How GPS Works on Your Smartphone

GPS is a usual and well-known thing that everyone knows who use smartphones. Today’s review is about GPS and how it’s working on your mobile phone. Initially, the Main functionality of this is to find your location or find your smartphone’s location/position. Other than smartphones, this technology is widely used in many devices of modern cars. GPS is a technology application that operates the same way without mattering what phone you are using.

GPS Device

Who is the proprietor of the GPS?

GPS is an abbreviation.  It represents the Global Positioning System. Nowadays, GPS becomes a popular technology that is used worldwide. The USA is the real owner of this technology. Of course, it is an unbelievable fact, but the truth is, the absolute right of GPS with the American government. But the custodian of all the operations of this is US Air Force. Although, the possibility of using GPS free for anyone is the specialty of this. The initial usage of this technology reported as of February 1978.

USA Army GPS

How does it work?

It is a method of radio navigation. Basically, the interchange of radio waves between a satellite, and a receiver can be identified as the process of GPS. If it is a smartphone, GPS receiver sends the details about the location and time to the relevant software in the smartphone. But there is no such thing like acknowledging that you received data. All you need is to have an option to catch applicable information from your smartphone. In here, the smartphone must associate with at least three satellites. For this purpose, around 33 satellites are rotating in the space. By now, there are 31 satellites in orbit. These satellites have orbited above about 20,180km.

satellites in space

The accuracy of data retrieving about locations through GPS is very high. 500 – 30cm is its accuracy. But, this method of finding locations costs a lot of energy. There is an atomic clock on every satellite. In this scenario, the time-coded wave of the wave which sends to the smartphone is transmitted at a particular frequency. Smartphone searches for a satellite which can grasp data thoroughly. Satellites with interruptions will not use in this case. Interruptions mean the inability of obtaining waves. These data retrieve very slowly. Satellites use rechargeable batteries to generate enough power. It acquires a considerable amount of time and a lot of energy to send waves to a vast distance. Therefore, it may take about one minute to receive location data to your smartphone.

The smartphone’s GPS receiver discovers your location by using the information of three satellites. Technically, this means ‘Location Triangulating’. The data obtained from the 4th satellite uses to get altitude. As we specified earlier, GPS technology is not able to complete this task if there are disturbances. Now you may think if it takes a tremendous amount of energy and time, how your smartphone gets the exact location even with the obstacles. This is why there is a technology named AGPS.

triangulating
Triangulation

What is this A-GPS?

AGPS implies Assisted Global Positioning System. This method introduced to overcome the issues with GPS. Especially, if there is a necessity to update location frequently, AGPS is the best way to do this. Navigation through Google Maps is a typical example of the usage of AGPS. The cellular location uses for this navigation method. Since your carrier is continuously connected to a nearby tower (ping), your smartphone can get an idea about your location. Your telephone operator can triangulate your location when you’re in the middle of three towers. For the purpose of getting the most accurate location to your GPS receiver chip, this is done by switching between the GPS data and the cellular location. Even though it is not sending your data to the towers via your mobile phone, AGPS is doing that. Valid mobile connection and an active data connection are necessities for this.

Assisted Global Positioning System

What is better between GPS and AGPS?

At last, AGPS is the best if there are immediate and real-time updates. But the disadvantage is, AGPS requires mobile data. And also, it is not accurate as of the global positioning system. According to your experiences, you may know, if you enable google maps in very complicated and arduous areas, your location will display as a dot using GPS. Although, it is difficult to navigate with the poor mobile connection at that time. That’s because GPS doesn’t work in real-time.

Hopefully, this article will give you an intention about the difference between GPS and AGPS and how your smartphone detects your location using them.


Smartphone getting smarter day by day. Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip smartphone as its first vertically foldable display device. 

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