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Thursday, September 26, 2019

How to Make iPhone Apps Always Ask for Location Access

The Find My app asking for location access on an iPhone running iOS 13.
Konstantin Savusia/Shutterstock.com

It’s time to take another look at your iPhone location permissions. Now, you don’t have to give apps permanent access to your location: You can grant access only once and require consent every time an app wants your location.

A New Privacy Option for Your Location

Before iOS 13 for iPhones and the new iPadOS for iPads, you only had three choices when an app wanted access to your location: Never, While Using, and Always.

The “While Using” option is a good compromise, ensuring apps could bring up maps and make use of your location while you’re using them. Unlike apps with the “Always” permission, they can’t access your location in the background.

There’s still one problem here: If you give an app access to your location once, that app can keep accessing your location over and over if you use it in the future. What if you just want to pull up a map once in an app without giving it permanent access to your location?

Now You Can Force Apps to “Ask Next Time”

The Allow Once option for Yelp's location access on an iPhone.

Now, there’s another compromise option: “Allow Once,” also known as “Ask Next Time.” Whenever an app wants access to your location, you can give it access to your location just this time and force it to ask next time by tapping the “Allow Once” option. You’re in control of how much the app can access your location.

This change is part of iOS 13 for iPhones and the new iPadOS for iPads. Like the new Bluetooth permission apps are asking for, this change can help protect the privacy of your physical location. It’s up to you whether you want to reveal it to apps.

Previously, to accomplish something like this, you’d have to allow location access for an app and then immediately dig through the Settings app and revoke it.

RELATED: Why iPhone and iPad Apps Are Asking to Use Bluetooth

When You Might Want to Do This

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