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Troubleshooting GPS Issues - How to get a better GPS fix (Android)

Troubleshooting accurate GPS fix so you can accurately record your ride. 
Updated on February 1, 2023

GPS is a system that estimates location on Earth by receiving signals from a set of orbiting satellites. To achieve fast startup and high-accuracy position estimates, you should get the following:

  1. A clear view of a large portion of the sky
  2. Time to tune in to the signals from the satellites 

The keys to a GPS lock are clear access to the sky and patience. Any obstructions between the phone and the sky can adversely affect signal strength. A big tree is an obvious obstacle, but even a jersey or a backpack can cause problems for the very low-strength signals.

To improve signal acquisition time, keep the device in one place and make sure the device's data communications are enabled. This allows the phone's GPS to get hints about its approximate location. Even with a perfectly clear sky it can take a few minutes before a lock can be established in some situations.  Most Android phones made in the last couple of years have had fairly solid GPS sensors. That being said, not all GPS sensors are created equal.

Variable performance

The GPS system includes the chip in your device as well as the satellites above the Earth. So even if your device is in the same place and the same setting as before, it may behave differently from one day to the next. Typically, the device needs to receive signals from about 5 satellites to get an accurate estimate of its position. With the changing position of the satellites, changing weather patterns, and the changing nature of the Earth's outer atmosphere, there are enough parts of the GPS system outside of your direct control and observation that it is difficult to make conclusions about what specifically is causing inconsistent performance. We recommend you try repeatedly before making a judgment about the best ways to work with your device's GPS in your setting.

Steps to take when troubleshooting GPS Issues: Be Patient!

  1. Turn your phone off/on
  2. Turn GPS off/on
  3. Be sure ESR is allowed to use your location. Settings > Apps > EatSleepRIDE (ESR) > Permissions > Toggle Location ON
  4. Disable any battery saver settings. Including Power Saving Mode, Battery Management or any third party apps. Please see below for more information on your specific device
  5. Check that your location settings are set to High accuracy. Settings > Location > Set to High Accuracy
  6. Perform an "AGPS reset": Install the App GPS Status & Toolbox, then in that app, go to Menu > Tools > Manage A-GPS State > Reset

Adjusting battery saver settings on different Android phones

  • HTC: Access your phone settings > battery > power saving mode > battery optimization > select EatSleepRIDE (ESR) > don't optimize > save
  • Samsung: Access Battery settings > App Power Saving > Details > EatSleepRIDE (ESR) > Disabled
  • Huawei: Turn Energy Settings to Normal and add Strava to "Protected Apps"
  • OnePlus:  Settings > Device > Battery > Three dot overflow > EatSleepRIDE (ESR)  > Toggle ON in the Not Optimized section

Record for 10 mins to search for a signal

Try using the EatSleepRIDE app to record for 10 minutes, letting it search for signals with a wide open view of the sky, and keeping it completely immobile. If this does not produce useful location estimates, here are the steps we recommend to take next.

If you are willing to get your hands a little dirty, try running one of the free apps that presents detailed GPS operating information. “GPS Status” is a free app that can reset your GPS and download fresh A-GPS data. You should see it eventually reporting 5 or more satellites acquired, and an overall accuracy range of less than 30 meters if everything is working properly.

Disable Battery Background Optimization 

Some devices may have apps installed that disable GPS services or terminate backgrounded apps in an attempt to reduce battery usage and improve system performance.

Examples of apps in this category include "Advanced Task Killer" and "Juice Defender." Disable or adjust the settings of these apps to allow Strava to receive GPS information during long periods of background operation.

If you still can't get GPS fix, contact our support team. When sending a message to us from within the EatSleepRIDE app menu go to Me > Settings > Get Support and your device information will be included in the message automatically.

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