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23
Jan

DJI’s new Mavic Air drone shoots in 4K, does 43 mph, and fits in your pocket


We were admittedly a bit disappointed when DJI showed up to CES earlier this year without any new drones to show off, but it appears that the company had something new to show off all along. At a January 23 press event in New York City, the company unveiled the Mavic Air: A lighter, more streamlined version of the company’s popular Mavic Pro.

Much like it’s predecessor, the Mavic Air is designed with portability in mind — but it takes things to a completely new level. Thanks to its compact form factor and folding arms, the Air is not only half the size of the Mavic Pro, but also 41 percent lighter. During the unveiling event, DJI’s Managing Director Michael Perry pulled not one, but three Mavic Airs out of the pockets of his vest.

Amazingly, despite this impressively small size, the Mavic Air is somehow smarter and more capable than the Pro. It sports a seven-camera vision positioning system, which allows it to map the area around itself while it flies, and use that map to sense and avoid obstacles. Plus, in addition to DJI’s standard suite of intelligent flight modes, the Mavic Air will ship with DJI’s  new-and-improved Active Track and Quickshot functions.

The new Active Track is essentially just more accurate, responsive, and easy to use. Users will be able to track multiple subjects simultaneously, and simply tap on subjects to begin tracking them (in previous versions, you had to draw a box around whatever you wanted the drone to follow).

The Mavic Air will also sport three new Quickshot modes: Panorama, Boomerang, and a crazy new one called Asteroid. In Panorama, the drone autonomously snaps and stitches a series of photos together to create a wide, sweeping shot. With some software magic, it can even create a “spherical panorama,” which folds the shot into a neat-looking globe shape. In Asteroid mode, the drone creates one of these spherical panoramas, then zooms back down to you. The end result is a fake (but admittedly cool) super-zoom effect that ends with a selfie. Check out the video to see it for yourself.

DJI definitely didn’t skimp in the camera department either. Thanks to its 1/2.3 CMOS sensor and 34mm lens, the Mavic Air is capable of shooting 13 megapixel stills, and 4K video at 30 frames per second. Better yet, the camera itself sits inside a new-and-improved 3-axis gimbal that not only provides stabilization, but also helps protect the camera during flight and transport (which was an issue with the Mavic Pro).

To top it all off, the Mavic Air can also fly faster and longer than the Pro. It tops out at 42.5 miles per hour, and can stay airborne for 21 minutes on a single charge. Oh, and did we mention it also has 8GB of internal storage? This little guy is jam-packed with features.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on one, DJI has opened up pre-orders today. You can snag the base package for $799, or dish out $999 for the Combo Pack, which includes additional accessories and attachments. DJI expects to begin shipping by January 28.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • DJI’s limited-edition Mavic Pro will be hard to spot in winter weather
  • DJI Ronin S is a one-hand gimbal for DSLRs; Osmo Mobile 2 embraces vertical video
  • The Autel EVO packages 60 fps 4K video in a compact folding drone
  • Snap the best picture you can by mastering the Xiaomi Mi A1’s camera
  • AirSelfie debuts second-gen selfie drone with loads more memory and flight time


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23
Jan

DJI’s new Mavic Air drone shoots in 4K, does 43 mph, and fits in your pocket


We were admittedly a bit disappointed when DJI showed up to CES earlier this year without any new drones to show off, but it appears that the company had something new to show off all along. At a January 23 press event in New York City, the company unveiled the Mavic Air: A lighter, more streamlined version of the company’s popular Mavic Pro.

Much like it’s predecessor, the Mavic Air is designed with portability in mind — but it takes things to a completely new level. Thanks to its compact form factor and folding arms, the Air is not only half the size of the Mavic Pro, but also 41 percent lighter. During the unveiling event, DJI’s Managing Director Michael Perry pulled not one, but three Mavic Airs out of the pockets of his vest.

Amazingly, despite this impressively small size, the Mavic Air is somehow smarter and more capable than the Pro. It sports a seven-camera vision positioning system, which allows it to map the area around itself while it flies, and use that map to sense and avoid obstacles. Plus, in addition to DJI’s standard suite of intelligent flight modes, the Mavic Air will ship with DJI’s  new-and-improved Active Track and Quickshot functions.

