The iPhone is able to record the movements of the user and report the current location of the device. This is needed in order to recall a route, a specific location, or simply to be aware of the movements of the owner or the person who has agreed to share their gps coordinates with you. In this article, let's look at frequently asked questions about using GPS on your iPhone and iPad:
Table of Contents
- How to find out your current location on a map
- How to refine your coordinates via iPhone
- Is it possible to find out the coordinates of a turned off phone?
- How to track your iPhone via Android
- How to enable location services on your iPhone
- Does tracking violate privacy
- How to enable tracking on iPhone / iPad
- How to track a person's location
- Isn't this tracking?
How to find out your current location on a map
In iOS, it's very easy to do this! If you want to know where you are now,
- Open any navigator or map, such as Google Maps.
- Turn on the GPS on your iPhone, if you haven't already, through the Quick Settings panel or by going to Settings > Privacy > Geolocation Services.
- Go back to Google Maps, tap the current geolocation icon.
- Look up the address where you are now.
- If necessary, copy the address to the clipboard or take a screenshot.
The instructions for determining coordinates are not only suitable for iPhone 10, 12, 13, iPad, but also for Android, since Google Maps is installed in the OS by default.
How to refine your coordinates via iPhone
In the latest versions of Apple devices, iOS 14 and iPadOS 15, it is possible to specify very precisely the latitude and longitude of where you are. In addition, the user can assign access rights to individual apps so that they can also specify the location of the iOS device.
Geo-positioning accuracy is enabled with one setting:
- Go to Settings > Privacy > Geolocation Services
- Select an app, such as Apple Maps or Google Maps.
- Set the Precise Geopositioning option to On or Off.
Is it possible to find out the coordinates of a turned off phone?
A special battery-powered sensor is used to track your location. Therefore, if the phone is powered off, it will not transmit location data.
If, however, you press the Power button to simply turn off the phone's screen, in which case location data may theoretically be available through services like Locator (assuming the iPhone is preset), because the GPS module will be active.
If GPS is disabled and wi-fi connection is active, your location may also be available to third parties.
Also, the phone's location is transmitted via a connection to mobile towers. The operator who owns the sim card has information from which location your phone connected to the station. If you try to contact someone on the phone, you can be tracked by cell towers because they pick up your signal all the time.
How to track your iPhone via Android
If you need to track your iPhone coordinates and you only have an Android, no problem! Thanks to the iPhone Locator service you can do it on any device, including the Android OS.
Note. This function is needed if you lost your iPhone (in an apartment, another city) or if it was stolen and you would like to track it by its coordinates on the map.
The Send Last Location option must be pre-activated on the iPhone. Its essence is to send a distress signal before disconnecting the tethered iOS-device (before the battery is drained). However, on the latest versions of iOS, it is possible to send a distress signal even when the device is turned off.
- Open any browser on the Android OS
- Open iCloud.com
- Log in with your Apple ID information
- From the menu, select the Find iPhone and the device you lost
- Next, select one of the options for remote actions with your iPhone:
- Play sound.
- Lock your phone
- Clear all data remotely
How to enable location services on your iPhone
For the Locator app (Find My) to work fully on your iPhone, follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings > Privacy
- Next - Geolocation Services
- Make sure that the Geolocation Services option is enabled, with the slider set to On.
- Scroll through the list and find the app you want.
- Tap its name and select an option:
- Never: Deny location information
- Ask next time: The next time you ask, you can specify the desired service option.
- When using an application: in case this application is running and its window is displayed on the screen.
- Always: Allow background data transmission
Does tracking violate privacy
Actually, the question is rhetorical, because the services you use are de facto anonymous, and there is nothing you can do about it except refuse to use them, which is often impossible. Location tracking is used by most corporations because it is an integral part of marketing. Corporations need to know where you are in order to broadcast services as well as advertising services.
Apple strives to collect only the most relevant information about a user's movements.
Google can capture the history of movements through the Maps app, specifically through Google Maps Timeline. Subsequently, it is possible to accurately reconstruct the timeline and route of the device and, consequently, the user.
Tip. If you wish, you can disable all tracking features on both iOS and Android.
How to enable tracking on iPhone / iPad
Let's look at how to save location history (timeline) on iOS devices ( iPhone and iPad).
- Go to Privacy in iOS Settings.
- Then go to Location Services > System Services.
- The Important Geo-Positions option is responsible for saving significant locations.
To see the timeline:
- Go to History: this contains all the significant locations that you regularly visit.
- You can clear this list manually, if you wish, using the Clear History button.
- You can also disable the storage of visited places.
How to track a person's location
Next, we will instruct you on how to share your location with another user. The main condition is to get permission to send coordinates.
In a nutshell, the solution to the problem looks like this: using the Locator app (installed by default on iPhones) you enable the display of your location. Then other users have access to your coordinates.
Note. You can turn off tracking at any time.
In iOS, you do not need to install additional software for location tracking. it is enough to use the Find My app utility. However, you need to make some basic settings for it to start performing its function - to track your movement. So, let's see what those settings are.
- Open the Locator app (Find My on iOS)
- Go to the People tab
- A box will appear with a Start sharing geo position button. Agree to the offer.
- In the "To:" field, select the person you want to share your location with from the address book.
- Click Send to confirm.
- After sending the invitation, you can learn more about the person by clicking on the name.
- To mutually exchange coordinates, click Ask to Follow Location.
- If the user agrees to provide location information, you will see their address after accepting the invite.
Isn't this tracking?
We need to clarify. The method of tracking described above assumes that the owner of the device being tracked is notified or makes the setting on their own initiative. The tracking function should not be used covertly from the user, as this violates their privacy.
The person you sent the notification to must allow access to the location. If he hasn't done so, accordingly, you won't see his coordinates on your iPhone.
To allow tracking, you must make a location request on your iPhone. Again, send him the request and ask him to confirm.
Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.