Categories
Security

1Password 8 arrives on Android and iOS with a big redesign and personalized home

1Password is launching a big update to its Android and iOS apps today. 1Password 8 overhauls the design of the mobile password management apps in many of the same ways the 1Password 8 apps for Windows and Mac were redesigned in recent months. The new mobile interface includes a personalized home tab, which should make it easier to find logins, pin favorites, and organize your passwords.

The new personalized homescreen also lets you easily see logins you’ve recently created and even pin individual fields from a login. You can also reorder sections and add quick actions to the home tab, and the navigation bar now provides quick access to search, home, and settings.

Search isn’t super obvious in the current 1Password mobile app, and the navigation bar is split into favorites, categories, tags, and settings instead. 1Pasword 8 greatly simplifies the entire interface and navigation bar, making it easier for 1Password users who aren’t familiar with the mobile app to find their logins more easily. The updated app also has new and improved icons, typography, and detailed views for logins and vaults.

New icons and customizable homescreen on 1Password 8 mobile.
Image: 1Password

1Password has also added an updated Watchtower UI inside the mobile app, including alerts about data breaches inside items. Collections are also available in the mobile app now, allowing 1Password users to create custom groups of vaults. Autofill is also faster and more precise, so 1Password on mobile should more accurately auto fill payment cards, addresses, and identities across apps.

“Over the last couple years we’ve been making a concerted effort to unify our design language,” explained Michael Fey, VP of engineering for client apps at 1Password, earlier this year. “The updated designs result in a modern take on 1Password that is both familiar and fresh.”

The improvements in usability across mobile and desktop are particularly important as 1Password attempts to capture even more subscribers. 1Password now has more than 100,000 paying business customers, and it saw subscriber growth during the pandemic that led to a $6.8 billion valuation for the company earlier this year.

1Password has also been making it easier to share files, documents, and passwords with just a link and even helping people remember which “sign in” service they used on websites. The service also added a hide my email feature last year, giving all users the option of hiding their email addresses from apps and services.

Update, August 9th 9:40AM ET: Article updated with more 1Password 8 feature additions.

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Categories
Game

Discord’s overhauled Android app will shorten the wait for new features

Discord has begun rolling out an overhauled Android app that addresses one of the most consistent complaints with the software. If you follow the company, you’ve probably seen it often announce new features only to note they will launch on iOS and desktop first before arriving on Google’s operating system. We saw that recently with the release of . According to Discord, that’s about to become a thing of the past.

In a published on Monday, the company said it recently rebuilt its Android app using React Native. Discord has employed the framework for iOS development ever since Meta first open sourced React in 2015. Now that both of Discord’s mobile apps are on the same underlying codebase, the company notes Android users can expect feature consistency.

Comparison screenshot showing Discord's new Android interface. The new UI more broadly aligns with its iOS counterpart thanks to Discord's move to React Native.

Discord

Additionally, the company says Discord users will see a more consistent user experience across platforms. As one example, the Android app will feature a larger default font that is more in line with the iOS version of the software. Discord also anticipates it will release future updates faster.

“As Discord continues to grow across platforms, we want to find ways to support you and your communities as quickly and efficiently as possible, regardless of which device or platform you happen to be using,” the company said. “Utilizing React Native across every mobile platform Discord is on is just one of the tools that helps us support what you do, and we can’t wait to show you how.”

If you already have Discord installed on your Android phone, the company says you can expect the overhauled app to arrive on your device in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, new Android users can download the software from the Google Play Store.

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Categories
Security

Google says attackers worked with ISPs to deploy Hermit spyware on Android and iOS

A sophisticated spyware campaign is getting the help of internet service providers (ISPs) to trick users into downloading malicious apps, according to research published by Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) (via TechCrunch). This corroborates earlier findings from security research group Lookout, which has linked the spyware, dubbed Hermit, to Italian spyware vendor RCS Labs.

