Skip to content

Most visited

Recently visited

navigation

Detecting Location on Android Wear

In this document

  1. Connect to Google Play Services
  2. Request Location Updates
  3. Detect On-Board GPS
  4. Handle Disconnection Events
  5. Handle Location Not Found
  6. Synchronize Data

Dependencies and prerequisites

  • Android 4.3 (API Level 18) or higher on the handset device
  • Google Play services 6.1 or higher
  • An Android Wear device

See also

Location awareness on wearable devices enables you to create apps that give users a better understanding of their geographic position, movement and what's around them. With the small form factor and glanceable nature of a wearable device, you can build low-friction apps that record and respond to location data.

Some wearable devices include a GPS sensor that can retrieve location data without another tethered device. However, when you request location data in a wearable app, you don't have to worry about where the location data originates; the system retrieves the location updates using the most power-efficient method. Your app should be able to handle loss of location data, in case the wear device loses connection with its paired device and does not have a built-in GPS sensor.

This document shows you how to check for on-device location sensors, receive location data, and monitor tethered data connections.

Note: The article assumes that you know how to use the Google Play services API to retrieve location data. For more information, see Making Your App Location-Aware.

Connect to Google Play Services

Location data on wearable devices is obtained though the Google Play services location APIs. You use the FusedLocationProviderApi and its accompanying classes to obtain this data. To access location services, create an instance of GoogleApiClient, which is the main entry point for any of the Google Play services APIs.

Caution: Do not use the existing Location APIs in the Android framework. The best practice for retrieving location updates is through the Google Play services API as outlined in this article.

To connect to Google Play services, configure your app to create an instance of GoogleApiClient:

  1. Create an activity that specifies an implementation for the interfaces ConnectionCallbacks, OnConnectionFailedListener, and LocationListener.
  2. In your activity's onCreate() method, create an instance of GoogleApiClient and add the Location service.
  3. To gracefully manage the lifecycle of the connection, call connect() in the onResume() method and disconnect() in the onPause() method.

The following code example shows an implementation of an activity that implements the LocationListener interface:

public class WearableMainActivity extends Activity implements
    GoogleApiClient.ConnectionCallbacks,
    GoogleApiClient.OnConnectionFailedListener,
    LocationListener {

    private GoogleApiClient mGoogleApiClient;
    ...

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);

        ...
        mGoogleApiClient = new GoogleApiClient.Builder(this)
                .addApi(LocationServices.API)
                .addApi(Wearable.API)  // used for data layer API
                .addConnectionCallbacks(this)
                .addOnConnectionFailedListener(this)
                .build();
    }

    @Override
    protected void onResume() {
        super.onResume();
        mGoogleApiClient.connect();
        ...
    }

    @Override
    protected void onPause() {
        super.onPause();
        ...
        mGoogleApiClient.disconnect();
    }
}

For more information on connecting to Google Play services, see Accessing Google APIs.

Request Location Updates

After your app has connected to the Google Play services API, it is ready to start receiving location updates. When the system invokes the onConnected() callback for your client, you build the location data request as follows:

  1. Create a LocationRequest object and set any options using methods like setPriority().
  2. Request location updates using requestLocationUpdates().
  3. Remove location updates using removeLocationUpdates() in the onPause() method.

The following example shows how to retrieve and remove location updates:

@Override
public void onConnected(Bundle bundle) {
    LocationRequest locationRequest = LocationRequest.create()
            .setPriority(LocationRequest.PRIORITY_HIGH_ACCURACY)
            .setInterval(UPDATE_INTERVAL_MS)
            .setFastestInterval(FASTEST_INTERVAL_MS);

    LocationServices.FusedLocationApi
            .requestLocationUpdates(mGoogleApiClient, locationRequest, this)
            .setResultCallback(new ResultCallback() {

                @Override
                public void onResult(Status status) {
                    if (status.getStatus().isSuccess()) {
                        if (Log.isLoggable(TAG, Log.DEBUG)) {
                            Log.d(TAG, "Successfully requested location updates");
                        }
                    } else {
                        Log.e(TAG,
                                "Failed in requesting location updates, "
                                        + "status code: "
                                        + status.getStatusCode()
                                        + ", message: "
                                        + status.getStatusMessage());
                    }
                }
            });
}

@Override
protected void onPause() {
    super.onPause();
    if (mGoogleApiClient.isConnected()) {
        LocationServices.FusedLocationApi
             .removeLocationUpdates(mGoogleApiClient, this);
    }
    mGoogleApiClient.disconnect();
}

@Override
public void onConnectionSuspended(int i) {
    if (Log.isLoggable(TAG, Log.DEBUG)) {
        Log.d(TAG, "connection to location client suspended");
    }
}

Now that you have enabled location updates, the system calls the onLocationChanged() method with the updated location at the interval specified in setInterval()

Detect On-Board GPS

Not all wearables have a GPS sensor. If your user goes out for a run and leaves their phone at home, your wearable app cannot receive location data through a tethered connection. If the wearable device does not have a sensor, you should detect this situation and warn the user that location functionality is not available.

