Motorola Ditches Google Location Services

In a recent development, Motorola has announced that it is replacing Google location services in a vast majority of its devices with Skyhook location services.

Skyhook, which is already used in Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, triangulates your location by using a large grid of WiFi hotspots. According to Motorola‘s press release, this will provide Motorola Android devices with more accurate location based services for apps such as Yelp, Foursquare and Maps.

  • jennix

    … typical corporate silo thinking. At lease i now know two manufacturers whose *crap* i don't have to look at when i go shopping.

  • Out of curiosity, how is this different from Google's service? I've never really had a problem with my G1 or N1, both of which grab a GPS signal rather quickly.

  • Hilarious….how do huge corporations get blindsided by such inaccuracy? Tell you what, there are probably 3 hotspots of sorts (McD's, etc) here in my little town of 6k people. That technology might work mediocre in a big city, but GPS is 99% of the time, wherever I am, accurate to within 3 meters. Someone sold this to Motorola, and made a lot of money…and Motorola is going to hurt a little more for it.

  • Anonymous

    I've noticed Skyhook is far more accurate than Google's Location Services. I have a MyTouch & an iPod touch and the iPod's location is always more precise. My MyTouch needs GPS enabled in order to more be accurate.

  • Anonymous

    so is this replacing GPS based services ? WTF are we supposed to use when we're driving across the country?

    • "so is this replacing GPS based services ?" NO lol. google location services is NOT gps. it is tower based, so it finds your location as a guesstimate of how close you are to a tower. most of the time this is accurate enough to help you find restaurants in your area.

  • Matt


    They are talking about Location Based Triangulation services. In android, Google has triangulation location based searching, that tries to pin point where you are by bouncing the signal off of tours in the vicinity. It's largely inaccurate for the most part, and it doesn't cost you battery life as does leaving your GPS on.

    This article does not talk about the GPS system at all, I seriously doubt that Motorola would remove Google's GPS applications, because the GPS in the phones are pretty accurate. In other words, Skyhook is better than the default Android Location based triangulation system that is is currently in place in Android.

  • Derrick

    I own a Nexus One so I am not sure, but do Motorola android phones have GPS on them??? If not, then maybe this would work better, but honestly why would a smartphone not have a GPS chip on it anymore????

  • Matt

    spelling failure… tours -> towers

  • Michael Too

    Well, I would check them out before complaining.

    Skyhook uses GPS + Wifi + Celltower location. If it gets GPS location it uses that first. Many times however (especially indoor in cities) it claims that your GPS phone won't get a lock. In these cases it tries to locate you by identifying the wi-fi signal that you are in range of. Finally, if neither is available it locates you based one the location of the cell tower you are using.

    So, it does sound like Skyhook would be better than Google since it provides an additional option, but it uses GPS as the first choice if its available.

  • As far as I can tell this just means quicker location lookup when the gps is turned off or before it gets a lock. I haven't heard yet but I assume this doesn't change any of the android API's. Skyhook specializes in fast location from wifi and cell tower triangulations. GPS is separate. GPS accuracy is only based on hardware and Skyhood is a software service.

  • Well, if you use ShopSavvy on Android you've been using SkyHook for a while.

  • thank you so much for info. great post!! i like it :p