The new Active Track is essentially just more accurate, responsive, and easy to use. Users will be able to track multiple subjects simultaneously, and simply tap on subjects to begin tracking them (in previous versions, you had to draw a box around whatever you wanted the drone to follow).

The Mavic Air will also sport three new Quickshot modes: Panorama, Boomerang, and a crazy new one called Asteroid. In Panorama, the drone autonomously snaps and stitches a series of photos together to create a wide, sweeping shot. With some software magic, it can even create a “spherical panorama,” which folds the shot into a neat-looking globe shape. In Asteroid mode, the drone creates one of these spherical panoramas, then zooms back down to you. The end result is a fake (but admittedly cool) super-zoom effect that ends with a selfie. Check out the video to see it for yourself.

DJI definitely didn’t skimp in the camera department either. Thanks to its 1/2.3 CMOS sensor and 34mm lens, the Mavic Air is capable of shooting 13 megapixel stills, and 4K video at 30 frames per second. Better yet, the camera itself sits inside a new-and-improved 3-axis gimbal that not only provides stabilization, but also helps protect the camera during flight and transport (which was an issue with the Mavic Pro).

To top it all off, the Mavic Air can also fly faster and longer than the Pro. It tops out at 42.5 miles per hour, and can stay airborne for 21 minutes on a single charge. Oh, and did we mention it also has 8GB of internal storage? This little guy is jam-packed with features.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on one, DJI has opened up pre-orders today. You can snag the base package for $799, or dish out $999 for the Combo Pack, which includes additional accessories and attachments. DJI expects to begin shipping by January 28.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • DJI’s limited-edition Mavic Pro will be hard to spot in winter weather
  • DJI Ronin S is a one-hand gimbal for DSLRs; Osmo Mobile 2 embraces vertical video
  • The Autel EVO packages 60 fps 4K video in a compact folding drone
  • Snap the best picture you can by mastering the Xiaomi Mi A1’s camera
  • AirSelfie debuts second-gen selfie drone with loads more memory and flight time


23
Jan

Red Hydrogen One modular smartphone is likely to ship this summer


Cinema camera company Red’s first smartphone has been promising big features since last summer, but despite pre-orders already being underway, few official details are available on the smartphone outside of the holographic display. Now, company founder Jim Jannard is sharing additional specs for the Red Hydrogen One — as he uses the Hydrogen One with the serial number 0001. A ship date is expected for sometime this summer, he says.

Sharing the details in a forum post, Jannard says that there’s a few things yet to add to the smartphone, but that his working early version has “everything we need from a smartphone.” While the company has yet to share a full spec sheet, Jannard is now sharing a few more details — like the 2560 x 1440 screen resolution in 2D mode. The 4-view matches the same resolution, but those pixels appear on multiple layers rather than a flat screen so while the numbers are the same, the 4V won’t appear exactly the same. He says that in the 4V holographic mode, the screen dims a little and then displays a “better than 3D” view.

Jannard says that both the holographic screen and multi-channel spatial sound is something that’s difficult to describe and something that users will have to see or hear to fully appreciate.

The modular system previously alluded to (and supported by patent documents) will have at least a “cinema grade” camera module and an additional battery, according to Jannard. The modular concept uses pogo pins at the back of the phone to add-on accessories, allowing the add-ons to share power and data through the pin connection. The add-on battery will support the large 4500mAh battery already built inside.

Users won’t need the modular add-on in order to shoot 3D and 4V content for playback on that holographic screen either. Jannard says the smartphone’s built-in camera will support the feature in both the rear and front cameras. The smartphone will also automatically save a 2D file as well. Along with building a Hydrogen One network for sharing the content type, Jannard says the company is working with some “big dogs” social media networks in order to enable sharing the 4V content.

The Android smartphone will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835x processor. The smartphone will be available unlocked or carrier specific. Jannard says that, while they can’t yet share the carriers that have entered agreements, that carrier support is “unprecedented.”

