This is a mystery to me, I know that WiFi and GPS use different chips to work, but it seems I can't use the GPS location when there's no Internet access.

I already tried to clear the cache, disable/enable it, reinstall it.

I just want to use my nexus 7 as a GPS while I'm out, thought that I already downloaded Google maps offline data.

Is it supposed to work while offline or not? Is it a real GPS?

  • 3
    Have you tried GPS Status & Toolbox?
    – Alvin Wong
    Jan 9, 2013 at 13:25
  • Doesn't show position directly on map
    – jokoon
    Jan 9, 2013 at 16:48
  • Are you asking about your "GPS location" (your phone assessing its lat/log coordinates) or "a map of your location" (your phone's location displayed to you on a map)? Your phone can assess its position without a data connection but it can't always display that position to you on a map without a data connection - the latter depends on the app you're using.
    – Mr. Buster
    Jan 9, 2013 at 18:44
  • I already stated it in my question, I downloaded map data for offline view.
    – jokoon
    Jan 10, 2013 at 15:09
  • @Mr.Buster, according to your comment, we should be able to get the GPS co-ordinates(longitude, latitude) without internet using GPS + SIM network. Is it really possible in all the Android devices (assume that we don't want map)? How much time + accuracy it takes? (repeating again, I am interested only in co-ordinates)
    – iammilind
    Apr 21, 2015 at 13:16

5 Answers 5


I had this issue - it isn't that a fix doesn't come, it is just that it is taking a very long time to get a fix.

This is due to the lack of the downloaded aGPS data - it can't download the data, and so has to rely on solely GPS satellited, which takes ages.

If you have been disconnected from the internet for a while, then you will suffer from these effects. aGPS data is cached for a few days, or when you change location, so if you just disconnected, GPS should work for a while afterwards.

(You should also check to make sure that the Google System is enabled for location use)

  • The aGPS data is valid for some days and degrades over time (or becomes invalid if you change location): Here's an app to download it on demand: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eclipsim.gpsstatus2
    – ce4
    Jan 9, 2013 at 18:46
  • 1
    @ce4 That is the exact app I use, however as I said - you can't download it without internet.
    – Liam W
    Jan 9, 2013 at 18:48
  • Sure. Just wanted to say that the download is good for some days, if you download it now.
    – ce4
    Jan 9, 2013 at 18:49
  • Thanks, definitely marked as the correct answer, I was not aware of the aGPS standard. So it's not a full fledge GPS protocol because it would drain too much power, right ? So if I'm walking and I turn on my nexus 7, I can either connect to a wifi hotspot or wait 12min ?
    – jokoon
    Jan 10, 2013 at 15:21
  • @jokoon Correct ;)
    – Liam W
    Jan 10, 2013 at 15:59

The reason it does not work is a GPS has to be paired with a map to work. Cell phones download chunks of map data based on your location and pairs it with map data. Without map data it is simply longitude and latitude data. To make it work with a nexus you have to have map data stored to work outside of of Wi-Fi range. If the app does not load at least 2gb of data you are probably put of luck.

  • I knew that, at the time I asked the question I already downloaded a particular square of google map data to browser on my nexus. Read the question again, I asked about GPS functionality, not google map fucntionality. I noticed my gps would not position me until I had an internet connection. The problem came from the fact devices are APGS, not plain GPS (which draws much more battery since it talks with satellites, not ground antennas).
    – jokoon
    May 17, 2013 at 17:08

GPS works offline without internet or WiFi. Something in building GPS can't get connect to GPS satellite that's why it not show location.


yes, GPS location is binded with the gps chipset. You can get co-ordinates from GPS and store it while offline. you can than view it in Maps application when you get online.

  • i meant offline. why can't I use it if I downloaded map data to use it offline?
    – jokoon
    Jan 9, 2013 at 14:55
  • google maps application now supports offline maps. you can use it offline
    – ozmank
    Jan 11, 2013 at 9:51

many (maybe most) phones don't actually have a GPS receiver built in, rather using cellphone towers and triangulation to calculate their position. WiFi has nothing to do with either by the way, it's completely separate.
Other phones do have GPS built in but will use it only when no cellphone reception is available, as GPS tends to use a lot more battery power (many will also turn it off when the cellphone functionality is turned off because that's usually understood to be done where active antennae aren't allowed (like in aircraft and many hospitals) and/or to preserve battery power.

  • I downloaded map data, so I can use maps without wifi, and the nexus 7 has a real GPS, not the mobile tower thing you're talking about. So?
    – jokoon
    Jan 9, 2013 at 15:04
  • I never heard that phones automatically decide what source to use. True, some devices (including many tablets) have no GPS built-in -- but most phones have, AFAIK (never met an Android phone without GPS). Might be an aGPS issue, so it takes longer?
    – Izzy
    Jan 9, 2013 at 17:01

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