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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Using all three GPS options kills battery - which one should be used?

    Samsung Galaxy S4 on Verizon. I have three GPS options:
    VZW location services
    Standalone GPS services
    Wi-Fi & mobile network location

    Also have the box above with allows me to turn "Access to my location" on or off. This seems to apply to a lot of apps and there doesn't seem to be a way to limit it. However, if I turn it off, most Google services, particularly Chrome Beta, keep hounding me.

    What does each of these services do, what apps or service is behind them and how do I have some GPS without turning them all on and having a real hit on my battery.

    I think the most important thing for me is being able to locate the phone when lost or stolen. Or....if I'm lost or stolen it would be nice if I could be located as well
    I would like to put Cerebrus on this phone as soon as I figure out the GPS issue.

    Can someone clarify the differences and suggest how they best be handled?

    Thanks.
  2. #2  
    major payne's Avatar

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    Default Re: Using all three GPS options kills battery - which one should be used?

    I honestly keep all three on and with wifi tethering for 10.5 hours a day I have 30% battery left when i head home. I doubt GPS is going to affect you much
    Palm Centro, Palm Pre +, HTC Rezound, Samsung Galaxy S4
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Using all three GPS options kills battery - which one should be used?

    My understanding is that those are three methods the phone could use to find your location. The GPS is likely the most battery intensive and accurate. My wild guess is that the only apps that use the VZW location services are Verizon apps, so if you aren't using those then that method won't be used. The Wi-Fi and mobile network location use, well, Wi-Fi and cell towers to triangulate where you are rather than using GPS. It's less accurate but uses less battery.

    So, having Wi-Fi and mobile network enabled will save battery over just having GPS enabled if you use apps that automatically find your location and are set up to use that method (which I'm sure many are). I have several apps like that going including Google Now, a couple weather widgets and Tasker and my GPS is rarely accessed.

    If you're having battery life issues, but still want location based features then I'd just leave all of them on. I'd try to figure out which apps are using them the most and either find new apps or limit how often they find your location. For example, if you have a weather widget that's checking your location every 15 minutes you can knock it down to once an hour and then update manually if you want a more recent update.

    FWIW, I've heard that if Maps it taking up a bunch of battery it helps to uninstall upgrades to Maps in your Application Manager. It seemed to help me a lot, but YMMV.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Using all three GPS options kills battery - which one should be used?

    GPS will affect battery the most, but *only if it's being used*! Just having it enabled has ZERO effect on your battery whatsoever if it isn't actively running. As garublador mentioned, if you're see a high drain in battery with location services enabled, then it's probably because some app is trying to use it too often.

    Google Now, as neat a feature as it is, does use location services quite a bit, so unless you use that feature regularly, you could disable it to save some juice. That's just an example, there are other apps out there that are culprits for checking location way too often by default as well. The effect on battery is even worse if you're in a building with a poor signal and no access to GPS satellites...

    I have all 3 location options enabled all the time and my battery life is great. I also use Cerberus, which is a great app, by the way!
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: Using all three GPS options kills battery - which one should be used?

    Thanks everyone - these suggestions will definitely help. I'm going to check what may be using which GPS and I will definitely turn off the VZ one since I use almost none of their apps anyway. I used Cerberus on my last phone and was about to put it only my new one - that's what led me to start trying to figure out the GPS situation. I'll also be very happy to disable Google Now - yes, it's a nice feature, but one I rarely use and it would be worth saving some battery.

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