Pharos Ostia GPS Navigation software works on the Treo 700w

I have been a user of Pharos’ Ostia since 2001 on Pocket PC. With the Treo 650 I tried other GPS Navigation software like Mapopolis (Palm OS) and TomTom, but I always wished that I could get Ostia instead but there is unfortunately no Palm OS version to this day. I was out of luck, until I upgraded to the Treo 700w… Ostia does not provide any official support for this device, but I went ahead and installed the Pocket PC version I own (6.1) and… it just worked! Once the installation done, I quickly grabbed a Bluetooth (F-Tech Solar) GPS and started to pair the devices…

First of all, the FTech Bluetooth (BT) GPS is not recognized and ends up as being an “unknown Bluetooth device”. The immediate consequence is that Ostia will not recognize the unit as a BT GPS. That’s unfortunate, but not a show stopper. All that’s needed is to associate a serial COM port to the GPS and tell Ostia to look for a serial device on the proper port.

To connect to a device, you will need to go in the Bluetooth settings and create a new “outgoing port” and assign a COM port to it.

Once that’s done, enable Bluetooth and run Ostia. Configure the COMM port by going in Options/Select Comm. Click on the (red) face to Enable the GPS and Ostia should start receiving GPS data using the Bluetooth Serial Port emulation.

After the longest minute (of the day), the GPS fix* came up and we were ready for a ride. We didn’t go very far, just a few blocks in Palo Alto to get pizza, but that was enough to see Ostia working.

I was somewhat anxious to see if the 240×240 resolution of the Treo 700w (compared to 320×240 for a Pocket PC) would be a problem and I was glad to see that the software behaved properly. I’ve hard of other GPS Navigation systems that needs a “patch” to work with a new resolution. I’m glad that Pharos did the right thing from the start and didn’t hard-code the resolution.

It’s great to have the same GPS application in my car and on my phone. I would recommend Ostia anytime, but it’s really a pity that no trial version is available for download.

* “GPS fix” means that there is enough data received from GPS satellites to produce accurate 3D coordinates.
Treo 700w Product Page

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about GPS.

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