Find My Friends always reports home location
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: The Apple “Find My Friends” app doesn’t seem to be working properly for my partner and I. We’ve both installed it and set it up on each of our iPhones and my iPad, and I can find her accurately almost all the time from either of my devices, but when she looks for me I’m almost always showing at home, even when I’m several miles away. Weirder yet, this isn’t always the case… it seems to be hit or miss as to whether she gets my actual location or simply my house. Any ideas?
A: The most likely cause of this behaviour is that Find My Friends is using the location from your iPad instead of your iPhone. If you’re leaving your iPad at home, and it’s turned on and connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network, then anybody querying your current location is going to get the location reported by your iPad instead of your iPhone.
You can control which device is used to transmit your location by opening the Find My Friends app on any of your devices, going to the Me tab and then tapping on the Accounts button near the top-left corner.
From here you can also swipe-to-delete to remove devices from this list that you are no longer using—particularly useful if you’ve upgraded or replaced an iOS device. Find My Friends uses your device’s physical hardware ID, so when you set it up on a replacement device, even if you restore your backup, it registers as a new device. The device you’re currently using will be indicated by the words “(This Device)” beside the name; feel free to remove any other entries that appear here with the same name as long as you’re sure they don’t actually represent other iOS devices.
Note that although Apple’s support documentation on Find My Friends suggests that your location will only ever be reported from the “Active Device” listed on this screen, in our experience it does appear that if your primary device is unreachable, Find My Friends will sometimes fall back to using a location from one of your other iOS devices. This does not appear to be consistent and in light of Apple’s own support documentation may simply be a bug as opposed to an intentional feature.
Keep in mind as well that unlike most other location-based apps such as Google Latitude, the Find My Friends app does not update your location automatically; location is only reported by your device when one of your friends actually requests it. This means that if you are in a situation where you’ve gone out of network coverage, such as entering a subway system, Find My Friends will not report the point at which you went out of coverage unless one of your friends happens to request your location at precisely that moment; instead your friends will likely either see whatever location they last recently found you at or will see that your location is not available at all, depending on how long it has been since they last queried your location. Previous locations are cached for two hours.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple’s new ‘Echo rival’ may feature a camera
- Apple ‘working rapidly’ to extend Apple Pay to more countries
- Report: Apple’s Siri-based Amazon Echo competitor will be a new Apple TV
- Report: Apple SVP Eddy Cue proposed bid to buy Time Warner
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- Apple hires hint at improvements in encryption, health monitoring
- Hyundai adds CarPlay support to more vehicles
- Plaintiffs file new motion to keep ‘Error 53’ Touch ID lawsuit alive
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)