GPS coordinates can be captured when collecting data using the Mobenzi mobile app. The Mobenzi app simply requests location data directly from the handset. If coordinates are returned they will be stored in the submission and uploaded.

There are many factors that influence capturing GPS coordinates. The most common include satellite and network connectivity, quality and strength of the GPS signal.

To troubleshoot GPS issues, it's recommended to check the following:

  • Location services is turned on and enabled for the Gateway app
  • Time and Date is accurate
  • Good network connectivity
  • Mobile data is turned on
  • Power Saving Mode is switched off. Power saving mode often disables some important functions like Wi-Fi and GPS 

Switching on “High Accuracy” GPS Mode

To optimize the Android GPS accuracy on your handset, you can switch on High Accuracy which makes use of Device GPS, Wi-Fi and Mobile Network to get the highest accuracy of the location. Switch modes by following these steps on your handset: 
  • Navigate to Settings
  • Select Location
  • Select Location mode
  • You will find the following options: Device only, Battery saving and High accuracy. Select High Accuracy.

GPS signal strength

To test and improve GPS accuracy of the handset you can download a GPS diagnostic app like GPS Status & Toolbox from the play store. This will allow you to confirm that you are receiving signal from as many satellites as possible. The more satellite signal you receive, the higher your possibility and accuracy of capturing coordinates (e.g. in the image below, signal from only 3 out of 20 satellites are being received). Information on using this app can be found in the GPS Status & Toolbox User Guide.

Refresh GPS Data

There could be instances when the Android device's GPS might get stuck on some of the GPS satellites even when they are not in range anymore. You can refresh and clear the GPS data on your handset as follow:

  • Open the diagnostic app, tap anywhere on the screen and open the menu from the top left corner. 
  • Tap Manage A-GPS State
  • Select Reset to clear the GPS data.
  • Return to Manage A-GPS State and select Download

By doing this, the GPS data gets refreshed to ensure optimized GPS signal strength. 

More tips

If you are still experiencing poor GPS signal strength, it could be due to the hardware or software of the handset. If your handset is unable to connect to any of the satellites, then there is a chance that the handset is either facing a problem because of an obstruction or the hardware of your device is not functioning properly. 

You might want to try one of these options:

  • Update to the latest version of Android. Every update brings fixes for possible problems and it is advised to keep your handset up to date with the latest version.
  • Restart your handset to refresh your settings.
  • Invest in an external GPS Receiver.
  • ActiveGPS can be downloaded from the play store. It runs in the background which keeps your GPS signal active all the time. This can use a lot of battery so it's recommended to use with care.
  • Consider taking your handset to a technician who can check the hardware of the handset.