I get map positioning in iPad without GPS. Any clues on how to get the same thing in an Android phone? I tried it on google maps, maps with me, always with wifi on and no result unless I'm connected to the wifi network.

  • Your device needs some source to extract the location info from. That's either GPS, or the network (in combination with cell and WiFi IDs). The IDs themselves give no position information, it's the databases on the network where those IDs are looked up in. Which means, you either need GPS, or a data connection (WiFi or mobile). Simply having WiFi on, but no data connection available, cannot do the trick. – Izzy Dec 2 '13 at 20:32
  • Additionally, in order to get an approximate location from wifi alone, the AP you're connected to needs to actually be in the wifi location database - in addition to actually providing a data connection - which it often isn't. – dotVezz Dec 2 '13 at 20:56
  • I understand what you say. But in the case of my iPad, it does not have 3G, only wifi, and it positions itself on either purchased or cached (i.e.google maps)maps... – user47386 Dec 2 '13 at 21:56

Go into the main Settings app. Find Location access (Location services on some phones) in the list of settings pages, and make sure all the settings in that page are on, in particular Wi-Fi & mobile network location (which might have a slightly different name, such as Use wireless networks).

When you turn this option on, there's a dialog warning you that this periodically sends the visible Wi-Fi networks to Google. This is how the location mechanism works, so you have to agree to it if you want this feature.

Even when it's on, it only works when you're connected to the internet (either through 3G or Wi-Fi). It works by sending Google the list of Wi-Fi networks you can see. Google has collected a database of Wi-Fi network names and real-world locations, so with this information, they can reply to your phone with its approximate position. Obviously this can only work with internet access.

The similar feature in the iPad works exactly the same way, only with a different database maintained by Apple instead of Google.

  • I am sorry. But I use my iPad which is wifi only all the time in different cities around the globe in this way: I get connected to the internet, cache a portion of a map, and then when I walk a city I get position display... – user47386 Dec 3 '13 at 6:14
  • You can do this in iPad or iPhone anywhere. – user47386 Dec 3 '13 at 6:20
  • Without actually being connected to the net. Apple uses crowdsourcing. They continuously assign positions to ip's by extracting that info from wifi / gps enabled devices, integrate this into a data base. And then when you load a map, it has that info embedded. So you walk the city, no internet, no gps and get perfect position display. – user47386 Dec 3 '13 at 6:27
  • I am crazy with this cause I just got my first android phone and realized I m not able to do the same thing... – user47386 Dec 3 '13 at 6:28

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