Lookout says RCS Labs is in the same line of work as NSO Group — the infamous surveillance-for-hire company behind the Pegasus spyware — and peddles commercial spyware to various government agencies. Researchers at Lookout believe Hermit has already been deployed by the government of Kazakhstan and Italian authorities. In line with these findings, Google has identified victims in both countries and says it will notify affected users.

As described in Lookout’s report, Hermit is a modular threat that can download additional capabilities from a command and control (C2) server. This allows the spyware to access the call records, location, photos, and text messages on a victim’s device. Hermit’s also able to record audio, make and intercept phone calls, as well as root to an Android device, which gives it full control over its core operating system.

The spyware can infect both Android and iPhones by disguising itself as a legitimate source, typically taking on the form of a mobile carrier or messaging app. Google’s cybersecurity researchers found that some attackers actually worked with ISPs to switch off a victim’s mobile data to further their scheme. Bad actors would then pose as a victim’s mobile carrier over SMS and trick users into believing that a malicious app download will restore their internet connectivity. If attackers were unable to work with an ISP, Google says they posed as seemingly authentic messaging apps that they deceived users into downloading.

Researchers from Lookout and TAG say apps containing Hermit were never made available via the Google Play or Apple App Store. However, attackers were able to distribute infected apps on iOS by enrolling in Apple’s Developer Enterprise Program. This allowed bad actors to bypass the App Store’s standard vetting process and obtain a certificate that “satisfies all of the iOS code signing requirements on any iOS devices.”

Apple told The Verge that it has since revoked any accounts or certificates associated with the threat. In addition to notifying affected users, Google has also pushed a Google Play Protect update to all users.

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Categories
Computing

Twitter brings closed captioning toggle to Android and iOS

Twitter now offers the option to turn closed captioning on or off in its mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

On Thursday evening, the bird app’s official @TwitterSupport account announced via a tweet that a closed captioning toggle is now available to everyone using Twitter for Android or iOS. The tweeted announcement described the new mobile app feature as a “‘CC’ button” that works with videos with captions enabled.

The choice is now yours: the closed caption toggle is now available for everyone on iOS and Android!

Tap the “CC” button on videos with available captions to turn the captions off/on. https://t.co/GceKv68wvi

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 23, 2022

In the replies to the tweeted announcement, @TwitterSupport offered a few more details about the feature that’s new to the Twitter mobile app:

The closed captioning toggle is “already available” for Twitter on the web and it should show up as users hover over a video that has captions enabled.

This is already available for everyone on web! On videos that have captions available, you can turn the captions off/on by clicking the “CC” button at the bottom that appears when you hover over the video.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 23, 2022

You also don’t have to tap the toggle button every time you want to enable captions for videos. Once you toggle captions on for one video, the other videos in your timeline that offer captions should also follow suit.

You're welcome, Courtney! When you use the “CC” button to turn on captions for one video, captions will stay on for other videos in your timeline that have captions available.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 23, 2022

We tested the new mobile-friendly closed captioning toggle feature on Twitter for Android, and currently it is live and working. But here are a couple of things we noticed:

  • As @TwitterSupport noted in their announcement, the new toggle feature only shows up for videos that have closed captions enabled. And depending on who you follow, you may not have that many videos in your timeline that are eligible to display the toggle. It was hard to find a video that had captions enabled (so that the toggle would appear).
  • Based on what we’ve seen so far on Android, the closed captioning feature and its toggle do not seem to be visible in videos embedded in tweets while in the timeline. You’ll have to click on the tweet itself (not the video) to open the tweet, in order to see the closed captions and the toggle button (which should then appear in the top-right corner of the video).

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Security

Microsoft Defender launches on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android

Microsoft is launching a new Defender cybersecurity app across Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android today. While the software giant has used the Defender moniker for its antivirus protection for years, this new cross-platform Microsoft Defender app is designed for individuals as more of a simplified dashboard that taps into existing antivirus software or offers additional device protections.