As for the more industrial design, Jannard says the scallops on the exterior aren’t just for looks but make the phone easier to dig out of your pocket. The Red One will use dual SIM slots, which will allow for either two phone numbers or one SIM card and a microSD for storing content. The RED One isn’t ditching the headphone jack and a USB-C port will also be included. As for size, Jannard says it’s about 2 ounces heavier than most other smartphones, with a 5.7-inch size, a few millimeters larger, and “just a tad thicker.”

RED is currently showing prototypes of the smartphone to select groups as they build the Hydrogen Network, which will give creators their own channels and also allow users to sell 4V content. Jannard says pre-order customers will have access to a demonstration and preview in the spring. Unlocked pre-orders will ship first, with the carrier-connected smartphones ship date “likely” sometime this summer.

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23
Jan

The most powerful acoustic tractor beam could one day levitate humans


Researchers at the U.K.’s University of Bristol recently demonstrated that it is possible to use an acoustic tractor beam to successfully levitate larger objects than has previously been thought possible. The breakthrough hints at the possibility of one day being able to levitate fully grown humans. Sign us up!

“In the past, we have used different acoustic fields to trap particles: standing waves, twin traps or bottle traps,” Dr. Asier Marzo, from Bristol’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, told Digital Trends. “They are generated by having several speakers emitting with the same amplitude and frequency, but different coordinated phases. However, all these fields have in common that the separation between the low-intensity areas is always around half of the wavelength of the sound used. For instance, operating in air at 40kHz gives a wavelength of 8.6mm. Particles get trapped in the nodes, so particles larger than half-wavelength span across several nodes and cannot be stably trapped.”

The Bristol researchers’ breakthrough, allowing them to trap particles larger than the wavelength of sound, is the result of a special type of acoustic field called vortices. Marzo describes these as being “like tornadoes of sound, with a silent core in the center.” One interesting capability of vortices is that they can increase their aperture. Unfortunately, when you normally try and put a particle in the core of a vortex it begins spinning and is swiftly ejected.

To get around this, the team emitted very short pulses of vortices with opposite directions: Emitting one counter-clockwise vortex for one millisecond, and then a clockwise vortex for another millisecond. This sequence of short-pulsed vortices allowed the team to trap larger particles, without them spinning.

In the future, with more acoustic power, the team’s hope is that it will be possible to hold even larger objects — possibly including humans. This will be achieved without lowering the pitch of the sound, which would make it audible to humans and potentially dangerous as a result. Before we reach that point, however, Marzo has more immediate applications in mind.

“For me, the interesting applications of acoustic trapping are in the smaller scale,” he said. “For instance, to trap and dispose objects that are inside our body, such as kidney stones or eye floaters. The ability of being able to trap wavelength-size particles permits [us] to employ the same frequency to image and trap particles. This could lead to ultrasonic imaging machines that can see inside you, but also manipulate particles that are there.”

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23
Jan

Acer’s updates the Chromebook Spin 11 with a slimmer figure and Pentium CPU


Acer introduced three new Chrome operating system devices on Tuesday, January 23: The Chromebook Spin 11 2-in-1 with a 360-degree hinge, the Chromebook 11 C732 for students, and the Chromebox CXI3 mini-desktop. All three are making their debut during the Bett Show 2018 convention focusing on education, which also saw the release of four new inexpensive Windows 10 PCs as seen on Monday. 

For starters, here are the specifications for the Chromebook Spin 11: 

Screen size: 

11.6 inches with Touch 

Screen type: 

IPS 

Resolution: 

1,366 x 768 

Processor: 

Intel Celeron N3350
Intel Pentium N4200 

Graphics: 

Intel HD Graphics 500 (Celeron)
Intel HD Graphics 505 (Pentium) 

Memory: 

4GB LPDDR4
8GB LPDDR4 

Storage: 

32GB
64GB 

Sound: 

2x speakers 

Camera: 

720p (second optional camera) 

Connectivity: 

Wireless AC (2×2)
Bluetooth 4.2 

Ports: 

2x USB-C 3.1 Gen1
2x USB-A 3.1 Gen1
1x Micro SD card reader 

Battery: 

4870 mAh (10 hours) 

Dimensions: 

11.65 (W) x 8.11 (D) x 0.78 (H) inches 

Weight: 

2.75 pounds 

Starting price: 

$349 

Accessory: 

Wacom EMR Stylus (CP311-1HN only) 

Availability: 

March 

 This is essentially a refreshed Chromebook Spin 11 sporting a new Intel Pentium processor option. It’s a four-core chip released in the third quarter of 2016 with a base speed of 1.1GHz, and a maximum boost speed of 2.5GHz. You will also see configurations still using Intel’s dual-core Celeron chip released in the same timeframe with the same base speed, but a slightly lower boost speed. These two older chips are part of the reason why the Chromebook Spin 11 offers such a low price tag. 

