Android 12: Restrict apps to approximate device location

Android 12: Restrict apps to approximate device location

Many apps require access to the location transmission, although this would not be necessary. To limit this snooping, you can use an "approximate device location" in Android 12. xiaomist shows you how this works and why you should activate it.

For some incomprehensible reason, at some point in Android every app had to be allowed to transmit its location as soon as it wanted to use Bluetooth. It's absurd and a bit creepy when you suddenly have to activate GPS to access an electric toothbrush via Bluetooth with the app. But from Android 12 onwards there is at least a "less precise location transmission" with which the sniffer apps can no longer position you so precisely.

The video shows you which new features Android 12 has on board:

Android 12 offers imprecise location per app

You can increase the GPS accuracy in Android in older versions of the operating system or switch it to be less precise. What is new in Android 12 is that you can now do this individually for each app that accesses the location transmission.

You can keep a generally high location determination vague with the new feature for selected apps. You can then see your exact whereabouts in Google Maps, while the toothbrush app only knows which part of town you are in.

To use this feature, you have two options:

When installing an app on Android 12, you will be asked whether the transmission of the location should be precise or approximate . In the settings you can switch the option " Use exact location " on or off.

How to switch an app in Android 12 to "approximate location"

During the installation of an app that wants to query the location, you will be asked on Android 12 whether the device's location should be exact or imprecise. However, the new feature initially has no effect on apps that are already installed.

This is how you can set apps to an inaccurate location query in Android 12 retrospectively:

Method a

Opens the settings . Scroll down to " Location " and tap on it. Tap on " Which apps are allowed to determine the location? "Tap on the app whose location accuracy you want to switch . Scroll down. There it says " Use exact location " and next to it there is an activated switch . Deactivates the switch so that from now on only imprecise position information can be transferred.

Method B.

Tap on the desired app and hold your finger down until a context menu opens. In this menu tap on " App-Info ". Under " Authorizations " there is also " Location " - tap on it. " Location " is again under " Approved " - tap it again. Now you can switch again under " Use exact location " whether the location determination should be exact or imprecise.

That brings a bit more data protection and ensures that apps cannot spy on you - at least not to the meter.

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