How to Turn on Amazon Fire Tablet Location Services

Amazon’s Fire range of tablets have come a long way from their start as a glorified e-book reader. These days they’re fully fledged smart tablets in their own right. And as far as their market share is concerned, they seem to be going from strength to strength. They’re user friendly and have access to loads of Amazon-centric apps and services that enable you to enjoy all of your media wherever you are.

How to Turn on Amazon Fire Tablet Location Services

One of the things synonymous with smart devices these days is GPS location tracking. However, because the Fire series of tablets are relatively midrange products compared to something like an iPad, they don’t actually come fitted with a GPS chip. That means that they’re limited to Wi-Fi positioning only, which is less versatile but still pretty handy, especially in cities.

How Does Wi-Fi Positioning Work?

When a device that has both a GPS chip and a Wi-Fi connection joins a network, data can be sent to the company tracking the GPS. They will then know where in the world the Wi-Fi network is, and this information is recorded for future use.

If someone later connects to that network using a device with a poor or non-existent GPS signal, then their approximate location can still be determined using this data. If there’s more than one Wi-Fi network in the area that has had a GPS location associated with it, then these can be used to triangulate your position more accurately.

That’s why Wi-Fi location services are much more effective in more built-up areas, as there’s usually a wealth of GPS and Wi-Fi data for the companies to access. It can still work, even if there’s only one network in your area, if you live out in the sticks, for instance, but the positioning will be less accurate.

amazon fire

How to Turn on Location Services on Your Fire Tablet

Because the Amazon Fire tablets don’t yet come with a GPS tracking chip, you’ll have to rely on the slightly less accurate Wi-Fi tracking described above. The first thing you’ll need to do is to make sure that your tablet is connected to a wireless network, and that it’s not in airplane mode (which turns off all signal sending and receiving capabilities on the device).

Here’s how to turn on your Wi-Fi:

  1. Turn on or wake your tablet and go to the home screen.
  2. Swipe down the quick action panel from the top of the screen.
  3. Tap on the Wi-Fi option.
  4. Tap the switch next to Wi-Fi to turn it on.
  5. Tap on the network that you want to connect to.
  6. If it’s the first time connecting, then you’ll probably need to enter a password. Enter the password, then tap on Connect.

To make sure that it’s not in airplane mode, check the notification bar at the top of your tablet’s screen. If there’s a little icon of a plane there, then airplane mode is on. If there’s no plane, then you’re fine. If it’s there, then you’ll need to repeat the actions above up to step 3, and to tap on the Airplane mode toggle to ensure that it says Off.

Next, you should make sure that the locations services option is correctly switched on. Here are the steps that you’ll need to take:

  1. Go to your tablet’s home screen.
  2. Swipe down the quick action panel from the top of the screen.
  3. Tap on the cog shaped Settings menu option.
  4. Tap on Location-based Services.
  5. Tap on the toggle so that it says On.

Once you’ve followed all of these steps, your Amazon Fire tablet should now be able to use Wi-Fi positioning on any networks that have previously had a device with a GPS chip connected to it. Which, let’s face it, is probably almost every single Wi-Fi network out there.


New Tablet, Where Dis?

Until Amazon decide to start adding GPS tracking chips to their Fire tablets, then Wi-Fi positioning is the best you can manage without going the extra mile and connecting your tablet to something like a GPS dongle. If you’ve found any other smart solutions to getting a more accurate fix on a Fire tablet, why not let us know in the comments section below?

10 thoughts on “How to Turn on Amazon Fire Tablet Location Services”

Brian Brocklehurst says:
Information useless
Ray says:
Why have an App in the store, in this case My Route Planner Travel Assistant & Free GPS…, if the Fire doesn’t have GPS? It doesn’t make any sense.
Pat Chastain says:
Tether didn’t work.
Pat Chastain says:
I tried to get GPS to work by using the Tether did not work.
Billy Barnum says:
You can’t actually turn on location services, no matter how hard you try. Even tier 1 Amazon tech support couldn’t do it. This problem has been around since gen 7 (2+ YEARS!), and I just returned the gen 9 tablet two days ago for the same reason.

The GPS spoofer solution didn’t fix the problem, either. At least not for me, and side-loaded a couple of them. Thanks for the idea though, Derek. It was worth a try.

I love the Kindles but without the ability to get weather info, use Hulu or other apps that require a location, I’ll just have to wait for a solution.

If I find a fix or workaround I’ll post it here. If techjunkie would stay on this issue I’d be grateful. There must be a lot of people with Kindles who would like a fix, non?

Richard Green says:
I bought an amazon fire a few years ago. I often like to use location services, both while driving and hill-walking. Although I was disappointed to learn there was no GPS service (I had thought all tablets had that feature), still, the Fire was a great bargain so I kept it and after about 4 years it’s still inconstant use around the house
James Onion says:
Sideload google play store and download a gps app
Derek says:
First, sideload Google Play onto the tablet (which can be done safely without rooting the device), so that Android apps can be downloaded and used. Then download an app called GPS Tether to both your Fire Tablet and your Android phone. You will set up your Android phone to be the host (or sender), and your tablet will be the receiver. Then you simply use an OTG cable and USB cable to go from the phone to the tablet, or connect via Bluetooth. Then follow the instructions in the app to transmit the location information to your tablet.

Why would you want to do this if you have a phone with actual GPS tracking, and why wouldn’t you just use your phone to do what you want to do on your tablet? There may be apps that are better suited to use on a tablet than on a phone. For instance, one of the main reasons I bought my Fire Tablet was to use in conjunction with my DSLR camera. There are apps that I use for calculating my shots that prove much more helpful if I have a precise location, but the trick is that I might not be in an area that has any kind of Wi-Fi signal, so grabbing GPS information from my phone is a tremendous help.

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