Tuesday May 3, 2011 5:03 pm
iOS 4.3.3 coming soon, will fix iPhone location bug
As promised last week, Apple will fix location-tracking software on the iPhone and other devices in an update to its iOS mobile operating system in the next few weeks.
The update for iPhones and iPad tablets will address several location-tracking issues that came to light in April when two researchers publicized the existence of an unencrypted, hidden file on iPhones that stores location data taken from nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots. The cached data is also timestamped, backed up on iTunes and although associated with Apple's Location Services, cannot be shut off by users when they opted out of the service.
The iOS 4.3.3 update promises to end the backing up of the location database when devices are synched to iTunes, reduce the size of the cached data file and delete the database when users turn off Location Services, according to BGR.com.
There will also be some improvements in 4.3.3 that aren't related to location tracking, including a boost to battery life and fixes for bugs in the iPod Touch.
The last piece of Apple's PR nightmare over what it calls location-tracking "bugs"—the lack of encryption for the location data cache—won't be addressed until the "next major iOS software release," the company stated last week.
This article, written by Damon Poeter, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.