Location services grow for smartphone users, survey says

Sep 12, 2013
Motorola's Moto X smartphones are displayed on August 1, 2013 at a news conference in New York. Most US smartphone owners use their device's location service for directions or other purposes but only a small percentage share their location with friends and others, a survey showed Thursday.

Most US smartphone owners use their device's location service for directions or other purposes but only a small percentage share their location with friends and others, a survey showed Thursday.

The Pew Research Center's Internet Project survey found 74 percent of adult smartphone owners said they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location.

Among social ages 18 and older, 30 percent say that at least one of their accounts is currently set up to include their location in their posts, up from 14 percent who said they had ever done this in 2011.

The survey found a small drop in the number of smartphone owners who use "check in" location services: around 12 percent of adult smartphone owners said they use a geosocial service to "check in" to certain locations or share their location with friends, down from 18 percent in early 2012.

Among those who do check in with their locations, 39 percent said they did so on Facebook, 18 percent on Foursquare and 14 percent on Google Plus.

The survey highlights the increasing role of smartphones which can track users' locations, which raises privacy and safety concerns but also offers opportunities for tech firms to tell customers what is near them.

Some prior surveys indicate a number of have disabled location-tracking features at some point due to privacy concerns.

The findings were based on a survey of 2,252 adults from April 17 to May 19, with a margin of error estimated at 2.3 percentage points.

Explore further: US teens love apps, not tracking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Americans tap into location-based services: study

Sep 06, 2011

One in four Americans uses their cellphone to get directions or to receive recommendations about nearby attractions based on their present location, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

US teens love apps, not tracking

Aug 22, 2013

American teenagers love their smartphone apps, but many are avoiding them, due to fears about privacy and location tracking.

56% of US adults have smartphones

Jun 05, 2013

More than half of American adults own a smartphone, including some 80 percent of those in the 18 to 34 age group, a survey showed Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

Apr 17, 2014

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

Apr 16, 2014

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

Apr 16, 2014

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

Apr 15, 2014

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

Apr 14, 2014

Netflix's videos are streaming through Comcast's Internet service at their highest speeds in the past 17 months now that Netflix is paying for a more direct connection to Comcast's network.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...