Older iPhones - GPS OFF by Default?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Buadhai, Mar 24, 2018.

Tags:
  1. Buadhai macrumors newbie

    Buadhai

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2018
    Location:
    Korat, Thailand
    #1
    iPhone 6S - iOS 11.2.6

    I recently began having trouble with the Strava app on my Apple Watch. The app would Auto Pause my ride, even though I was peddling away. Strava said that the watch pairs with the phone for Location Services data (to save watch battery) and that the unwanted Auto Pause meant the the phone didn’t send GPS data. (The Strava app won’t settle for Bluetooth/WiFi/Cellular location data.)

    I bought the wonderful GPS Diagnostic app ($2.99) to explore this further. Here’s what I found:

    • When I get up in he morning the GPS receiver appears to be OFF as I have no Satellite reception at all. However, Bluetooth/WiFi/Cellular works normally so apps like Google Maps that don’t insist on GPS level accuracy work fine.
    • I can force the GPS receiver ON by opening an app that wants GPS data such as MotionX GPS, or Apple Maps in navigation mode. Once the receiver is ON, it takes up to ten minutes to download GPS satellite catalog data and establish a solid satellite connection.
    • Once the phone establishes a satellite connection, the Strava app works just fine.
    • The GPS receiver will turn OFF if no app requests GPS level accuracy for a while. (No idea how long this is.)
    • If an app subsequently requests GPS data, the GPS receiver will turn ON and establish a connection right away as it doesn’t have to download much data.
    My guess is that Apple now turns GPS OFF by default on older phones in order to conserve battery life.

    I wonder if anyone else has made similar observations or is will to make similar tests.

    Not that most users would never notice this because most apps that use Location Services are perfectly willing to use Bluetooth/WiFi/Cellular level accuracy.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Das Kid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2018
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
    I've had similar issues with GPS on my iPhone 6S after 11.2.6 update. In my case it was Google maps which could no longer function for navigation. The location wasn't accurate and wouldn't update in real time, if at all. This thread in Apple Support forums covers a lot of GPS issues.

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/33200392?ac_cid=tw123456#33200392

    It's the more recent post that's worth noting. After using "Reset all settings". i.e. General --> Reset --> Reset All settings
    Kalum seems to have 'fixed' the issue.

    I had the same experience. Also using the GPS Diagnostic app to understand what was going on. Before the reset, the GPS 'chip' either never engaged, or did so with poor reception. After the reset the GPS is responding within seconds and the signal strength is good. Google maps now works as previous to the update. I'll keep checking, but I'm hoping this has solved the issue for me.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Buadhai thread starter macrumors newbie

    Buadhai

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2018
    Location:
    Korat, Thailand
    #3
    I’m considering Reset All Settings. But, doesn’t that also Reset Network Setti gs which means you lose all saved WiFi passwords across all devices?

    I have dozens and dozens of saved WiFi passwords. I did a Reset Network Settings once in the past. It was quite a shock when I found that all my WiFi passwords were gone on both my iPhone and iPad. It took months to regather and reenter all those passwords....
     
  4. Das Kid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2018
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4

    Yes it'll reset just about everything. And that includes the wifi passwords. What it won't do is wipe the phone. So all your photos, emails and apps should be just fine. I found it took about a day to get my various settings sorted out. And I was ok with that given it appears to have fixed the GPS issue.

    Although I'll add a caveat. I've seen another user in the Apple Forums complain that the issue reoccured sometime after he did a reset.
     
  5. Buadhai thread starter macrumors newbie

    Buadhai

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2018
    Location:
    Korat, Thailand
    #5
    I was surprised at how much I lost after doing the Reset All Settings:
    • All saved WiFi passwords (dozens, in my case)
    • Wallpaper (if you have a favorite background, make sure you can find it again)
    • Credit/debit cards in Wallet
    • Accessibility settings
    • Location Services and Notification preferences
    • Touch ID Settings for the phone and all apps that use it
    Redoing all that too quite some time. If the problem recurs I’m not sure I’m willing to do that again.

    (Shamelessly copied from my post in the Apple Discussion.)
     

Share This Page