Location using WiFi or Cell instead of GPS

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Justin B

Jun 30, 2022, 12:39:45 PMJun 30
to GPS Essentials
I have used GPS Essentials without trouble on a previous phone to see location and record Tracks.  I installed GPS Essentials v 4.4.64 on my Samsung Galaxy A51 5G running Android 11 (later updated to Android 12) and the location function is no longer accurate.  Something is apparently different in the Location API with Android 11 and 12 (possibly earlier, I last used Android 7).

1) The dashboard in GPS Essentials indicates that it is using WiFi or Cell for Location Provider instead of GPS.  When I was outside recently, Google Maps correctly showed my physical location, while GPS Essentials would either place the location at a nearby building with WiFi, or when further from the building, locate at the nearest cell tower.

2) If I turn on Airplane mode to disable WiFi and the cell radio, I continue to get the correct location in Google Maps by GPS and the *incorrect* location in GPS Essentials with WiFi.

3) I can get GPS Essentials to ignore WiFi by going into the Android setting for Location Services and turning off Google Location Accuracy, which "improves" location accuracy by using WiFi and Cell (apparently even when in Airplane mode!).  However, GPS Essentials then fails to show any location and the provider is "Unknown".

I don't understand why Maps will ignore Cell and WiFi but GPS Essentials won't.  I suspect that Maps is only using WiFi or Cell when they show a location inside the error bounds of the GPS location, but GPS Essentials is not?

If anyone can suggest a setting change that works for them, I'd appreciate it.


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