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Tips Help clarify: GPS, Wireless Networks, Location

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by dohmai, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. dohmai

    dohmai Member
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    Was fiddling around with some of the options and had a quick question about the "Location Setting" option under Settings->Location.

    I have Location 'off' as indicated by the compass with slash-through in notification bar.

    However, when I turn GPS on, it can still find my location. I test this using Maps and "My Location" and then it centers to my exact spot.

    If I turn GPS off, leave Location off, but click on Wireless Networks to determine location, hitting "My Location" in Maps gets me close to, but not my exact location.

    As I understand it, this is because GPS is using the GPS satellites while Wireless Networks just uses the towers.

    Now when I turn GPS off AND Wireless Networks off (under Location in Settings), Maps cannot find my location at all.

    So that much I understand.. the differences between GPS and using Wireless Networks to determine location...

    I don't understand what the "Location On" setting does at all then. When I click it on, it brings up a disclaimer page about using GPS, etc. etc. and then the compass in notification no longer has slashthrough.

    But clearly I can still use GPS and/or Wireless networks to determine my location even when "Location" is set to off (compass is slashed through).

    Can someone explain to me what "location" does (compass icon)?

    Sorry for being long-winded. just wanted to be clear.

    Thanks
     

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  2. mcbtrain929

    mcbtrain929 Android Expert
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    just a guess, but maybe when you turn GPS on, "location on" is automatic, and a given?
     
  3. dohmai

    dohmai Member
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    No I can turn GPS on but location is still off.. it's off in the settings menu AND the compass icon strikethrough
     
  4. JerryG

    JerryG Newbie
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    There's a fairly good explanation of all this on Page 39 of the Basics Guide.

    When in doubt, RTFM.... :D

    HTH,

    -Jerry
     
  5. dohmai

    dohmai Member
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    Well I've read it and it's not a great explanation at all because it implies that Location On means GPS is on. Which is clearly not the case. Today I played an entire round of golf with location OFF (compass is slashed through) but GPS on, so obviously location does not mean GPS is determining your position.

    I guess what the manual implies is Location on broadcasts your location to others (like via latitude). Clearly Location does not mean GPS on.
     
  6. JerryG

    JerryG Newbie
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    You're right, don't equate GPS on, to Location being on.

    Location based services are external to your phone. The only one I'm currently aware of, in the United States, is the e911 service.

    Here's an explanation at Wikipedia - Location-based service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    HTH,
    -Jerry
     
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  7. Rigmaster

    Rigmaster Android Expert
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    Does Location On have anything to do with apps and services that try to find products and stores near you? GPS is always about where you are, but I thought location was in terms of what's near you. Also why I don't bother with all the "near me" type apps.
     
  8. dohmai

    dohmai Member
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    Thank you that does clarify the Location On. Though I'm assuming even when I turn it off I can still get e911 service?
     
  9. JerryG

    JerryG Newbie
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    Well, I had to go back to the manual for this one. It says that e911 uses the GPS!

    I _know_ that I had cellphones with no GPS chips, that you could turn the location function off and it would still work with e911.

    AND... it says it may take 30 seconds or MORE to get a fix and report it to the 911 system. AND that not all cellular-based 911 call-in centers are equipped to handle the GPS data... and it also says to always give the 911 operator your location when you call... Holy Guano, Batman! :eek: this is kind of bass-ackwards!

    Regards,
    -Jerry
     
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