Use triangulation instead of GPS

I have to say, I will never allow Monzo to use my location in the background for as long as it is uses GPS. Your location-based security is a great idea, but GPS kills battery. GPS really isn’t suited for 24/7 use. A better alternative would be to use Wi-Fi location and triangulation, like the Dark Sky weather app does. These methods are lighter on battery. The only reason I gave Dark Sky ‘Always’ permission for location was because of this on their website:

Dark Sky uses my location in the background when notifications are turned on. Won’t this drain my battery?
No, this will not drain your battery. Dark Sky does not use GPS, which can be a big battery hog, to get your location in the background. Rather, your phone will periodically find your location via Wi-Fi and cell tower triangulation, which doesn’t have an adverse effect on battery.

Dark Sky FAQ


Poking at the Monzo app’s activity, I’ve never seen it specifically use GPS on iOS unless I’m reporting a correction to a merchant’s location. I certainly haven’t experienced Monzo draining my battery.

Monzo (on iOS at least) seems to subscribe to the very rough, periodic location updates to work out what country you’re in.

Worth noting that no app developer has exact control over what methods are used to get your location, they can only suggest to iOS how accurate they need it to be. iOS then uses whatever is available and enabled (Bluetooth, WiFi, cell towers, multiple GPS standards, external hardware such as cars plugged in over Lightning, tethered devices, caches, etc.) to get a location of that required accuracy.

Hopefully someone on the team can clarify and get the text updated to match.

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As in my original post, I specifically refer to the location-based security feature, which requires constant location.

We actually do exactly this already :slight_smile:

The key phrase for iOS is “Significant Location Change”, which is activated when switching cell towers, and not by GPS.

As a result, this feature does not drain your battery like GPS would. We regularly run power profiling as part of development, because we care a lot about battery drain too.

tl;dr We’re doing the same thing as Dark Sky :+1:

Perhaps we should add this to our FAQ? Thanks for the feedback @keirwilliams :slight_smile:


You should definitely document this somewhere. This is very good to hear!