I've read that the phone can use GPS, and if not Wi-Fi, and if not cellular triangulation to determine your location. How do I check what the phone thinks my location is?

Also, how come I am not seeing the image of the GPS satellite on the notifications slideout bar at the top of the phone alongside the signal, the Wi-Fi icon, and the circle with four line segments in the shape of a target (which I have yet to figure out what it stands for). Does it mean GPS reception is bad in my city or do I have to somehow enable GPS in some way?

1 Answer 1


To see what the device thinks is your current location, you can simply open the pre-installed maps/navigation app (if there is any; usually Google Maps comes pre-installed). If there is none pre-installed, simply install one from the playstore. Or check another GPS tool like e.g. GPS Status & Toolbox if you don't need a full-fledged "maps & navigation" app.

As for the status icon: this will only show when GPS is used (and not only "available"), i.e. when some app is accessing GPS to determine your current location. It has nothing to do with reception quality -- which, in case of GPS, is rarely location-dependent, but rather depends on other conditions such as clouds, trees, high buildings (all things which hinder the free view to the satellites).

  • Thanks for the suggestion, today I'm inside a medium sized-skyscraper, and the sky is a little bit cloudy. I've downloaded GPS Status and Toolbox and it keeps saying "Looking for GPS location...". I've even tried putting the phone out of the window but no luck. Any ideas of how to get it to work? Thanks, Jason Posit Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 7:15
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    The first fix can take a little time, aspecially under difficult conditions as you describe. With the help of network sources (AGPS), this can be sped up a little. To make sure it's not your device having trouble (radio-firmware), I'd first try under conditions as optimal as possible. If you can't go to an "open field", you might at least go on the roof, and chose a time with no or only few/light clouds. Try to make the conditions as good as you can: optimal would be no clouds and 360° free sky view. You can also check logcat for possible error messages.
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 11:54
  • Thanks, I'll go to the roof on a sunny day and check it out, then I'll post back here. How do I check logcat? Thanks, Jason Posit Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 20:02
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    Depends on your Android version. If 4.0 and below, aLogcat would be a good choice. With JB I don't know which app still has access to the full logs without root.
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 20:41

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