How to disable Precise Location access for Apps in iOS 14.

Author
Jascha Luca
Publication date
10.08.2020
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If you have recently updated to iOS 14 and would like to reduce the accuracy apps can track your location to. This article will show you how to disable Precise Location Access across your device. With PLA disabled, apps will only be able to get a rough location rather than your exact location. 

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Over the last several years user privacy has been the forefront of a lot of discussion between all forms of government and major companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. First came an updated cookie policy and the ability to opt-out of specific tracking data. Shortly after came the ability to view or download a copy of your data. Now we finally have the ability to choose how accurate devices and the apps within them can view our location information. 

Although this isn’t a standard feature across all modern devices yet, Apple is leading the charge and has introduced a new feature to iOS 14 that allows you to customise how accurate location information is. Rather than having an always-on highly accurate (down to a few meters), Apple has broadened the accuracy option to between 1 and 20kms. The best part about the new feature is that it can be adjusted for individual apps so you can tailor location services to your exact requirements.

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How do you stop apps on iOS getting precise location data? Force apps to use approximate locations on iOS 14. 

To begin fine-tuning location access and location precision for apps on iOS 14 you’ll need to open Settings, then find and tap on the app you wish to change location precision for. For example, if you wish to change the location precision for Maps, tap maps. Next tap Location and you’ll be able to view a new list of options, with Precise Location being the option you need to disable the toggle for. 

Once you have flipped the Precise Location toggle off, the app you have selected will no longer be able to track you down to your exact whereabouts. Instead, it will have access to a 1km to 20km radius around your exact location. Although I used Maps as an example here, it’s probably the worst app selection as it is one of the only apps on your device that you want to have precise location access. Apps like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc are better example and also apps that are user-data hungry. Sadly this feature isn’t yet an option on Android devices, so Android users, we’re going to have to wait a little longer for Google to realise we want some freedom too!

how to use precise location on ios

On a side note…

If you have only just recently updated to iOS 14, you’ll also probably be interested in taking advantage of the newly added PIP (Picture in Picture) mode feature. Which allows you to view multiple items in separate windows at the same time. With PIP enabled, you can work on a Google Spreadsheet, and watch YouTube or Netflix content in a small always on top window. 

How to turn on Picture in Picture mode on iPhone. (iOS 14)

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