How to Turn On Location Services on Your Smartphone

Austin Dean


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Many apps on your iOS or Android device require location tracking to do their job properly and supply you with the right information. In this detailed guide, we covered all the steps to enabling location services on both iOS (iOS 8.0 and newer) and Android (most versions) devices. Additionally, we included some info on the apps that utilize location services. 

How to Turn on Location Services on iOS

To access location services on your iPhone or iPad, you need to:

  1. Open the Settings app;

  2. Select Privacy from the list;

  3. Tap Location services on the top of the Privacy tab;

  4. Now move the slider next to Location Services to green. 


Congrats! Now all your iPhone apps can use location data automatically when needed. 

How to Turn on Location Services on Android 

If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, location services are most probably activated from the box. If not, do the following to activate them:

  1. Go to the Settings app;

  2. Scroll down to Location and tap it;

  3. Simply move the slider to the On position. 

Shortly About Location Services

Location Services are used by mobile apps to determine your current location and provide a selection of content based on that data. Apps like Google Maps, Uber, or Find My iPhone help you navigate from where you are, order a taxi to the right location, or even find your lost device. Location Services usually get the needed information from the built-in GPS module, which is highly accurate. Sometimes, they also get additional info from your cellular network, available WiFi hotspots, and even Bluetooth devices. Moreover, the servers process crowd-sourced data and use advanced mapping technologies to ensure the highest accuracy possible. Finally, all modern smartphones have built-in gyroscopes that work as compasses to determine the direction you are facing in real time. 

An App Asks Location Service Access: What to Do

All the apps that require Location Services data are set up to ask for your permission to access location data when you launch them for the first time. To make the right decision, you should think if enabling Location Services for an app makes any sense. If you are an Android user, you will have to think about what an app does and why it needs your location. Apple offers a more robust approach to the matter and always lets you check out where and why you are being tracked. When you launch an app, you are offered to enable Location Services forever, for a single use, or refuse to use them forever. 

Fortunately, it’s usually very clear what an app needs location data for. Map apps require it for accurate navigation, streaming apps need it to supply you with the right content suggestions, search engines use it to display relevant search results, etc. 

You may additionally consider limiting access to location services to reduce traffic and power consumption when you are not connected to WiFi. Besides, you can disable background updates for specific apps to ensure that they don’t try to upload any data using your mobile network. 

Track or Not to Track

It’s a fact that Location Services can make our lives a lot easier by providing relevant weather forecasts, suggesting the nearest coffee shop, or finding the most exciting YouTube videos for you. However, it may happen that you don’t need any of these or need only specific apps. Now you know how to adjust your iOS or Android device in both situations. You’re welcome to add value to the article in the comments or ask about anything related to the topic. We will reply as soon as possible! Finally, don’t hesitate to share this guide with friends on social networks.


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