Boosting an Android's GPS Signal

It’s pretty much a given that if you’re buying any type of Android smartphone, you’ll have internal GPS built into the phone. This allows smartphones to use navigational apps, such as Google Maps, location services to properly tag your geo-location across apps, and other uses.

However, not all GPS sensors are built equal: they have different precision and features. In some cases, it may be the hardwares fault that the GPS sensor isn’t working properly, especially in some of the older devices that first started to incorporate this feature. However, nowadays, poor GPS reception or performance could be based on system settings, current ROM installed, or other easily fixed issues. We’ll show you how you can improve your GPS performance on your Android device!

First and foremost, make sure you’ve got your GPS is enabled on your device. Head to Settings > Location Access. In there, you’ll want to make sure that GPS Satellites and Access to my location are turn on/check off.

Calibrate your Compass

One of the things that might be the issue to your GPS accuracy is an improperly calibrated compass. If this is the case, that means that your device is getting improper orientation information which will cause issues when using navigational apps. In order to fix this, you’ll need to calibrate your Android’s compass.

An easy fix is to download GPS Essentials and go to the compass section. If it’s not working properly, you can easily press the menu button and select Calibrate. It will walk you through some quick steps to calibrate your compass and should only take a few moments.

Diagnose your issue

Using the same app from calibrating your compass, GPS Essentials, you can also diagnose to see whether it’s an issue with the software or hardware side of things.

You can use GPS Essentials to see how many GPS satellites are currently within range of your device. If you’re unable to get the GPS signal, the app can easily tell you in a graphical manner whether it is because of hardware/software (if there are a good number of satellites in range, say 8 to 10) or whether you’re just currently out of range of any GPS satellites at the moment.

Reset your GPS Data

Sometimes your device will get “stuck” on certain GPS satellites, even if they’re not within range, and this will cause you to either have weak or non-existent signals. A good fix to fix this is to clear your GPS data and to start collecting data over from scratch. For this, GPS Status & ToolBox will let you flush and re-download all your GPS data and re-acquire proper satellites within range.

In the App, head to Manage A-GPS State, tap on the Reset Data, and then tap on the Download button. After this, you should be able to fire up any type of app that uses GPS and see a better lock. One of the downsides, however, is that the fix isn’t permanent. You may have to wipe your data again and re-download it if you continue to have your GPS acting up.

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