MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,121
15,923



Apple has applied for a patent that describes a method of adjusting security and other settings for mobile devices based on the location of the device (via AppleInsider). The location data gathered by the system also includes contextual information that helps to identify the phone's position as a familiar or unfamiliar place.

location-patent-apple.png
The system described in the patent titled "Location-sensitive security levels and setting profiles based on detected location" uses at least two pieces of data such as a saved Wi-Fi network or an identifiable cellular tower to determine the location of the device. Once identified, the software can change security options to match the environment, enabling Touch ID and disabling the simple passcode entry when a user is away from home, for example.
The security level and/or other device behavior, configurations, or settings on a mobile device can be modified based on the location of the mobile device. The location of the mobile device can be determined by analyzing location aspects present at a location, where any parameters or attributes of a location that can assist in identifying a particular location may be used as location aspects. In a setup process, the mobile device identifies available aspects at a location and can use the available aspects to determine a location context associated with a location. In a use example, the device identifies available aspects at a location and determines whether the available aspects match a previously defined location context. If the available aspects match the previously defined location context, device behavior, configurations, or settings on a mobile device can be modified.
Besides security settings, the system may also adjust the user interface, automatically modifying the home screen apps based on location. For example, the method could display Mail and other productivity apps at work and entertainment apps and games at home.

This location-based security patent application was filed in December 2012 and published July 3, 2014. If implemented, it would provide iOS device owners with another level of protection beyond what Apple' offers with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Touch ID was introduced last year with the iPhone 5s and is expected to expand to the iPad later this year. Apple also opened up an API for Touch ID in iOS 8 that will allow developers to use the fingerprint scanner for user authentication.

Article Link: Apple Explores Auto-Adjusting Security and Other Settings Based on Device Location
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,052
930
Canada
It's a good idea but I hope it's an option. I wouldn't want visitors to be able to "bypass" security just because the device happens to be home.
 
Comment

zipa

macrumors 65816
Feb 19, 2010
1,442
1
Surely this can't be granted? I had this on my Nokia N8 back in 2010 or 2011.
 
Comment

KazKam

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2011
495
1,686
Soooo, now people will be getting mugged right outside their homes? That's nice.
 
Comment

adamw

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2006
439
611
Wonder about the possible uses of this. We shall see.
 
Comment

ScousePete

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2012
39
2
This is great news. One of my favourite Jailbreak tweaks is CleverPin which knows when I am on my home wifi network and disables the passcode.
 
Comment

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,051
12,448
Vilano Beach, FL
Yes please!

So many Use Cases that would benefit greatly from this, a couple of mine:

Turning on/off the passcode/security based on home vs. everywhere else. I really dislike having any of our devices out and about without a passcode, but around the homestead is a bit inconvenient (I suppose this will be a bit simpler when we get TouchID enabled devices...)

DND dynamic based on some simple geo-location info, i.e., “when I’m at this location, go to DND”. (Heck, I’d like it if they simple added days of the week to DND, I think most people’s schedules change day to day, and certainly from Mon-Fri vs. the weekend)

I’ve used Tasker on Android to do some more exotic, rules based setting controls, but iOS doesn’t need something that complex, just on/off based on geo which could be a catalog of “user locations”, looked up via Maps or simply where the user is at the moment.

:cool:
 
Comment

Windlasher

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2011
483
111
minneapolis
I don't know if I want my phone automatically unlocked when I get home. Location services aren't all that accurate. What happens if I lose it at the end of the block and it thinks I am home?
 
Comment

Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
Wonder about the possible uses of this. We shall see.

Potentially relaxing security on the device once you are home (though make sure you delete girlfriend 2 texts so that girlfriend 1 doesn't find them :cool: )
 
Comment

zipa

macrumors 65816
Feb 19, 2010
1,442
1
The method at which this is achieved may be different.

Nokia did it using Wifi, cellular positioning and GPS. Or any combination of those. And you could set it based on date/time as well.

I really don't see how this is any different? Not that I really care that much, either.
 
