I have created an application that uses GPS for getting current location. I have checked my app in latest version of Android (4.4), and it is not working as it works on previous version. I saw the configuration of 4.4 devices that every device has A-GPS with GLONASS.

I just want to confirm that do we have to get current location using WiFi/Network? Is GPS outdated now?

  • 2
    GPS isn't outdated, no. Android doesn't have a GPS API, there is only Location API, and it is up to the device capability, available infrastructure, and user setting to decide how best to provide Location information for the accuracy that the application has requested. The more accurate location methods generally uses more battery and raises more privacy issues, so you generally want to use the least amount of accuracy that your application can do with. Devices usually maps coarse location to Wifi/Network location and fine location to GPS, but those are largely implementation details.
    – Lie Ryan
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 13:57
  • 1
    As this is about Android app development, it would be better asked on Stack Overflow. See What topics can I ask about here for details.
    – TomG
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 3:27
  • Okay Sorry to all. Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 4:20

1 Answer 1


If you go to the location settings on your device you have the options of:

  • Off
  • High Accuracy
  • Power Saving
  • GPS Only

Where Off and GPS only are obvious, Power Saving uses Wi-Fi & Mobile networks only and High Accuracy uses both GPS and WiFi/Network information. (I am running 4.4.2 on my Galaxy Note 3).

The reasons for the multiplicity of choices are the balance between accuracy and battery life,

  • GPS can give good accuracy anywhere so will work even if you are out of range for all calls or on holiday with roaming turned off,
  • Network information depends on the availability of towers &/or WiFi with the geographic information set up but will be either be connecting to towers or querying WiFi both of which have some impact on battery life but not much more than being able to receive calls,
  • Both uses the most power but will produce faster, more accurate, more reliable, results than any single method.

So now the user of the device has the choice and if your application relies on one specific method it should query the available information and if it is not enabled prompt the user.

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