Microsoft Defender will be available for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers today, and the features will vary by platform. On iOS and iPadOS, for example, there’s no antivirus protection, and the app offers some web phishing protections instead alongside a dashboard that includes alerts for other devices.

Over on Android, Microsoft Defender includes antivirus protection and the ability to scan for malicious apps. The app will also scan links to offer web phishing protection. Microsoft Defender on Windows acts more like a dashboard rather than attempting to replace the built-in Windows Security app. You can view your existing antivirus protection from Norton, McAfee, or other vendors and manage and view security protections across devices.

Microsoft Defender on iOS.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Defender also includes security alerts and tips across multiple devices, although the tips are only available on Windows and macOS.

The app feels like it will be superfluous for many, but it will be useful for those wanting to protect family members and multiple devices in a simple dashboard. Microsoft is promising that more features are on the way, too.

“The expansion of our security portfolio with Microsoft Defender for individuals is the natural and exciting progression in our journey as a security company,” says Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president of Microsoft security. “This is just the start. As we look forward, we will continue to bring more protections together under a single dashboard, including features like identity theft protection and secure online connection.”

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Categories
Game

How To Change Your Default Apps On Android Phones

But what if you don’t have a certain app installed on your phone? For example, if someone sends you a Play Store link for a cool chess game. Tapping on the link takes you to the Play Store listing of an application that supports the Instant App feature. In a nutshell, an Instant App is a condensed web-based version of an app that lets you get a brief taste of it without having to download and install it. Not all Android applications support the Instant App system, and it is up to the developers to offer the convenience. A

For applications that support the Instant app functionality, there’s an option to specify the default link opening behavior — open the Play Store in a link in a browser, or directly launch the Instant app version in the Play Store. To do so, follow the steps below:

1. In the Settings app, head over to the Apps section.

2. Scroll down and open the Default apps section, and then select the Opening links option at the bottom.

3. On the next page, select Instant Apps preferences and then enable the toggle that says Upgrade web links.

4. Once enabled, users will be able to directly access the Instant Play option for eligible apps, as is depicted in the image above.

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Categories
Computing

How to Use Link to Windows to Connect Your Android Phone to a PC

Thanks to efforts from the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world, the gap between smartphones and computers has grown ever smaller. These days, you can get a desktop-like experience by booting up your iPad or by plugging your Samsung or Huawei phone into a spare monitor. But efforts to bridge the gap between phones and computers haven’t begun and ended with the desktop-like DeX mode, and if you own a compatible Samsung or Microsoft smartphone, you can use Link to Windows to connect your phone and your computer.

Using Link to Windows allows you to see your most recent photos, reply to messages, see notifications, and mirror your smartphone’s screen from your PC. Whether you’re a power user or more casual, it’s safe to say connecting your smartphone to your computer is useful. Here’s how to use Link to Windows to connect your Android phone to a PC.

Which phones and computers are compatible?

Of course, you first need a phone and computer that are compatible with Link to Windows. Link to Windows requires a Windows PC running Windows 10 and the May 10, 2019, update at the earliest. It also requires a compatible Android phone. The full compatibility list is available from Microsoft, but basically, you’re looking at most phones released by Samsung in the last three years, including Galaxy flagship devices back to the Galaxy S9 and the Microsoft Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2.

If you have one of those phones and a Windows 10 PC that meets the requirements, then move on to the next step, because we’re ready to start.

How to set up Link to Windows

You won’t need to download a new app on a Samsung phone to use Link to Windows, but you will need an app on your PC. Here’s how to link your phone and computer, and how to turn on notifications, too.

Step 1: Open the Windows Store by searching for it in your taskbar, and then search for Your Phone in the store.

Step 2: Install the app and tap Launch to open it. The app will ask you to choose between iPhone and Android. Since this guide concerns itself with Android phones, select Android, and move on to the next step.

Step 3: Next, you’ll need to link your phone to your PC. Go to your browser on your phone and type in the URL displayed on your PC. If you’re using a non-Samsung phone, you’ll need to download a companion app, but a Samsung phone will go straight to the linking process without an additional app download.

