How to use GPS in a Smartwatch & How to Enable GPS

In this modern era, wearing smartwatches is a common thing. The smartwatch has different functions and plays a significant role in our lives. Similarly, the GPS (Global Positioning System) also makes the smartwatch smarter. GPS technology enables us to detect our exact location on Earth. It is beneficial when you have to track your outdoor fitness, navigate yourself while riding or walking, for location sharing, and many more. This article is about how to use GPS in a smartwatch and how to enable GPS in a smartwatch, and it will give you a complete, well-researched guide based on my, my friend’s, and my relative’s experiences.

How To Use GPS In A Smartwatch?

1. Compatibility:

First, you have to check whether your smartwatch supports the GPS feature or not. You can simply check from your smartwatch guide that comes with the box. If yes, then go ahead.

2. Access settings:

Go to the smartwatch settings by clicking on the settings icon, or you may need to swipe down from the top of the screen, depending on the smartwatch’s interface.

3. Find a location or GPS setting:

Scroll to find the location or GPS setting.

4. Enable GPS:

You’ll see the on and off toggle; you can simply turn it on.

5. Permission:

Some smartwatches may need permission for apps to access your location.

6. Connect to a Smartphone (if needed):

As I talked about, some smartwatches need Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity to utilize GPS.

7. Update firmware or apps (if needed):

You may need to be up to date with firmware updates or updates of GPS-related apps. Check for updates and install them. By following all of these given steps, you will understand how to use GPS in a smartwatch.

How to Check if Your Smartwatch Supports GPS

Simply open GPS-related apps and check GPS availability, such as Maps or Fitness Tracking Apps. Check your location to see if it is displaying accurately or not. If you are thinking about how to use Google Maps on a smartwatch, just go and download Google Maps from the Google Play Store, as you would on your phone. And manual guide is another option to check availability.

Technology Used Behind Smartwatch GPS

Technology Used Behind Smartwatch GPS

1. How Does GPS Work In A Smartwatch?

Well, there are 24 satellites responsible for detecting your actual position, and at least 4 satellites are enough to detect your smartwatch coordinates on Earth. So, a particular smartwatch receives signals from them, and every brand uses its algorithm to use the data received and show you the result in the form of your exact location. 

2. Gps Vs. Other Location Technologies In Smartwatches

There are several Global Navigational Satellite Systems like GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou, but the most famous is GPS because of its accuracy and some other factors.

3. Built-in GPS And Connected GPS In Smartwatches

There are two types of GPS smartwatches available in the market. The first is the built-in GPS in the smartwatch, which means technology that already fits in a smartwatch, of course! It costs more than a simple smartwatch. It means you don’t need your mobile phone to use GPS. These smartwatches are mobile-independent, but built-in GPS smartwatches consume more battery than a simple smartwatch. The second type is connected to GPS in smartwatches. These smartwatches rely on mobile phones, as they utilize mobile GPS through Bluetooth connectivity with the phone. 

4. Understanding GPS Accuracy In Smartwatches

Several factors are responsible for affecting the accuracy of smartwatches, like weather conditions, and your location on Earth. Sometimes you are under a covered area where satellite signals do not reach easily, and the most common factor is different brands of smartwatches may show you different results. Every smartwatch brand uses its algorithms or different functionalities behind the GPS feature. 

Privacy And Security Considerations On Smartwatches

GPS is used for tracking your location and activities, but using every technology raises the consideration of privacy and security. You must be aware of any kind of advantages and disadvantages.

i. App Permission:

Check your permissions for the app you have installed, like storage, camera location, and so on. When you feel that there is no need for permission for this particular app, you can simply turn it off. Otherwise, the app owner has access to your current location.

ii. Geotagging:

When you share your content, which may include geotags of your exact location with others, be assured that your location can be shared publicly. And there are many things to consider. It can be discussed in another article about the advantages and disadvantages of GPS in smartwatches. 