Also new to this Chromebook are configurations with 8GB of system memory, and 64GB of storage. That latter number is generous for a Chromebook, as the Chrome OS foundation relies on web-based apps, so there is no need for large amounts of storage. But given that the Spin 11 supports Google Play and Android-based apps, you are going to need the extra space to host your installed Android games, social network clients, tools, and so on. Backing up the two storage options is a Micro SD card reader supporting additional space. 

As the list shows, the updated Spin 11 relies on an 11.6-inch screen based on IPS panel technology promising deep, rich colors and wide viewing angles. The device supports touch input complemented by a 360-degree hinge enabling four modes: Laptop, tent, stand, and tablet. The CP311-1HN model also supports the Wacom EMR stylus (aka electromagnetic resonance) that allows you to draw and take notes directly on the screen without the need for batteries or cables. 

Finally, the revamped model is slightly thinner and lighter than the previous version, measuring 0.78 inches versus the prior model’s 0.82-inch thickness. It has lost weight too, down to 2.75 pounds versus its previous 3.09-pound weight. Both are extremely lightweight anyway but the newer version gives you less to worry about while juggling the Chromebook with books or a cup of coffee. 

As for Acer’s two other devices, the Chromebook 11 C732 arrives in March as well starting at $299 for touch-based models and $279 without touch. Meanwhile, Acer has no idea when it will ship the Chromebox CXI3 mini-desktop, nor did the company provide possible pricing.

Editors’ Recommendations

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23
Jan

Snapchat Stories can now be viewed outside of the app


Only certain Stories can be shared at first, but that should change down the road.

Snapchat is an app that I’ve been trying to avoid for some time, but it looks like that quest will soon be much more difficult. Following rumors that popped up in late December, Snapchat is now letting you share Stories outside of the app so you can view them on a mobile or desktop browser.

snapchat-story-web-player.jpg?itok=H-pEK

At first, this feature will only be available for Seach Stories, Official Stories, and Our Stories that are found in the app’s Discover section. This will likely change and open up to more Stories as time goes on, but it’s unclear when exactly that’ll happen.

When you share a story, you’ll get a link that you can share anywhere you’d like. When someone clicks/taps on said link, they’ll be taken to story.snapchat.com where they can watch the story, share it, control its playback, and also download the Snapchat app thanks to a conveniently placed button.

Being redirected to another web page isn’t the most glamorous process, but it does open the door considerably in regards to who can see the content you’re sharing on Snapchat.

When sharing these links, you’ll still have to keep their lifespan in mind. Our Stories and Search Stories that you share will only be viewable for 30 days with the link, and Official Stories will expire after just 24 hours.

Instagram is letting some users share their Stories on WhatsApp Status

23
Jan

Lenovo has three new rugged Chromebooks for the education market


These new Chromebooks are built tough and ready for school with support for Google Classroom and G Suite for Education.

Lenovo had some great stuff to talk about at the BETT show in London. Affordable Windows 10 laptops for students made their debut, but what we’re most interested in are the three new Chromebooks designed for the educational market. Lenovo didn’t disappoint, and the new 100e, 300e, and 500e models cover the price points and feature lists of most any school boards budget.

The trio shares some common details that make them worth taking a look at. The design is “Hardened for Education Environments”, meaning rubber bumpers, reinforced ports and hinges, and an all-new mechanically-anchored keyboard makes them able to take some extra abuse; all three are MIL-SPec tested and rated, including drop-testing at 29.5-inches and spill-resistant to 330ml. These should offer the extra level of survivability that every classroom product needs. In addition, all three models come with great classroom management tools including support for Google Classroom and G Suite for Education.