Step 4: Click Generate QR Code on your PC and scan the QR code using the screen that pops up on your phone. You may need to allow Phone Companion Permission to access your camera.

Step 5: The next step takes place on your phone. You’ll need to set up app permissions first to let your phone and PC play well together. Tap Continue and allow access to your contacts, phone, files, and SMS messages in order to turn on all of the features.

Step 6: Now shift back to your computer and click Get Started to open up the main Your Phone window.

Step 7: Make sure each section is set up correctly by clicking on each tab and following the tutorials to set up full access. For instance, for the Messages section, you’ll need to click See Texts, followed by Send Notification. If you’ve already allowed access to your phone, your messages should pop up in a few moments.

Step 8: Turning on notifications does require a few more steps to set up. Click Open Settings on Phone to open a list of apps. Scroll down the list until you find Your Phone Companion, and then tap the slider to turn it on.

Step 9: Tap Allow to allow access to notifications. This allows future notifications to pop up on your PC as well as your smartphone.

How to use Link to Windows

Now you’ve set up Link to Windows, you might be wondering what you can do with it. Here’s a brief explainer of each section and what you can get from each.

Receiving and customizing notifications

Any new phone notifications will pop up on your PC as they arrive, keeping you up to date without unlocking your phone. But if you’re getting overwhelmed with notifications, you can easily change your settings to exclude certain apps. Open Notifications and click Customize at the top right. From there, you can turn off notification banners, badges in the taskbar, and notifications from individual apps.

You can also click on a notification to open your phone screen on your PC. You’ll be able to control your phone through this window, allowing you to respond to messages on social media.

Receiving and answering messages

Clicking on Messages will open up a list of your most recent text messages. You can reply to messages from within the apps, and there’s no need to launch a screen mirror to reply or receive new messages. Essentially a beefed-up version of Android Messages’ web service, this is probably the simplest but most useful aspect of this app.

View and download recent photos

Photos is another simple and fairly self-evident tab. Here you’ll find your most recent photos, downloads, and screenshots. You can click on them to view them in your PC’s gallery app, share them through various messaging platforms, and save them directly to your computer.

Open and use apps without picking up your phone

One of the more interesting features of Link to Windows is the ability to launch and use any app on your phone through your PC. Open the Apps section to see a list of the apps currently installed on your phone. You can mark certain apps as favorites to see them above the list, and launch them by clicking on them. Your Phone will connect to your phone and open a window that mirrors your phone’s screen. Unlock your phone, and you’ll be able to use your phone as you would normally, but with a keyboard and mouse. This ability also extends to any games you might have installed, so you can explore New Eden in EvE Echoes without needing to pick up your phone.

Receive and place phone calls

If your PC has Bluetooth capabilities, then you can even use your PC to take and receive calls — which some may find a little more useful than playing Candy Crush. Simply select Calls to make and receive phone calls and hear them through your speakers and microphone or headset.

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Categories
Security

Google Photos’ Locked Folder is now rolling out to more Android phones

Google Photos’ Locked Folder feature, which promises to keep sensitive photos out of your main photo roll, is starting to roll out to non-Pixel phones, according to Android Police. Google said in September that the feature would be rolling out to more Android phones “soon,” and it’s reportedly started to show up on some Samsung and OnePlus devices, according to Android Central. Older Pixel devices that didn’t originally get access to it are also getting it now, based on our tests.

The feature lets you choose specific photos or videos and put them in a passcode or biometrics-locked folder, taking them out of your main photo feed and keeping them off the cloud. It was introduced on Google’s own phones (Pixel 3 and up) in June, after being announced at Google’s I/O presentation in May.

In its presentation, Google used the example of parents hiding pictures of a newly purchased puppy from their children. A valid use case for sure, though I suspect most people will probably use it for less wholesome pictures, alleviating the “what if they swipe too many pictures back and see my butt” anxiety that can come when showing people photos from an unfiltered library. (Surely a relatable concern.)

