Librem 5 Navigation

I just received my Librem 5 last week. I have some work to do before I can attempt to use the Librem 5 as my daily driver. But I am happy about the current state of the software development. It’s a big job and there is still a lot of work to do before the functionality approaches that of an Apple or Android phone.

But one thing seems to be a deal killer when it comes to using the Librem 5 as a daily driver. Functional maps and navigation appear to be a long way off from being ready for even rudimentary use. My location shows up on a different continent most of the time. I can see my location dot if I manually zoom in to where I am first. But the maps are very choppy and unresponsive to zooming in. Often, zooming won’t work at all. I don’t even need turn by turn navigation. I hate that feature on my Android phone and don’t use it anyway. But I need to find my destination on the map and then zoom in on it as I get closer. Typically, I know the city. The map gives me the major cross streets and off I go. As I approach those major cross streets, I want to zoom in on the local areas that I am not familiar with so I know where to turn (on my own looking at the map without a voice telling me anything). Even using this method, choppy and unresponsive maps won’t work for me. Any idea when good maps and accurate GPS will be available on the Librem 5? I won’t even mind paying for maps if they are good.

Also, PureOS on the Librem 5 appears to be just one big app tray without any real Desktop. How do I close the app tray so I can put just a few favorite symlinks and documents on the Desktop and work from there most of the time? Is there a real Desktop? I have seen a fleeing image of a pink tiled background from time to time. But it never sticks around for more than a fraction of a second.


Where, more precisely? It may be as well to review a few of the existing topics about GNSS first (as a separate issue from issues about usability of specific mapping applications).

Initially, it put me on the other side of the world, either in Africa or China. I didn’t pay much attention to exactly where in the moment. But now, it seems locked on to my home location as I am at home now.

But the default map in the PureOS store is still very buggy. It is difficult to navigate because with whatever I type in, It lists search results from all over the country. For example, if I type in “Subway” (as in the sandwich shop), the subway sandwich store two blocks away doesn’t show up. The first of many results is several states away. I can’t zoom in because an annoying interface shows up when I touch the screen. I try to zoom because that interface is useless. It appears to want actual GPS coordinates, not search criteria in English. Is it possible that without a Google AI behind the search, that all map programs will require an Engineering background if all you want to do is find the nearest sandwich shop?

This is likely to be 0° latitude, 0° longitude. Both Africa and China are likely to be reflective of: it doesn’t have a fix yet. I do recommend that you review existing topics.

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Maybe a silly question to ask, but are you sure your location services are switched on?

In my experience, the gps on the L5 is accurate to within a couple of meters of my actual location - except when I am indoors. The L5 navigation does not do well indoors. It works like a charm while walking or biking.
Once I step out of the house, the L5 finds my exact location in minutes if not seconds.

At first it definitely struggled. My location jumped from my actual whereabouts to some spot elsewhere in the Netherlands. The accuracy got much better after I gave the L5 ample time to find its bearings (outdoors in good conditions). The jumpiness went away after I edited geoclue.conf to set the wifi location to off.

Oh, and try PureMaps for a navigation app. It’s not ideal, but it offers a much nicer user experience than GnomeMaps.