location services arrow

Yesterday I got an email from my cousin Jeremy asking me what the little arrow showing up in his iPhone status bar was. Jeremy is not the most knowledgeable guy about the iPhone so I figured that if he didn’t know what this arrow is, maybe other people would want to find it as well.

The little arrow sometimes showing up indication that Location Services on your iPhone are currently active. According to Apple, “Location Services allows applications such as Maps, Camera, and Compass to use information from cellular, Wi-Fi, and Global Positioning System (GPS) networks to determine your approximate location. This information is collected anonymously and in a form that does not personally identify you.

OMG, does that mean that certain applications are tracking you? Yes, but relax because you can easily turn this on and off.

First, you can turn off Location Services all together. Your Maps application and potentially more apps won’t work anymore but if you’re worried about the NSA following your every moves, this is your best bet. To do so, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Off.

You don’t have to take such a drastic stand against location services as you can allow specific applications to use Location Services or not. For example, I might want my Maps app to use the location services, but not the Twitter app. To do so, go to Settings Privacy > Location Services > and turn on/off those applications you want to allow to use Location Services, or not.

Remember that the more you use Location Services, the more your battery is going to drain quicker.

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