Update: Iridium GO Mail & Web App

New Improvements to the Iridium GO Mail & Web App:

The new Iridium GO Mail & Web features being released at the time of this writing include:

  1. Improved web browsing environments for both Android and iOS platforms.
    1. iOS:  The application auto-detects the GO! firmware version and provides instructions for your browsing configuration based on your current firmware version.
    2. Android: Users on Android 5.0+ platforms need to download the latest XWeb app from the Google Android store to enable browsing support.
  2. There is an improved email composition window that removes restricted editing and supports extended text compilation -- even when an attachment is added to the email.

Though the improvements to the Iridium GO Mail & Web app being discussed here clearly improve the web browsing capability offered by the Iridium GO!, Outfitter Satellite considers the 2400-2800 bps data rate of the Iridium GO! too slow for most web browsing applications.  Only highly mobile-optimized web sites should be browsed via the Iridium GO! and even some of those have proven very difficult to download and browse using the Iridium GO!.   Based on that, Outfitter Satellite does not recommend web browsing for Iridium GO! users, but we have found the Iridium GO Mail & Web app effective for email and photo-sharing applications, as long as attachments are kept under 100 KB.

Do you have the most recent Iridium GO! firmware?

Some features of the new Iridium GO Mail & Web app version require that you have an Iridium GO! firmware version that is 1.4.1 or later.  To determine what firmware you have now, on the Iridium GO!’s physical control panel, access the Menu and then press the “Next” function until you have highlighted “Information”. Then select it and press “Next” until you see your Iridium GO!'s current firmware version.

If you need to upgrade your firmware, you can get the latest Iridium GO! firmware and the firmware upgrade tool by contacting us

You will need a USB data cable with a Micro-USB connector on one end to perform the upgrade.  This cable is included in the Iridium GO! standard kit.   If you are uncomfortable doing a firmware upgrade yourself, Outfitter Satellite can perform the firmware upgrade for you for a small labor fee plus shipping costs.

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Is your satellite phone tracked?

Is your satellite phone tracked?

If you're concerned about someone secretly monitoring your location through your satellite phone, we can't help you.  We can tell you how to deliberately share your location with friends and associates through your satellite phone.  In fact, many of our clients want to be tracked, for safety reasons, while they are hiking or hunting in remote locations.  Many newer satellite phone models support automatic location sharing including the Inmarsat IsatPhone PRO, Inmarsat IsatPhone 2, Iridium 9575 EXTREME, and Iridium GO! HotSpot.

If you have a vehicle or boat that you want to be tracked through your satellite phone, tracking features are also built into some satellite phone docking stations.

We recently did a blog post on how to have your Iridium 9575 Extreme satellite phone tracked.  The current post explains explains location sharing on another popular satellite phone, the Inmarsat IsatPhone 2.

The user of the IsatPhone 2 can control who receives the tracking reports being sent from their phone and how often the reports are sent.  The user can also start or discontinue the tracking reports by touching a tracking button on the side of the IsatPhone 2.  In order for location sharing to work, the IsatPhone 2 needs to be registered on the Inmarsat network.  This is the reason that the IsatPhone 2 belt holster is designed to hold its antenna in an upward orientation even while it's holstered.  This allows the IsatPhone 2 to stay registered even while you walk along the trail.

Here are the steps:

The first step is to create a contact in the IsatPhone 2 address book for the person that will be receiving the GPS location reports.

  1. From the IsatPhone 2 home screen, press the Contacts soft key : Phonebook : Options : New contact.
  2. Enter a first and last name and a phone number.  Phone numbers must be in international format.  So for example, to enter a contact for Outfitter Satellite's main phone number, you would enter 00-1-615-889-8833, where 00 is the dialing prefix and 1 is the country code of the United States.  
  3. Press Options : Save and the new entry is in your phonebook.
  4. To enter an email address, select a phonebook entry, press Options : Edit : Options : Add detail.

The next step is to set up a “tracking” contact in your phonebook.  From the home screen, press the Menu : Location Services : Tracking : Configure Tracking : Option : Add from contacts : Text Message.  

  1. Select the contact from your phonebook to whom you want tracking reports sent.
  2. Now press Back : Edit interval.  Select a time interval for GPS reports.
  3. Finally, press the Back soft key and Tracking status : Enable.

Now, enable or disable the stream of GPS location reports from your IsatPhone 2 by clicking the Tracking Button.  This is the button with an arrow head symbol located on the right side of the phone.  When the tracking feature is engaged the Tracking Indicator LED on the front screen of the Isatphone 2 will light up.

Cost Considerations

Each GPS location report that is sent from your IsatPhone 2 is counted as an outbound SMS message.  So you pay for GPS location reports as usage.   Using a short time interval between tracking reports like 5 minutes will result in increased SMS messaging costs.   Most people select 30 minutes.  This means that you would send about 16 reports during an 8 hour day of hiking or hunting.  So, on most service plans this might cost you around $8 per day. That is a pretty small price if you go missing in the woods.  When your friends and family start looking for you, the density of reports will be high enough that your last location report should be fairly close to your actual position.

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Installing Iridium USB drivers on Windows 8

As you may be aware, starting with Windows 8, Microsoft decided to block installation of any drivers that had not been approved by Microsoft. This creates problems for Iridium email solutions like SpeedMail (aka XGate) or Airbus' SkyFile, because these software packages require the installation of the Iridium USB drivers on Windows 8. Older versions of Windows did not block drivers that had not been approved by Microsoft so the SpeedMail setup process was able to install a Dialup Networking (DUN) service on Windows 7 and earlier computers.

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Creating a data connection in Windows 7 with Iridium 9555

Email applications are the most common reason for Windows 7 data connections using Iridium 9555 or 9575 satellite phones.
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How to use a Hotmail account with your Iridium GO!

How to use a Hotmail account with your Iridium GO!

It is true that accessing the myiridium.net email address that Iridium provides when your register your Iridium GO! always requires that you use expensive Iridium airtime. Many of Outfitter Satellites customers would like to check their myiridium.net inbox for free when they have a terrestrial internet connection. They feel they should only have to use Iridium airtime when a terrestrial internet connection isn't available.
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How to do an IsatPhone PRO Firmware Upgrade

Outfitter Satellite is now strongly encouraging all our IsatPhone PRO customers with version 5.3.0 to upgrade to the newest firmware version, which at the time that this post is being written is 5.11.0.
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iPad photo sharing with an IsatPhone 2

Tips & Tricks:  iPad Photo Sharing over the IsatPhone 2

Many of our clients want to use their iPad to share photos.   This blog lets you in on the step by step secrets on how to do this.  Easily and reliably send emails and do iPad photo sharing from extremely remote locations where conventional cellular service is unavailable.  All you need is an IsatPhone 2, a SpeedMail / XGate Email Account and an Optimizer Wi-Fi Hotspot.  All three are available from Outfitter Satellite.  

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