There are actually many rumors and assumptions on how accurate is GPS on Android. Many smartphones and GPS-enabled device manufacturers are trying to improve the current stats, including giants like Google.
It’s easy to let others know where you’re going. Unfortunately, recognizing someone’s exact position isn’t often precise in metropolitan environments, crowded situations. Google is mindful of these shortcomings and recently confirmed they are working to boost smartphone GPS tracking in cities.
In this informative post, we will share all the research summaries and insights about current GPS accuracy.
What affects GPS on Android?
In this modern era, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is the only navigation system on every smartphone. This modern technology allows us to see our current location, navigate to a particular place, and share our present location with whoever we want.
Sometimes the accuracy of the GPS sometimes can be less accurate because the accuracy of the location services may vary depending on the factors below–
- A thick phone case or a physically damaged device may affect GPS.
- The network you are connected to, and your present location can affect your GPS system.
- If you have enabled power saving mode on your device, it can be the reason behind GPS issues.
- The navigator app on your Android may not be functioning correctly.
- Outdated firmware can cause GPS system issues.
How Accurate Is GPS On Smartphones?
Depending on certain factors, your GPS accuracy significantly varies and fluctuates. Read this section to learn more.
What’s The Accuracy Of GPS In Urban Areas?
In urban environments, tracking people is difficult due to the scale of the houses. GPS models are based on satellites that offer line-of-of-sight mapping. Many transmissions are non-line-of-sight, so their propagation path is obscured by houses.
Since the GPS chip considers the signals are line-of-sight, it causes an error when calculating the excess distance length traveled by the frequencies.
Signals from the United States Global Positioning System (GPS) and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems support Google’s new functionality.
One of the most significant advantages of these enhancements is that ridesharing applications won’t see misleading positions, such as when a passenger is located across the street by accident.
In towns, mirrored GPS signals trigger this wrong place directional mistake. Thus, companies like Google are focused on an innovative effort to overcome this significant issue in GPS.
Their approach uses 3D mapping-assisted corrections, which can only be performed at scale by Google since it requires 3D construction models, actual GPS metrics, and machine learning.
Incorrect instances decreased by 75% with v2 of Google’s 3D mapping-assisted updates. Other Android devices that used version 1 of 3D mapping to assist measurements saw a 50% reduction in wrong-side-of-street inaccuracies.
In 2021, Google plans to make version 2 available to all smartphones using Android 8 or older. Google Play Services, which is enabled on all Android phones with Google Mobile Services, will upgrade with the latest 3D mapping assisted improvements module.
The Fused Location Provider (FLP) API will be used by application developers to obtain location data to benefit from this enhancement to location monitoring.
Satellites transmit their signals in orbit associated with a particular degree of accuracy.
But what you obtain is determined by other considerations such as satellite design, signal interruption, wind speeds, and receiver hardware features and efficiency.
Under a clear sky, GPS-enabled smartphones are normally reliable within a 4.9 m (16 ft.) range. However, comparable houses, bridges, and trees decrease the GPS accuracy.
Double frequency detectors or augmentation devices can be used by users to improve GPS accuracy. It can provide real-time tracking to just a few centimeters, as well as millimeter-level measurements over time.
How Accurate Is GPS On Smartphones for Speed Measurement?
GPS speed accuracy is dependent on many factors, much like position accuracy
With a 95% high certainty US government sends GPS data into space with a worldwide mean user distance frequency error of 0.006 m/sec over every 3 seconds of duration.
For quantifying a receiver’s speed accuracy, this metric must be combined with other considerations outside the government’s influence, such as satellite design, transmission blockage, weather patterns, and transmitter design features.
How to Enable High Accuracy GPS Android?
As we have seen above, many factors can affect your GPS on your Android. These steps can differ slightly based on your Android smartphone and operating system version.
Step 1: Turn on WiFi or Cellular data on Android.
The first step to getting high-accuracy GPS on Android is to connect your phone to a stable active network. If you are on a connected network that is unstable enough, you won’t get high-accuracy GPS on your Android phone. You can enable WiFi and cellular data from the quick settings on your Android phone, or you can enable it from the settings app.
Step 2: Enable Your GPS or Location Services
Once you successfully connect to a network service, ensure the GPS is enabled on your Android. If location accuracy is inaccurate, you can try resetting location services on your Android. To turn on the location services, follow the instructions below–
- Go to “Settings”
- Scroll and find Location settings, then tap on it
- Now, tap on the “Security and location” option
- Select “Privacy”
- Now turn on the location services on your Android.
