iOS 11 stops apps like Uber and Waze from accessing user location data at all times

Apple put a heavy focus on improving iOS at its WWDC this week with introductions such as file management, more visible iMessage features, QR code scanning and more, but there are a number of notable features in iOS 11 that weren’t explicitly announced. One of those, which will be well-received by many, is a tweak to security settings that allows users to restrict the use of their location data for any app on their device.

Apps like Uber and Waze have been criticized for forcing users to grant them full access to a phone’s location status even when the app is not being used in order to operate. As we wrote last year, that raises the potential for them to quietly collect background information on users, even though Uber, for one, has played that suggestion down.

Those days will soon be over for many users thanks to a new setting in iOS 11 that introduces the “While Using The App” location setting for all apps, as a number of eagle-eyed developers — including Joe Duvall and Twitter users @tfoil2 and @chengyinliu — spotted. Previously, that setting — which works exactly as the name suggests — had only been an option for developers, and it was something that a good number of high-profile apps did not include.

The new setting option, seen below with Uber as the example, is most definitely a positive development for user privacy. It may also help some people get more battery life from their phone, too.

Right now, iOS 11 is only available to developer account holders so the impact of this change is initially limited. But this new option to control the use of location more granularly will roll out to all eligible iPhone owners when iOS 11 hits general release in September.