To determine whether your Android Wear device has a built-in GPS sensor, use the hasSystemFeature() method. The following code detects whether the device has built-in GPS when you start an activity:


protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);

    setContentView(R.layout.main_activity);
    if (!hasGps()) {
        Log.d(TAG, "This hardware doesn't have GPS.");
        // Fall back to functionality that does not use location or
        // warn the user that location function is not available.
    }

    ...
}

private boolean hasGps() {
    return getPackageManager().hasSystemFeature(PackageManager.FEATURE_LOCATION_GPS);
}

Handle Disconnection Events

Wearable devices relying on a tethered connection for location data may lose their connections abruptly. If your wearable app expects a constant stream of data, you must handle the disconnection based upon where that data is interrupted or unavailable. On a wearable device with no onboard GPS sensor, loss of location data occurs when the device loses its tethered data connection.

In cases where your app depends on a tethered data connection for location data and the wear device does not have a GPS sensor, you should detect the loss of that connection, warn the user, and gracefully degrade the functionality of your app.

To detect the loss of a tethered data connection:

  1. Extend a WearableListenerService that lets you listen for important data layer events.
  2. Declare an intent filter in your Android manifest to notify the system about your WearableListenerService. This filter allows the system to bind your service as needed.
    <service android:name=".NodeListenerService">
        <intent-filter>
            <action android:name="com.google.android.gms.wearable.BIND_LISTENER" />
        </intent-filter>
    </service>
    
  3. Implement the onPeerDisconnected() method and handle cases of whether or not the device has built-in GPS.
    public class NodeListenerService extends WearableListenerService {
    
        private static final String TAG = "NodeListenerService";
    
        @Override
        public void onPeerDisconnected(Node peer) {
            Log.d(TAG, "You have been disconnected.");
            if(!hasGPS()) {
                // Notify user to bring tethered handset
                // Fall back to functionality that does not use location
            }
        }
        ...
    }
    
For more information, read the Listen for Data Layer Events guide.

Handle Location Not Found

When the GPS signal is lost, you can still retrieve the last known location using getLastLocation(). This method can be helpful in situations where you are unable to get a GPS fix, or when your wearable doesn't have built-in GPS and loses its connection with the phone.

The following code uses getLastLocation() to retrieve the last known location if available:

Location location = LocationServices.FusedLocationApi
                .getLastLocation(mGoogleApiClient);

Synchronize Data

If your wearable app records data using the built-in GPS, you may want to synchronize the location data with the handset. With the LocationListener, you implement the onLocationChanged() method to detect and record the location as it changes.

The following code for wearable apps detects when the location changes and uses the data layer API to store the data for later retrieval by your phone app:

@Override
public void onLocationChanged(Location location) {
    ...
    addLocationEntry(location.getLatitude(), location.getLongitude());

}

private void addLocationEntry(double latitude, double longitude) {
    if (!mSaveGpsLocation || !mGoogleApiClient.isConnected()) {
        return;
    }

    mCalendar.setTimeInMillis(System.currentTimeMillis());

    // Set the path of the data map
    String path = Constants.PATH + "/" + mCalendar.getTimeInMillis();
    PutDataMapRequest putDataMapRequest = PutDataMapRequest.create(path);

    // Set the location values in the data map
    putDataMapRequest.getDataMap()
            .putDouble(Constants.KEY_LATITUDE, latitude);
    putDataMapRequest.getDataMap()
            .putDouble(Constants.KEY_LONGITUDE, longitude);
    putDataMapRequest.getDataMap()
            .putLong(Constants.KEY_TIME, mCalendar.getTimeInMillis());

    // Prepare the data map for the request
    PutDataRequest request = putDataMapRequest.asPutDataRequest();

    // Request the system to create the data item
    Wearable.DataApi.putDataItem(mGoogleApiClient, request)
            .setResultCallback(new ResultCallback() {
                @Override
                public void onResult(DataApi.DataItemResult dataItemResult) {
                    if (!dataItemResult.getStatus().isSuccess()) {
                        Log.e(TAG, "Failed to set the data, "
                                + "status: " + dataItemResult.getStatus()
                                .getStatusCode());
                    }
                }
            });
}

For more information on how to use the Data Layer API, see the Sending and Syncing Data guide.

This site uses cookies to store your preferences for site-specific language and display options.

Hooray!

This class requires API level or higher

This doc is hidden because your selected API level for the documentation is . You can change the documentation API level with the selector above the left navigation.

For more information about specifying the API level your app requires, read Supporting Different Platform Versions.

Take a one-minute survey?
Help us improve Android tools and documentation.