What does it mean when I unlock my phone and the GPS icon shows active when I'm not running any apps that use GPS? After a second or two, it goes away.
I means you're on an security reset[ed] phone. If you forgot the pin / pattern / etc and you had to reset it with alternative access ways, like login with the google account email and password, then after every unlocking your phone sends your gps coordinates to the google account and the location settings will always reset to high precision, no matter what.
Offtopic, I'm on 4.4.1 and have no idea how to turn it off. Most suggestions are for smart lock but 4.4.1 doesn't have it or I can't find it.