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GPS-time in Android

Posted by: admin May 14, 2020 Leave a comment


I’m looking for a way to display GPS-time in my app.
What is the easiest way to do this?

(It has to be GPS-time due to slight time differences between gps time and internal system time)


How to&Answers:

Whenever you receive a fix from the GPS, the method onLocationChanged is called. The parameter to this method is an instance of Location. One of the methods of this parameter is getTime which will give you what you are looking for. That is if I got right what you are looking for. Read more here


Getting the GPS time can be rather confusing! To extend discussions in accepted answer, getTime() in onLocationChanged() callback gives different answers depending on how the location
(not necessarily GPS) information is retrieved, (based on Nexus 5 testing):

(a) If using Google FusedLocationProviderApi (Google Location Services API) then getProvider() will return ‘fused’ and getTime() will return devices time (System.currentTimeMillis())

(b) If using Android LocationManager (Android Location API), then, depending on the phone’s ‘location’ settings and requestLocationUpdates settings (LocationManager.NETWORK_PROVIDER and/or LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER), getProvider() will return:

  • Either ‘network’, in which case getTime() will return the devices time (System.currentTimeMillis()).
  • Or, ‘gps’, in which case getTime will return the GPS (satellite) time.

Essentially: ‘fused’ uses GPS & Wi-Fi/Network, ‘network’ uses Wi-Fi/Network, ‘gps’ uses GPS.

Thus, to obtain GPS time, use the Android LocationManager with requestLocationUpdates set to LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER. (Note in this case the getTime() milliseconds part is always 000)

Here is an example using Android LocationManager (Android Location API):

public void InitialiseLocationListener(android.content.Context context) {

    android.location.LocationManager locationManager = (android.location.LocationManager)

    android.location.LocationListener locationListener = new android.location.LocationListener() {

        public void onLocationChanged(android.location.Location location) {

            String time = new java.text.SimpleDateFormat("dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm:ss.SSS").format(location.getTime());

            if( location.getProvider().equals(android.location.LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER))
                android.util.Log.d("Location", "Time GPS: " + time); // This is what we want!
                android.util.Log.d("Location", "Time Device (" + location.getProvider() + "): " + time);

        public void onStatusChanged(String provider, int status, android.os.Bundle extras) {
        public void onProviderEnabled(String provider) {
        public void onProviderDisabled(String provider) {

    if (android.support.v4.content.ContextCompat.checkSelfPermission(context,
            android.Manifest.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION) != android.content.pm.PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {
        android.util.Log.d("Location", "Incorrect 'uses-permission', requires 'ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION'");

    locationManager.requestLocationUpdates(android.location.LocationManager.NETWORK_PROVIDER, 1000, 0, locationListener);
    locationManager.requestLocationUpdates(android.location.LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER, 1000, 0, locationListener);
    // Note: To Stop listening use: locationManager.removeUpdates(locationListener)