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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Location, Location Reporting & Location History. A Correct Answer To The Differences?

    I've been searching for an accurate answer to what each of these does but there seems to be so much incorrect information on the internet. I've tried as best as I could to get an understanding but I'm hoping other people will know more or can say where I'm right or wrong?

    For the purposes of this thread I'll define what I mean by "Location", "Location Reporting" and "Location History" and what I gather each does.

    Location, Location Reporting & Location History. A Correct Answer To The Differences?-2014-01-23-10.47.32.jpg

    "Location" - That do-all toggle at the top. That is what controls anything on the device being able to access location information (either GPS, WiFi or Cell - at least in high accuracy mode like I have). So on an app can have that information. Off an app can't.

    "Location Reporting" and "Location History" under KitKat are in the Google Location Reporting part. Other devices you most likely have to go into the Google Settings app to access them.


    Location, Location Reporting & Location History. A Correct Answer To The Differences?-2014-01-23-10.47.44.jpg

    "Location Reporting"
    Google uses this feature in products like Google Now and Google Maps. Turning on Location Reporting lets any Google product that uses this feature store and use your device's most recent location data in connection with your Google account.
    So from this it seems what this setting does is, in the background, let specifically Google know where you are.

    "Location History"
    This setting allows Google to store a history of your location data from devices where you have enabled Location Reporting for this account. Location History helps you get more out of Google - for example, Google Now may use it to notify you about traffic on your commute. You can view and manage your Location history at http://maps.google.com/locationhistory . You can turn off Location History at any point, but doing so will not remove existing entries...
    So what this setting does is just store each bit of information that "Location Reporting" sends to Google.


    To give an example of the prevalent bit of misinformation - over at Lifehacker they make this statement.

    Location Reporting is the feature that gives apps like Google Now, Google Maps, Foursquare, Twitter, and even your camera app access to your position. Whenever an app shows you something nearby, suggests local businesses, or helps you find the closest gas station, it's using Location Reporting.
    This appears to just be plain wrong. They're confusing "Location Reporting" with "Location". With both "Location Reporting" & "Location History" turned off I can check in with FaceBook, see satellites in GPS Essentials, Android Device Manager locates me just fine and heck I can even open up Google Maps and locate myself and even use Navigation perfectly fine. Google Location Services is just another app that makes use of "Location".

    So do I have the right idea of it? "Location Reporting" is just a service that in that background uses "Location" to give Google your current location.

    Also I'm struggling to figure out what I lose by disabling "Location Reporting"? So long as I'm not using Google Now which appears to be the only thing that really makes use of it. I imagine it benefits Google with live traffic information and where I am but (again outside of Google Now) does anyone know of anything else disabling it can actually impact?
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Location, Location Reporting & Location History. A Correct Answer To The Differences?

    My understanding of what each of those does matches yours. "Location" is your phone getting your location and "Location Reporting" is Google getting your location. "Location History" is a subset of "Location Reporting" where it stores your locations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hudder View Post
    Also I'm struggling to figure out what I lose by disabling "Location Reporting"? So long as I'm not using Google Now which appears to be the only thing that really makes use of it. I imagine it benefits Google with live traffic information and where I am but (again outside of Google Now) does anyone know of anything else disabling it can actually impact?
    You probably lose some functionality in Google Keep and Google+ as well. I'm not sure what all Hangouts does, but that might fall in the same category.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Location, Location Reporting & Location History. A Correct Answer To The Differences?

    I agree, it can be very vague and confusing. I have found that Location Reporting is used specifically by Google Offers and Google+ (if you opt to share your location with others)--Google Offers won't work if Location Reporting is off. From what I reckon, when Location Reporting is on, the device will frequently wake up, access the web, and report your location to Google, which then stores it on its servers and sees if any of the apps that use Location Reporting can use that info to do something (like give you some nearby Offer, or change your shared location in Google+). The frequent wakelocks can potentially lead to increased battery drainage, which is why I usually keep it off, and turn it on only when needed.

    I have found that keeping Location Reporting off does not prevent any app from actually accessing location info--so Google Now still gives me location-specific information, as well as other apps.

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