Since the switch over from paper maps, navigation apps like Google Maps have become our trusty companions. Apart from getting us from point A to point B, they also help figure out alternative routes, total trip time, etc. But what happens when your map keeps pointing in the wrong direction? If this happens, you might need to calibrate Google Maps to improve accuracy. Keep reading to know how.
Navigations apps use your device’s GPS services to figure out which direction you’re going in. Over time, however, your GPS might get uncalibrated and can end up showing the wrong directional data. In this case, you will need to calibrate your GPS services, which will in turn calibrate Google Maps. Let’s check out all the ways to do it on Android and iOS.
Note: Ensure your device’s location services are turned on before proceeding.
Calibrate Google Maps on iPhone
Using the iOS Settings menu, you can ensure that your device’s compass is calibrated. You can also improve GPS accuracy by turning on the precise location. Here’s how to do it.
1. Check Compass Calibration
Step 1: Open Settings.
Step 2: Now, scroll down and tap on ‘Privacy & Security’.
Step 3: Tap on Location Services.
Step 4: Here, scroll to the bottom and tap on System Services.
Step 5: Ensure the Compass Calibration toggle is turned on.
This will make sure your device’s compass is auto-calibrated at all times.
Also Read: How to use the Compass app on iPhone.
2. Enable High Accuracy Mode
Step 1: Open Settings and tap on ‘Privacy & Security’.
Step 2: Here, tap on Location Services.
Step 3: Then, scroll through the apps available and tap on Google Maps.
Step 4: For the ‘Allow Location Access’ section, select Always.
Step 5: Then, ensure the Precise Location toggle is turned on.
The Google Maps iOS app will now be able to access the precise location data at all times.
Calibrate Google Maps on Android
While it can be confusing to figure out which setting is misaligned for Google Maps to act up, you can go about checking the directional accuracy in the Google Maps mobile app itself.
If the results are less than stellar, proceed to calibrate Google Maps. And if you’re still uncertain, check to see if all the necessary settings are enabled on your device. Follow the below steps to do it.
1. Check Direction Accuracy in Google Maps
Step 1: Open Google Maps.
Open Google Maps on Android
Step 2: Tap on the search bar, type the address of your destination, and open the directions page.
Step 3: Then, tap on the locate icon.
Step 4: If you see the ‘Tilt and move your phone’ box, with Compass accuracy as a medium, move your phone at least 3 times in a figure-of-eight motion corresponding to the image shown.
Once this is done, it should change the Compass accuracy to high. If that doesn’t happen, you will need to calibrate the GPS on your Android device again. Here’s how.
2. Recalibrate GPS
Step 1: On the directions page, tap on the blue dot (your location icon).
Step 2: Tap on Calibrate from the options.
Step 3: Here, once again move your phone in a circular 8 motion at least 3-4 times.
Step 4: Stop once the Compass accuracy changes from medium to high.
This will again calibrate the compass in the Google Maps app on your Android device.
3. Enable Improved Accuracy on Android
Step 1: Open Settings and tap on Location.
Step 2: Here, first tap on Location services.
Step 3: Turn on the toggle for Wi-Fi scanning and Bluetooth scanning.
Step 4: Then, go back to the Location page.
Step 5: Here, tap on App permissions.
Step 6: From this list, tap on Maps.
Step 7: Here, select ‘Allow all the time’.
Step 8: Then, ensure the ‘Use precise location’ toggle is on.
This will give Google Maps complete access to location data while ensuring precise location data is available.
Tips for Improving Location Accuracy on Google Maps
While the abovementioned ways will help you in calibrating GPS on your Android and iOS devices, there are other ways to help improve the accuracy of Google Maps. Let’s check out a few of them.
1. Turn on Location Services
Like mentioned above, before using the Google Maps mobile app, it is imperative that location services be turned on. This will allow Google Maps to know exactly where you are, helping in setting a starting point and other directional features for your trip.
In case your location services are not working on Android and iOS, try restarting your device. Once done, turn on location services again from the quick settings menu.
2. Connect to Wi-Fi
While connecting to Wi-Fi might sound like a random way to improve location accuracy, it is anything but that. Our devices make use of nearby Wi-Fi networks and other hotspot points to try and pinpoint the device’s location. Also known as the Wi-Fi positioning system, this can help improve GPS accuracy when using Google Maps.
So, whenever you’re at home or in an area with Wi-Fi connectivity, turn on Wi-Fi and ensure your device is connected. Although, caution is advised when connecting to public Wi-Fi.
3. Turn off Low Power Mode or Battery Saver
Battery Saver on Android and Low Power Mode on iPhone are great ways to prolong battery life, especially when you don’t have immediate access to a charger or charging point. However, this can throttle other services at the cost of extending battery life.
This can also impact location and calibration services on your device. So, if you’ve issues with the Google Maps mobile app, turning off Low Power Mode or Battery Saver might help fix them and also improve your device’s location accuracy.
4. Check for Software Updates
Every software update brings about its fair share of bug fixes, security patches, and introductory new features. This also means that if you’re having issues with calibrating Google Maps, you can check if there is a software update for your Android or iOS device.
If it is available, download the update file and proceed to install it. Once your device restarts, open Google Maps and check the GPS accuracy again.
FAQs for Using Google Maps on Android and iOS
1. Can you use Google Maps offline? To use Google Maps offline, go to the search bar and type the place you wish to go to. Then, select the address from the search results. Once more options appear, go to the top right corner and tap on the three-dot icon. Here, tap on ‘Download offline map’. Then, use your fingers to select the area and tap on Download. Once the download has finished, you can then proceed to use it offline for navigation. Although, live traffic data might not be available.
2. Is it possible to view location history in Google Maps? Open the Google Maps mobile app and tap on your profile icon in the top right corner. Then, tap on Your Timeline. Use the menu options to view your location history on Google Maps accordingly. Please note that you can only access this feature if the location history is enabled for Google Maps.
Calibrate Google Maps
So, these are all the ways you can calibrate Google Maps on Android and iOS to improve GPS accuracy. Additionally, if you feel like Google Maps is no longer working for you, check our list of the best alternatives for Google Maps and shake things up a little.