t think so.

    • http://Website Steve

      That’s true, I didn’t recalibrate the accelerometer/magnetic sensor, I’ll try the figure-8 thing, I had forgotten about that so thanks for reminding me. Day two and GPS is still good.

  • http://Website TechGeek

    Received my OTA today but was told by AT&T that even though its an OTA one still needs to connect the device via USB to a PC. In addition there is a link from the AT&T Answers page that shows detailed info on how to download/install this update. I will continue once I get home tonight to see if I can’t get it to actually install on the device. So far no luck. :(
    Am a rooted user running lagfix – will report back.
    Would love to see 2.2 but patience is a vertue – its killing me but what can ya do… We are at the mercy of Samsung/AT&T, the more delay on these devices the more demand = More Sales… There is always a logic behind a maddnesses. :D Big Companies will do what’s best for their pockets not the consumers, sadly but that’s how most big Corps roll.
    Our day will come, hope that it will be sooner than later. Cheers! :D

  • http://Website Nammy

    Uh, how exactly do you know if you updated? I clicked on the “check for updates thing in the settings of my captivate and about 45 seconds later it exited that screen.

    There was no reboot or anything like that, can’t really tell if I got the update… does it say anywhere, like is there a software version number that I can check?

    • http://Website jun

      u need to download software called “kies”

  • http://Website Richard

    Come on now who are we kidding here there is no excuse for the entire line of galaxy s phones to be released on androids old 2.1 operating system. 2.2 has been out since May samsung knew there new line would come out why would they not launch with 2.2 now everyone must wait that is the problem with samsung they never stay on top of There updates. Go sprint and HTC EVO 4G the best android phone on the market

    • http://Website surly

      nobody cares about you, troll. go fuck your mother.

  • http://Website Alex Stone

    Has anyone been able to get it installed with a rooted/lagfix’d phone? It won’t install. I’ve un-rooted, un-lagfix’d and even did a full stock restore on my phone (don’t really use it much because of the problems) and it still won’t install.

    Any ideas?

    • http://Website Frankie

      i was able to install with rooted and lagfix’d captivate by un-lagfix’d, uninstalling ext2 tools then un-rooting. Restarted then used update utility, worked like a charm. Re-rooted, reinstalled ext2 tools, re-lagfix’d and now a happy gps capable 2300+ quadrant scoring captivate owner :)

      • http://Website Robert

        Hy Frankie.

        I have mine Rooted with ryan´z lag fix and titanium backup instaled.

        Can you explain to me Step by Step (if is it posible), how you did all the process.

        I would be very greatefull.



        • http://Website Frankie

          I too am using RyanZA’s OCLF 2.0. Here are the steps I took to get it updated and re-lagfix’d.

          First you need to revert back to un-rooted state,

          1. Fire up RyanZA’s OCLF 2.0
          a. Undo OneClickLagFix V2+ or OneClickLagFix V1+ (will reboot)
          b. Remove EXT2 Tools (may reboot)
          c. Un-Root Device (will reboot)

          2. Menu -> Settings -> Software update (make sure you have sufficient cell signal) -> Check for update. The whole update process should take around 10 min, it will reboot after firmware update.

          3. Re-Root, Re-install EXT2 Tools then Re-OneClickLagFix V2.
          4 All Done.

          Hope this helps you out Robert.

          • http://Website Robert

            Thanks Frankie, I will try this steps.

            I´ll let you know how it goes.


          • http://Website Robert

            Frankie, one question before doing your steps.

            If I did the rooting not with ryan´s OCLF, intead I downloaded the copied to my sd and then asked the phone to reintal packages, would I have problems un-rooting with OCLF.

            also If I have titanioum backup and removed all at&t bloatware?

            Thanks and sorry to boder you so much.


          • http://Website Frankie

            I am not sure if the firmware update will execute with out the at&t bloatware uninstalled, my co worker was able to update his with it still rooted. From what I tested Lagfix and EXT2 tools have to be uninstalled for update to work.

  • Ammar


    I just updated my Captivate, still 2.1, it was so easy and it took about 7 minutes.

  • http://Website gabriel

    Did anyone notice if the settings menu got a visual upgrade from this update too? Right after I did the update I seem to remember there being visual changes to icons and wording on my settings but now I just see the same old menu… did that actually update too or am I just going crazy?

  • http://Website Jim Britt

    I have started the update from AT&T and it has been on the “Galaxy S” screen for the past 15 min; I don’t know if it is still downloading or locked up!!!

  • http://Website John Francese

    Just finished updating… I was unaware of this whole thing actually. I had heard that AT&T was due to release 2.2 for late September, so for fun I tried manually updating. I was ecstatic to see that it actually started downloading something, but that quickly turned to disappointment when I checked my firmware version.

    Yeah great, GPS is better… but couldn’t this have just waited til 2.2? Seems like a waste of time.

    The Captivate (and for that matter, all other Galaxy S devices) is one of the best mobile products on the market, but Samsung is absolutely awful when it comes to software and compatibility.

  • http://Website Derek

    For anybody having trouble getting the OTA update, there’s a zip file on XDA that you can install via Clockwork recovery that does the trick. I had to use this method because mine crashed like 5 times during the update process. Check it out.

    • http://Website Noctx

      @Derek, are you saying the Ota update from ATT can be manually installed thru a zip from xda?
      could you provide a link??

  • http://Website tnerb123

    The update did speed up GPS a little, but it now causes email to force close 2 -3 times a day. Never had the issues with email in the old update. It also added The office suite which I have not tried yet and wont since i have no use to use it yet. If the update only made things worse for me and added more bloatware, why should I have updated?

  • http://Website subs

    I am rooted- no problem installing the update. But it didn’t fix my GPS woes.

    In the same way that people should have stopped posting ‘the config fix’ that didn’t fix GPS, they need to stop saying that this update fixes GPS, when for the vast number of folks I see complaining online- it may make it better, but it sure isn’t a fix.

    e.g.: GPS not really fixed with the update, not for me anyway.
    Turn on Google Maps with clear view of 6+ sats and watch myself bounce around on the map. And I’m not moving.
    AFAIK- I do not live in the middle of the Hudson River. This phone thinks I do. Fail.

  • http://Website new captivate user

    I just did the update earlier this afternoon but for some reason right when it finished my 3G picture at the top of the screen disappeared and I am not able to connect to the the internet at all. I can’t use the market place or use any apps that require the use of internet. I’m not sure if this is suppose to happen or not but if anyone could help I would greatly appreciate it. The Firmware on my phone is the 2.1-update1

  • http://Website meeeer

    Is this the 2.1 update 1? Cuz if so it didn’t help the GPS that much

  • http://Website Mark

    Has anyone else had a problem syncing the phone with a PC after th 2.1 update 1 update?

  • http://Website Joe

    The late September AT&T I897UCJH7 update for my Samsung Galaxy S Captivate did not fix my phone’s GPS problem. The lack of accuracy, and the inability to determine its location, makes the phone’s navigation and mapping functions almost useless.

    I was able to compare satellite reception, locking, and position tracking with a side-by-side test between my Captivate and an HTC Nexus One. The Nexus was able to consistently hold location while driving around town, with an accuracy down to 6 feet. The Captivate would freeze while I was in motion and wonder off when I was stopped. Often it would jump to several blocks away, in a different direction, with computed accuracy of only 64, 32, and in rare instances, 16 feet.

    My recommendation to every prospective buyer is do not purchase the Samsung Captivate or any of its other carrier siblings, unless a real fix is made.

  • http://Website Red

    I suspect this “fix” is bogus. As shipped, the Captivate is set to use a dead supplemental GPS server, which supposedly was used for development but now that domain name has been taken over by a domain name parking service. If you change that to Google’s supplemental GPS server, the GPS works better–but only in ASSISTED GPS mode, when you are connected to the internet.

