iOS Camera app and Location Services

Q: What will my Camera app on my iPod touch 4G do when I turn location services off?

– Ben

iOS Camera app and Location Services

A: The short answer is that the Camera app itself should continue to work just fine for taking pictures, however your photos will no longer have location data stored in them. Since the iPod touch doesn’t have an actual GPS, however, you may find that many of your photos won’t contain any location data anyway, as the iPod touch relies solely on nearby Wi-Fi access points for determining your location.

Note that this will not affect the location data stored for those photos you’ve already taken while Location Services were enabled; those photos will continue to have their current location data stored in them, and there is no simple way to strip that location data off directly on your iOS device.

Disabling Location Services entirely may also affect the ability of third-party applications to access photos in your camera roll, depending on how those apps were designed. Due to the fact that photos stored location data, the original method used by iOS to provide access to photos by third-party apps required them to be authorized by location services in order to do so.

Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean the Camera app needs to have location services enabled, only that it needs to be enabled globally and for whichever apps may specifically require Camera Roll access; the location services specifically for the Camera app can still be disabled if you don’t want to actually add location information to your photos when you take them.


iOS Camera app and Location Services

It’s also worth keeping in mind that iOS 6 introduced a new method that allows apps to access photos without necessarily requiring access to location services, so this may not even apply in all cases, depending on the application and the method it uses. If you’re looking to keep Location Services disabled on your iPod touch, you can simply do so and deal with third-party apps on a case-by-case basis as you encounter problems.

For more information, see our previous Ask iLounge article, Location Services and access to Camera Roll photos.