Eliminate unnecessary GPS usage on iOS 7/8

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by Rafagon, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    Did you know that Apple has crafted iOS in such a way that it uses Location Services a little more often than is necessary? Some of the reasons for polling the GPS chip are of absolutely no benefit to you, the customer. Unfortunately, not only did Apple tuck away these settings deep in the menu tree, but, even if you do manage to find them on your own, the way Apple worded the settings was quite cryptic—and in some cases, even misleading.

    Yesterday I happened upon an excellent article that explains all of these "System Services". There are a number of them that do absolutely nothing for you except use your battery. And I will be the first to admit that if/when you toggle these Location Services settings off, the battery savings may not be immediately obvious. But why use -any- of your precious battery power for things that will not benefit you at all?

    I'm talking about the settings that Apple hid over at Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services. You're going to have to scroll down past a potentially lengthy list of all your apps that use Location Services in order to that find that last step.

    Once you do get there, you will find this intentionally vague screen:

    locationservices.PNG (thumbnail; click to enlarge) (notice how many of these settings I was able to set to "Off"—read on to find out why!)

    How many of these do you have turned to "On"? How many of these do you understand fully? How many of these did Apple not provide any sort of documentation on... even on its websites?

    The article I mentioned above will answer all of these questions for you.

    You will also notice that if you scroll all the way down on this screen there is a setting called "Status Bar Icon". I don't know what the factory settings of this actually is. My guess is that the default is "Off". And the reason for this—I surmise—is that this helps Apple can run all these unnecessary GPS checks behind your back. The less you see that Location Services icon on, the less likely you are to question why it is on so much. Why else would they have tucked this setting away in the deepest depths of iOS menu hell?

    So go ahead, enjoy the article, and see how many of these are of any benefit to you. The answer may surprise—and even upset you.

    Example (from the article):
    z.png
    Why in the hell would I want my phone doing all that work for something that will not benefit me? This wastes my battery not only by using my Location Services, but then uses my data plan (and more battery power) to transmit that info to Apple!
     
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  2. EverythingApple

    EverythingApple Evangelist
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    Excellent post. I turned a lot off. I'm jailbroken so I have the location services icon off anyway.
     
  3. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
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    Why do you have location based alerts on? That's one I definitely don't want.


    Sent from my ancient but trustworthy iPhone 5.
     
  4. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    I think that's the one that warns you if you're gonna get hit with extremely inclement weather (Government Alerts > Emergency Alerts). But I'm not sure. Anyhow, I could probably turn it off until the start of the next hurricane season... you're right. Thanks for pointing it out. I'm gonna shut it off.

    Unfortunately, "Location-Based Alerts" wasn't covered in the article I linked to in my original post.

    Another thing that this could be necessary is for geofencing alerts... (i.e. "Siri, when Ben Affleck and I arrive at the bank, please remind us we need to put our masks on BEFORE we go in.")

    Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 8.21.15 PM.png

    I'll update this post if I find a definitive answer out there on the 'net as to what "Location-Based Alerts" are used for.
     
  5. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
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    Location Based Alerts: Your iOS device will use your location to provide you geographical alerts, such as a reminder to call someone when you get to a specific place or when to leave for your next appointment based on where you currently are.
    You and Ben would be correct.



    Sent from my ancient but trustworthy iPhone 5.
     
  6. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    Thank you kindly for providing that information. If Ben's and my heist proceeds without incident and neither one of us gets dead, I'm going to buy you one of those new retina iMacs. You deserve it. You've been helping everyone so much and you're doing all of that from an iPhone 5.

    Heck, I don't even like doing something as simple as typing a long e-mail from my iPhone...
     

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