Since version 14 of iOS and iPadOS, there is a feature in the system that allows you to not reveal your exact location. Let’s see together how to use it and why.
Why Use Approximate Location on iPhone?
As the name suggests, coarse position detection is a custom setting that allows application developers to not knowing your precise geolocation, but only to obtain more vague information, of the order of a kilometre. This way, it is much more difficult to know where you are exactly, a welcome pledge of protection.
Today, there are so many publishers asking to know your exact location that providing it to each of them risks compromising your personal data. Among the companies that do not hesitate to track you in this way, we find pell-mell: the maps of Apple Maps, the tool to find friends with Facebook, the sending of instant money between customers of the Revolut online bank or the Instagram social network. And multiple privacy scandals affecting these companies have not been uncommon in recent years.
Tutorial: Enable Approximate Location for Every iOS App
Now on to the tutorial. In the first case, you open an application that asks you to share your position with it: then press the button in the window that appears redirecting directly to the app section Settings which is dedicated to the app in question. Alternatively, if you want to enable approximate location manually, you can go to this menu yourself by directly opening Settings and then finding the name of the app whose permission you want to change.
Then you have to touch Positionas you can see at the top of this screenshot:
We advise you to click on When the app is active To prevent your approximate location from being tracked all the time:
And finally, for turn on approximate positionjust press exact position to change the setting from green to gray:
Warning: it is possible that the application to which you gave access only to the approximate position continues to determine your precise position for a few minutes, based on the parameter previously defined. It is therefore recommended to to restart to take full advantage of the change. To do this, open the app and then swipe from the bottom to the right to display multitasking. A final upward swipe will end the process.
Despite all its advantages, offering only access to your approximate location can also be counter productive. Exact location should only be disabled for applications that you do not use it regularly. Let’s take a few examples: if you are used to often following directions from Google Maps to travel, then you will not be able to get an accurate route since your exact starting point will not be detected by the GPS.
Another situation: let’s imagine that you are a client of the startup Alan. Among its features, you are offered to make an appointment with the doctor closest to you. In case of emergency, it is very convenient to be taken care of in time. But with a approximate locationthe insurance results will be skewed and you may find yourself traveling a longer distance, which can potentially pose serious problems in the event of a serious health concern.