    In STANDALONE MODE, where the GPS has to work by itself, there is no benefit from this change. And it is in STANDALONE MODE that these phones fall down, the GPS system sees “weak” satellite signals when in fact other GPSes have no problem seeing them as good and strong.

    I’m afraid this is a bogus “fix” form the AT&T Marketing Department, not a true fix for the apparently bad GPS hardware in the phones. Very much like Apple saying there’s nothing wrong with the iPhone 4, jut don’t hold it by the lower half of the phone. Yeahsure.

  • http://Website xatrekak

    2.2 (froyo) has been leaked and can be found on XDA. it fixes the GPS completely

  • http://Website stupidsamsung

    I got the update, it didn’t fix the GPS one bit. It takes forever, like 10 minutes for the gps to get a lock. once it’s locked on, the stupid gps goes all over the place. sometimes it doesn’t even lock on. If samsung doesn’t fix this phone. the next one i’m getting is an iphone!!!!!!

  • http://Website jose luis echeverria

    Hi,i own an unlocked captivate and use it in chile. Is there any way i can update it without a root?? I have acess to an at&t sim if necessary. Ty!!!

  • http://Website prodigy

    i rooted my sgs…and upgrade to 2.2…but i really dont know what is baseband version….mine is i9000xxjp2..what izzit..pls help

  • http://Lookslikeitisontheway Vibeguy

    Presley: Hi, thanks for reaching out to Samsung tech support. How can I help you today?

    Visitor: When will the 2.2 update be released for the Captivate?

    Presley: Are you referring to Cell phone?

    Visitor: Yes

    Presley: I am not trained on the product that you are using. Please standby while I transfer you to the appropriate agent for further assistance.

    Visitor: Thanks

    Please wait while I transfer the chat to the best suited Samsung Agent.

    You are now chatting with ‘Elena’

    Visitor: Hello

    Elena: Hi, thank you for contacting Samsung Technical Support. How may I help you today?

    Elena: I understand that you want to install the Android 2.2 upgrade on the handset. Am I correct ?

    Visitor: Yes in the Samsung Captivate.

    Elena: Unfortunately there is no update available at this time for your phone model, nor is there an estimated date of one being released. We are unable to speculate when/if a software revision might be available due to the fact that this might lead to inaccurate information and confusion.

    Elena: Should this become available, it will be posted on our website in the Samsung Download Center.

    Visitor: Is there any way to get Adobe Flash working on the Captivate with the 2,1 version?

    Elena: Samsung is working on these and we will release the software within few days. Once the update has been released by the Carrier people you will receive a notification message to install it on your handset.

    Elena: I am sorry, Android 2.1 doesn’t support flash.

    Visitor: How about Skype?

    Elena: I apologize for the inconvenience.

    Elena: Samsung Captivate doesn’t have the front to use the Skype on the handset.

    Visitor: So what software will be released in a few days?

    Elena: Android 2.2 upgrade.

    Visitor: Ok. So you are saying that 2.2 will be released in a few days?

    Elena: Yes, you are correct.

    Visitor: Well I was a little confused by your first response.

    Elena: Is there anything else that I can assist you with?

    Visitor: Skype says that Captivate will work with the 2.2 upgrade. Do you know if that is true?

    Elena: Yes, the Captivate will work with the 2.2 upgrade.

  • subs

    Here we are two years later. And it’s time for my upgrate. The Captivate is now old news… The Galaxy S III is out.

    They now run an upgrade program- I’m not upgrading, it should be replaced.
    Let’s be clear: my Galaxy S shipped with broken GPS. GPS didn’t work on either of two replacement phones I swapped. Samsung never addressed the issue which was well known and documented extensively on the web. Samsung has an ‘upgrade’ program? It should have ohad a fix/replace program. What you needed was a customer support program which dealt with the GPS issue. Multiple calls to cusomer support got me nowhere. Now I’m eligible for an upgrade, and you should know that I’m never buying another Samsung product, cellphone or otherwise. And when my friends ask me for advice -and they do, because I’m a rather technical user- I make sure to steer them to the HTC or even LG brand. But definitely away from Samsung.

    So there.