Verizon Wireless today responded to PhoneNews.com’s inquiries about the XV6800 GPS update. Unlike other HTC Titan variants (on Sprint, Alltel, and other foreign carriers), the XV6800 refuses to provided an open GPS port. This is necessary for applications like Google Maps, TomTom, TeleNav, and any other GPS application to operate and access location data.
The update does, however, add EV-DO Rev A, and will allow for forthcoming support of the VZ Navigator application. PhoneNews.com has analyzed the update, and found that Verizon uses a secure GPS API, which allows VZ Navigator to work, but blocks any other application from functioning properly. Verizon has not set a release date for VZ Navigator on the XV6800.
Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney commented on the modifications, and reasons for limiting GPS access:
“We have not blocked other applications from our version of the xv6800. It is standard for third parties to have to make changes to their applications to be compatible with Verizon Wireless devices. Â Every carrier is different so what one does, doesn’t necessarily mean every one else can or will accept the same product.
We have a development program in place to assist third parties in making other GPS applications compatible with Verizon Wireless devices. Â Additional third party applications will be available in the future.
We chose to introduce the device with what was available rather than wait until additional applications became available.”
It appears that, while Windows Mobile has its own GPS support already, Verizon expects everyone to add support for their new, private, closed GPS API. This would appear to make it impossible for any open source Windows Mobile application to make use of GPS on Verizon smartphones.