Even the most budget phone models are equipped with a GPS module. Let us find out what is the GPS on your phone and how to use this useful feature.
- To enable GPS on your Android
- GPS not working
- To disable GPS
Why use GPS
There are many different applications of GPS on the phone. The most common one is navigation, when you need to see where you are and how to get to where you need to go. But there are dozens of other uses. For example, when you want to post a geo-tag, if you're ordering taxis or goods tied to a region - and so on. Even some games (such as Pokemon GO) use GPS.
How to enable GPS on Android
The procedure to enable it on different Android versions is approximately the same.
- Open the Quick Settings panel, where all the main options and settings for Android are located.
- Click the "Location" or "Location Data" icon. The name varies depending on the version of your mobile OS.
Wait for the app to ask you for geolocation and allow appropriate access.
- Go to "Settings - Biometrics & Security - Location"
- Enable the user location data by moving the "Disabled" slider to the right.
How to calibrate GPS: best practices
If the GPS module on the phone is broken, it has to be replaced, but if it does not provide totally correct data on the map and deviates from the norm in different ways, there is a chance to solve the problem in a software way. There are two popular programs that can help calibrate (i.e. improve accuracy) GPS. Both can be found at Google Play Market.
GPS Status & Toolbox
The easiest way to calibrate is to use the GPS Status & Toolbox. Among others it allows you to reset the connection of the phone to the satellites and to adjust the GPS accuracy practically "from scratch".
The GPS calibration is performed as follows:
- Open the side menu (you must swipe from the left to the right),
- Choose "A-GPS States Management".
- Hit "Reset" then "Load".
- The calibration starts, after this the geolocation services successfully resume to full operation. The detailed description of the calibration and the GPS configuration is available here.
Another application which allows you to calibrate your GPS without fuss is the GPS Toolbox. Generally speaking, it is a very versatile software with many different functions and settings related to geolocation.
The calibration in GPS Toolbox is done like this:
- Click the Compass symbol. The virtual compass is displayed. If it shows quite correctly the problem is elsewhere but if it is not accurate you can recalibrate it.
- Select Calibrate. This option may be unavailable in some versions so you should simply rotate the phone from side to side, turning it upside down - until the reading is more or less accurate.
Calibrate GPS the default way
A last but not least GPS calibration is the slightly more complex variant to use the built-in phone functions. To do this:
- Go to the engineering menu by typing * #* #3646633* #*, combinations * #* #4636 #* #* or * #15963 #* work less frequently ;
- The special hidden menu is displayed. Here choose EPO, check Auto Download and Enable EPO;
- Go back and select YGPS - Satellites;
- The satellite diagram is displayed where the color indicates the satellites not connected;
- Log to the Information tab, select Full and AGPS Restart
- Go back to the satellite map
- After a while the calibration is finished and they become green again.
What to do if GPS does not work
See all possible reasons of GPS malfunction:
- Broken GPS module . The only thing left to do is to take the phone to the repair shop. If the theory is confirmed, it will not be possible to solve the problem software-wise.
- The handset memory is full and insufficient for the activation of the satellite communication. In this case you have to clear the memory and restart the phone.
- Malware existence of malware . In this case, it is worth checking the mobile device with antivirus and reboot it.
- Invalid firmware . This is a possible reason if you have modified your phone with the unofficial firmware. Try performing a hard reset.
- Satellite signal is weak . Though most of the earth is covered by the GPS-satellite network, sometimes, especially when you are far away from the civilization, the GPS-signal is extremely weak. In this case you should move to a different location.
How to disable (partially and totally) GPS on your Android
If you for some reason do not want your phone to detect your location, or if you simply want to save your battery power as much as possible, GPS can be disabled.
How to disable GPS Satellite connection:
- Open the Quick Settings panel where you enabled this option,
- Find the "Location Data" button (depending on OS version it may be called Location, "Location" or "GPS") and click on it.
- The icon changes its colour from green to grey: the function is deactivated.
If you wish to save power while using the GPS functions,
- Go to "Settings" - "Location"-"Power Saving Mode".
- GPS will be switched off, but the phone will determine the position according to mobile phone stations and Wi-Fi access points. <7