Samsung and AT&T Announce OTA Update to Fix Captivate GPS Issues



Those with a bone to pick regarding the handling of GPS support on the Samsung Captivate should get some relief in the coming weeks, as Samsung and AT&T have announced an over-the-air update for the handset that should corral the hit or miss location functionality plaguing the device. The update will also bring other enhancements such as improved media scanning time, the full version of Quickoffice, and Microsoft Exchange 2003 policy support will be addressed.

When the update is ready for you to receive you will get a notification on your device to download and install. Of course, this should take a couple weeks to completely roll out to every device. You can always try the old Settings>About Phone>System Updates trick to try to force the update.

While it is no guarantee, with the Fascinate receiving a similar update in the near future we expect the GPS issues on all versions of the Galaxy S will be dealt with shortly, even if we still have to wait a couple more months for Froyo.

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. It’s funny I called Samsung this morning inquiring about any update information for my Vibrant and they don’t have any information of any kind to give me…

  2. “Settings>About Phone>System Updates”

    Is this available on all versions of SGS phones? My i9000 GT does not have it. Or was that a mistake?

  3. If you try and force the update it will make you wait 24 hours before trying it again. Thanks for that AT&T.

  4. @pimpstrong – That’s T-Mobile for you.

  5. I just checked for updates through settings and it’s downloading right now. 11:01CST

  6. try settings > Software Update > Check for Update

  7. many people are saying that this doesn’t support the GPS issue..

    Anyone tried it out yet?

  8. @Kevin, I’m curious where you received information that this update included the GPS fix? I was reading the document that AT&T has posted and it does not say anything about the GPS issue.

  9. Where is the update for t-mo Vibrant?

  10. Change the date in settings to manually check for the update again. You won’t have to wait 24 hours.

  11. If you have root the update will not install.

  12. I dont think there is a way to check for updates manually on international version. I went through all the options in settings and was not able to find this.

    Can anybody please help me with finding this “Check for Updates” on international version of SGS?

  13. Gotta love that the Vibrant was released over 2 months ago and still have yet to receive any sort of simple OTA update where all the phones released afterwards are receiving OTA updates – some, Froyo goodness already.
    It’s a hard to remain positive for us original G1 owners.

  14. Is it an LTE-Smartphone like HTC 4g? I think Android will be faster than Apple with iPhone5. I would like it with LTE

  15. @Johnathan, thanx for the time about changing the time…just did it to check for the update and it’s downloading now. Hope there’s something cool in this non-froyo update :-S

  16. Engadget just posted an update stating this is supposed to correct the GPS problem..

    Hope it works and hopefully will be making its round to other Galaxy’s soon

  17. TMobile is slow as hell updating ANYTHING for there customers. Look how the Cliq owners were treated. I know its in the hands of Motorola, but TMobile has done nothing to stick up for there customers. Now TMobile is dumping a $400 Android OS Phone with 1.5…just sad! You wait and see, the Samsung will be left out in the cold quickly as well!

  18. where do you get 1.5? only $400 android phone i know tmo has is the vibrant and last i check it had 2.1 ECLAIR. as for FROYO so fucking what. its got a few bells and whistles. waaaahhh. im gonna troll every single internet forum available and bitch about it to everyone.

    seriously i have to ask do you go to work and whine to your boss cuz you dont have a phone that says 2.2? developers have lives. plus even if you DID get it now your just gonna bitch about 3.0 or 3.5 (gingerbread and honeycomb)


    stfu and get an iphone you bitch

  19. Neto – you are psycho…

  20. Updated just now and everything seems to be working great. Quickoffice for Captivate is now included, too. Not bad, but I think it’s available in the market already.

    Some Froyo would be nice right about now, too.

  21. Just manually updated and hit cancel in the middle of the download. The phone shutdown can up and said update failed and then turned off. Now it won’t even power up at all. Even tried to go into recover mode… nada, nothing, no power at all.


    Now to top it off, I have to go back to the Kiosk, the ATT store wont take it.


  22. @elijahblake I’ve been running the JH7 firmware for a couple weeks. It didn’t help my GPS at all, the only thing that did was installing JI2 firmware files (for Vibrant) for GPS onto my Cappy.

  23. @Jonathan

    i <3 you for that little tidbit =]

  24. I did the manual update through system updates and it installed fine. The GPS does lock on faster but there is still some delay in comparison to my Garmin in my car. Overall it is a nice improvement. I haven’t tried the quick office update that is attached with it yet. Looks like it might be a nice alternative to dataviz.

