iPhone Location Services Slow

I’m sure you’ve all heard about how the iPhone 3G was completely unusable after updating to the iOS 3.0 software. I experienced this problem as well. Subsequent updates have eased the problem in my case, so I hadn’t been too upset about it until recently.

In the past month or two I noticed that my phone was becoming increasingly slow. Eventually I managed to pinpoint the problem down to the location services. The issue cropped up whenever I used an app that wanted to check my location. Because of this issue, I had actually turned off location services for any apps where it wasn’t absolutely necessary. But, the two primary apps I used that needed location services were Maps and Pocket MBTA.

Reset Location ServicesMy phone was so slow using these two apps that it was unbearable. I could not even get directions to a location because as soon as I started typing in a destination the phone would freeze completely. Eventually the app would just quit. When I tried to use Pocket MBTA to get buses near my location, the buses would actually arrive before I ever even got the app to tell me which buses were in the area. Even worse, after closing the app, my phone would still be a useless brick for several minutes after the fact. I’ve actually missed several calls because my phone was frozen and no attempt at clicking the accept button would work. Even worse, the Phone and Chat apps would just freeze and then quit when I tried to open them. Eventually after a few minutes the phone would start working again. There’s nothing that makes you feel more silly than holding a $300 phone that works about as well as a brick.

The release notes to a recent update of The Weather Channel app gave me an idea however. The issue for this app was a crash on startup. They suggested reseting your location services database. My weather channel app was fine, but I figured it was worth a shot to try and fix my other problems.

On my phone I went to Settings > General > Reset. Then I chose to “Reset Location Warnings”. A warning pops up and says that this will reset all the location warnings. I clicked Reset Warning. Amazingly, since doing this, my phone has been much more snappy. I can finally use the Maps app again!

More on Google Maps Street View

I posted earlier on how excited I was about the new Google Maps Street View. I’ve found some more links about the new feature.

Typographic Map of London

A neato typographic map of London.

Via Kottke.

Unofficial Redesign of NYC Subway Map

Designer Eddie Jabbour has redesigned (unofficially) the subway maps for New York City. The new designs focus on ease of use and simplicity. Most importantly, they shows how very unimportant accurate representations of geography are for things like subway maps.

Jabbour works for Kick Design. His work on the subway maps can be seen at the official site here:

The differences between the current official NYC map and Jabbour’s maps are striking. It’s most apparent when viewing the entire subway system at once.

I think that Jabbour’s designs are just plain pretty. Being not quite so familiar with NYC, Jabbour’s designs make me feel somewhat warm and fuzzy at the thought of riding the subway. This is a distinctly different feeling than the one I had the last time I was in NYC looking at a subway map to figure out how to get from Queens to Manhattan, and then around Manhattan.

There is an interesting article on 37signals about Jabbour’s designs and his intentional distortion of geography to simplify the map of the subway system.

The 37signal article uses the London Underground as an example of where this strategy has been used before. Of course, since I live in Boston, I was immediately thinking of the MBTA maps.

Picture of the MBTA system

I think I lived in Boston for about a year before I realized how not geographically accurate those maps were.

There’s some more brief commentary on Kottke as well.

Via Daring Fireball.