Comment

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,275
5,415
DND dynamic based on some simple geo-location info, i.e., “when I’m at this location, go to DND”. (Heck, I’d like it if they simple added days of the week to DND, I think most people’s schedules change day to day, and certainly from Mon-Fri vs. the weekend)

I'd love for iBeacons to somehow be integrated into DND. IE, movie theaters can set up iBeacons which have iOS devices pop an alert suggesting they put their iOS devices into DND.
 
Comment

auero

macrumors 65816
Sep 15, 2006
1,370
97
This is a jailbreak feature I loved. Personally I had no need to have my passcode on when I was at home.
 
Comment

2984839

Cancelled
Apr 19, 2014
2,114
2,213
So if I find or steal a passcode locked phone, I can spoof a celltower and wifi network near the area where the owner lives and it will think it's home and remove the protection? Or if I steal it from an owner's house (or from the owner directly nearby his house) I can get into the phone without a passcode?

Seems like a pointless and bad idea. Rather than changing security settings, they should focus on making security more user friendly so it can be on all the time without being a hindrance. TouchID is a good start.
 
Comment

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,868
14,999
In between a rock and a hard place
Yes please!

So many Use Cases that would benefit greatly from this, a couple of mine:

Turning on/off the passcode/security based on home vs. everywhere else. I really dislike having any of our devices out and about without a passcode, but around the homestead is a bit inconvenient (I suppose this will be a bit simpler when we get TouchID enabled devices...)

DND dynamic based on some simple geo-location info, i.e., “when I’m at this location, go to DND”. (Heck, I’d like it if they simple added days of the week to DND, I think most people’s schedules change day to day, and certainly from Mon-Fri vs. the weekend)

I’ve used Tasker on Android to do some more exotic, rules based setting controls, but iOS doesn’t need something that complex, just on/off based on geo which could be a catalog of “user locations”, looked up via Maps or simply where the user is at the moment.

:cool:

It's funny you mention Tasker. A couple of guys at work swear by it, but they are in the IT dept. One guy claims to have over 60 different rules set on his phone (exaggeration? IDK). Ideally I want more granular control but not looking for geek level complexity. What's your experience with it?
 
Comment

thegrants82

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2013
1,016
259
Right here
Tasker is the biggest reason for me still owning an android.
It's funny you mention Tasker. A couple of guys at work swear by it, but they are in the IT dept. One guy claims to have over 60 different rules set on his phone (exaggeration? IDK). Ideally I want more granular control but not looking for geek level complexity. What's your experience with it?
 
Comment

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,051
12,448
Vilano Beach, FL
I'd love for iBeacons to somehow be integrated into DND. IE, movie theaters can set up iBeacons which have iOS devices pop an alert suggesting they put their iOS devices into DND.

Nice. Yeah, I’d image that “push” style location could be implemented with a few basic response types too: 1) Dismiss (it will display again, you can choose a manual course of action), 2) Ignore (sets for no future alert, can be reverse like app right to photos, etc.), 3) Comply (allow the iBeacon to do the one thing it requested, each time you’re in range)

One of my startups has been exploring iBeacons as a tech to enhance the experience, neat stuff! :cool:

Mmm... iBacon...

Image

Hahaha, thanks for that. :D

It's funny you mention Tasker. A couple of guys at work swear by it, but they are in the IT dept. One guy claims to have over 60 different rules set on his phone (exaggeration? IDK). Ideally I want more granular control but not looking for geek level complexity. What's your experience with it?

I’d say it’s very straight forward, though I’ve been a developer for 20+ years, so my perspective is a little skewed. If you’ve ever done any scripting like AppleScript, or even macros in Word or Excel, I suspect you’d easily be able to get a handle on basic tasks, and likely even more complex tasks.

This is a great resource:

http://tasker.wikidot.com/profile-index


... and as you’ll see from that script/task listing, about everything you might ever want to do has probably already been written, so then it’s just a matter of “plugging in the code” so to speak :)
 
Comment

MisakixMikasa

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2013
776
2
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
How will Samsung know that its important enough to steal if they don't patent it?

This is the feature build into Android L. If you have Android wear or similar devices near your Android phone, your Android phone will go straight into home screen. Samsung does need steal from Apple, it is build into Android and it will be available in Samsung. Apple is behind from Google again... not surprising, Apple is good at stealing ideas from other then claim it as its own.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.