1. ggraeff999's Avatar
    Hello - I have a 6P running 7.1.2 build number N2G47H. I was on the beta program, but have temporarily stopped due to the problem I'm having with GPS and battery life. Recently, I started seeing battery life go from a full day of moderate use, to 5-6 hours at best. I've both cleared the partition and done a factory reset (as recently as last night) with limited app reinstallation, but without any impact on battery drain. One thing I did notice is that the location services icon in the status bar was on constantly, which was not the case in the past. It would only come on when an app needed location services, and only for a few seconds at a time. I monitored the apps that were requesting location services, and one by one, removed location permissions from them until no apps were making requests anymore, but still, the icon continued to stay on and battery drained quickly. Since factory resets and partition clears didn't work, I only found two things that stopped this behavior: Disabling location services completely, or changing the location setting from high accuracy to battery saving. If I use the device setting, the location icon comes back on full time.

    This leads me to believe that the GPS receiver is staying on all the time for some reason, whether it's needed or not. I've read that it can be a big battery drain. I guess I'm OK using battery saving mode for location services and only turn on high accuracy as needed, but I shouldn't need to do this. I ran in high accuracy mode for more than a year without any issues. Any thoughts on whether this is a software issue causing the problem, or is it possible I'm having a hardware problem that's leaving GPS on all the time?

    Thank you!

    Gary
    05-03-2017 08:39 AM
  2. GSDer's Avatar
    Sounds like a software issue to me. I leave it set to High accuracy as a normal course of action and, as used to be your experience, do not see it on all the time.

    Rather than turning off Location permission for those few applications that you've reinstalled try FORCE STOP instead until you identify the culprit - I'm willing to bet it's one specific application. Once you think you've identified the troublemaker restart the phone and just FORCE STOP that particular application (or uninstall it) and then see if Location behaves properly.
    05-03-2017 09:55 AM
  3. quelquehomme's Avatar
    Do you use Facebook or Facebook Messenger? It sounds like you've got an app with a setting that's keeping your gps active. I think I've only ever seen the Location icon in the status bar when I'm using Google Maps.
    05-03-2017 10:02 AM
  4. quelquehomme's Avatar
    One more question: Do you use Nova launcher or Google launcher as your Home app?
    05-03-2017 06:06 PM
  5. LeoRex's Avatar
    This leads me to believe that the GPS receiver is staying on all the time for some reason, whether it's needed or not. I've read that it can be a big battery drain. I guess I'm OK using battery saving mode for location services and only turn on high accuracy as needed, but I shouldn't need to do this. I ran in high accuracy mode for more than a year without any issues. Any thoughts on whether this is a software issue causing the problem, or is it possible I'm having a hardware problem that's leaving GPS on all the time?
    Hmm.... whether or not its a hardware issue might be easy to find. Just thinking over it, I would think that the only way a hardware issue could cause this behavior would be if the GPS was unable to provide a good location solution, so whatever is polling keeps it running in an attempt to get it. This should be an easy thing to test though, opening up something like Google Maps and see if you get an accurate location. Or install one of the sensor/GPS test apps from the Play Store.

    Now, if the GPS is functioning properly, then its a software issue. Something is polling for location and then never releasing. Now, that could be a third party app, or it could be the Google app...

    The most effective way to find that is to install GSAM. The only tricky bit is that you have to issue a command via ADB (connected to a computer) to give GSAM a special permission to access battery statistics... you don't need root to do that, just ADB debug enabled and access to a computer that has ADB installed. That permission gives more detailed statistics, including how is hitting the GPS and for how long. Here is mine from today... I used Waze to double check traffic on my way to work, Maps I think got pinged when I was helping my wife with directions this morning.. the majority of the rest is from the Google Services doing its Google thing.

    GPS on constantly when location set to high accuracy or device-screenshot_20170509-125212.jpg
    05-09-2017 12:27 PM
  6. ggraeff999's Avatar
    Hi - thank you for the reply!! I use the Google launcher, and no, I don't use either Facebook or the FB Messenger. I try to maintain a fairly light app load.
    05-12-2017 07:11 AM
  7. ggraeff999's Avatar
    Hi and thank you for the suggestions. I think I've narrowed it down to Google Play Services. At this point, I can predictably do a Force Stop on Play Services and cause the GPS indicator to shut off about five seconds after doing the stop, and it stays inactive until Play Services gets restarted by Android, which can be 30 seconds later, or a few minutes. Once Play Services starts up again, the GPS/location indicator stays on and battery drain increases. But at least I've found a pattern that seems predictable and points to one culprit.

    For now, I'm using Battery Saving mode for location services to conserve battery, but I'd really love to figure out why Play Services won't let go of the GPS and why it seemed to happen suddenly. I suppose I could revert to previous version of Android, but one of the reasons I got an unlocked 6P was so I can stay as up to date and Android as possible, so going backwards isn't my preference.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    05-12-2017 07:22 AM
  8. GSDer's Avatar
    Strange. I'm running N2G47O (May Security updates) and not seeing that problem with Google Play Services. It certainly shows up in the list but it's not active all the time.Is there any chance that you've enabled something in your Google account that's causing it to track you more often?

    If you reboot into Safe mode does this still happen?

    You could try contacting Google support with the information you've gathered and see if they have any suggestions.
    05-12-2017 08:09 AM
  9. ggraeff999's Avatar
    I just rebooted into safe mode and set location services to high accuracy and this behavior did not return. So, it appears not to be something inherently in the Play Services code. I don't recall making any location-based changes in the timeframe that this problem appeared, but it must be something I've either configured or installed. I'll keep investigating, and as always, thank you for your continued feedback!!
    05-12-2017 08:37 AM
  10. ggraeff999's Avatar
    Oddly enough, after returning from safe mode into a full boot, the problem has disappeared. I've started and stopped all the apps that I've installed that have location permissions, and when they start, the location icon appears briefly, and then turns off, as expected (except maps, which causes it to stay on). It's not like I haven't cleared the partition or done a factory reset or two in attempt to fix this, so I can't imagine a boot into safe mode would actually fix something. But at least, for the time being, it's no longer misbehaving. I'm skeptical and expect it to return, but at least I have some more concrete direction on where to look!

    Thank you!
    05-12-2017 09:15 AM
  11. LeoRex's Avatar
    Oddly enough, after returning from safe mode into a full boot, the problem has disappeared.
    You know, I've seen the 'safe mode boot' thing resolve a few occasions... Safe Mode fusses with some junk in the backend when it boots. And I think some of those modifications flushes some secret internal cache or some other digitial bits that were causing issues with Google Play Svs... or, more specificially.. Google Location Services.

    Glad it's cleared though.
    05-12-2017 09:28 AM

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