Is iPhone Share Location Correct? What Studies Say


We use the iPhone share location to share our current location with our friends and family members. The location service is also used to reach our destination or to find our misplaced iPhones. But wait, is the location sharing accurate? If you came searching for this question, then you are precisely at the right place.

I did relentless research to know for sure if the iPhone’s share location is correct. So with that, I’m going to share everything I learned.

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Is iPhone Share Location Correct?

As a general rule, the iPhone share location has the same accuracy as the iPhone’s GPS. If the GPS cannot connect to a good signal, it will use Wi-Fi triangulation and Bluetooth, reducing accuracy. Unfortunately, no electronic device can always be accurate, so errors sometimes occur.

The location services use the combination of the following things to detect your accurate location:

  1. Cellular
  2. Wi-Fi 
  3. Bluetooth
  4. GPS

For example, if you are not in a location where the location service in your iPhone can detect you through GPS, it will immediately look for other possible options. In addition, the cellular networks and Wi-Fi supplement the location tracking whenever the GPS signal is weak.

If there’s any inaccuracy, it’s mainly because of the poor GPS and cellular network signals or if you are not near Wi-Fi.

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How Accurate Is iPhone Share My Location?

According to PLOS One study, the overall average horizontal position error of the iPhone 6 is in the 7–13 m range. This study was done on iPhone 6 using the Avanza software for capturing horizontal positions to understand the relative positional accuracy in an urban environment.

Also, this study aimed to understand the relative positional accuracy of the iPhone in the urban environment in two seasons, two times of the dayand two perceived Wi-Fi usage periods.

This study found that the average time of the year didn’t affect the average error observed in horizontal positions when GPS-only capability activates, nor when Wi-Fi starts.

The observations of average horizontal position error only improved with the time of day during the leaf-off season.

However, the horizontal position error also improved in general during the perceived high WiFi usage periods.

Zanderbergen also did a studyOpens in a new tab. in 2009 to evaluate the accuracy of locations obtained using three positioning modes on 3G iPhones.

By the way, you should know that 3G iPhone was the first consumer device that provided the seamless integration of three positioning technologies that includes Assisted GPS (A-GPS), WiFi positioning, and Cellular network positioning.

So, according to this study following results were found:

Phone TypeTechnology UsedMedian ErrorTest / Observation
3G iPhoneA-GPS8 mTen 20-minute field tests
3G iPhoneWiFi74 m58 observations
3G iPhoneCellular Positioning600 m64 observations

Another studyOpens in a new tab. was done to compare the GPS capabilities of Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Droid X, and the Apple iPhone. So as per that study, The iPhone 4 reported 58.63% of its data points to be within 5 meters and 97.77% to be within 10 meters of accuracy.

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Can an iPhone Wrongly Share My Location?

As a general rule, the iPhone share my location is accurate most of the time. However, suppose location sharing permissions are disabled in the iPhone. In that case, if there’s a technical glitch in the system or due to poor signaling, it can sometimes result in wrong location sharing.

The apps in your iPhone ask for location permission whenever you open them for the first time. If you allow them that approval, then okay, but the app may not work if you decline.

Your iPhone and devices connected to your iCloud will keep track of places where you visit, how often, and when you visit so that it can remember the areas that are significant to you.

How to Turn On iPhone Share Location

  1. Navigate to Settings > Privacy> Location Services.
  2. Turn Location Service on to fix iPhone share location issues.
  3. If location is already enabled, refresh the feature by turning it off and on and waiting 20 seconds to several minutes before turning it back on.

How accurate is significant locations on iPhone?

Significant locations are the least accurate of all the area monitoring types because they only update when there is a cell tower transition or change, which varies the accuracy of updates based on where you are. However, once iPhone knows about frequently visited places and places significant to you, it can mark those locations as the “Significant Locations.” 

After that, your iPhone will use them to make any recommendations in the Apple maps or on other apps.

However, the reason for their low accuracy is because they get updated less frequently. For example, let’s suppose that you always use Wi-Fi whenever you are at home.

Since Apple (with your permission) keeps track of places you visit, your iPhone will automatically detect where you are whenever you are using Wi-Fi in your home.

But let’s say you moved elsewhere with your Wi-Fi router. Then, when you connect your Apple device, it will still think that it knows where you are simply because of the saved information.

Yes, Apple will update this information, but it may take some time to do it. So until then, you might face inaccuracy in significant locations.

However, you can do certain things to speed up the significant location update in your iPhone device. Let’s see!

How to Change and Delete Significant Locations in iPhone?

  1. Launch the “Settings” application on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and choose “Privacy.”
  3. Then select “Location Services.”
  4. Again scroll down to choose “System Services.”
  5. After that, scroll down and select “Significant Locations.”
  6. Verify your identity using Face ID, Touch ID, or Passcode.
  7. From the available significant locations, edit or edit or delete as needed.

Ever wondered when you should replace your iPhone? What are the tell-tale signs that an iPhone needs to be replaced? I suggest you read my dedicated article to know for sureOpens in a new tab..

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