Fun weekend with Google Maps

About a week ago I noticed Google Maps was acting strange. I’d put in a destination and it lost GPS on my Galaxy Note 8 sometime a few blocks into the drive. I caught it pretty early, exited navigation, started it again, no big deal that trip.

TL;DR – Google Maps fails, potential fix on the Note 8.

A couple of days ago, similar. I was navigating to somewhere in the neighborhood. Typed it in, put the phone in a cupholder, it kept claiming I was at my house the entire time.

Yesterday in my living room I asked it to navigate to a place called Jackson Falls. This is a bit south of Franklin, TN where I’ve worked before. I looked at the directions, mentally took a note that I was going out near where a friend of mine lives to make a turn, and we got out and on the road.

While not from my phone, this is the suggested route more or less to get from my house to Jackson Falls and then “Navigate Home” from this weekend.

I put the phone in the cupholder, and took off. It wanted me to get on I24, which didn’t quite seem right from what I remembered, but having not looked at the phone in a few minutes I asked my wife to use her phone.

Yup, it was sending us on an interstate that would add 30.2 miles to the trip. We ended up at only +5 miles and 11 minutes wasted there for unknown reasons.

Got to the destination pretty uneventful. State parks and natural areas are open here, we masked up and played at the waterfall for a bit. One of the kids decided she had to crap like it was her job and as all public restrooms are closed in state parks we had to leave 20 minutes in after driving an hour.

I asked Assistant to navigate home and asked my wife to navigate on her phone as well. Mine claimed 28 minutes to home, hers claimed 52. We went down the road a bit (20+ minutes) and she got data service and we found a place with a bathroom for a soaked kid, who suddenly didn’t need to go to the bathroom but wanted to go back to the waterfall… uh, no.

I checked my Google Maps at that stop, and it was directing me to a different city. I asked it once again to navigate home and yup, it was navigating to The Home Depot in a different town.

Checks, I have signal but Maps is in Offline. Do a quick speed test and while I may have signal there’s no internet. Maps no longer knows what “home” is. Manually type in the address while sitting in the one store within 10 miles. Bam, I’ve got a route.

Put the phone into the cupholder, notice that it’s no longer updating. Pull over, pick phone up, suddenly updates… notice there’s a little phone rotation icon in the bottom right. That’s new.

Drove for a bit more toward home, discovered any time I rotated the phone it was losing GPS / not updating. Usually would stop right as the phone was rotated.

I’d noticed a few days back that my phone no longer auto-rotated. This happened about the same time I noticed my first Maps issue. I’d chalked this up to an update of some sort but decided to see if rotation was set.

Fun story, rotate, orientation, etc are not searchable in the settings. All the directions I saw said swipe down and choose rotation… was not there. Nope, it was swipe down and find “Portrait,” tap it and it becomes “Auto Rotate.”

Once auto rotate was on, Maps stopped stopping. Once I had internet again “Navigate Home” stopped trying to send me to the nearest Home Depot.

Now the only thing that doesn’t make a lot of sense is why it directed me to go on a route that’s 30+ miles longer at the beginning of the trip.

So yeah, check your Google destination… maybe check the auto-rotate settings if you’re suddenly seeing Google Maps stop working. Make sure it’s actually navigating to your home and not The Home Depot.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts