How to Start Using Location Services on the iPhone 4s

Though the crux of the smartphone technology is often a serious internet capability, the iPhone adds some additional elements that make it one of the most powerful devices on the market.  Location Services is one of the most central of these and is what identifies your exact location for use in different apps and tools, taking your through GPS directions, restaurant recommendations, and even safety requests.  This is one of the more simple of the built in iPhone tools, and if you are new to the device you should go through a quick run of things so that you have a basic idea of how it works and how to apply it properly in your device.  Here is a quick run down of how to use Location Services on your iPhone when you are just beginning.

Your very first interaction with Location Services will be during the very first set up of your phone.  When you are going through the set up menus you will be asked if you want to enable Location Services or keep it disabled.  You should choose to enable it for now, even if you may later want to disable it manually in your settings.  Since Location Services is built into so many of the tools and apps you will want to keep it available to you at all times.

The basics of Location Services is that it will be able to locate your GPS position so that individual apps will be able to respond with their content to your area, such as giving your location suggestions based on the specifics of the app.  If you want to get started with Location Services, or make any changes to the way that it operates, then you will do this in the regular Settings.  Go here, an then choose Location Services from the bottom of the top set of options, right below Notifications.  In here you will have a starting Location Services switch that you will need to be set to On when you want to use it.  Below that is a list of specific apps that you have and On / Off switches for each one.  These will be built in ones such as Camera and Maps, as well as apps you download such as Facebook or Tumblr.  The list will include all the apps that you are using that employ the location features, and you can go through and identify which ones to have the location services set to On for and which ones to do without.  The default for most apps should be On, but if you do not want an app for specific functions and are trying to limit internet time then you can keep some off of the location setting.

The question of whether or not to use Location Services is going to come up individually on apps as well.  When you first use an app that has the option for Location Services then it will ask you if you want to utilize it, and then that decision will be saved in the settings.  For example, if you chose not to have location on an app on first use you will find that the switch is set to Off when you go into the Location Services setting.  This is a good way to make your choices as you go along rather than have to simply go into the Settings and choose for every single app in one swoop.

When you are in the settings you can see how the apps are operating by looking at which ones have a location icon next to them, which looks like an arrow pointing to the upper right.  If there is a grey icon next to an app then it has used your location in the last day and if it is purple then it is doing so currently.  This will just help you keep track of what is doing what, and if the purple icon is there and you change the status to Off then it will disrupt the way that the app is running currently.

At the bottom of the Location Services settings is going to be another important element for those who are starting out, the System Services.  In here you are going to choose the different functions of the Location Services in the same On / Off switch format, except these are the basic elements identified.  The first is Cell Network Search, which uses your location to find service.  Compass Calibration is another one, often used in Maps when you are getting directions.  Beyond these is Diagnostics & Usage, Location-Basic iAds, setting the time zone, and for identifying traffic.  Many of these are services that just add additional information to your regular operations, especially in Maps or for setting your clock and calendar automatically based on your perceived location.  For example, if you cross from one time zone to another the Location Services will change your clock as long as you have Setting Time Zone in the On position.  Most of these should also remain in the On position unless there is an important reason for doing otherwise.  Some users want to disable location based iAds as they find it invasive and annoying, though it will not actually get rid of the ads themselves.  The purple and grey location icons will work the same way in this section as well.

Diagnostics & Usage is a relevant part of this, which is where you automatically send Apple this information anonymously.  You choose whether or not you want to send this information when you first set up your iPhone, and if you have opted out then you do not have to worry about this.  This is also part of the Location Services as this will play into the general information that you send to Apple.  Many people have taken issue with this feature more broadly based on privacy and security concerns, and the location based connection may be a place where they want to create a barrier since that information is more specific.

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