Up in the North Pole, Santa Claus is busy checking his Naughty and Nice list for the second time this year. Afterwards, he will be helping the elves do a quality control check on the new toy trains and bicycles that, in just a few short days, will be placed under the tree for all of the good children of the world. How do I know this? The Santa Tracker, an application that allows you to keep tabs on what Santa is doing to prep for his biggest night of the year. Prior to Christmas Eve you can see Santa checking his list, drinking hot cocoa, and training the reindeer. Then, on Christmas Eve you can track where he is in the world to make sure all the little ones are in bed before he gets to your house. It is a great way to bring a little more magic to the holidays and a reminder that location tracking Apps have come such a long way in the past couple of years.
While location tracking typically has a negative connotation, there are many benefits to having these apps on your phone or iPad. With more and more businesses using location tracking in their applications it has become easier to match location with consumer preferences for help in finding the perfect brunch place (Yelp), having a car pick you up wherever you are (Lyft* or Uber*), or even just letting your friends know where to find you (Find my Friend). In addition to all of these great commercial uses, having location tracking on your cell phone can also be useful in times of an emergency when you need to share your location in a hurry.
The reason location tracking has gotten some bad press is due to the fear that “Big Brother” companies and the government will know your every move. As with any personal information it is important to remember to be careful about exactly how much you share with the public or with the applications you use. I personally restrict my phone applications to only using my location while I am using the app. If you want to apply similar restrictions in your apps, follow the steps listed below:
- Go to your Settings on iPhone or iPad
- Tap on privacy
- Tap on location services – Apps that use location tracking will be listed
- Tap on each one you would like to restrict and choose the option that you’d like the app to abide by
*You can use these hyperlinks to get free rides if you have never signed up for Lyft or Uber before.