An animated overview of the Directions tool for the Light Phone II.
You must be running at least LightOS v250 to use this tool.
Tips & Troubleshooting
-The GPS works best when the phone has been left ON for some time had a chance to prime itself for getting your location quickly (the GPS downloads data on the location/timing of satellites in the system in the background). We recommend leaving the phone plugged in and on overnight so that it is primed and ready to go. If you just downloaded the tool, or powered it on, it can take quite some time for an initial GPS connection. See the GPS Details section for more info.
-Please verify that the automated From: location is correct before beginning the trip. There is a refresh icon as well on the right side.
-If you open the tool and there is no GPS connection for 15 seconds, the tool will default to offline mode until a solid connection is made.
-Longer trips with live navigation (~35+ mins) will start to drain the battery significantly and can cause the phone to get warm affecting its performance speed.
-If there is an active trip in the background as you are using the phone, you can long-press the menu button to return to the active navigation.
-If you do not have cell service/wifi, even though you will likely still get a GPS lock, you will not be able to create routes without a data connection.
-If at any point you feel that the route feels 'stuck' and is not updating as you move, we recommend restarting your route. Close the trip, verify everything looks correct & press start to resume your trip. You can also always switch to offline mode if suspect the GPS connection is spotty.
-Directions may take a little longer to show up in your phone's toolbox.
-There is a known bug that can cause the tool to reset a user's sleep timer settings to 5 minutes. We plan to get this bug patched in an update shortly after launch. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Below are some notes about using the Directions tool, and we do recommend reading through them for the best experience.
GPS Details (Live Navigation)
Initial GPS Lock Takes Time (or "Cold Start"):
When you first download the tool or power on your phone, the GPS is coming from a “cold start” and will take some time to get an initial connection. This could take up to 30 minutes but is usually closer to 5 to 15 minutes. (Typically a GPS needs at least 7 or 8 satellites to establish an accurate location connection.)
GPS Background Priming (or “Warm Start”):
We begin priming the GPS once you download Directions. This means the GPS will collect the details of the position and timing of satellites so it will quickly get a lock on your position when you open the tool (this would be called a “warm start”). This process happens in the background automatically, assuming your phone has sufficient charge.
TIP: It works well if you leave your phone ON, and connected to the charger overnight. Once primed, as long as the phone remains ON, the GPS will remain in this “warm start” state and will be ready to use with the Directions tool.
For Quicker GPS Connection:
If you are looking to speed this process up, open the Directions tool, click the Settings Icon > Location Status Test, and leave the phone near a window (somewhere with fewer obstructions). The location status test will actively listen for a connection.
Unable to get GPS Connection:
If you are unable to get a GPS connection while the Directions tool is open, after 15 seconds the phone will revert to Offline Mode temporarily while it continues to look for a GPS connection in the background. Once a connection is made your trip will revert to GPS mode.
If you accidentally make a wrong turn, Directions will automatically re-route itself after about 50+ feet of going in the wrong direction.
Offline mode is an option for using the Directions tool without the GPS or live navigation. You can choose to set the Directions tool to default to Offline mode in the settings, this will save battery, data and help prevent the phone from getting too warm on longer trips (over 35 mins). The tool will switch to Offline mode automatically if there is no GPS connection within 15 seconds so you can still find your route in the meantime.
Public transit mode works like offline mode, providing a list of instructions rather than using the GPS to follow you on the route. Routes will include subways, regional trains, and bus lines. The arrival time of the train or bus will be displayed under its icon in the left column. The estimated time of arrival is displayed under the current time.
Search Destination by name of the establishment or address. You can also search for things like "gas", "pizza", "cafe" etc. to find local establishments.
There are two ways to view the map, "road view" which is zoomed into your current location, and "route view" which gives you an overview of the entire trip trajectory. Based on the speed of your movement, the e-ink screen will increase its refresh rate. Driving in a car means a refresh about every two seconds; if still, the refresh rate will be closer to ten seconds.
Voice commands are ON by default when using GPS Mode with walking or driving. The volume can be controlled with the side buttons, and voice commands can be disabled in the settings.
Long Trips: Overheating & Battery Life
Using the Directions tool in GPS mode for extended periods of time (~35 mins, depending) will begin to make the device warm and have a significant impact on battery life. When the E-Ink screen's built-in thermometer gets warm, the screen slows down as a precaution to prevent damage, and this can cause the tool and phone to become much less practical to use, or hardly usable at all after enough time, situation depending.
Please consider switching to Offline mode in the tool's settings or using a standalone GPS navigation device for such long trips.
Change the format of distances to metric or imperial, disable voice commands, or default the tool to Offline Mode. If you go to the phone's Settings > Preferences > Tools > Directions, there are additional options for the consent with HERE as well as a way to send logs to Light (only to be used for troubleshooting with specific users whom we've been in contact with).
Search Origin (when installing the tool initially)
The stored search origin when you initially install the tool is a fallback that allows the phone to search your region for local addresses/establishments when there is no GPS connection. This information is private, stored locally on your phone. To reset the search origin, remove the Directions tool from your phone, making sure it's actually disappeared from your phone's menu, then re-install entering the new search origin you'd like stored on the device.
We've built the Directions tool, like all of our tools, with privacy as a priority. Light does not have access to any location info or logs of your trip history. These trips are handled privately without user identification using our navigation partner HERE.
There are a few features we plan on releasing for the Directions tool still. Notably, those include the option to pick which route for public transit, the ability to load offline maps for public transit, as well as a biking option for mode of transportation.
We'd love to learn how the tool is working out for you, and any ideas for changes/upgrades. We've made a form so that organizing and processing this feedback is streamlined. Please consider taking a moment to fill out this survey if you'd like to share your feedback.
Please don't forget to be careful, using your phone while in motion is dangerous. This tool is intended to be used as a reference for getting around, it's very important that you are paying attention to your surroundings.