8 Uses Of GPS In a Smartwatch

Is GPS useful in smartwatches? Yes Of course! Here are the following uses that will impact your lifestyle

1. Fitness Tracking:

Using GPS can monitor your outdoor activities like running, cycling, biking, etc. It shows you real-time data.

2. Navigation:

GPS-enabled smartwatches provide turn-by-turn directions while running, riding, or driving. It is a handy benefit that you can utilize without using your phone.

3. Location Sharing:

It is the most useful advantage of enabled GPS in a smartwatch that you can easily share your location with your family members or friends. It is a safety feature you should use for your child.

4. Geofencing:

You can set up virtual boundaries. This feature will alert you when you enter or leave these predefined areas. It enhances parenting control.

5. Weather Information:

Smartwatches with GPS can provide information on the weather according to your area. You can plan your day.

6. Calorie Tracking:

Some smartwatches with GPS can estimate and provide you with a result of your daily calorie burn based on your daily life activities.

7. Location-based Reminder:

You can set a reminder when you reach a particular location, such as a grocery store or your workplace.

8. Location History:

GPS-enabled smartwatches can store your location history, like where you have been at that particular time, which can be useful for personal and business-related information. 

7 Secret And Useful Tips To Use GPS In Smartwatches

1. Battery-saving mode:

Using Battery Saving Mode is a great way to enhance battery life. This feature reduces the frequency of GPS updates and other power-intensive features in your smartwatch.

2. Use GPS only when you need to:

Turn off the GPS feature when you don’t need to use GPS because when you turn on this feature aimlessly, it consumes battery.

3. Preload maps:

As you already know, you can download a specific area on your smartwatch, just as you can on your mobile phone on the Map App. You need to download the map once on your smartwatch and can utilize it until you accidentally delete the data.

4. Update software:

Keep your smartwatch software updated. Manufacturers release updated smartwatch software versions. Sometimes it helps smartwatch users by reducing the battery-consuming factor on different functionalities.

5. Charge before a GPS-intensive activity:

Ensure that your battery is fully charged before embarking on a GPS-intensive activity. As a result, you’ll get maximum battery life to work with because, in some brands, GPS features consume battery, as I informed you about.

6. Location history cleanup:

Using GPS stores the location history. When you feel that there is no need for the history of the location, you should clean this up. It enhances the smartwatch’s overall performance.

7. Use airplane mode:

When you are not using GPS and other wireless features, you can simply use airplane mode. It turns off all wireless features, and ultimately, you will get enhanced smartwatch performance.

Does GPS Work Without Being Connected To The Internet?

Wi-Fi is not necessary to use GPS. This feature works independently without relying on internet connectivity. GPS receives signals from satellites that orbit the Earth to determine your location. Wi-Fi can also be used with GPS, such as when you use maps and other GPS-related apps.

What’s Wrong With Simply Using My Phone to Use GPS instead of Smartwatch?

Well, the use of GPS in smartwatches and phones is totally up to your requirements. They both have advantages and disadvantages. If we talk about convenience, a smartwatch is easily accessible on your wrist; on the other hand, a phone takes time to take out of your pocket. 

The use of GPS in phones can drain the smartphone’s battery quickly, while a smartwatch is the best option in this case for longer GPS usage. But if you need more details, then you should use a smartphone because of its user-friendly navigation experience, and you can handle a wide range of tasks related to GPS. 

If you need accuracy, then I suggest you use a smartwatch. Smartwatches are highly effective for these kinds of features like fitness tracking, GPS, heart rate monitoring, and outdoor activities. It gives you more accuracy than phones because it has been created for this purpose. Most of the new smartwatches come waterproof, which is a plus point as compared to phones.


All right, I would like to say that the use of GPS in smartwatches and the use of GPS-related apps are present and are also the future but more advanced. Such a wearable gadget that is filled with different kinds of valuable tools in a compact device is excellent. I hope You have learned how to use GPS in a smartwatch through all aspects, and I would like to recommend that at least once, but you should use a built-in GPS smartwatch. In some of my other articles, I will tell you about the best built-in GPS smartwatches available in the market

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