Using iPhone Location Services


The iPhone Location Services tool is one of the more innovative features on this cutting edge smartphone.  The primary purpose of this is to identify your exact physical location so that different apps, such as Maps and the Facebook’s Check In feature, can utilize the information.  This feature is actually independent of those apps themselves and instead works autonomously of them, so you have to adjust and work with it on its own.  Here is a look at how to work with the iPhone’s Location Services so that other tools can employ it.

The Location Services feature has to be turned on to be working, and this is something that is asked when you are first engaging your iPhone.  During activation and when you are doing the early adjustments so you can begin using your iPhone.  If you intend on using Location Services then your first step it to turn it On during the opening line of questioning, otherwise you will have to adjust the settings later.  If you are first using your iPhone and notice that you do not have the option to use Location Services it was because you did not turn it on and will have to do so later.

This element actually extends into your everyday use, as you have to adjust the settings for it to make sure it is useable and meets your standards.  Go into Settings and then select Location Services, which is at the bottom of the first block of options directly below Notifications.  At the very top will be the On / Off switch for Location Services, which again must be On if you intend to use it.  As it lists in the settings area the Location Services uses a GPS function and a crowd sourcing process from Wi-Fi Hotspotting.  This does not make it specific to the 4G data plan and can instead be used by Wi-Fi if you need to be.


Below is going to be a list of different apps that are using Location Services, some of which have been added and some of which that are built in.  When you are first using an app you will be asked if you want to use Location Services with it, such as Facebook asking you if you want it to always identify your location.  If you answer that you do then it will be added to this list, with the On / Off switch next to it set to the On position.  If you would like to then take off Location Services from an app you can then set it to the Off position.  It Is here that you can also see how much you use your Location Services on these apps by the variable colors of arrows that are present.  Purple means that it is using your location right now, gray means it has in the last 24 hours, and the outlined arrow means it is using the Geofence parameter.   This is used to identify a general area that you can walk out of, which is important for Reminders.  This app will use the Location Services to give you a reminder when you enter or leave a location, such as reminding you do go to the grocery store when you leave work.

At the bottom of the Location Services Settings will be System Services.  Here will be several options that you can set to On or Off, such as Cell Network Search, Compass Calibration, Diagnostics & Usage, Location Based iAds, Setting Time Zone, and Traffic.  Most of these should simply stay On, though many users prefer to take off the Location Based iAds so that they do not get as invasive of advertising.  At the very bottom is an On / Off switch for the Status Bar Icon that will let you know when the specific options are actually being used, such as Setting Time Zone.


In general the Location Services are not incredibly invasive, though some people prefer to have their location remain anonymous for perceived privacy issues.  You will be asked in each individual app that intends to use it so you can choose how much you actually want to use the service, though for things like Maps, social networking, and crowd sourcing apps you may want to maintain it for ease.

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