How To Find Your GPS Coordinates on an Android Device
Cellphones are remarkable devices with some incredible features that many of us don’t use, or sometimes, even know about. One of those features is the existence of GPS (global positioning system) location tracking – your cellphone knows where it is at all times. There are a number of ways to find your GPS coordinates on your Android device. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process with simple steps to make sure you can find them every time.
Unlike the iPhone, the Android system doesn’t have a default, built-in GPS coordinate utility to show you the information that the phone already has, so you have to find an app that can provide that functionality. Here we’ll offer up a few of the best ways to locate your GPS coordinates on your Android smartphone, easily and reliably.
Use Google Maps
The big daddy of the Android map world, Google Maps is so successful because it offers so much in one single app. The majority of Android smartphones come with Google Maps pre-installed, but if yours doesn’t have it then you can simply download Google Maps in the Google Play store.
Once installed, you need to open the Google Maps app and make sure that you have turned on the “Location” finding feature on your pull down menu. Your phone has its own Locations settings (go to you Settings app and search for “Location” to access these settings) and Google Maps relies on your phone’s settings to know where you are, so you may need to change your settings for Google Maps to work properly.
After your location settings are correctly configured, you can find your location by tapping the “My Location” button (the bulls-eye target icon) which usually appears right above the “Go” button depending on your device. This should center the map on your phone’s current location.
Once your location has been found, touch and hold your finger on your location, and the GPS coordinates of you position will appear in a popup on your screen. It couldnt’ be easier! The easy availability and wise use of Google Maps means that it really is the best way to go, but if you prefer a non-Google approach, there are a few other apps out there.
GPS Coordinates App
Another way to find GPS coordinates on your Android device is to download the GPS Coordinates App from the Google Play store.
This ad-supported app, produced by the tech company Woozilli, working out of California, allows you to easily and precisely find your GPS coordinates and offers both Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS), and Decimal Degrees formats. The precision and variation of formats makes this app ideal for those who are working professionally in the field and need to give exacting details of a position. So whether you’re a geologist or archaeologist, or just someone geocaching for fun, anyone who requires real-time GPS coordinates will find this app a big help.
GPS Status and Toolbox
Another app to find your GPS coordinates on an Android device is the comprehensive GPS Status and Toolbox app. Marketing itself as a more serious competitor to the majority of mapping applications, this tool offers a bagful of features for those who desire detailed location information.
Some of the basic features included in this app are:
- The position and signal strength of satellites
- Accuracy of the location readings
- Your current altitude
- Magnetic and true North
The paid-for Pro account offers more options such as humidity of location and background AGPS downloading, and also removes ads for a cleaner user interface experience. While for many users the features that the GPS Status and Toolbox offers would be overkill, it is useful for sharing absolutely exact coordinates when needed. Hikers may find the Waypoint feature especially useful, allowing you to find your way back from where you came in when in difficult terrain.
This app is primarily designed in order to share your location with others, and it is easy to do so. You can share your location via SMS, email, or social messaging. The Maps Coordinates app offers the Degrees, Minutes and Seconds GPS standard, as well as the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) and the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system. You can certainly rely on Map Coordinates to give you an accurate reading as it’s map providers are Google Maps or Open Street Maps. A handy compass is also included to use if you decide to use the stars to guide you.
Map Coordinates could do with a few more features to make it come alive but that’s as far as the complaints go. It’s a solid, if not outstanding, way to find your GPS coordinates on an Android device.