Lego offers an Android app that allows control a Lego train using bluetooth. It does not work on my non-GPS tablet and emits the error message “could not get permission to get device location”. Lego told me that they are not interested in the location information (the app discards that data) but also that this means that their app cannot work on such a device, which is an Android limitation that cannot be circumvented by Lego.

I know that Android ties bluetooth and location permission, however, I am surprised that no solution is possible. After all, this is a ridiculous situation: Bluetooth is there, but unusable because no GPS?

Of course, Bluetooth headsets work on my tablet, but this may be due to a different device profile.

I need to know whether Lego is right and Bluetooth to e.g. a toy is impossible on Android without GPS?

  • 1
    Just a comment because you already have an answer: location doesn't mean GPS. GPS is one of the best ways to get a location but not the only way.
    – Gábor
    Commented Jun 26 at 10:05

1 Answer 1


This is a misunderstanding or a bug in the app. Bluetooth and GPS on a technological level have nothing in common.

However Bluetooth can also be used for calculating your location e.g. by special beacons that transmit their coordinates via Bluetooth. If you are within reception range of such beacon(s) the phone or an app would be able to calculate your position with a precision of 100 meters or less. For that reason in Android before version 12, an app had to request fine location permissions for Bluetooth scanning.

Since Android 12 there is an own permission and you can declare that you never use it for location. Then such location declaring beacons will be filtered from the Bluetooth scan result.

In your case you should check Android settings if you have disabled location services for the whole device (may be because you thought that this will never be needed). Without location services requesting the location permissions may fail.

Only on devices that neither have GPS nor cellular nor Wifi you may run into problems if the location services has been removed by vendor (because someone thought that without GPS/cellular/Wifi location services are not needed).


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