  25. I had flashed to the test firmware using ODIN which fixed/made the gps connectivity issue a lot better. Saw this official update and since there were some other problems with pervious ROM decided to go back to Factory Firmware but not I get the notification for update but the update fails on reboot! ARG

  26. Did the update and took a drive.
    Mine works great – nails my location too.

  27. Hopefully the vibrant and Tmo won’t be far behind because it hardly ever works for me especially when I actually need it

  28. Shame on samsung!! How in the hell
    Do they expect to build a strong customer
    Base if they realease a BROKEN phone!
    And all the STUPID people who bought

  29. @Dominic how could u buy a broken phone?!
    How was it that u walked in to tmoble and let
    Them flimflam you?!I would of took that thing
    Back and threw it at them!

  30. I just got the OTA update and it did nothing to resolve the ridiculous GPS issues. ATT Nav as well as Google Nav still dont work. Nice try Samsung

  31. And now that i have the update i cant get back into the gps settings *#*#1472365#*#* doesnt work any more wtf

  32. The update definitely improved my GPS, I just did it a couple of hours ago.

  33. Is it possible the ATT update works on all Galaxy S phones, similar to how the Epic Media Hub APK will work for all four versions? Anyone tried it?

  34. If you go in settings right now and force the update. Ur f
    Phone will update.. I just updated my captivate. But idk what the update was for??

  35. Downloading now on rooted captivate! At least Samsung is doing something… did the moto backflip update and it ran worse… cool design, but horrible phone! lol

  36. Just talk to AT&T tech and they said via chat “It provides improvements for e-mail, MMS, GPS performance, and additional bug fixes. This release will update the Samsung Captivate to software version I897UCJH7”. My update is ready to be downloaded but phone rooted through OCLF (one click lag fix), should I unroot then down load?

  37. I just updated mine on ATT, got a new Navigation app in my application. Youtube widget looks a bit different. Still seeing what else has changed.

  38. The update seemed to do more than they listed. It updated the youtube application on the phone. The widget now displays popular videos and gives a HQ button when watching a video. I will list anything else I find later.

  39. It also changed the USB option for Kies, it now lists Kies for firmware update. Logged into Kies on my laptop and it is receiving a large update.

  40. I installed the update today and it didn’t seem to make much difference. Since I had messed around with the GPS settings through LbsTest, which is no longer accessible after the update, I decided to bite the bullet and do a hard reset – and voila! It works! I got a GPS fix in about 1 minute versus the interminable waiting with never a fix I had experienced previously. And the Android Market remembers my downloads so I just had to go through them one at a time and download and install them again. Weeded out some that I never used.

  41. Update Failed!!! Seems like rooted phones don’t update.

  42. Just talk to AT&T tech and they said via chat “It provides improvements for e-mail, MMS, GPS performance, and additional bug fixes. This release will update the Samsung Captivate to software version I897UCJH7″. My update is ready to be downloaded but phone rooted through OCLF (one click lag fix), should I unroot then down load?

  43. Bob, thanks for that tip!! I checked, and the update is downloading now, I will check and see if the GPS has been fixed and report back.

  44. *Caution* do not manually update this…..it will completely brick (no power, no response, non functioning) your phone.

    I just tried to do this and I successfully changed my phone into one of the plastic demos at Best Buy.

    It appears that that there are others experiencing the same issue….and when I spoke to AT&T….they are blaming Samsung and they can’t do anything about it since this is a “device related issue”…….

  45. It definitely did something, I just got 10/10 satellite lock on my Captivate, and that’s inside (ablbeit near a window). It seems to fluctuate between 5 and 10 satellites locked, but that’s normal inside, but the lock is solid, before it would get lock, then lose it, then get it again, then lose it then keep it for a bit, then start allover. I will have to try out the navigation tomorrow and see if that’s improved.

  46. I just fired up Google Maps and it had a lock in 15 seconds, WOW, much better! However, it has me located about 200 feet from where I actually am.

  47. works great for me. Im indoors and its maybe 5-10ft off. Before it wouldnt show up at all without wifi.

  48. Just got home from work. Forced the update earlier today. Checked google maps and it locked on in about 10 seconds. What ever the update did it managed to work things out for me. Before today it would hardly even lock on or it would tell me I was about 3 miles away from where I actually was. Come on FROYO……….. Im still waiting for you. Oh and for angry birds from ATT

  49. holy shitt it took out the gps testing that u can access from entering *#*#1472365#*#* fml

  50. The update does not seem to fix the GPS at all. After reading many, many test results, it is safe to say that the GPS was simply “optimized”, as promised by Samsung. This is unfortunate for Samsung, as well as the entire line of Galaxy S phones, as it seems to indicate that a fully functional GPS is unattainable. For the GPS to be acceptable, it would need to function in a manner that is equal, or better, to similarly priced devices. Those who have the Captivate, need a functioning GPS, and are within their 30 day return period are suggested to return the phone to AT&T. Unfortunately, this update WAS the update that many were waiting for. AT&T should be able to waive the restocking fee (they did for me) because this flaw is so well documented.

