Quick Tip: Use Bluetooth to improve location accuracy on Android Marshmallow

GPS is definitely among the most useful features of smartphones and while it can indicate your location, its accuracy depends on a number of factors. There may be times when the GPS satellite signal is weak in which case you won’t get a real-time update of your current location, especially if you’re moving fast, such as while driving.

Android is pretty good at improving GPS functionality – it relies on cell towers and WiFi access points to triangulate your location. Now, Android 6.0 comes with another way to improve GPS accuracy even more, specifically via Bluetooth.

Many of Android Marshmallow’s new features have been highlighted over and over again. This particular function may not be the most praised but it doesn’t mean it can’t be useful, especially if you often use navigation apps.

To enable it, open your phone’s Settings and tap on Location. Then tap on the three-dots icon to open the Options menu and then select Scanning.

Android Marshmallow - Location scanning

Toggle on the Bluetooth scanning option if it wasn’t already enabled.

Next, you need to check your phone is configured to make use of Bluetooth scanning. To do this go to Settings -> Location once more and select High accuracy. This is the option that uses GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi and cellular data to pinpoint your location.

Android Marshmallow - Location mode

I realize these settings are not very intuitive. If you go and turn on Bluetooth scanning, there’s nothing hinting to the other setting you need to enable and vice versa. Perhaps at some point Google will reorganize them under the same menu for easier configuration.

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