Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for enthusiasts and power users of the Android operating system. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

That's pretty much it. I am developing an application which is utterly useless without receiving a GPS signal, so I was wondering if there are any phones which do not possess this feature.

Thank you

share|improve this question
Just a clarification: Not every device with Android is a phone, and some of the low-end tablets (e.g. some Prestigio models) definitely don't have a GPS receiver. – Piskvor Aug 25 '11 at 12:01
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The current Android Compatibility Definition Document says:

GPS Device implementations SHOULD include a GPS receiver. If a device implementation does include a GPS receiver, it SHOULD include some form of "assisted GPS" technique to minimize GPS lock-on time.

So "SHOULD" does not mean "MUST". [Edited because I messed things up. Apps that require GPS show up in the market regardless of whether the device supports it or not.]

share|improve this answer
How do you know apps that use GPS won't show up? – Matthew Read Jul 15 '11 at 17:20
Woops, maybe that's not completely correct. But the FAQ says: "[For] example, an app that manages SMS text messages would not be useful on a media player, so Android Market allows the developer to restrict that app exclusively to phone devices." So, I assumed you can do that for stuff like GPS too. – dAnjou Jul 15 '11 at 17:39
Hmm. It would make sense for them to allow you to filter by GPS-or-not. But they didn't have filtering by device until recently, and if they're assuming everything has GPS then they might not have bothered. – Matthew Read Jul 15 '11 at 17:43

I am almost positive that all Android phones will have a GPS receiver in them. Cnet reviewed the first Droid in 2009 so chances are they will all have GPS.

share|improve this answer

Considering that E911 requires all cell phones to provide location information to emergency services (Wiki Link), nearly every cell phone contains a GPS receiver for E911 services.

Given that information, I'd expect there to be very few cell phones (Android or otherwise) that don't have a GPS receiver built-in. With it already built in, and the OS already having to support it (since the phone system is simply an Android application), it'd be silly to not let other apps take advantage of it (if the user prefers).

One thing to keep in mind: GPS location is a user-controlled option in Android, so it may very well be disabled.

share|improve this answer
"nearly every cell phone contains a GPS receiver for E911 services" That is pure misinformation, plain and simple - the majority of cellphones do not contain a GPS receiver, especially not the older and/or low-end models (smartphones are a different thing altogether). The "location information" required by E911 is provided from cell phone base station identifiers, on phones lacking GPS. (What you'd expect is somewhat irrelevant to what actually exists out there) – Piskvor Aug 25 '11 at 11:54

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.