Don't know what this icon is

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy S3' started by longboardskier, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. longboardskier
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    longboardskier Member

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    I've searched for this but couldn't find anything. Does anyone know what the icon to the left of the Wi-Fi one is?

    ForumRunner_20120825_080414.png
     
  2. lloydstrans
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    lloydstrans Platinum Member

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    GPS is searching for satellites.
     
  3. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, on the S3, that icon just means that at least one of the location services is turned on and ready to be used. It doesn't mean that the GPS is searching for satellites or actively running. When the GPS is searching or running, there will be a blinking or steady crosshair icon on the far left side of the notification bar like this:

    Screenshot_2012-08-25-12-02-14.png

    If the circle inside that far left icon is blinking, that means it's looking for satellites. If it's steady, that means it's found and locked onto at least one satellite.
     
  4. longboardskier
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    longboardskier Member

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    Any way to figure out which one it is?
     
  5. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator Staff Member

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    Settings -> Location services.

    If you disable all of them, the three lines to the right of the icon will disappear, but the icon itself will remain. That's because some measure of location service must remain active for 911 calls. I'm not sure why Samsung keeps the icon in the notification bar for that, but they do.
     
  6. longboardskier
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    longboardskier Member

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    Thank you! I wonder if that was draining my battery. Hopefully that'll make a difference.
     
  7. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, contrary to popular belief, simply having location services enabled really doesn't drain your battery. What drains your battery is when apps actively use the location services, particularly the standalone GPS. You can tell when an application is using the standalone GPS by the crosshair icon that appears on the far left side of your notification bar, like in the screenshot I posted above. If that icon isn't there, the standalone GPS is not running in any form or fashion, even if it's enabled in the settings. It's not like WiFi or Bluetooth which constantly scan. All of the location services, including the standalone GPS, only run when something actively uses it.

    The VZW location services and Google location services work via your data connection, so it's a little more difficult to know exactly when they're running. But they use a minimal amount of background data, which in most cases, isn't enough to significantly drain your battery. They also only run when an app accesses them. Just be on the lookout for apps that have location services as one of their permissions.

    So, all of the location services only run when an app actively uses them. Standalone GPS is easy to keep track of due to the icon on the left side of the notification bar when it runs. For the others, just be mindful of what apps you're installing and allowing to run in the background. Of course, you can always keep them all disabled if you like. :) I use location services a lot, so I leave all three enabled all the time. There isn't a noticeable impact on my battery life unless I'm running apps that actively use them for sustained periods of time.
     
  8. Beskidia
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    Beskidia Member

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    Wait, i have location services on for a long time now and never ever saw that icon before. :blink:
     
  9. zZvaNyaZz
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    zZvaNyaZz Member

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    Can anyone tell me what this icon is?

    The crosshair looking thing in the notification bar.

    ForumRunner_20120828_110145.png
     
  10. Shadez
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    Shadez Super Mod/News Team Staff Member Premium Member

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    I believe it's GPS...
     
  11. bsweetness
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    bsweetness Moderator Staff Member

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    Merged with an existing thread on the same topic. :)

    As already noted in this thread, that particular icon means that location services are enabled for 911 calls. That's something you can't disable. If you have any of the other three location services enabled in the settings, that icon will have three small, curved lines to the right of it. If the standalone GPS is active, a crosshairs icon will appear on the far left side of your notification bar.
     
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