For reasons unknown Ordnance Survey are removing their ‘OS Locate’ app from Android app stores on 1 Nov 2023.
From 1/11/23 ….
The app can’t be downloaded to Android devices.
It can be downloaded to Apple devices.
It will still work on Android if downloaded before 1/11/23 but it won’t be supported by future updates
It will still work on Apple and will be supported by future updates.
Without getting in to an opinionated tussle about who thinks which navigation app is best and why, i’ve been promoting OS Locate for years as a really good simple FREE app that allows anyone to determine their grid reference and message that to someone else (or in extremis read the screen when ringing 999 in an emergency).
If you own an Android device and haven’t downloaded it yet consider doing so before midnight tomorrow.
Two free apps that do a similar job to the beloved OS Locate are ‘GB OS Grid Ref’ and ‘Grid Point GB’. As ever with any tech that might get you out of the poo have a play with them on the sofa so you know how to use them before you need them in extremis outside.
* The paid OS Maps app is unaffected by the change.
Another option is to set up What 3 Words so that it tells you your OS GB 8 figure grid reference ….
1. Got to settings in W3W
2. Go to ‘Share Settings’
3. Click ‘ 6 (or 8) digit grid reference
4. Then when you (go back to W3W to use it) when you click ‘share location’ and then either via text message or whatsapp’ … the text of that measage will include your OS grid reference …
down there at the bottom. Cut and paste it or write it on your hand for the emergency services.
Or use one of the other suggested apps
Or download OS Locate to Android devices before 23:59 on 31/10/23
BUT whatever you do having the ability to quickly and accurately work out your (ideally 8 figure) grid reference to pass (in extremis) to the emergency services is an essential skill that could save a life.