1. Devilsbane's Avatar
    I upgraded to the S7 edge last night (from the S4) and one thing noticeably different is that now I don't have a button to just turn off GPS anymore. I can turn off all of location (which turns off GPS) or I can leave location on and let the GPS drain my battery when I really don't need that precise of location.

    Not having location on at all is problematic as many apps like to (or need to in the case of weather apps) have an idea of where you are. Now sure, I can change the mode to not use GPS, but then there are other apps (like driving apps or run tracking apps) that need the precision of GPS. Pretty crappy to have an elaborate jumping through modes routine every time I get into or out of the car.

    So what gives? My understanding is that this changed back with the S5 or S6, so has anyone found a good middle ground? I hate when software takes away useful functionality. On the S4 I had to install a widget to enable/disable my data connection for when I wanted to save battery life and I wasn't online anyway, something that was originally one of the shortcuts.

    Thanks all
    06-03-2016 09:37 AM
  2. N4Newbie's Avatar
    The question is, why do you think GPS drains your battery?

    Seriously, its impact should be minimal unless you have poorly designed/configured apps which are constantly trying to monitor your location.
    06-03-2016 10:12 AM
  3. PJRed2008's Avatar
    +1 with N4Newbie. I have location turned on all the time, but it's only active when called by an app. Phone uses 0.5% battery per hour with nothing else going on. Suggest you use the phone for a few weeks before you make judgements on battery life and what affects it.
    06-03-2016 11:09 AM
  4. N4Newbie's Avatar
    It's helpful to remember that your phone's GPS radio is a receiver, not a transmitter, and receivers use very little power.
    KPMcClave likes this.
    06-03-2016 11:19 AM
  5. Devilsbane's Avatar
    Appreciate the responses. I'll give it a try and see what I find.

    As for an answer to why I think it drains battery, because I've seen it before in previous phones. And a 2 second google search turns this up as well. Why GPS eats so much battery power, explained by a Google engineer | ITworld

    My garmin watch can track for 20 hours with GPS on. If I change it into ultratrac mode (which still uses GPS, but changes the polling to be only once per minute) then I get over 50 hours. So I'd say that is a pretty significant difference, even though it is only receiving and not transmitting.
    06-03-2016 01:54 PM
  6. meyerweb#CB's Avatar
    It's helpful to remember that your phone's GPS radio is a receiver, not a transmitter, and receivers use very little power.
    Not only that, but having GPS "on" doesn't really mean it's on. It means it's available for use. Until an app requests location information, the GPS radio isn't really "on" at all.


    As for an answer to why I think it drains battery, because I've seen it before in previous phones. And a 2 second google search turns this up as well. Why GPS eats so much battery power, explained by a Google engineer | ITworld
    That article is 3 years old. Android has made a lot of progress in 3 years. See comment above.
    KPMcClave likes this.
    06-03-2016 02:06 PM
  7. N4Newbie's Avatar
    Appreciate the responses. I'll give it a try and see what I find.

    As for an answer to why I think it drains battery, because I've seen it before in previous phones. And a 2 second google search turns this up as well. Why GPS eats so much battery power, explained by a Google engineer | ITworld
    ...
    Yes, but again, it is about the apps, not the GPS itself. So, like I said earlier, ..." its impact should be minimal unless you have poorly designed/configured apps which are constantly trying to monitor your location."

    Also, the article cited is three years old - ancient history in the world of computers, smartphones, and battery technology.
    06-03-2016 02:13 PM

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