  51. The updates are done by samsung, but pushed by the carrier… Thats why vibrant has not received any yet.. Because tmobile its very slow at doing any updates what so ever… i hope that they get on soon tho.. Because our phones have been released a lot longer than than the captivate..

  52. Using GPS test inside near a window, it had 8 in view using 7 with an accuracy of 32 ft within 12 seconds. MUCH better than before.

  53. @Kris “I did the manual update through system updates and it installed fine. The GPS does lock on faster but there is still some delay in comparison to my Garmin in my car.”

    you’re comparing a phone’s gps capabilities to an actual gps??

  54. I’m a T-mobile Vibrant owner and if this update does not fix the bug, it’s going back in the box. So much of the phone (weather, maps, navigation, etc) operates on the GPS. How in the world did they not know this when they tested it…or did they? Anyhow…us Vibrant owners are hoping it works. Not holding my breath.

  55. @wata, actually the Captivate was the first of the U.S.models to be released. That was back in July. But your point about timely updates its well taken. Updated my Captivate about 90 min ago.new youtube widget, new navigation, jh7 update.

    NO JOY on gps. Accurate to 3400 meters, same as before. BONUS hassles: every boot tells me I’ve successfully updated my system and requires me to tap OK in order to proceed. Settings > Software update now says, “no firmware” and does not drill down to the next level of menu choices. *#*#…#*#* does not work.

    Next time I won’t be suckered by just another pretty face (super AMOLED screen). I’ll demand a phone that knows where it’s going and how to get there :-)

  56. @JD
    Instead directly add the LbsTestMode icon to your home screen. See this.

  57. Can anyone confirm if this fixes the random shutdowns widely reported on “the” internets? :) I took mine back and got an HTC Aria due to that reason (and GPS issues), but if all is improved I may do another exchange yet again.

  58. I have the update and just tried finding my location and was given the message that location is unavailable. Still not working correctly.

  59. AHHHH! I just tried to update my rooted phone and it is bricked! Wont turn on or go to the bootloader or anything! What do I do?

  60. I didn’t get bricked, but as with most of you, didn’t see much of any change except the loss of LBSTestMode.
    FWIW- I am rooted with one-click, and the update installed just fine.
    Turn off WIFI and the phone still thinks I live in the middle of the Hudson River; even with wifi on, MyTracks still couldn’t find me if I was Gilbert Grape’s mother.

  61. installed on my rooted captivate, seemed to update but I did not get Quickoffice. baseband is now JH7. Will check the gps tomorrow.

  62. I’ve got the update and it looks like in a static position my Captivate locks 9-10 satelites much faster than before (a few seconds). However, while driving it happened to show me somewhere off road (I was driving 30-40 mph).
    In conclusion, for me this update fixed only partially the GPS issue.
    I agree with post 55: *#*#…#*#* does not work anymore.

  63. On a rooted captivate I had the same problem – loaded update and it failed. Did a master reset and it still failed. I was finally able to get the update to take after I restored the firmware with a backup that I did with ROM Manager prior to removing ATT bloat software. After I did the restore, I did a master reset and then ran the update and it worked! I was still rooted during the successful update.
    So in a nutshell, I believe what failed the update (originally) was the removal of the default ATT and Samsung apps. After I restored those Apps and did a reset the update worked.

  64. I have a rooted captivate and I have had the update fail twice. I tried to reload backed up apps, but I didn’t back them up correctly in titanium and the bloatware apps are not available in the market so I have to load them from appbrain and try to change the date and update again. It would probably work fine if AT&T hadn’t fiddled with the update before releasing it.

  65. nevermind. Now my gps doesnt work at all… its worst than it was before the update. only thing it seemed to improve was the media scan… but the update killed my gps.

  66. I updated my rooted and nand unlocked Captivate and was a bit scared while doing so after reading of people bricking theirs (ya must have done something wrong, maybe trying to cancel during the update.) The update completed successfully. I now have Quick Office and a Navigation app. So far that is all I can see that is different just by looking. Before I updated I could not send MMS picture messages. Now I have sent three and all have been successful. Sadfully…the GPS still does not seem to work. Although I am inside of a house. So tomorrow I will be checking the GPS outside and HOPEfully it will work. I will be a happy Samsung customer again then!

  67. David. I dunno, but I had all of those annoying AT&T apps removed when I updated and it all worked fine.

  68. Updated. Didn’t fix anything. I’ll be reverting back to my nexus one on the the crappy t-mobile network (hello edge!) and sending my captivate back.

  69. Force update. GPS is working better, but still not 100% locks on in about 10-15 seconds, but the location jumps around 200-400 feet every 5 seconds or so. All in all, it certainly is working better than before. Navigation will finally work again.

