What Are Precise and Approximate Locations on Android Device – Guide

Works on the best Android phones an entry level phone, or anything in between. It relies on changes made to the operating system to only allow location tracking when an app is open and running, or to grant permission only once and be prompted the next time the app is opened. These changes are great for user privacy and have been coming for a long time. There is a bit of confusion about how this will work. Well, if an app is built with Android 12 in mind (Google calls this “targeted for Android 12”), then the developer needs to include support for approximate location (which is the approximate location in the settings) and precise location if the app have a legitimate need for exact location. The app should work if the user chooses to only allow approximate location. If the app was created for an earlier version of Android, users can still access the apps section of their phone settings and only grant coarse location permission. Developers should try to make sure this doesn’t break anything, but we all know how this is going to work. Anyway, if you have one phone running Android 12, you can decide which apps are allowed to extract this precise location data. That’s genius.

accurate vs. Approximate

The difference between “precise” and “approximately” is pretty self-explanatory. It’s essentially the difference between giving someone your address and telling them the city you live in. The “precise” location uses your phone’s – most commonly GPS – to determine your precise location. At best, it can figure out exactly where you are on the gauge. “Rough” location uses Wi-Fi and cellular data to locate you within a 100 meter radius. Technically, this was always an option on Android, but it was a system-wide option. This meant sacrificing functionality for apps that legitimately need your precise location to restrict all apps. Starting with Android 12, individual apps offer the option.

Final note

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