What is A-GPS and how do I enable it on Android?

If you’ve ever used an older GPS device before you might have noticed that it takes time for the GPS signal to lock on. This is known as a cold start, and can range anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute or so. With today’s mobile devices that have mobile data, this time can be cut down substantially by employing Assisted GPS (AGPS), which uses cell tower location and/or wifi network location to help locate you faster. On an Android device (and most mobile devices), this results in location finding from cold in a matter of seconds, anywhere from 2 seconds up to around 15-20. Do note that this will may use some mobile data, but this is generally extremely miniscule.

Here’s how to enable AGPS on an Android device:

  • From Home => Settings => Location & Security
  • Use Wireless Networks => On
  • From here on, your location based programs which utilise GPS (Maps, Places, etc) will use AGPS.

For more information on GPS and AGPS.

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