Fix for “GPS Provider Disabled” using Apache Cordova on Android

The Problem

I recently ran into the issue of “GPS Provider Disabled” when using Apache Cordova on Android. After reading many threads, the fix seemed to always be to set the permissions in config.xml with the following code:

<gap:plugin name="org.apache.cordova.geolocation" />
<feature name=""/>

After doing that, you would need to check Settings –> Location and make sure it is on.

If it didn’t work after that, well you were pretty much on your own…

The Resolution

After digging I found that if I include enableHighAccuracy to false, then it would use Assisted GPS rather than satellite positioning. Sure, the results may not be as high as you would like but it is better than an ugly dialog box saying “GPS Provider Disabled”.

Here is a full sample:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Device Properties Example</title>
    <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="cordova-2.5.0.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">
    // Wait for Cordova to load
    document.addEventListener("deviceready", onDeviceReady, false);
    var watchID = null;
    // Cordova is ready
    function onDeviceReady() {
        // Changed this from true to false to prevent dialog popup on Android devices.
        var options = { enableHighAccuracy: false };
        watchID = navigator.geolocation.watchPosition(onSuccess, onError, options);
    // onSuccess Geolocation
    function onSuccess(position) {
        var element = document.getElementById('geolocation');
        element.innerHTML = 'Latitude: '  + position.coords.latitude      + '<br />' +
                            'Longitude: ' + position.coords.longitude     + '<br />' +
                            '<hr />'      + element.innerHTML;
    // clear the watch that was started earlier
    function clearWatch() {
        if (watchID != null) {
            watchID = null;
    // onError Callback receives a PositionError object
    function onError(error) {
      alert('code: '    + error.code    + '\n' +
            'message: ' + error.message + '\n');
    <p id="geolocation">Watching geolocation...</p>
    <button onclick="clearWatch();">Clear Watch</button>     


I hope that helps anyone out there that is having problems with this!

Posted by: Michael Crump
Last revised: 23 Jun, 2014 11:33 PM


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