Lenovo 100e Chromebook

03_chromebook_100e_front_facing_camera.p

At the entry-level, the Lenovo 100e Chromebook offers the same Chrome experience as more expensive laptops with automatic updates and worry-free management. The 100e features a fanless 8th generation dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor that promises up to 10 hours of battery life. The 11.6-inch antiglare HD display and rugged exterior still check in at just 2.7 pounds (1.22kg).

Expect availability starting in March 2018 with a price that will please everyone at any budget committee meeting: $219.

Lenovo 300e Chromebook

05_chromebook_300e_hero_dual.png?itok=Fo

A step up from the 100e, the Chromebook 300e has the same flexible and worry-free software management tools with Chrome OS with a multi-mode form factor and ten-point multi-touch display. It’s difficult to adapt a 360-degree hinge to a ruggedized form factor, but Lenovo looks to have pulled it off and the 300e can be used in the traditional laptop way, or in a tented presentation mode or as a tablet.

The MediaTex MTK 8173C processor delivers up to 10 hours of battery life, and the whole package comes in at 3 pounds (1.35kg). The 300e arrives in February 2018 and has an affordable $279 price.

Lenovo 500e Chromebook

05_chromebook_500e_hero_dual.png?itok=x3

At the top of Lenovo’s 2018 Educational Chromebook line, the 500e adds some extra features that justify the price bump. The pressure-sensitive pen is integrated with Chrome and the Chromebook itself with a silo slot built into the body. Dual-5MP cameras allow for photos and video in the correct orientation in the standard laptop mode, the tented display mode or in tablet mode, and the 11.6-inch IPS HD display uses Gorilla Glass to add an extra layer of toughness.

The 8th generation quad-core Intel N3450 processor is paired with up to 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage to meet (and exceed) any performance demands while still offering up to 10 hours of battery power. The entire package still hits the scales at under 3 pounds (2.97 pounds/1.35kg).

The 500e Chromebook will be available starting in January 2018 and starts at $349.

You can find more information as well as order the products when they become available at Lenovo’s website

Chromebooks

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23
Jan

RED Hydrogen One will have a 4,500 mAh battery and carrier support


This actually sounds really nice.

All the way back in July of last year, RED came out of nowhere with the announcement that it was working on a smartphone with revolutionary camera tech, a 3D holographic display, and a fancy modular system. For a company that primarily creates cinema cameras that cost multiple thousands of dollars, this was quite the surprise.

Hydrogen-One-MBKHD-screen_0.jpg?itok=CGh

Six months after that initial announcement, RED is finally ready to share more specifics about its phone – the Hydrogen One.

For starters, that 3D holographic display will be found on a 5.7-inch panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. We still don’t know exactly how this will look in person, but an employee from RED did share the following:

In 4V mode (holographic), the screen dims a bit and out pops a “better than 3D” image… no glasses needed. There is no way to describe this. You just have to see it. So far, everyone that has seen it gasps, swears or just grins.

I’m personally still a bit skeptical about how the holographic effect will look, but that could just be the pessimist in me.

More phones with 4,500 mAh batteries please.

Moving on, we also know that the Hydrogen One will be powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor, have a giant 4,500 mAh battery, will keep the 3.5mm headphone jack, and support either two SIM cards or one SIM and a microSD card.

Perhaps the most surprising news is that the Hydrogen One will actually get carrier support. RED doesn’t clarify which carriers will offer the phone, but instead says that carrier support is “unprecedented.” The RED Hydrogen One should finally launch at some point this summer, and customers that pre-ordered the unlocked version of the phone will get it beforehand.

The starting price of $1195 is still making me hesitant about the Hydrogen One, but I have to admit that it sounds like RED knows what it’s doing. That smartphone industry has had a tendency to feel somewhat bland over the past couple years, and something like the Hydrogen One might be what we need to shake things up a bit.

T-Mobile is one step closer to launching its live TV service

23
Jan

Get the Ethical Hacking A to Z bundle for just $19!


Hackers pose a serious threat, not only to individuals but also to large corporations. There are vast security structures in place to keep hackers out, but without testing that security, there’s no way to know whether it will hold up. That’s where ethical hackers come in.

