5 facts about Approximate Location • iOS 14


Wojtek Andrzejczak
5 facts about Approximate Location • iOS 14

What will the iOS 14 Approximate Location change? When and how will native apps be able to use a precise location?

New location screen

With the new iOS 14 also comes a new location permission screen, showing the user his location. On the top left corner, we can find a button, which, after we click turns off the precise location to approximate one. The user location on the attached permission map will show a big radius circle instead of the user’s exact location.

Default setting

The big question is, what is the default app location setting when you install a new app? Hopefully, the default location is the default one.

iOS 14 / Approximate Location / Precise location enabled
iOS 14 / Approximate Location / Precise location enabled

Users can now disable the Precise location, so they enable the approximate location by clicking on the button.

iOS 14 / Approximate Location / Precise location disabled
iOS 14 / Approximate Location / Precise location disabled

What is approximate location

With the new iOS 14, Apple has introduced an approximate location setting that allows users to hide their real location. Some apps don’t need your precise up to 20-60m GPS location. In most cases, it is enough to know that the user is in this region of the country or city.

iOS 14 / Approximate Location / Precise location disabled / Accuracy radius
iOS 14 / Approximate Location / Precise location disabled / Accuracy radius

When the approximate location is enabled, the iOS 14 device will return GPS location shifted within 4-8km from the real physical user location.

iOS 14 / Approximate Location / Precise location enabled / Accuracy radius
iOS 14 / Approximate Location / Precise location enabled / Accuracy radius

And when the Precise location is enabled, GPS will return a “normal,” more accurate location with the real GPS accuracy.

Location setting after updating from iOS 13

All tested apps which had turned on location permissions, after upgrading to the iOS 14 have enabled precise location.

Location setting after restoring from iCloud backup

Many users will buy new iPhones and try to restore their cloud backups using iCloud. All tested apps which have turned on location on the iOS 13, have precise location turned on.

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