Furthermore, if still you are not getting an accurate GPS location, switch off your GPS for 30 seconds, then turn it back on and let it scan for the location.
Step 3: Turn on High Accuracy for GPS services.
Most Android users don’t know that there is a feature that manually sets the GPS’s accuracy. To turn on high accuracy for GPS services, navigate to the location settings to view the high accuracy feature on Android. Then, just tap on it to set high accuracy for GPS.
Step 4: Make sure your phone is under enough coverage.
Sometimes, a lack of enough network coverage can cause low accuracy for GPS on Android. For example, the network strength might be low if you are underground or out of range. So, to get enough network coverage, move to an open environment. To ensure your phone gets enough network coverage, notice the status bar and see the network bar.
Step 5: Switch off the Airplane Mode
Sometimes, we enable Airplane mode and then forget to disable it. This is another mistake that almost every smartphone user makes. If Airplane mode is turned on your Android phone, network and location services won’t work.
So, the point is that you have to ensure that the Airplane mode is disabled on your Android device. You can navigate to the network settings and toggle the Airplane mode to disable it.
Step 6: Remove Your Phone Case
In some situations, your phone’s cover might block the GPS. So, if you are using a thick phone case for your Android, it’s recommended to remove the phone case. Turn off your Android device and remove the phone case. After removing the case, just simply turn on your device and check whether GPS is working well or not.
Step 7: Disable Power-Saving Mode
Nowadays, we need to save power and extend the battery life. For this reason, most phones come with an inbuilt battery saver. If it is enabled on your phone, this is probably the culprit behind low GPS accuracy on Android. Any critical features, such as Wi-Fi and GPS, are disabled while in Power Saving Mode. You should deactivate the mode to use the GPS functionality.
Step 8: Reboot Your Android Smartphone
Sometimes, restarting can be the best and simplest solution while troubleshooting an issue on Android. Restart your smartphone and attempt to use the GPS once more. A quick restart might have resolved the Tracking problem.
Step 9: Play Around with The GPS Configuration
Take these measures to improve your device’s GPS accuracy. Jump to the smartphone’s Settings app. Scroll down to find Location and click it—select Mode from the Location menu. Select the High Accuracy Mode.
Step 10: Try updating the Maps App
There are several Maps and navigation maps available on Google Play Store. However, most of the phones come with inbuilt Google Maps. If an outdated Maps application is running on your Android phone, it can cause low accuracy issue on Android.
So, to check whether your app is outdated, go to the Google Play Store and search for the app installed on your phone. If the app is outdated, there will be an “Update” button. Simply tap on the button. Once the app is updated, launch the app and check whether the GPS accuracy is high or not.
Which Smartphone Has Most Accurate GPS?
In a GPS accuracy test by researchers, there has been appeared some astonishing data on smartphone accuracy. In the smartphone’s accuracy estimation, the research shows that Samsung Galaxy performs the best with an undervalued rate of -67.3%.
In the second position, iPhone holds the best GPS accuracy ranking with overvalue rate of accuracy of 130.2%.
We have found another Samsung device, Galaxy Core A2, that shows up with a 284.6% overvalue of the proper location. But still, it did a better job than many devices. Check out the comparison table of the test to get more ideas about it.
What Is the Most Accurate GPS App for Android?
Both Google Maps and Waze are great GPS applications. These are both developed by Google, too.
Google Maps serves as a benchmark for mapping applications. It provides a variety of information about locations, including ratings, instructions, and street-level imagery for the majority of the areas.
How Can I Use GPS Without Internet?
Google Maps’ “Offline Maps” feature allows us to use GPS offline on our smartphones. A feature allows one to pick from various maps and use them entirely without relying on the internet. Take the actions listed to do this:
- Launch the Google Maps application.
- Select Offline Maps from your profile pic at the right.
- Pick the place you like to visit by clicking on Select Your Own Map.
- Save the map and use it while you’re not connected to the internet.
After the above discussion, you have probably got an idea of how accurate is GPS on Android. Whether you are in the process of developing your GPS-based application or just want to explore the feature in deep, this informative article has expanded your eyesight about the topic.
Indeed, GPS technology is still a bit far from what it can be in the future. Google has the most excitement to improve the GPS accuracy for their users and their advanced technology. Hopefully, the door is not too far, and we will soon witness more smartphone GPS accuracy.
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