The feature should be available to phones running Android 6 or later, and I was able to access it on my Pixel 2 running Android 11 by going to Photos > Library > Utilities. Google also said that the feature will come to the iOS version of Google Photos early next year.

If you’ve got the feature and want to use it, it’s worth noting that photos stored in the Locked Folder won’t be backed up to the cloud and will be deleted if you uninstall Google Photos or wipe your device without transferring them. You can read more on Google’s Locked Folder support page.

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Categories
Game

‘Rocket League Sideswipe’ rolls out globally on iOS and Android

After launching into pre-season earlier this month, the mobile game Rocket League Sideswipe is rolling out to iOS and Android users around the world, 9to5Mac has reported. The side-scrolling car soccer game was unveiled earlier this year as a mobile, 2D version of Rocket League that lets you play solo or team with friends for two vs. two matches.  

Like the original, Sideswipe is all about that car soccer life, but with a 2D side-on instead of a 3D view. It uses touch controls designed to be easy to master, with advanced control mechanics available for better players. Like the original, there’s a ranking system and numerous car customization options. 

As with the pre-season trailer, the official gameplay video brings a similar look and feels as the original but adapted for simpler mobile play. Logging in with an Epic Games account for online matches will let you earn extra XP across both the regular Rocket League game and Sideswipe. The game launched in pre-season in Oceania to shake out any bugs, but it’s now available to everyone for free on the iOS App Store and Google Play

Update 12/1/2021 11:14 AM ET: The article originally stated that Rocket League Sideswipe was free with in-app purchases, but there are no in-app purchases. It has been updated with the correct information.

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Categories
Security

Android 101: How to stop location tracking

Location tracking can be very handy — it’s convenient when an app can tell you, say, where the nearby restaurants or gas stations are — but it’s also a privacy issue. Do you want all your wanderings registered by Google? Are you comfortable knowing that Mark Zuckerberg’s minions know where you are at all times? (Well, not that Mark Zuckerberg has minions, but you know what I mean.)

In this article, we’ll take a look at how to stop location tracking on your Android phone (and your Google account) and how to delete your location history from your OS and from some of the more popular apps. As always, note that versions of Android can differ, and many manufacturers use overlays as well, which can change the locations of various commands — but they should be similar enough for you to be able to find your way. For these instructions, I’ve used a Pixel 6 phone running Android 12, but I’ve included some directions for those with earlier versions of Android.

Stop Google from tracking you, period.

You probably know that Google can track your location and movements through its Google Maps app. But you may not realize that your Android phone is also tracking your movements and activities through several other built-in apps.

If you really don’t want your phone to be tracking any of your movements and activities, there is a way to turn tracking off for all (well, most) of them. You just need to be aware that you’re probably going to render many of your apps (such as ride-share apps, weather apps, and, of course, mapping apps) less usable — or in some cases, completely unusable.

Stop Google tracking using a browser

First, we’re going to stop Google from saving your data.

  • Go to https://myactivity.google.com/.
  • Under “My Google Activity” you’ll see the buttons for three types of activity: Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History. You can visit each individually by selecting the appropriate button.

Under “My Google Activity” you’ll see the buttons for three types of activity: Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History.

Under “My Google Activity” you’ll see the buttons for three types of activity: Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History.

  • A more efficient way, though, may be to go to Activity Controls, found in the left-hand menu. This page will show you all three controls on the same page; in addition, you can control ad personalization.

Google’s activity controls lets you turn off tracking.

Google’s activity controls let you turn off tracking.

