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Why Do Apps Use Location Settings?

You have no doubt seen a notification mentioning ‘location settings’ while browsing on your smartphone. However, have you ever stopped to think what exactly this means, or why apps even need to use it in the first place? Over the course of this article, we will be answering all of this and more. We will then provide some of the most well-known examples of apps using location settings in order to provide a service to their users.

What are Location Settings?

Location settings are exactly what it says on the tin. It is a catch-all term used to describe apps that require geographical data and information in order to function properly.

There are several different ways of achieving this level of location tracking. Control plan locating requires a device receiving a radio signal from the nearest telephone mast. Self-reported positioning, meanwhile, involves the user marking their location themselves by checking-in. Both of these methods require some level of GPS tracking and although there are other, less prevalent, ways of locating devices, these are by far the most popular.

Sports betting

At first glance, it is hard to see where location settings could possibly fit into the world of sports betting. The truth is that the technology is vital for player location checks. As sports betting is not universally legal across the United States, it is necessary for a mobile betting app to check that using an online sportsbook is permitted where the user is attempting to place a bet.

This geo-tracking works well and can force some sports betting enthusiasts into taking drastic measures. For example, players in Ohio — where online sportsbooks are illegal — have reported having to travel to neighboring Pennsylvania in order to place a bet.

Pokémon Go!

Remember that glorious summer when Pokémon Go took over the world? What a time that was.

The app is perhaps the best example of location settings being used to create incredible commercial success. In case you have been living under a rock, the app uses groundbreaking GPS tracking in order to create a living breathing world of Pokémon around its players. It is free-to-play in case you fancy giving it a try.

Facebook check-in

Every time you visit a local cafe, bar, restaurant, or attraction, Facebook will give you the option to ‘check-in’. This lets your friends know what you have been up to and can also be a great way to support businesses. This neat feature is reliant on-location settings. Without being able to track your location, the ‘checking-in’ process would take a very long time.

Being able to check-in has also played an important public service role in the past. During global catastrophes, people in the affected area are able to ‘mark themselves safe’. This can help alleviate the concerns of family members and it is only possible thanks to location settings.

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