By now you probably know all too well that the GPS radio on your smart phone sucks battery juice almost as fast as ice melts in the middle of the Sahara. But if your phone is running Android 4.4 “Kitkat” there’s a simple way to keep using the GPS feature without draining your battery quite so fast.
Android 4.4 has a new “Battery Saving GPS” mode that can help extend your battery life considerably over what you’d get by enabling GPS in normal mode. In my opinion, this is one of the most useful enhancements to Android in some time.
Battery Saving GPS mode works by limiting the number of reference points the phone uses to pinpoint your location on the earth’s surface. Checking fewer reference points means the GPS radio works less, which in turn means less current is drawn from the battery.
As you might well have guessed, this Battery Saving GPS Mode does have a downside. Since fewer reference points are checked, the accuracy of the GPS data that’s computed is less as well.
For example, instead of knowing that you’re passing Mile Marker 129 on the Interstate, your phone might only be able to determine that you are somewhere close to it. But if you’re half-way through a 200 mile “all-interstate” drive and you don’t need to stop at a particular place any time soon, that’s easily close enough.
If you’d like to give the Battery Saving GPS mode a try, here’s how to turn enable it on your phone:
1 – Tap Settings.
2 – Tap Location.
3 – Tap Mode.
4 – Select Battery Saving.
When you find yourself in a situation where you need for your phone to determine your location as accurately as possible, simply follow the steps listed above again to switch the setting back to “High Accuracy”.