What Does Approximate Location Mean? A Comprehensive Guide to Manage iPhone Approximate Location

Approximate location is a feature that provides an estimated geographic position rather than precise coordinates. In this article, we will explore the meaning of approximate location, why Find My shows it, how to enable it, and what to do when GPS fails to display your approximate location. Additionally, we’ll provide a bonus tip on how to change your approximate location.
What Does Approximate Location Mean

1. What Does Approximate Location Mean?

Approximate location refers to an estimated geographic position of a device, such as an iPhone, within a certain radius. Instead of pinpointing the exact coordinates, this feature provides an approximate representation of the device’s whereabouts. The degree of accuracy may vary based on factors like available GPS signal, Wi-Fi connectivity, and cellular data.

Approximate location can be used for various purposes, including:

Finding a Lost or Stolen Device: When you misplace your iPhone or it gets stolen, approximate location helps you determine the general area where your device might be. It allows you to have a starting point for your search efforts.

Privacy Protection: By providing an approximate location instead of precise coordinates, approximate location helps safeguard your privacy. It prevents unauthorized individuals from knowing your exact whereabouts while still giving you a general idea of where your device is located.

Remote Data Protection: If you have enabled the Find My iPhone feature, approximate location allows you to take additional actions to protect your data remotely. For example, you can activate Lost Mode, which locks your device and displays a custom message, or remotely erase your data to prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.

Emergency Situations: In case of emergencies, approximate location can be useful for emergency services to get a general idea of your location. Even if the exact coordinates are not available, the approximate location can still aid in providing assistance.

Personal Safety: When meeting someone in an unfamiliar location or using location-based apps, approximate location can be used to share your general whereabouts without revealing your precise coordinates. 

Geolocation-based Services: Certain apps and services, such as weather updates, local news, or location-based recommendations, may rely on approximate location to provide relevant information based on your general area.

Tracking Travel or Movement Patterns: Approximate location can be used to track and analyze travel patterns, such as the distance covered, routes taken, or places visited. This information can be helpful for personal record-keeping, fitness tracking, or optimizing transportation routes.

2. Why Find My Shows Approximate Location?

Find My displays approximate location for various reasons. Firstly, to protect user privacy, Apple intentionally provides an approximate location rather than precise coordinates. This ensures that unauthorized individuals cannot misuse the data. Secondly, in scenarios where the device is indoors or surrounded by obstacles that hinder GPS signal reception, approximate location helps to provide a general idea of where the device is located.

When using Find My, you may notice that the approximate location is represented by a circle rather than a specific point on the map. This circle denotes the potential area where your iPhone might be located. The size of the circle varies based on factors like GPS accuracy and signal strength. The smaller the circle, the higher the precision of the estimated location. To narrow down the search, focus on areas within the circle or check for any significant landmarks within its boundaries.

3. How to Turn On Approximate Location?

Enabling approximate location on your iPhone is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone, tap on “Privacy & Security“.

Step 2:Find and select “Location Services“.

Step 3: Scroll down, look for “Find My” and tap on it.

Step 4: Locate and toggle on the “Precise Location” setting. By disabling this option, you enable the approximate location feature.

How to Turn On Approximate Location

4. Does Approximate Location Turn On Automatically?

Approximate location does not turn on automatically; you need to manually enable it as described earlier. By default, iPhones use precise location services to provide accurate GPS coordinates. However, if you prefer to use approximate location, you can follow the steps outlined in section 3 to enable this feature. It’s worth noting that enabling approximate location might impact the accuracy of location-based apps that rely on precise GPS data.

5. Why No GPS Showing Your Approximate Location?

In situations where GPS fails to show your approximate location, several factors could be at play. These include poor GPS signal reception due to being indoors, surrounded by tall buildings, or in remote areas with limited coverage. Additionally, if your iPhone’s location services are disabled, it may not be able to determine your approximate location accurately. In such cases, you can try alternative methods like leveraging Wi-Fi or cellular data to estimate your device’s position.

6. Bonus Tip: How to Change My Approximate Location?

If you need to alter your approximate location, you can consider using a location changing service. AimerLab MobiGo location changer is here to provide you an effective location changing service without jailbreak your iphone. With just one click, you can change your location or approximate location to anywhere in the world as you desire. Besides, using MobiGo you can also simluate natural movements as like you are really walking outside. 

Let’s check how to use AimerLab MobiGo to change your iphone location or approximate location:

Step 1: Click “Free Download” to download and install MobiGo on your computer and start using it.

Step 2: Choose and click “Get Started” from the menu after launching MobiGo.
MobiGo Get Started
Step 3: Choose your iOS device, then click “Next” to connect it to your computer using USB or WiFi.
Connect iPhone or Android to Computer
Step 4: If you are using iOS 16, make sure to activate “Developer Mode” as directed.
Turn on Developer Mode on iOS
Step 5: After “Developer Mode” has been enabled on your mobile device, you can connect it to the PC.
Connect Phone to Computer in MobiGo
Step 6: The current mobile location will be displayed on a map in MobiGo’s teleport mode. You can create a virtual place by selecting a location on a map or by typing an address into the search field.
Choose a location or click on map to change location
Step 7: MobiGo will immediately change your current GPS location to the location you have defined after you have chosen a destination and clicked the “Move Here” button.
Move to the selected location
Step 8: To simulate a route, you can choose among the one-stop mode, multi-stop mode or import GPX file based on your needs.
AimerLab MobiGo One-Stop Mode Multi-Stop Mode and Import GPX

7. Conclusion

Approximate location is a valuable feature that balances privacy protection and location awareness. Understanding its meaning, the reasons behind its display on Find My, and how to enable it ensures you can leverage this feature effectively. If you need to change your iphone location or approximate location, don’t foget try to download and use AimerLab MobiGo location changer.