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Usually, I turn off GPS sensor (or set it to battery saving mode) where I am familiar with, or in the room. However, I noticed that when I flashed a new ROM, say Cyanogenmod or OmniROM, I found that the GPS was automatically set to "Device Only" or "High Accuracy".

I wonder whether it's beneficial to turn off GPS or into battery saving mode (namely, via cellular or WiFi) for newer ROMs, say based on Marshmallow, especially from a view of battery life.

Cf.

No way to toggle GPS off in quick settings for Marshmallow?

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From a battery saving perspective, these settings will help minimise drain, and need to be changed when you actually require location based services:

  • WiFi → Advanced → Keep WiFi On during sleep → Always ( See this for more details on trade-off between battery and being connected always What does "Keep wifi on during sleep" mean? )

  • Location → Scanning → WiFi Scanning - disabled

  • Location → Mode → Battery Saving

This in addition to tweaking app permissions as detailed in other answer by Abhishek should maximise savings

Another aspect is Doze feature of Marshmallow. It's implementation, delays Doze if a) Device is physically moved b) If the location feature is enabled and location update happens ( doesn't seem to be documented but reported widely)

If you want to further maximize battery savings, and trigger Doze functionality immediately or after a configurable delay , you could try Greenify or Force Doze. Both these can work on rooted or unrooted devices. Of course, Greenify has other advantage of hibernating appsb while the device is in use

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Yes, Any radio being turned on will cause some drain. It really depends what apps you have using that location. If there are more number of apps accessing your location, it will definitely cause your battery to drain.

Keep location services and GPS high accuracy location off unless you need it. Other Apps in foreground/background will unnecessarily constantly ping GPS if available rather than cell towers for location. Cell towers location is good enough for most situations, unless you have to run apps like Uber, Navigation, etc.

  • @Frank Science: If you have permitted them to do so. Marshmallow provides an option to let user chose permissions for the apps. If the app need to access the location, then it pops out a prompt message at the first use. Or you can add permissions in Settings > apps. Some apps may be needing the permission to access the GPS location (Like Uber) – Abhishek K Aug 24 '16 at 4:57

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