“Allow mock locations” is a popular term among Android users who use location-centric apps and services.
As of this writing, there are many individuals across the globe who want to know about this feature.
With the “allow mock locations” feature, you can actually “mock” locations and pretend your device is located somewhere else.
The “Allow mock locations” app becomes handy, specifically when you play games like Pokémon Go. In addition to that, there can be many other instances in which you will have to mock the location.
However, there are many individuals who don’t know how to use this feature. In this article, we explain how to use “allow mock locations” on any Android device. In addition to that, we explain how to use location spoofing apps for your convenience.
What is “Allow mock locations” on an Android device?
Let’s get a clear idea about the “allow mock locations” feature before learning how to do it. Just like the name suggests, mocking a location refers to the process of changing the location of a device.
That means you manually change the location of the device to appear from a different location. You don’t physically move to that location, but you change it purposely.
Basically, “allow mock locations” is a feature that can be activated under the developer options of your Android device. To activate it, you should enable “Developer Options” first. The purpose of including this feature is an ‘innocent’ one.
It is included to allow is to testing of the Android device under different parameters. As of this writing, this feature is available only on Android devices but not on iOS devices.
What is the use of this feature?
As mentioned before, “allow mock locations” comes as a developer option. It has become a very popular and useful option among Android users. To give you a better idea, we have created a list of major uses of “allow mock locations.”
- Android users can use it to set any location on earth on the device. This is mainly used for testing purposes and to get an idea about the functioning of a given app. If you are an app developer, you can enable this feature and check how it works in different locations.
- You can use it to disguise the present location of the Android device. Then, you can download apps that are not available in your region/country. The same theory applies when it comes to accessing services that are available for some countries only.
- You can use this feature to get local updates, news, weather reports, etc. by changing the device’s location.
- This feature is specifically useful to mock locations when playing location-centric games such as Pokémon Go.
- This feature becomes particularly handy when you use localized dating apps such as Tinder. As a result, you can unlock a large number of profiles in other cities as well.
- You can use it to unlock the streaming apps and services that work based on location-specific strategies. Netflix, Spotify, Prime Video, etc., are examples of that.
How to use “Allow mock locations” and change the device’s location?
Now that we have a general idea about the basics of mock locations. Let’s learn how to use it. In fact, we will explain the default feature and a specialized location spoofing app for your reference.
Basically, your Android OS will allow you to enable the mock location. If you need to move to a different location (virtually), you should use a location spoofing app.
How to enable “Allow mock locations” on your Android device?
Pretty much all the new Android devices come with a built-in feature to activate mock locations. However, this feature can be accessed through Developer Options. So, before you access “Allow mock locations,” you should enable “Developer Options.”
In this part, we explain how to mock locations regardless of the Android device.
- As the first step, you should unlock the Android device and go to the Build Number. In most devices, it is located under the “Settings” app and “About Phone” or “About Device.” However, on some devices, it is located under “Settings” and “Software Information.”
- You will see an option called “Build Number.” Tap on that number seven times consecutively. Don’t leave a space between the taps. As a result of this, you will unlock the option called “Developer Options.” You will get a prompt once it is activated.
- You can now go to the “Settings” app once again, and there will be “Developer Options” settings. Tap on it so you can enter it. You can then toggle on the option called “Developer Options.”
- You will see a list of developer options on this device. At this stage, you will have to locate the option called “Allow mock locations.” Then, you should turn it on.
How to change the location using a location spoofing app?
As a matter of fact, the job isn’t completed just because you have enabled the “Allow mock locations” feature. To complete it, in fact, you should get the help of a third-party tool. In this case, you should use a good location spoofing tool. There are plenty of location spoofing apps that work perfectly on Android devices but be smart when picking one.
Mentioned below are the steps to follow after picking a good location spoofing app.
- Go to the Play Store of the respective device and perform a search for a location spoofing app. When you perform the search, you can concentrate on keywords like Fake GPS, location spoofer, GPS spoofer, etc.
- You will end up with various free and paid apps that help you spoof the location. Just find a good GPS app that has good user ratings and positive reviews.
- After choosing a good app based on the reviews, you can tap on the app icon. That will install the app on the corresponding Android device. If you choose a free app, you may see some ads on the interface. After all, you should tolerate that because, in return, you get their location spoofing service. If you don’t want to see any of those apps, you can simply choose a paid app. But it is good to start with a free app, so you know how it works.
- Then, you can go to “Settings” of the same device and tap on “Developer Options.” Enable the developer options if it is already disabled.
