[Answered] How Accurate Is Location Sharing?

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Location sharing is an interesting feature to many androids and iPhone users. It is an important feature too.

You may be finding your lost phone, or sharing your location with your friends while traveling for safety, as you are depending on the location, it needs to be accurate. Now the question is whether the shared location you see is totally accurate or not.

Well, you will get the answer by the end of this article as we discussed everything on the accuracy of location sharing on both devices: android and iPhone.

How Accurate Is Location Sharing

How Location Is Determined?

To know whether the shared location is accurate or not, you need to know how the location is determined at first.

You may be thinking that location is determined by the GPS only. But if it is true, then why is this still possible to find the lost phone which is switched off? That means GPS isn’t the only thing that is used to share the location.

Here are the factors that are used in location sharing.

1. GPS

The first and most effective method to share location is using GPS. It provides the most accurate location of the device as it uses satellites in the sky that are moving around the world constantly.

However, the GPS signal can be affected by the weather, trees, roof, and other obstacles. But if the signal is good, then the approximate location will be under 15-20 feet.

2. Cellular Towers

Another way to determine location is the cellular towers. When your phone is inside the range of a cellular tower, it measures the distance between the device and the tower and determines the location of the device. However, it is not as accurate as GPS but it can show location within 150 to 300 meters.

3. Wi-Fi Mapping

Wi-Fi mapping is another way to determine location. The Wi-Fi network determines the location as the same process the cellular tower use. But the difference is that it determines the network with the help of GPS. That’s why it more accurately shares location than GPS.

It works even though you are not or never connected to the Wi-Fi router.

How Accurate Is Location Sharing: Apple Maps vs Google Map?

The most popular systems to share locations are Apple maps and Google maps. Now let’s see which one is share location more accurately between them.

Apple Map

Location sharing using Share My Location is pretty accurate on iPhones within 15-20 feet. However, the accuracy is varied to the strength of the network. If you are under a heavy structure then your GPS or Wi-Fi mapping may not work properly and your location will not be accurate.

Google Map

The shared location using google Maps is usually accurate under the range of 3 meters to 10 feet. It also determines location using the same technology as Apple maps. The location accuracy decreases in the same way due to weather or weak signal.

Google map uses your phone’s IP address and uses GPS with Wi-Fi identifiers to determine the location. Also, the street view can help you find your friend by showing a camera view of the streets which takes it to another level.

This is the reason google map is much more accurate than iPhone.

Can Shared Location Be Wrong?

Apple does not allow users to fake their location or customize their location. So, the location shared via iPhone cannot be wrong. But the scenario in android is different.

As android can be customized using Android’s Developer tools, anyone can fake their location on an android phone. There is also any GPS spoofing app that helps users to customize their location.

So, you cannot tell if the shared location is accurate if it is shared via android phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sharing Your Location Always Accurate?

The answer is – it depends. The accuracy of shared location depends on the GPS and network. So, if the strength of the network is good, then you can see the accurate location of the person who shared his location with you.

However, Android users can easily fake their location using third-party apps. In that case, the location may not be accurate. But normally, it is accurate within the range of 15-30 feet.

How Accurate Is Location Tracking?

Location tracking uses GPS, Cellular towers, and Wi-Fi signals to track a device. So, it shows the location pretty accurately when the device is under the open sky or near the cellular tower or Wi-Fi range.

But if the device is far away from the cellular tower or Wi-Fi range such as under a tunnel, then you may not see the accurate location of that device.

Does Sharing My Location Show the Exact Location?

The location that you see of your friend on the map is a blue dot with a bigger circle. The outer circle determines whether the device is within the range of the circle. So, when the circle is big, it is hard to determine the accurate location.

If you see no outer circle only the blue dot, then it is the exact location of your friend.

How Do I Stop Sharing My Location Without Telling Them?

If you stop sharing your location from the map, then the people you were sharing your location with will see that you stopped sharing your location. Now, if you want to stop sharing your location without knowing them, you can do it simply by the following step:

  • Slide your notification bar down.
  • Tap on the location icon to turn it off.


  • Go to settings > location and turn it off.

How often does someone’s location update on iPhone?

As the GPS and the device that shares their location are moving constantly, the location need update after a certain time. On iPhones, it updates the shared location after every 15 minutes. It constantly occurs once in every 15 minutes even if the device doesn’t move an inch.


To conclude, a shared location is extremely accurate within 15 to 20 feet of the actual device. However, many factors that are mentioned above, can affect the accuracy of the location.

We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful. Please tell us in the comment section about your confusion or if you have any further questions. Thanks for reading and all the best.

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