Location services on your phone can make your life much more convenient, allowing you to meet up with others, find your lost phone, check in to your favorite spots and get directions for your travel. When you enable Location Services on your iPhone you’re also enabling a feature that keeps a record of places you visit the most.
The iPhone has a built-in feature called Frequent Locations that tracks your location and displays your frequent locations, both by address and map. The feature is buried beneath several layers of settings, but you, and anyone who knows about this and has access to your phone, can see where you’ve been going most often.
Maybe you have nothing to hide and are eager to see how often you’ve visited your favorite places. Or maybe you don’t want anyone knowing how often you head to the pub, go to the casino or shop till you drop. Either way you should know how to find this feature and how to turn it off.
How Does the Frequent Locations Feature Work?
Frequent Locations is a feature on iPhones running iOS 7 that keeps track of where you go most often. When you enable Location Services on your iPhone, Frequent Locations is automatically activated. You can see where you have been most often, by specific address and by location on a map.
Frequent Locations will also display the exact date and time when you arrive and leave at your favorite spots.
According to Apple:
Your iPhone will keep track of places you have recently been, as well as how often and when you visited them, in order to learn places that are significant to you. This data is kept solely on your device and won’t be sent to Apple without your consent. It will be used to provide you with personalized services, such as predictive traffic routing.
Note that Apple says that this information resides on your phone and you can opt out if you don’t want your phone keeping track of where you have been.
How to Find Your Frequent Locations on Your iPhone
Frequent Locations is not easy to find, you’ve probably never seen it unless you enjoy digging deep into your settings. To see your Frequent Locations:
Go to Settings => Privacy => Location Services
Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap System Services. Again, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap Frequent Locations.
You will then see a general history of the places you have visited most frequently, as well as how often you have been there. Tap on any of the places to see the details of where you’ve been.
You can see specific addresses, locations on a map, and the date and time when you were at that place.
If you don’t want your iPhone to keep track of where you’ve been, you can opt out while keeping Location settings in tact for your other apps. To opt out go to Frequent Locations, as explained above:
Settings => Privacy => Location Services
Scroll to the bottom and tap System Services. Scroll to the bottom and tap Frequent Locations.
Move the slider to the right so that Frequent Locations is off.
If you want to keep track of your Frequent Locations, but need to start with a clean slate, you can tap Clear History at the bottom of the Frequent Locations screen.
Cool vs. Creepy
Seeing where you’ve been recently can be very interesting. Most people to whom I showed this feature immediately became fascinated in seeing where they had been. You also may find it helpful to know how often you’ve been somewhere, to the gym, for example.
You may also see the potential for trouble with this feature. Employers, spouses and parents may all be interested in seeing an iPhone record of frequent locations. You also may have a favorite secret spot where you like to hide from the world.
Because this information resides only on your iPhone, someone must have access to your phone to see your Frequent Locations. If you lose your iPhone and you don’t have your phone protected with a passcode, this information may be available to anyone who finds your phone.
If you get a new iPhone the information on your old phone isn’t backed up and won’t transfer to your new one.
Whether you find this feature cool or creepy, you can decide whether you want to opt out or in by following the steps above.
Do you think Frequent Locations is Cool or Creepy? Vote in today’s Wonder of Tech poll and let us know:
Are you interested in finding out your Frequent Locations? Have you checked out your Frequent Locations? Did you find any surprises? Would you be interested in checking out the Frequent Locations of anyone else? Will you be opting out of this feature? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!
* Sports car image by Damian Morys
* Alaskan Glacier image by Dhilung Kirat