The Wi-Fi capability is one of the greatest features of a smartphone. Today with high speed cable internet there is no reason not to use the map features of a Smartphone to seek out places and traverse in new locations. But there are certain limitations of using a Wi-Fi, the most common being that it drains the battery much faster. Even with many products launched around the notion that a travelling Smartphone needs constant energy, batteries often run out leaving the user stranded.However, there is a way by which one can use the Wi-Fi capabilities without the need to go online or find a hotspot. In fact turning on the Wi-Fi can improve the chances of your Smartphone (and by extension your car and you) being located automatically.
How does it happen?
The GPS location in a mobile device is already setup by all the satellite data fed into the system used by Google or Apple. Google street view or Apple maps are a few applications which have a database that gather information and feed it into the main app system.
As soon as the Wi-Fi is turned on the phone starts to actively scan for networks. It detects the network and looks up the location in the Google or Apple feed. Even if the person is in an area without Google or Apple coverage, this method works. The phone will scan for networks and triangulate its position based on the locations of the network.
There are certain limitations though to simply turning on your phone’s Wi-Fi and trying to navigate. For one it would mean you are connecting to a strange, unknown network, even for a small amount of time. However, it must be stated that public Wi-Fi’s are incredibly safe and assuring to use. Battery drain can be an issue but because the phone isn’t exchanging any data the amount used is minimal (as opposed to going online and navigating).
Many people are also concerned about the privacy issue. But simply connecting to a network without going online will cause no reason to worry. Most public places such as airports or restrooms already have public Wi-Fi and nobody’s privacy is breached whilst connected on them. Another thing to keep in mind is that this will probably not work in closed spaces, say for example you are in a building. This is because the device needs to rely on less precise location inputs when the phone is not connected to a network.
Some tips to utilize
The accuracy will depend on several factors like the place you are in (as stated above, in closed spaces this might not work) and even your phone. There are certain tips you can use such as putting the phone on a low power mode. The location setting needs to be set on “always” and there are other functions such as high accuracy mode in android devices which can be turned on. Many manufacturers have different Wi-Fi settings and options, which should be thoroughly understood and set accordingly. It is also important to update the firmware embedded in the GPS of the vehicle and that of your Smartphone
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Getting lost whilst driving can be a harrowing ordeal and this is a great method to not only not get lost but also utilize the Wi-Fi features without spending money going online. These are features known to some people but the majority of the masses are unaware. The GPS and Wi-Fi technology are some of the best examples of technology assisting man and they should be well utilized.