- At this step of the process, you can see a field called “Mock Location App.” You can tap on the field, and you will see the location spoofing app, which is already installed. Select the app so that it will be chosen as the default mock location app on your Android device.
- That’s basically it for now. You can now launch the aforesaid fake GPS app (the one you downloaded) on your device. Then, you can look for any location from the search bar of the app. If not, you can choose to drop the pin at any location on the map. Once the location is chosen, just tap on the “Start” or “Play” button so the process will be started. Do you want to turn off the spoof and go back to the real location? If so, just tap on the “Pause” or “Stop” button. With some apps, however, you may even have to restart the device to go back to its original location.
Also, let’s find out how to turn off the location on life360 without anyone knowing.
Mocking the location on Android models of different models
It is true that mocking the location doesn’t differ significantly from one device to another. However, with some devices, there can be slight differences in the process. For the convenience of our readers, we have listed down the methods with the leading brands in the market.
If you are using a Samsung device, its mock location feature can be found under “Debugging.” It is located under “Developer Options.” When you navigate to that path, you can see a field called “Mock Location Apps.” Tap on it and select the location spoofing app based on your preference.
When it comes to LG Android devices, accessing the “Allow mock locations” feature is very convenient. With LG devices, you will find the respective feature directly once the “Developer Options” are activated. Just activate it and choose a location-spoofing app from the list.
Pretty much all the Xiaomi devices come with an additional branded interface on top of Android. This interface is called MIUI. So, the approach is slightly different when it comes to Xiaomi. You don’t have to tap on the “Build Number.”
Instead, you should tap on the device’s MIUI version, which is located under “Settings” and “About Phone.” That will unlock the device’s “Developer Options.” After that, you can go to the settings of “Developer Options” and turn on “Allow mock locations.”
Huawei comes with an added branded layer of the interface over Android, just like Xiaomi. This is called EMUI or Emotion User Interface. To access it, go to “Settings” and “Software Information.” Then, tap on the build number seven consecutive times to activate “Developer Options.” Then, please go back to “Settings,” and “Developer Options,” and choose “Mock Location App.” Select the app of your preference then.
That’s it! Using this technique, you can change your device’s location to anywhere in the world.
Benefits of Allowing Mock Locations
- Testing and Development: Allowing mock locations facilitates thorough testing and development of location-dependent features within applications. It enables developers to simulate different scenarios and evaluate the app’s behavior across diverse geographical locations.
- Privacy Protection: By permitting mock locations, users can protect their privacy by obfuscating their actual location. This can be crucial when using certain apps or services that might compromise personal information or expose users to potential risks.
- Geolocation Spoofing: Mock locations allow users to spoof their GPS coordinates intentionally. This can be beneficial for gaming enthusiasts who want to explore virtual environments or for accessing location-restricted content in certain applications.
Risks and Concerns
While allowing mock locations can have its advantages, it also raises certain risks and concerns. These include:
- Misuse and Fraud: Mock locations can be misused for malicious purposes, such as creating fake check-ins or manipulating location-based rewards. This poses challenges for businesses and service providers relying on accurate location data.
- Security Vulnerabilities: Allowing mock locations may introduce security vulnerabilities in certain applications. Malicious users can exploit this feature to deceive and manipulate the app’s functionality.
- Trust and Reliability: Mock locations may erode trust and reliability in location-based services if misused extensively. Users may question the authenticity and integrity of the information provided by such services.
1. Can mock locations be used on iOS devices?
No, iOS devices have restrictions that prevent the use of mock locations for most applications.
2. Are there legal implications of using mock locations?
The legality of using mock locations varies by jurisdiction. It is essential to understand and comply with the local laws and terms of service of the applications you use.
3. Can mock locations affect emergency services or navigation apps?
Mock locations should not impact emergency services as they rely on dedicated systems. However, inaccurate mock locations can affect the performance of navigation apps.
4. Can mock locations be detected by applications?
Applications can implement measures to detect mock locations. However, sophisticated GPS spoofing techniques can sometimes bypass detection mechanisms.
5. Are there alternative methods for testing location-based apps?
Yes, developers can use emulators or virtual machines that provide simulated GPS data for testing location-based functionalities.
Allowing mock locations can be a powerful tool for developers, testers, and users. It enables realistic testing, protects privacy, and opens up exciting possibilities for location-based experiences.
However, it is crucial to balance the benefits with the associated risks. By adopting best practices and ensuring responsible usage, we can harness the potential of mock locations without compromising the integrity of location-based services.