Why aren’t location services working on my new iPod Touch 5th Generation?

Vivek B August 7, 2013

My month-old 5th generation iPod Touch cannot determine my location even though I have a Wi-Fi connection at my home and also a 3G connection on my phone which I use as hotspot. Maps says “cannot determine location”.

Any ideas?

  1. Kyem G
    August 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Its not a software problem.. Vivek you are right.. Apple prior to iOS 6 used the Skyhook database and yesterday itself I've submitted my wifi Mac address to Skyhook. Well I don't think Apple has its own database of wifi AP. It uses the Google database (I read it somewhere) but I'm not sure if it is creating its own database after the implementation of Apple Maps in iOS 6. Well I'm pretty much sure about using google's database. In my area, I can't use the location service in my iPad (wifi only) for the same reason and I was just going to post a similar question here in MUO today if there is any way like Skyhook to manually add wifi accesspoints to Google's or Apple's database

    • Jan F
      August 8, 2013 at 1:10 am

      I believe the latest investigation on this is that in additional to databases Apple got through company acquisitions every iOS device that can provide GPS information and uses location services adds to this database.

      Basically those iOS devices are assumed to send a list of available cell towers and WiFi networks together with GPS data to an Apple server building up their database of WiFi locations.

      "Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device."

  2. Jan F
    August 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Do you have a local WiFi access point or router at home or are you solely using your iPhones personal hotspot to access the internet on your iPod?

    If you are using personal hotspot it's natural that your iPod won't get any location data. Your iPod cannot access the iPhones GPS data and the Personal Hotspot is unlikely to be mapped in Apples location database as it would have to be active the exact time Apple 'is driving through your area mapping out SSID locations'.

    If you have a router at home perform the same test using your iPhone.
    Turn Airplane mode on, then manually enable WiFi and connect to your router (Airplane & WiFi symbols should be visible). Try using location services.
    If your iPhone can get location data your router seems to be in Apples database and it may be a software problem on the iPod.
    If your iPhone can't get location data in this state your network is simply not mapped by Apple.

    • Jan F
      August 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Updating my own comment:
      If you have an iPhone 4 or later GPS data should be added to the personal hotspot signal.

      If that is the case connect to the hotspot using your iPod then go into Settings > General > Reset and "Reset Network Settings". Then reconnect to the hotspot.

  3. Vivek B
    August 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you for your answer.

    I don't think it is possible to submit the MAC address to Apple directly. According to what I have read on many forums, Apple collects anonymous location data through GPS enabled iPhones. But I unfortunately don't have one. Earlier Apple used to use Skyhook's database for location services. Back then it was possible to submit our router's MAC address to them and it used to magically work after about a week.

    Is there anything else that I can try? And also is this a software problem or a problem with the device itself? Since it's a new device I have one year warranty.

    • Hovsep A
      August 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      f it is software problem then do hard reset (backup files first) or update firmware if available.
      Settings>General>Reset>Reset Network Settings
      General>Reset>Reset Locations & Privacy

      Settings-General-Restrictions and Enter the Restrictions Passcode- Under Allow Changes and Tap on Location and make sure Allow Changes is ticked

  4. Hovsep A
    August 7, 2013 at 8:56 am

    iPod uses the location of nearby wifi routers that are in Apple's database somehow you need to submit Wifi MAC address and Lat/Long to Apple (if i am not wrong?)

    iOS 6: Understanding Location Services

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