Recently I noticed the location icon sporadically appearing on my Galaxy Note 4 phone for no apparent reason. Something was pinging location. This has a double-whammy on battery: using the GPS (or attempting to without a clear sky), and waking up the phone from sleep. The battery usage screen showed Google Play services as a primary consumer.
The fix took a while to find but it was simple: Google Location History. This is an Android service that periodically checks and logs your location. Google uses this to improve various services like search and maps.
I don’t care about this. Search results and maps work just fine, well enough for me, without having my location history. And I don’t use Google Now. And I don’t like the idea of my phone constantly tracking my location.
Here’s how to disable this, which noticeably extended my battery life:
- Go to Settings / Location.
- Scroll down to the Location Services section.
- Tap Google Location History
- Tap the slider in the upper right hand of the screen to turn it off.