My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: The Reason why I don't like Smartphones - Location Privacy and How to disable Location Services on Android and iOS

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Reason why I don't like Smartphones - Location Privacy and How to disable Location Services on Android and iOS

I’ve come under a lot of pressure for the fact that I’ve yet to step up to a smartphone. Ironically, I advise people to join the “smart” crowd by upgrading from a Blackberry to a Apple iPhone or Google Android smartphone as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to transfer Phone Contacts and Data from your Blackberry to your Apple iPhone or Google Android smartphone or Tablet”.

Back when I was at C&W (2001 to 2004) as a Network Maintenance Technician based on my work experience plainly laid out in my Engineering Resume and Diploma and Degree qualifications, I was being pressured by peers to buy a Blackberry. I resisted and in the process, during an interview with Nurse Gunning back in the Fourth Quarter of 2003, I gave away the idea for what later became the Apple iPhone.

Fast forward to 2014 and now smartphone prices are falling from the sky. Both the JA$7999 Digicel DL700 and JA$3999 LIME’s Huawei Ascend Y330 are available as I’d pointed out in my blog article entitled “JA$3999 Huawei Ascend Y330 vs JA$7599 Digicel DL700 this Summer of 2014 - Waggonists Transfer Form not Required to get new smartphone”.

Yet I STILL have no intention of buying one of these power hungry contraptions, as I’m not that into smartphones. Maybe I’m too old-fashioned you might opine. But truth be told, that’s not the reason. Clearly I do manage to keep up with the Technology as it changes.

Heck I’ve even predicted future smartphone trends among American Teenagers (ages 13 to 17), who see toting a smartphone and dining out as the new Status symbol and way more important than having brand name clothes as noted in my blog article entitled “Analyst Piper Jaffery says Teenagers more into Gadgets and Dining out than Brand-name Clothing – Have it Your way with a Sapphire Screen Apple iPhone”.

So why is that? Well, to all my readers who were curious, I’ll explain it in this short article with a hint of advice at the end.

Smartphones are overrated – Apple goes from Gold to Silver as smartphones become Bling

First, albeit I did indeed suggest the first concepts for the Apple iPhone, I’m unimpressed with where we’ve reached with them. Apple has, since 2012, in a desperate bid to keep the product from faltering, begun to “bling” out the Apple iPhone with Precious Metals and other exotic materials.

The Apple iPhone 5S launched with an option for a Gold Colour and a polycarbonate (read “plastic”) companion in the form of the Apple iPhone 5C as reported in my blog article entitled “Apple has launched the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C on Tuesday September 10th 2013 - Apple iPhone Strategy is to Go Global to beat Samsung”.

Apparently the polycarbonate Apple iPhone 5C was an attempt to sell off unsold units of the Apple iPhone 5. This began to backfire quite early though in September 2013 as noted in my blog article entitled “Localytics Stats suggest preference for Silver and Gold Apple iPhone 5S over polycarbonate Apple iPhone 5C - Plastic vs Metallic battle of Telecom Customer Preferences”, at which point it became clear to analysts and Americans that the Apple iPhone was having problems, as their five year run from 2007 had come to an end.

Now fast-forward to the present in June 2014. The Apple iPhone 6 is now expected to launch on Tuesday September 9th 2014, based on the fact that the Apple iPhone 5S and Apple iPhone 5C went on sale at Wal-Mart as pointed out in my blog article entitled “WalMart Sale on Apple iPhone 5S and 5C - Apple iPhone 6 expected in September 2014 and is worth its weight in Gold and Sapphires”.

With unbreakable Sapphire now covering the entire face of the Apple iPhone and not just the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, many Americans are excited at the prospect of owning a smartphone that not only unscratchable but made of a semi-precious gemstone.

Who knows, many ponder, maybe Samsung might respond with a Samsung Galaxy S6 made with a Diamond Screen, seeing as the Samsung Galaxy S5 is just the S4 but with better plastic clothing as noted in my blog article entitled “Introducing the Samsung Galaxy S5 – 16 Megapixel Camera with Fingerprint Scanner and Fitness Tracker is Improved Fun Experience in a better Business Suit”.

The Elephants in the Room - Poor Battery Life, Child Safety Issues and Loss of Location Privacy

And yet, in this entire furore in the smartphone world that’s trying to talk up the idea of sharper, bigger screens, no one is talking about improving the lackluster Battery life of these smartphones.

Most smartphones STILL can’t survive the day without a regular recharge, forcing their owners to pony up extra money to buy a Portable Battery Recharger as listed in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to extend your smartphone’s battery Life with a Portable Battery Charger”.

Then there are the child Safety issues, mainly from children using their smartphones to go online on Social Media and give out their personal information, exposing them to harm from sexual predators as well as sexual content online. Even more troubling is that they may download Apps and play games that max out one’s Credit Card, making you regret ever even having given your smartphone to your Child.

Fortunately, I’ve pretty much fixed that after doing a set of interviews on Nationwide News 90 FM, located at 27 Mannings Hill Road and home of Miss Kitty. During those two (2) interviews on Friday May 2nd 2014 and Friday June 11th 2014 at 9:30am I was interviewed on the show Technology Now program by host Vernon Derby on the topic of securing your Tablet and smartphone from your children.

Later, I detailed the information that I gave away in my blog article entitled “How to Lock down your Child’s Tablet or smartphone and Apps to Block, Protect and Notify you of your Child’s whereabouts Online - Defense Against the Dark Arts” specifically on how to lock down your Tablet and smartphone.  So really, it comes down to the parent getting hip with the technology and not leaving it to children, thinking that it’s for them as you should know about it too.

But it’s the last issue that’s got me the most worried. These smartphones come with GPS built in and many of the latest apps use GPS Location to provide their services, even blocking you from using it if it detects you are NOT in the US of A.

They can also track your every move…..and that has me worried, dear reader. So NO smartphone for me, thank you!

Smartphones and Location Privacy - How to disable Location Services on Android and iOS

Fortunately, there’s a way you can disable the Location Services in your smartphone, at least most of it according to the article “Don't Let Stalkers, Abusers and Creeps Track Your Phone's Location”, published 7/30/2014 @ 2:28AM by Larry Magid, Forbes:

For Apple iOS:

1.      Go to Settings
2.      Then select Privacy
3.      Then select Location Services
4.      Touch or swipe the green location services slider to turn location services off
5.      Touch or swipe below the general location setting of location specific apps to turn off location awareness

This procedure also deletes the Location History for those Apps for the Apple iPhone. If it's not available, you might want to delete that App. A similar procedure exists for the Google Android:

1.      Go to Settings
2.      Scroll down until you see Location
3.      Select General
4.      Select Location
5.      Slide the Slider from ON to OFF

To delete the Location History for Google Android smartphones, which is a lot like the Search History in a Browser, the following procedure comes in handy:

1.      Go to the App Menu
2.      Open Google Settings  
3.      Select  Touch Location then Location History for smartphones and Tablets running Android 4.3 or lower
4.      Select  Account History then Google Location History then Location History for smartphones and Tablets running Android 4.4 or lower
5.      Touch Delete Location History at the bottom of the screen.
6.      Read the dialog box that appears
7.      Check the box next to “I understand and want to delete,”
8.      Touch Delete

To delete specific location history will require that you log into your Google Account and go to Google’s Location History website. Then meticulously go through and selectively delete individual locations, locations by date, or your entire location history.

That’s it! You need to just be aware of what apps you download and install and don’t trust anyone with your smartphone. They could install apps on your smartphone or change setting in your smartphone to make you trackable.

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