With so much of life spent on the go, supporting you wherever you are matters a lot to Apple and iPhone app developers. Hence, Apple has increased location-based wireless capabilities on every new iPhone model through the 5S and every new operating system through iOS 7. An increasing number of apps also request permission to track your device’s location to enhance service. The more accurate your disclosed iPhone location, the better support you’ll get.
To establish your iPhone’s approximate location, enable one or more of your iPhone’s wireless radios to detect available networks in your vicinity. These may include Wi-Fi base stations, cellular towers, Bluetooth-enabled iBeacons and Global Positioning System satellites. Your iPhone uses their signals collectively to glean its location. For instance, if you’re using public Wi-Fi in a cellular dead zone that’s in the line of sight of GPS satellites, your device will use a combination of Wi-Fi and GPS indicators to situate itself. Toggle the “Wi-Fi,” “Bluetooth” and “Cellular” switches to the On position in your Settings app, and ensure that Airplane Mode is set to “Off.”
Assess Location Accuracy
Each of your iPhone’s wireless services has vulnerabilities. For instance, electromagnetic interference can disrupt Wi-Fi signals, certain building and conductive materials can weaken cellular reception, and towering structures, mountains or a dense atmosphere can obstruct GPS satellite lines of sight. These obstacles sometimes lead to broad and imprecise iPhone location readings. To gauge accuracy, check the circle around your location’s blue marker on the Maps app; the tighter the ring around the dot, the more precise the reading and the more reliable your iPhone’s location-based assistance will be.
Improve Location Approximations
The more wireless radios you have functioning, the more resources your iPhone has to correctly surmise its location. Once a Wi-Fi or cellular network connection is established, the iPhone can also more quickly connect to GPS satellites using Assisted GPS, or A-GPS, technology. To improve GPS accuracy, periodically restart your device, and ensure that its date, time and time zone are always correct by tapping “Settings | General | Date & Time | Set Automatically.”
Allow Location Tracking
Activating Location Services on your iPhone enables you to allow others to track your location and usage. With that data, apps can deliver location-based services in real time -- such as turn-by-turn navigation, geotagged photos, geofenced reminders and finding a lost iPhone. Apple would add your data anonymously to -- and support you with -- its immense databases of crowdsourced information. You’d gain more location-based reference points and perks such as faster cellular connections, quicker Wi-Fi hot spot discovery, better commute and traffic planning, time zone resets, geographically relevant iAds and apps, and a Compass app that’s ever mindful of north. To enable Location Services, tap “Settings,” followed by “Privacy” and “Location Services.” Then toggle the main switch, as well as individual app and System Services switches, to On. Make sure to review the privacy policies of those you would allow to track you.
- Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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