It appears a bug in the recent Google App causes devices to display the location notification in the status bar.
Redditor ‘kinnesotan’ noticed the problem on a Pixel 3 XL running Google app 126.96.36.199, and started a Reddit thread that’s picked up plenty of users with similar issues. The problem doesn’t appear restricted to the stable release, with the Google app beta 188.8.131.52 showing the problem too.
Further, users with the Pixel 3 XL, the first gen Pixel, and Samsung S8+ have all noticed the problem. Even my Pixel 2 XL has it. Additionally, the problem persisted across various launchers, including Nova and Lean launcher.
After doing some digging, some users noted that the Google Feed seemed to cause the issue. So, the Pixel launcher and any third-party launchers that allowed users to add the Google Feed exhibited the problem.
However, it’s not clear if the app is accessing location. Some Redditors reported there was no discernible impact on battery life, indicating it might not be searching for your location. Regardless, having the icon always in the status bar is annoying.
If you’re experiencing the problem, there are two temporary fixes so far. The first is to disable location for the Google app, which you can do in Settings, Apps, Google, Permission and Location. However, this could affect some other Google services that require location.
Alternatively, if you’re using another launcher, you can remove the Google Feed, which should fix the problem as well.
If neither of those work for you, you’ll have to wait for a fix from Google. Hopefully, that’ll be sooner than later.