Annoyance: “” would like to use your current location.

In the past few months, Google seems to have gotten a lot more aggressive about wanting to know your current location any time you search. On one hand, many see this as an invasion of privacy, but on the other hand, Google uses your location to offer search results that are more relevant to your locale. Whichever way you see it, it gets really annoying with Google asking to see your location with every search. Most web browsers offer an option to remember your selection right there on the popup request, but not Safari.

If only there was a way for Safari to remember your preference. Ah, but there is:

iPhone/iPad: While viewing any page you want to adjust your preferences for, tap the AA/Puzzle piece icon by the website address and then tap “Website Settings”. In the popup window change “Location” from Ask to either Allow or Deny depending on your personal preference.
Mac: While viewing any page you want to adjust your preferences for, click the “Safari” menu and choose “Settings for [current website]”. In the popup window change “Location” from Ask to either Allow or Deny depending on your personal preference.

While you are in there you can adjust any other settings you would like for that specific website.

  • Reader View: always opens articles in “Reader View” which makes the formatting consistent and hides advertisements
  • Enable Content Blockers: if you use ad blockers, choose whether to have them enabled for this particular site. Useful to turn off for websites that get broken with ad block.
  • Page Zoom: always make this website display slightly larger or smaller on your device
  • Auto-Play: decide whether videos should play automatically
  • Pop-up Windows: pop-up windows happen when a website creates a new window to show content rather than taking you somewhere else in the same window. A long time ago most web browsers began blocking pop-up windows because they were abused by so many advertisers. But strangely, some websites (banks and government websites notoriously) still depend on popup windows to function properly. It’s safe to allow pop-up windows on any websites that don’t normally contain ads like bank, utility, and government websites.
  • Camera and Microphone: allow a website to use your camera or mic. It’s probably safe to enable it permanently on websites that you might use for video conferencing like Google Meetup.
  • Screen Sharing: I don’t know of any websites that are capable of using the screen-sharing function in Safari. I know that Google Meetup does allow you to do that but only through Chrome. So unless there is a specific need it’s best to leave this on “Ask”
  • Location: Most websites don’t need to know where you are all the time so it’s best to leave it either as Ask or Deny. But if you do want to permanently provide your location to a website, that’s a decision for you to make. It doesn’t mean a person is watching what you are doing and tracking your movements, but it may allow advertisers to build a more accurate profile of you meaning their advertisements can be more effective and manipulative.

It’s worth noting that an Always permissions for things such as camera, mic, and location does not mean that the website can see your mic, camera, or location any time they want. You have to actually be visiting that website for those functions to be accessed.

Further Help

If you are an existing customer who needs help with this or if you have other questions, or if you are in San Francisco and interested in becoming a client I invite you to book an appointment with me. Otherwise, you may wish to contact Apple Support or find a local Apple consultant.

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