April 26, 2010 | by Chris Smith
Motorola has decided to rid “most” of their Android devices of the native Google location services for the increasingly popular Skyhook service that is being used on the iPhone. According to the press release, Motorola will include the Skyhook functionality on it’s newer handsets with no word of porting it to handsets like the Cliq, DROID, or Backflip.
Motorola is saying that the move has to do with bringing a better mobile location experience to end users that use apps that rely on location accuracy. Skyhook uses a combo of GPS, Wifi, and cellular location to pinpoint users and has shown to be fairly accurate. It makes me wonder if the real reason Motorola is ridding their devices of Google’s location services has to do with better and faster location services, or if Motorola is having some type of control problems with Google basically owning everything on their devices. Is this just a move to show Google that they are still “in charge” of their own devices?
I have a feeling that it is a combination of both as I have experienced poor location services on my Motorola DROID. Without GPS on my location is barely ever correct. Something that I have noticed is that my iPad (yes, Android fanboys, I have an iPad) gets much better location on Wifi than the DROID does through cellular signals. Considering the iPhone and the iPad use Skyhook, Motorola devices may be better off with using Skyhook. These Motorola devices with Skyhook enabled will be trickling out later this year.