  • “Web & App Activity” covers anything you’ve done on Google apps and services. You can turn tracking off completely, or choose to keep it on but stop it from saving your history or activity when you use your Chrome browser. You can also turn off “Include audio recordings,” which determines if all your audio interactions with Google and / or Google Assistant are saved.
  • The other relevant category is, of course, “Location History,” which saves information about where you’ve gone with your device. Also, look for “Devices on this account” and click the down icon to the right; you’ll get a list of all the devices that you have that are currently following your location — since that may include old phones that you are no longer using, this is a good thing to check.
  • We might as well mention that you can also disable your “YouTube History,” which includes both your search and watch history, and “Ad personalization,” which uses your history to choose which ads you’ll see.

Okay — you’ve now prevented any more data from being gathered. But you may want to delete all or some of the information that’s already been collected.

  • Go back to the My Activity page and click on “Delete activity by” in the left-hand menu.
  • You’ll get a pop-up window that lets you delete your activity based on time period: the last hour, last day, “All time” (in other words, all dates), or “Custom range” for a specific date range.

A pop-up window that lets you delete your activity based on time period.

A pop-up window lets you delete your activity based on time period.

  • If you choose “Custom range,” you’ll be able to choose a date range. If you choose “All time,” you can then filter that info depending on services (such as ads, Chrome, Google Play Store, etc.). When you’re ready, click on “Next.”

you can then filter that info depending on services

You can filter your info depending on services.

  • You’ll then get a preview of some of the activities that will be deleted. If you’re okay with that, select “Delete.”

The last step before you delete your activity.

The last step before you delete your activity.

Incidentally, if you want to make sure that nobody but you can delete your histories, then select the “Manage activity” link under each category in Activity Controls, and look for “Manage My Activity verification.” If you enable that feature, Google will ask for a password any time you want to look at or delete any history in your account.

And if you don’t want to worry about manually deleting your stuff, you can enable auto-delete in each category (you’ll see the option within each category on the Activity Controls page). You’ll have the option to automatically delete your activity after either three, 18, or 36 months.

You can now auto-delete your location history.

You can now auto-delete your location history.

Stop Google tracking on an Android device

  • Go to Settings. In the search box on top, type in “Activity controls” and tap it when it comes up.
  • If you have more than one Google account, select the one you want to manage.
  • Here, as with the browser version, you can turn off or pause the monitoring of various activities, including setting auto-delete and managing a timeline of your activity.

Android’s Activity Controls are very similar to those on the web.

Android’s Activity Controls are very similar to those on the web.

You can select an auto-delete option on your mobile device.

You can select an auto-delete option on your mobile device.

Turn location tracking on and off from the Quick Settings tray

If you want to be able to turn location tracking on or off as you need it, you can do that, too. One way to arrange this is to use the Quick Settings tray (which is what you see when you swipe down from the top of your screen). The tray holds a variety of icons for the most often-used Android features; there is a “Location” icon that lets you toggle the location feature on and off.

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen. If you’re using Android 12, you’ll see a series of bubbles for things like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, flashlight, etc. If you’re using Android 11 or earlier, it will be a line of icons. Either way, that’s your Quick Settings tray. Look for the Location icon (usually, it looks like an upside-down drop of water).
  • Not there? With Android 12, swipe across to see more bubbles; otherwise, swipe down.
  • Still missing? Look for a pencil icon; on a Pixel, it will be on the bottom of the tray, but some Android interfaces will have it on top. Tap on the pencil, and the menu will open further. You can now see all the icons that are available. What you want to do is make sure the Location icon is in the easily visible part of the tray.
  • If your Location icon is in the bottom section, hold and drag it up to the visible group.

You’ll now be able to quickly swipe down from the top of your screen and toggle Location on and off — for example, if you want to use Google Maps for directions, you can toggle Location on, and then turn it back off when you’re finished.

There is a location button in your Quick Settings tray.

There is a location button in your Quick Settings tray.

There is a location button in your Quick Settings tray.

If the Location button isn’t immediately visible, you can move it up.

Stop location tracking on Android devices

If you don’t feel the need to block Google from recording all your activities, and simply want to stop the phone from recording your location, it’s easy to do — as long as you pay attention to the details:

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen so that you see your Quick Settings menu, and long-press on the Location icon — or swipe down, tap the Settings icon, and choose “Location.”
  • You’re now on the Location page. Find the “Use location” feature at the top and toggle it off.

You’d think that would be it, wouldn’t you? But you’d be wrong. What is meant by “Use location” in Android depends on which sensors are following the location of the device: besides GPS, it could be Wi-Fi, mobile networks, or other sensors. So before you leave this page, look a little further down. If you’re using Android 12, look for the “Location services” button, otherwise, look for the “Advanced” button and tap on that.

Either way, you’ll have several categories that you can toggle on or off. These can be (depending on your Android version and your phone’s manufacturer):

  • Google Emergency Location Service. This tells emergency services where you are if there’s a problem; for example, if your car goes off the road and the ambulance needs to find you. You can turn this off if you want, but read the fine print: “If ELS is off, your mobile carrier may still send device location during an emergency call.”
  • Google Location Accuracy. This uses Wi-Fi and other services to help pinpoint your location. If you want to turn off “Use location,” you need to make sure this is turned off as well. Any app that requires “precise location” (which I’ll explain in a bit) needs this to be turned on.
  • Google Location History. This leads you to a page where you can pause your device’s collection of your location history. That doesn’t get rid of what’s already been saved; there are instructions for that a little later in this article.
  • Google Location Sharing. If you’re sharing your location with family members or friends, you can manage it here.
  • Wi-Fi scanning. This lets apps and services scan for local Wi-Fi networks, even if you have Wi-Fi turned off.
  • Bluetooth scanning. This lets apps and services search for Bluetooth devices even if Bluetooth is off. Both this and the Wi-Fi scanning are meant to improve location features.

If you can’t see these last two, go back to the Location page and look for a “Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning” link.

On your Location page, select “Location services” to see additional options.

On your Location page, select “Location services” to see additional options.

It’s a good idea to keep your Emergency Location Service turned on.

It’s a good idea to keep your Emergency Location Service turned on.

Disable location tracking for any specific app

You can find out which apps actually use location tracking and just disable it for those that you feel don’t need it.

  • Go to the Location page (by long-pressing the Location icon in your Quick Settings tray).
  • Tap on “App permission” (or, if you’re using Android 12, look for “App location permissions”).
  • You’ll find here a list of all your current apps that have permission to access your location either all of the time or only while in use. Tap on any to change the permission to either allow all of the time, allow only while in use, ask every time, or deny. You can also decide whether the app will be allowed to use “precise location” — in other words, use more than GPS to determine where you are. For that, “Google Location Accuracy,” also found on the Location page.

Sometimes when you turn off permissions in the Android Settings, the app itself will continually try to get you to restore that permission. It’s irritating, but unless the app lets you say, “No, leave me alone,” you will either have to live with it or get a different app.

App permissions classifies apps by which permissions you allow them to have.

App permissions classify apps by which permissions you allow them to have.

When you click on a specific app, you can change its permission level.

When you click on a specific app, you can change its permission level.

Delete your location history

While you can turn off location tracking from your Android phone’s settings, once a service has collected your location info, getting rid of that history takes a little work. If you want to delete your location history, the first place you need to go is Google; after that, apps that collect this information include Facebook and Twitter.

Delete your Google location history on Android

While you can delete location history collected for your Google timeline in the My Activity area (see above), you can also get rid of it easily in Google Maps.

  • Go to your Google Maps app.
  • Tap on your profile icon in the upper left corner.
  • Tap on “Your Timeline.”
  • Select the three dots in the upper right corner. Tap on “Settings and Privacy.”
  • Scroll down to “Delete all Location History.” You’ll get a pop-up window that asks you to check a box saying that you understand that some of your apps may not work properly. Check the box and select “Delete.”
  • You also have the option of deleting your location history within a date range or setting the app to automatically delete your location history after three, 18, or 36 months.

You can delete your entire location history, or just within a range of dates.

You can delete your entire location history or just within a range of dates.

Google will always give you a last chance to back out.

Google will always give you a last chance to back out.

Delete your Google location history on a browser

  • Go to https://www.google.com/maps.
  • Tap on the three parallel lines in the upper left corner of the side panel. (If you don’t see the panel, look for the small arrow in the upper left corner and click on it.) Select “Your timeline.”
  • Look for the gear icon on the lower right side of the screen. Click on it, and then on “Delete all Location History.” You can also set the automatic deletion feature here.

Look for the gear in your Timeline to delete your location history.

Look for the gear in your Timeline to delete your location history.

  • As with the mobile app, you’ll get a pop-up window that asks you to check a box saying that you understand that some of your apps may not work properly. Check the box and select “Delete Location History.”

You’ll be asked to confirm the history deletion.

You’ll be asked to confirm the history deletion.

Delete your location history on Facebook

Facebook does keep a separate history of your locations, and if you want to delete that history, you can do it through the mobile app or the browser.

Using the Android app

  • In the Facebook app, tap the hamburger (three parallel lines) in the top right corner.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Settings & Privacy.”
  • Tap on “Settings.”
  • Scroll down and tap on “Location” (which is under the “Permissions” subhead). This will take you to the “Location Services” page.
  • You can now choose to let Facebook access your phone’s location all the time, while using the app, or never.
  • If you want to allow Facebook to save a history of your locations (or stop it from doing so), tap on “Location History” to toggle it on or off. It’s here that you can also delete your existing location history.

In Facebook “Settings & Privacy,” select “Settings.”

In Facebook “Settings & Privacy,” select “Settings.”

Location Services lets you choose when Facebook can receive your location data.

Location Services lets you choose when Facebook can receive your location data.

Using a browser

  • In Facebook, click on the small arrow next to the Notifications icon in the upper right corner. Click on “Settings & Privacy” > “Privacy Shortcuts.”
  • Click on “Manage your location settings.”

Select “Manage your location settings” under the “Privacy” category.

Select “Manage your location settings” under the “Privacy” category.

  • On the “Location Settings” page, click on the “View your Location History” button.

The “Location Settings” page lets you view your history, delete it, and stop recording it.

The “Location Settings” page lets you view your history, delete it, and stop recording it.

  • Then click on the gear in the upper left corner. As with the mobile app, you can now either delete that specific day or delete your entire location history.

You can delete that day’s history, or all your history.

You can delete that day’s history or all your history.

  • On the “Location Settings” page, you can also turn your location history on or off for your mobile devices.

Delete your location history on Twitter

Twitter makes it relatively simple to turn off its location tracking within the Android app.

  • Tap on your personal icon in the upper left of the homescreen.
  • Tap on “Settings and privacy.”
  • Tap on “Privacy and safety.”
  • Scroll down until you see “Location information” and tap on it. You can then toggle off the boxes that give Twitter permission to collect your GPS and other location information. And don’t forget to tap on “Explore settings,” which gives Twitter the option to show nearby content.

Scroll down until you see “Location information.”

Scroll down until you see “Location information.”

There are two location settings to toggle off.

There are two location settings to toggle off here, and one to tap on.

You can delete your Twitter location history as well, but only from your browser.

  • Go to your Twitter account, click on “More” in the left column and on “Settings and privacy.”
  • In the left-hand menu, click on “Privacy and safety.” Scroll down and select “Location information.”

  • Uncheck “Personalize based on places you’ve been.” Then click on “Add location information to your Tweets.”

Uncheck “Add location information to your Tweets.” Then click on “Delete all location information.” And if it asks: yes, you are sure.

Update August 25th, 2020, 2:37PM ET: This article was originally published on April 12th, 2019; it has been updated to include the update from Android 9 to Android 10, along with changes to various web-based applications.

Update November 30th, 2021, 3:55PM ET: Updated to reflect changes in the Android operating system and in Google, Facebook, and Twitter apps.

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