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?
- Notes from Apple’s Q4 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q4 2016: $46.9B revenue, 45.5M iPhones + 9.2M iPads sold
- Apple reportedly hiring engineers from BlackBerry, developing car operating system in Canada
- Apple releases PowerBeats3 Wireless earphones
- Apple Pay launch in Japan encounters major problems
- Apple releases iOS 10.1, tvOS 10.0.1, watchOS 3.1
- New details about Apple Watch Nike+ exclusives, availability
- Apple’s website hints at possible Apple Pay launch in Germany
- ConnectSense Smart Outlet adds power monitoring, reduces price
- Automatic releases new Automatic Lite version of car monitoring accessory
- Bowers & Wilkins P3 Series 2 Headphones
- Incase Icon, Pop, and Textured Snap for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor
- Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones
- Tech Armor FlexProtect and Shock Flex for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- SwitchEasy Flash and Fleur for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Blue Microphones Raspberry Mobile Microphone
- Incipio Haven for iPhone 7 and Reprieve Sport for iPhone 7 Plus
- Mophie Hold Force Magnetic Case System for iPhone 7
- Speck Presidio and Tech21 Evo Tactical for iPhone 7
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps