How to Find Your Altitude Using Android Smartphone

Last weekend, I ended up mingling with some of the craziest people in the world and joined them for an afternoon of cliff diving. We all climbed up a high cliff and started to jump into the calm lake below one by one. It was scary at first, but I enjoyed it so much in the end. When I was standing on the top of the cliff, I thought about how high I am from the ground. I soon figured out that actually the small GPS device inside your Android smartphone can tell you your altitude using the data received from the GPS satellites.

Your altitude is your height from the ground. For various reasons you may want to know how much high above the ground you are. In order to find this information, you can use a third party app called GPS Test. This app fetches information from GPS satellites like your latitude, longitude, time, speed and the altitude.

GPS Test to find Altitude in Android

After installing the GPS Test app in your Android phone, you should enable the Location in the Android settings and change its setting to High Accuracy. Now you can launch the GPS Test app and wait for it to connect to the GPS satellites. You must have a clear view of the sky for better accuracy. When the GPS Status turns into 3D Fix, you can touch the numeral 0 at the bottom to open the screen where it will display you the altitude in feet.

Conclusion: Finding the your altitude does not requires any specialized or costly GPS device. You can use your Android smartphone to fetch all the GPS information including the altitude in terms of feet.

You can get the GPS Test for Android from

One comment

  1. I think the comment above that says “Your altitude is your height from the ground” is incorrect. If you look at the comments at google play for this app, people say they use it to see how high up they are when they are mountain climbing. But when they are mountain climbing, they are ON the ground! If this showed only their “height from the ground”, it would say something like 5 or 6 feet! So it should really say something like “Your altitude is your height above sea level”, if that is correct. You should probably check with the folks who make the app, or someone in the government who publishes altitudes (or maybe more correctly “elevations”?) to see what this is actually measuring. It says “Altitude” on the device screen, so I assume that is what they mean. In an aircraft, altitude DOES measure your height above the ground. Actually, one way an aircraft altitude display knows how far down to the ground comes from a comparison of the static pressure sensor in the aircraft with the static pressure at the airport from which it took off. The pilot adjusts the static pressure reading by entering the altitude at the airport before he/she goes to the runway.

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