  70. So it sounds like it you are rooted and removed bloatware, then the update will fail. As David pointed out, he restored the bloat and was able to get it to update. I am not hearing anyone mention sideloading. Has anyone got this to work while rooted and sideloaded. I am rooted, sideloaded and no bloatware and I can not get this update to take. First time it went to past 50% before it puked out. After that it wont even start the install. I have tried to unroot and then run the update and no luck there. Who would have thought I should back up that AT&T crapware to get a future update down the road. I can only imagine what getting Froyo onto these is going to be like. You know they are going to disable the 2.2 tether if the can. I just hope we can update the settings like we did for sideloading and turn it on permanently.

  71. Ok…today I went to an area where G3 network was and sent MMS pics easily without any problems even at the 5megapix setting. So it is definitely the Edge network if ya ask me.

    I also tried out the GPS over a 40 mile area and I get NOTHING at all. It seems to track 5 to 6 satellites but constantly loses them. It never pinpoints where I am eXcept from the wireless network which ALWAYS seems to be at least a few miles away. I changed the settings in the LBSTestMode menu to what has been stated in previous posts I have read, I am wondering if I maybe should have changed them back before installing the update. Maybe that is why it is completely useless now? FOr the people who have had luck with the GPS after installing the update…Did YOU have the stock LBSTestMode settings before updating?

  72. FAIL. The OTA update stopped at 50%. Now when I try to use the Software Update manually it pops up a small message that reads “No Firmware”. When AT&T tries to push the update it says “Communication Failure”. Samsung told me to go find the update on the Internet and install it myself manually. WT4? Why can’t they do their job and fix this? Meanwhile, can anyone point me to a location where I can download the JH7 update? Thanks in advance.

  73. Just completed OTA. After re-boot, took forever for the Galaxy-S logo to stop and come into the Home Screen.

    No issues so far. Tested with GPS Test. Results: Averages 8 In View, 5 In Use, SNR across all 20-30 (never saw 40 or above) and Accuracy 35-50 feet. But, very jumpy. Satellites constantly come in and out.

  74. Applied the update, which went smoothly. After which, i tried the gps and did not get a lock until 1min later. After that it has never worked again. I am disappointed and I wish I never bought this phone. Samsung has a long history of poor mobile support (eg. Samsung Behold) and I fear this will be an ongoing theme for this phone in the future.

  75. 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.

  76. I agree with Joe. Unless you simply don’t care about GPS or random phone shutdowns, don’t buy anything from the galaxy s series. I used to work in software QA, and I find it impossible to believe that either Samsung or AT&T did anything beyond the most cursory testing. “Does it turn on? Can you make a call? Can you receive a call? OK, it’s ready for market.” I’m on my 2nd Captivate. The first one went back earlier this week–purple on non-att networks couldn’t receive my texts. This 2nd one is OK for texts, but both had garbage for gps, even after this wondrous update. Hmmpf!!! Oh, and both experience random shutdowns–this replacement handset shuts down on its own at least once a day, sometimes more often in the 4 days I’ve had it. Da@% !!!

  77. Ran the update. Have not seen any real improvement in gps function. Too bad, wonderful phone otherwise. Tried chatting with samsung support about gps issue.- waste of time.

  78. Quick update on my replacement Captivate. The random shutdowns seem to have ended–I think. However, it has a disturbing habit of occasionally not receiving phone calls even when it is up and running. No ring, no voicemail, no indication that it was even on the network. We are not amused.

    Let’s see–Ending contract 2 months after updating with 2-year commitment? $$$ Buying a new phone on another carrier? $$$ Buying the new phone without commitment? $$$$$

    Flying free? Priceless

  79. I updated yesterday and prior, my phone had an exchange email account password on it. i.e. because I added my work email account to my phone, it required me to have a password on my screen before it would unlock. After the update, the phone asked me for my password, i entered it, and it told me it was wrong… over and over. I KNOW i was typing in the right password. So i rebooted the phone, and the next time it came up, it took the password.

    However, that night, it wouldn’t take my damn password again, and i rebooted, and it still wouldn’t take it and after so many tries the phone did a master reset on me!!!!!!!! SON OF A @#$# so pissed!

    and i tried to get a lock on GPS after the update too and couldn’t. WTF

    so now i have to completely reconfigure my phone. I feel like it’s useless to call AT&T or samsung on this one.. they’ll just give me the run around. I wonder if there’s a way to make it so i dont have to do this exchange password.

  80. I have had the same problem as many are saying, i tried to update the software with odin and i put the phone into download mode it starts to do its thing and it fails to update and then powers off the phone and now it wont power back on i’m fucked… what can i do?


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