What was new technology a few days back is backdated now; the older stuff gets replaced by a more modern, and in most of the cases, by a better alternative. Amazingly, the change is so rapid! Things are getting smarter, unimaginably! As a civilian, if you look at the progress in mobile phone technology, it will make you astonished!
Once, it was a must to install a dedicated GPS on a motorcycle or car while having a trip to the unknown or distant places, now you can use your smartphone instead! The integrated GPS in your phone will navigate throughout the way smoothly. The mobile-based GPS indeed has some downsides (location-based ads will follow you, and some others), and they still can not serve you like an optimum-quality dedicated GPS, but they are getting better and popular too quickly!
Your phone, at the same time, is a navigator, a communicator, and a device with many other opportunities, which is worth it. It’s just awesome! However, GPS is one of the most excellent features in a smartphone with a similar working mechanism, regardless of the brand and operating system. But how does it work actually? Let’s get some more about it in the following discussion.
Know the GPS : How Does GPS Work on Phone
If you know the basics of GPS, it’ll be easy to understand the working procedure of a GPS on a mobile. GPS, owned by U.S Government and monitored by U.S. Airforce, stands for Global Positioning System. It was primarily inaugurated for North American utility but is widely used all over the world now. How does it work on the phone?
GPS is a radio wave-based navigation system. It uses radio waves to send signals from satellites to any receiver device at the earth, e.g., a dedicated GPS. When a mobile has a similar technology like a GPS receiver, it can act in the same way that a dedicated GPS does. Such technology integrated with the phone grabs the radio signals from satellites and shows time, location, and other available information on its screen!
All the satellites have their internal atomic clocks that send time signals as coded on a predetermined frequency. The receiver chip in your mobile catches the strongest and unobstructed signals from visible satellites. After receiving, it starts to triangulate your location and time. It works a bit slowly, and it may take around one minute to figure out your geolocation. The phone receiver has to receive signals from at least four satellites so triangulate accurately, and the fourth signal is used for determining the altitude.
Neither you need to send any data nor do any other activity to get the GPS opportunity; you only need the signal receiving technology on your phone. And, all the smartphone manufacturers use the same way and technology to keep your phone associated with GPS.
AGPS – The Alternative to GPS Used on Phone
Suppose you are out of the city for a long motorcycle drive, and all of a sudden, the mobile GPS has failed to give any location, time as it can’t receive the strongest and unobstructed signals from satellites. What if either the signal is weak for weather or obstructed by something like a skyscraper? How does your mobile can help you find your current geolocation where there is no help from GPS?
AGPS, Assisted Global Positioning System, is the technology that plays an essential role here. In such a case. AGPS uses cellular data to triangulate the geolocation of your phone. If you don’t know, a phone is used to be “pings” to cell towers. When you move through any area, the phone companies can triangulate your phone where it is by using three or more towers located close to you or passed by you. In these cases, your mobile acts like a GPS tracker that shows where it is.
Precision of your phone location tracked by AGPS depends on the signal strength (dependant on the distance between your phone and tower). Built-in or installed software on your phone provides the raw cellular data ( location mainly) to the GPS receiver of your phone that is read by the mobile companies to trace you.
GPS receivers in phone can switch between GPS and AGPS subject to the signal access and availability. They both give a closely approximate geological position in real-time. Undoubtedly, GPS is more accurate in tracking over AGPS, but for a mobile phone, AGPS is a better solution as it uses low power and provides geolocation consistently.