Why Does GPS Consume A Lot Of Battery?

GPS functionality has become an essential part of our smartphones nowadays. In an age where electronic maps such as Google Maps rule and navigating on your smartphone is the norm, GPS is a must have feature and chances are that you have it too.

GPS on a smartphone is essential but sadly, it also consumes a lot of battery and heats up the device.

Let us explain why this happens and what you can do to prevent battery drain.

Why Does my Battery Drain So Much During GPS Use?

Android and iOS devices save battery by aggressively entering into and exiting from sleep states. However, applications can wake them up for syncing or if you are using the application.

GPS happens to be a very slow communication channel. You need to communicate with 3 to 4 satellites  for a duration of about 50 bits per second. During this time, the system cannot enter a sleep mode. This means that the device is continuously awake and is at full processing power.

If you have bad GPS reception, it will take more time to get lock-on, therefore it will consume more battery as well.

 

Screenshot_2014-11-23-18-48-01_zpsh5u0qfvy

As seen in the above screenshot, the actual use that kept the system awake was for 4 minutes but the total usage of GPS comes just in under 1 hour. Thus example illustrates one of the primary causes behind your phone’s battery drain when you’re using GPS.

What Can I Do to Prevent Excessive Battery Drain?

In order to conserve battery, you can turn off GPS on your device when it is not in use. When it is not turned off, the device may give out regular request to use the GPS for activities such as weather update etc.

Another way to save battery is that whenever you have to use GPS, it is preferable that you are outdoors so that GPS signals and more easier to lock-on to and take less time. Acquiring a satellite takes 12 to 30 seconds in good outdoor conditions, so taking more than that will obviously result in more battery drain.

Know of any more battery saving techniques while using GPS? Let us and your readers know in the comments below.


  • Wolverine

    Get a separate GPS device. :D If not take a spare battery or a Power bank would be awsome while travelling.

  • Ali Raza

    مجھے اس بات پر بہت حیرت ہوتی ہے کہ چھوٹا سا فون اتنی دور سیٹلائٹ تک کیسے سگنل بھیجتا ہے۔

    • Usama Anwar

      بالکل ویسے جیسے چھوٹا سا فون اتنی دور دوسرے چھوٹے فون تک آواز بھیجتا ہے

      • Ali Raza

        دوسرے فون تک آواز بھیجنے کے لیئے اس فون کو ذریعہ میسر ہوتا ہے ٹاورز کی شکل میں مگر سیٹلائٹ تک تو کوئی ذریعہ نہیں ہوتا۔

        • Usama Anwar

          جیسے ٹاور ایک ذریعہ ہے ویسے ہی سیٹلائٹ بذات خود ایک ذریعہ ہے
          جی پی ایس سیٹلائٹ کو کچھ نہیں بھیجتا بلکہ سیٹلائٹ اپنی پوزیشن براڈکاسٹ کرتا ہے جس سے موبائل کو اپنی پوزیشن کا پتا چلتا ہے

    • New

      Bhaiya g, phone satellite tak nai ponchta, satellite k signal phone tak ponchte hain.

      • Ali Raza

        ہاں یہ بات تو ٹھیک ہے مگر، اوپر جو لکھا ہے کہ
        GPS happens to be a very slow communication channel. You need to communicate with 3 to 4 satellites for a duration of about 50 bits per second.
        تو کمیونیکیشن تو دونوں طرف سے ہوتی ہے، ایک طرف کے سگنلز آنے سے تو بات نہیں بنتی۔
        ہو سکتا ہے آپ لوگ ٹھیک کہ رہے ہوں اور مجھے ہی بات سمجھ نہ آرہی ہو۔

  • Lame

    Lame article