Is there an app that enables/disables GPS w/Maps launch/exit?

Discussion in 'Android Applications Discussions' started by Jer, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Jer

    Jer Member

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    I'm aware of the various profile apps but have been having some issues with the GPS portion. I realized the only time I use GPS is when I launch Google Maps and then disable when I'm done so is there an app that will automatically do this for me?
     
  2. nphil

    nphil Member

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    GPS is disabled automatically when it's not used so there's really no need for an app to disable it
     
  3. Jer

    Jer Member

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    Really? So leaving it on all the time will not drain any more battery because it doesn't use the radio until you use an app that requires GPS? What about if there's a weather app or some other app that I'm not thinkng of that has a GPS option, will it use the GPS frequently?
     
  4. hookbill

    hookbill Premium Member
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    The best way to answer that question is to leave it on, then take a look at your settings/about phone/battery usage at the end of the day. See any amount of huge GPS there? You probably won't.

    I think most of us keep our GPS on now. It doesn't use that much battery.
     
  5. Jer

    Jer Member

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    This is good to know. I carry a spare battery so not a huge deal either way but I like to run a lean power consumption device whenever possible and cut out needless waste.

    What about Bluetooth? I also use a profile switcher to enable/disable BT so I'm wondering if the same applies to BT or if I should continue enabling as needed.
     
  6. Sleeve

    Sleeve Member

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    Big difference. Bluetooth is constantly listening for announcements from devices it has been paired with before. That's why you can turn on a Bluetooth device, do nothing to your Droid, and have the Droid and the BT thing connect on their own.

    GPS only actually turns on when you use an app that needs GPS. If there's no GPS icon in the top status bar, you're not using GPS.

    I never shut off GPS. I shut off Bluetooth except for when I need it.
     
  7. Jer

    Jer Member

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    Perfect explanation. I'll enable my GPS and leave it on and will continue to use the profile settings for the BT as I have been since I haven't had any issues with that aspect. Just a side question since it came up and I was wondering if I could do away with that portion as well.
     
  8. jbsangel

    jbsangel Member

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    As an addition, if you use the settings -> about phone > usage menu, that will tell you only the percentage of your consumed battery that different things account for, and it doesn't include an entry for GPS specifically. What it will contain is an entry for the app that is using GPS--you have to know that the app uses GPS. So it's kind of not useful if the app is GPS without you knowing it.

    If you want to know truly what has used your GPS, you'll want to use the battery history statistics. Unfortunately, this is hidden deep in the sdk and there is no way to get to it through the settings. Luckily, there are apps out there that expose this screen to the user. Spare Parts (free) will show this screen as will the Battery Status and Battery Left Beta battery widgets. Lastly, bettercut (not free) will provide a shortcut to the screen.

    The screen lets you see a lot of data about the phone such as how long the device has spent running (vs sleeping), how long wifi has been enabled, and how long wifi and bt have been running. It will also tell you what applications have stopped your phone from sleeping and for how long. It will also tell you what apps have used GPS and for how long.

    I used to leave GPS unchecked, but now I leave it checked and just monitor that only the apps i want to use gps are the only ones using it. I tell my weather widget to use cell towers only and in general don't let apps use GPS if given the choice. I use that battery history page to see what apps try to use GPS, just to make sure that only ones i want using it are using it, and also to see how much time is spent using it since GPS is a big battery drain.

    I found that ShopSavvy will periodically use GPS to update location for searches, regardless of if the app is actively being used or not. This prompted me to turn off location based searches and only turn it on when i actually open the app to use it. It's only like 59s it spends using the GPS, so not a battery hog, but it just annoyed me that it uses GPS when the app isn't even running.

    So long story short, checking that box isn't turning on/off gps but rather giving apps permission to use the GPS. Like was already said, GPS is beig used when the satellite dish thingy is in the notification bar. If you want to monitor what apps use GPS and for how long, you can try using an app the exposes the battery history screen. It's very useful for seeing what is going on your device and using it to gauge the effect on battery life.
     
  9. Jer

    Jer Member

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    So even if a weather app just uses it now and then it will still pop up an indicator in the notification bar then, right? That's the part I wasn't sure of with the GPS becuase there have been times when I was on Google Maps where the indicator disappeared so I assumed that it only displayed that icon when it was activating it or connecting new sats or something. As long as I can see when it's in use then that's a big help but I was thinking there were times when it might be running in the background w/o indication.
     
  10. LtKen

    LtKen Silver Member

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    Yep -- if GPS is being used, you'll see it in the notification bar. If it's not, it wont.
     
  11. Sp3aK

    Sp3aK Member

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    I use the default power control widget and it's on the same screen as my shortcut for Maps. If I know I'm going to be navigating I just tap that first then launch maps.

    That's just another option/trick.

    It would be nice if there was an option in Google Maps to "Automatically Enable GPS when application is launched". Maybe if enough people submit that as an idea it could be put into the next version.
     
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