Maps & navigation
Learn how to find your location and use navigation to drive to your destination.
Positioning and location services
Learn about positioning methods, and learn how to activate location services.
About positioning methods
Your phone shows your location on the map using GPS, A-GPS, Wi-Fi, or cellular positioning.
The global positioning system (GPS) is a navigation system that uses satellites to work out where you are.
The Assisted GPS (A-GPS) network service retrieves location information using the cellular network, and assists GPS in calculating your current location.
Wi-Fi positioning improves positioning accuracy when GPS signals are not available, especially when you are indoors or between tall buildings.
You can also switch Wi-Fi and cellular positioning off in your phone settings.
With network (cell ID) based positioning, your phone locates you through the cellular system your phone is currently connected to.
A-GPS and other enhancements to GPS may require transferring small amounts of data over the cellular network. If you want to avoid data costs, for example when travelling, you can switch the mobile data connection off in your phone settings.
The availability and quality of GPS signals may be affected by your location, satellite positions, buildings, natural obstacles, weather conditions, and adjustments to GPS satellites made by the United States government. GPS signals may not be available inside buildings or underground.
Do not use GPS for precise location measurement, and never rely solely on the location information provided by GPS and cellular networks.
Depending on the available positioning methods, the accuracy of positioning may vary from a few metres to several kilometres.