Ethical hackers are employed to test security systems, and the better they are at hacking, the better they are at their job. In order to become a successful ethical hacker, you really need to know what you’re doing, and the training required is usually quite extensive and expensive.

android-hack-a-z-stacksocial.jpg?itok=CQ

Right now, however, Android Central Digital Offers has a deal on the Ethical Hacking A to Z bundle. Instead of paying the regular price of $1,273, you’ll pay just $19. That’s an additional price drop off of what’s already a 96 percent discount off the regular price.

This eight-course bundle will take you from zero to hero with 667 lessons and over 76 hours of training. Courses include:

  • Ethical Hacker Bootcamp
  • A to Z ethical Hacking Course
  • Learn Burp Suite for Advanced Web Penetration Testing
  • Complete Ethical Hacking / Penetration Testing Couse
  • Intro to Ethical Hacking
  • Real World Hacking and Penetration Testing
  • Learn Kali Linux and Hack Android Mobile Devices
  • Learn Hacking/Penetration Testing using Android from scratch

If you’ve been thinking about making the internet a safer place by exposing its vulnerabilities, this is the bundle for you. Ethical hacking is a lucrative career, and this bundle has everything needed for a strong start. Don’t wait too long; this deal doesn’t last forever.

23
Jan

Location services: Which option is right for you?


google-location-tracking.jpg?itok=mF_Thz

How to share where you are with the apps you want to use.

Android phones come with a few options for location services, and these are useful for map apps, locating nearby shops, restaurants, and the like, but which one is the right one for you to use? Let’s clarify the differences and help you out.

  • Accessing location services
  • High accuracy
  • Battery saving
  • Device only

How to choose location services options

To find and select your location services if your phone uses Android 7 (Nougat):

Tap the Settings button in your App Drawer.
Tap Location under the Personal menu.
Tap Mode.

Tap the option you want to use for your location service.

location-services-android-phones-menu-sc

To find and select your location services if your phone uses Android 8 (Oreo):

Launch Settings from the notification shade.
Tap Security & Location in the main menu.
Tap Location under the Privacy heading.
Tap Mode.
Tap the option you want to use for your location service.

Now let’s have a look at each of the three options and see what they mean.

High accuracy

When you select the High accuracy location service mode, you are allowing multiple networks to pinpoint your precise location (hence the name High accuracy). It calls upon every service available: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and/or cellular networks in whatever combination available, and uses Google’s location services to provide the most accurate location.

Your phone’s location will be fairly accurate, and down to the street corner you’re standing on or the home address you’re living at or visiting. You’ll probably want this mode turned on if you’re looking for turn-by-turn directions.

Battery saving

Eliminating GPS will save your battery life a fair amount. Battery saving mode uses less battery-intensive location sources (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and/or nearby cell towers) to figure out where you are using Google’s location services. This will not be as accurate as using GPS, but you will still get a close approximate location and your maps or apps might still point you in the right direction, depending on how many cellular towers, registered Wi-Fi hotspots and Bluetooth beacons are in range.

If you need to know where you are but want to save as much battery as you can, give this a try.

Device only

Device only mode relies solely on the GPS radio signal built into your Android phone. It works in much the same way that a GPS device for cars does, using the GPS-designated network of satellites to find your phone’s location. This means it will work in places where you won’t find enough Wi-Fi, cellular towers, and Bluetooth beacons to get a proper location. The GPS radio uses more battery power and doesn’t work reliably unless you are outside.

Which one’s right for you?

That depends on what you need location services for. If you want turn-by-turn directions or need a precise location for an app like Pokemon Go or Ingress, you’ll need to use High accuracy mode. If you only need an approximate location and being within a general area is good enough, Battery saving mode will work fine. If you’re somewhere with poor phone service or a place with a lot of tall buildings Device only mode will provide the same location as High accuracy mode will because you’re really only using the GPS service to see where you are.

Our recommendation is to use High accuracy mode when you need location services unless you see a significant loss in battery life.

And remember, you can always turn location services Off if you would rather not let apps know where you are, but the apps may not work correctly. See why an app wants to know where you are and decide if it’s worth sharing with the app developers.

Updated January 2018: Updated screenshots for the current OS.

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