Change My Location On iPod Touch or iPhone

Below I will provide instructions on how to update the My Location setting for both an IPhone and an iPod Touch and while the iPod Touch requires a bit more work both are fairly simple considering all of the functionality that will be available to you again through the My Location setting.

The My Location Setting Is Obtained From The Hybrid Positioning System (XPS):

The My Location setting is actually obtained through a company called SKYHOOK Wireless that has invented a technology called XPS or SKYHOOK’s Hybrid Positioning System. The XPS technlogy uses three different ways to pinpoint your location which include the Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS), Global Positioning System (GPS), and Cell Tower Triangulation. First off GPS is only available to users with a 3G, 3GS, or newer iPhone. This is the typical Global Positioning System you are familiar with that is used in so many different devices today. Cell Tower Triangulation is available to all iPhone users and means that your position is calculated based on your position to the closest cell phone towers and is accurate within 200 to 1,000 meters. The Wi-Fi Positioning System is a database maintained by SKYHOOK Wireless of known Wireless Access Points and there addresses. The contents of the database are obtained not only by end users entering data but also by a team of employees that drive around the world locating Wi-Fi Access Points.

Change My Location On iPod Touch:

The iPod touch will initially attempt to set its location automatically through your wireless home router. Most of the issues arise when you move. The problem is that the XPS (Skyhook Hybrid Positioning System) technology used by Skyhook Wireless registers your MAC address and location based on what was initially configured in iTunes I think. After you move and even though you may update your contact details within iTunes the MAC address of your home router will still be registered with the old address using the WiFi Positioning System (WPS) sub method of the XPS technology. Do not fear though its actually really easy to update so you can have your iPod Touch Maps applications “My Location” working from your home again. Follow the directions below o get My Location on your iPod Touch working again.

Update Routers Longitude & Latitude In SKYHOOK’s WiFi Positioning System:

  1. WAN MAC Address: First you will need to obtain the outside IP address of the router at your location. This can easily be done in most cases by visiting a web configuration page for your router device. An example of such a page is shown below on a Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT firmware. It has the default LAN (Local Area Network) address of 192.168.1.1 which very likely could be the same address you will have configured on your router.

    Wireless Router WAN MAC address

    Notice the fourth configuration line underneath the Router section in the top right corner. The MAC address will be 12 hexadecimal characters long such as “AB:12:CD:34:56:EF”. If you have trouble obtaining your MAC Address simply post the question of how the obtain the MAC address of your specific router here and someone will answer your question fairly quickly.

  2. Visit SKYHOOK’s Web Site: Now open the SKYHOOK web page where you will be entering the MAC address above along with the Latitude and Longitude that relates to your address. The view of how this page will display upon arrival is displayed below.

    SKYHOOK Wireless: Submite A Wi-Fi Access Point

  3. Generate Latitude & Longitude: Scroll down the page a bit until you can see the entire map and some of the fields below the map. Now generate the latitiude and longitude by typing your address into the bar right above the map as shown in the below image and then clicking the “Map It!” button. Clicking Map It will generate the latitude and longitude necessary to submit with your MAC address from step one.

    Generate My Location Latitude And Longitude

  4. Complete & Submit Form: Complete the form by pasting the MAC address obtained from step one into the second field titled MAC Address, enter a valid email address into the Email field, complete the two words in the captcha, and then click the submit button. A message similar to the below image will be displayed.

    Access Point Successfully Submitted To Be Included In The XPS WPS Database

  5. Verify Email & Wait: You should receive an email confirmation from SKYHOOK Wireless almost immediately stating that the device has been received. The web site states it could take up to 7 days to be included into the XPS WPS database however my experience has been it takes anywhere from a couple hours to 24 hours to be updated and for your new My Location to start working.
  6. Check My Location: You can start checking to see if the SKYHOOK Wireless XPS WPS (Wi-Fi Positioning System) database has been updated at any time. To do his unlock your iPod Touch, launch the Maps application, and then click the My Location icon in the lower left hand corner. There is an image and more detailed instructions under the iPhone section below if you have any questions relating to updating My Location in he Maps application. I have found that sometimes it seems to update from a cache when you click My Location so to verify your new address is not active I suggest rebooting the Touch every couple hours to make sure you are not reading My Location from a local cache on the iPod Touch device.

While the above is a little bit complicated for updating the location of your iPod Touch from your house it is well worth it for getting directions and because of all the other AppStore applications that use the My Location setting. SKYHOOK Wireless has createed a really innovative service that makes this all possible.

Change My Location On iPhone:

If you have moved since you first signed up for iTunes or purchased your iPod Touch or iPhone it is possible that the location services will still register your old address/zip code. On an iPhone 3G, 3GS, or newer changing your location is easy since the iPhone will typically have access to GPS to update immediately. Even a first generation iPhone will have a much easier time updating its location since it will be able to use Cell Tower Triangulation to pinpoint its location fairly accurately. If the GPS signal is weak then Skyhook Wireless’s XPS technology will kick in and the iPhone can update your location by Cell Tower Triangulation or WPS (WiFi Positioning). To update My Location on an iPhone just follow the couple of easy steps below.

  1. iPhone: Logon to your iPhone
  2. Launch Maps: Click the “Maps” icon located on your iPhone’s desktop.
  3. Find Me Icon: Click the “Find Me” icon shown in the below image.iPhone Maps Application Find Me Icon:

    Touch - Maps Find Me Button

  4. Process New Location: Watch the Maps application zero in on your location. Depending on the method being used by the XPS technology you may see a large circle at first which will get smaller over time as it calculates a more accurate location.
  5. Close Maps: Now click the Home button on your iPhone to close the Maps application. Any application that needed an accurate location should now be able to obtain one.

You should now be able to open the application that was using “My Location” with the old address on your iPhone and see that it is now using the new “My Location” of the iPhone.


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