Apple devices can use GPS, Bluetooth, cell towers, and Wi-Fi hotspots to determine your location. The iPhone periodically sends location data back to Apple, in an anonymous and encrypted form. This data is used to improve location-based services on everyone's devices, such as displaying real-time traffic or suggesting popular locations. Many apps can use location data in the background, and iOS will periodically notify users when this data is being collected.
The iPhone has included on-board GPS since the second generation iPhone 3G. With the release of iOS 13, Apple added more granular controls over how apps use location data, giving the user more privacy controls. Location data and privacy issues are back in the news lately, with the addition of ultra wideband location tracking to the iPhone 11. Many apps can use location data in the background, from GPS and other sources.
The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max introduced Apple's U1 chip with Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology. This feature allows the iPhone to understand its location in relation to other UWB devices, providing what Apple calls "GPS at the scale of your living room". For example, AirDrop knows when you're pointing your iPhone at another iPhone to share content between devices.
Google has added new options to Google Account settings. While Location History and Web & App Activity can be toggled off completely, now they can be configured to automatically delete after 3 months or 18 months. Google will remove this history from your account on a rolling basis.
Good news for anyone who enjoys spoofing their iPhone location to trick friends and apps alike. The jailbreak tweak LocationFaker has been updated to work with iOS 8. For those who purchased the previous version of LocationFaker, the update is free of charge.
LocationFaker8 replaces GPS-sourced location data with a fake location chosen by the user. Once installed, the LocationFaker app will appear on the iOS 8 home screen. Locations can be searched, and a list of favorite spoofed locations can even be kept for later use.