Turn GPS off?


Last Updated:

  1. Quboid

    Quboid Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    120
    Is there any reason to turn GPS off?

    Now, I know it's a battery hog but that's only when it's in use - i.e. a program is actually getting your position is in the foreground and the icon is on the notification bar. This isn't something that just happens from time to time, unless I'm much mistaken, so turning GPS off from the settings (or via the widget) seems unnecessary as long as you don't leave GPS-enabled apps in the foreground. Even with Google Maps, it only appears to use the GPS when it's in the foreground and loading Home, another app or turning the screen off would appear to stop its GPS usage. Am I right?
     

    Advertisement
  2. gogol

    gogol Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    16
    Well, I think the GPS hardware will try to locate the satellites ... all the time.

    Otherwise, it does not make sense.

    Try to open satnav apps after the satellites have been locked, the satnav apps will immediately got location.

    That proves the GPS hardware is maintaining the locked satellites position.

    So yes, it will drain your battery fast.

    Not convince? Make an experiment :)

    1. Turn on GPS, dont start any satnav, leave the phone for 1 hour. Check the battery % drain.

    2. Do the above with GPS off.

    Compare :)
     
  3. Quboid

    Quboid Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    120
    Well when I load something like Google Maps, the GPS icon appears and it does take ~20 seconds to get a fix (not including network positioning) which suggests it's not keeping track all the time. I'm not sure what happens if I load something else and Maps is still running in the background. As you say, I could run a few quick tests to find out.
     
  4. Quboid

    Quboid Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    120
    OK, 1 hour with GPS enabled and nothing in particular running and letting it go to sleep after 2 mins as usual. Just under 1% used. Using Google Maps for a few minutes used more (although that also had the screen on and some processing going on).

    As I suspected, GPS only sucks battery when it's being accessed, i.e. when the icon is in the notification bar. The Settings option (and any widget) doesn't turn on/off GPS, it turns on/off whether or not apps can turn on GPS. Turning GPS off in Settings (or widget) just makes sure no app will do something to suck your battery dry.

    I left my Nokia N95 with Nokia Maps running once until I noticed my pocket was warm. The battery died soon after, leaving me phone-less for the rest of what was quite an important business trip. Oops :)
     
  5. Lukehluke

    Lukehluke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    24
    Its better to turn it off... just incase :D
     

Share This Page

Loading...