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android privacy & location services

For Android 5.0+ mobile devices

Giving Google access to a mobile device’s location has a lot of benefits:

  • Find a stolen or lost phone

  • Find out where the device recently traveled

  • Receive suggestions for stuff that’s nearby

  • Maps & directions
     

It’s very simple to disable location tracking on an Android device:

  • First, open the App Drawer and launch “Google Settings”.

  • In the Google Settings app select “Location” to get to Android’s location settings (also accessible via Settings > Location).

  • This screen highlights the apps that have recently accessed your location data.
     

To disable location tracking on an Android device to save battery life, change the “Mode” to “Battery saving”, which will disable GPS, and only use Wi-Fi and mobile networks to determine the device’s location.
 

To completely disable location services on Android, select the On/Off switch in the top-right corner of the screen.
 

In addition to communicating with third-party apps, Google also collects Android mobile device location data and stores it on the company’s servers. To disable and to not allow Google to collect and store location data from Android mobile devices, open the Google Location Reporting settings and disable “Location Reporting” and “Location History” on the Android device.
 

Turning off all these location services has both pros and cons, and it’s only up to the end user to decide to make use of Google’s and other apps’ location-based features and the convenience they offer.
 

To summarize: This is how to disable location services on Android 5.0+:

  1. Go to your Settings

  2. Select “Location”

  3. Flip the switch to the “Off” position

  4. If you just want to save battery, just change the Location Mode to “Battery Saving”

  5. Go to Google Location reporting

  6. Disable Location Reporting and Location History

 

Read more about privacy and location services for Android 5.0+ devices in Trendblog's article.