iOS 16 location icon next to clock

iOS 16 displays a location icon next to the clock when an app uses location services.

(This has been around for some time).

For some reason, in iOS16, the icon keeps appearing and disappearing.

The app using location services is Arc.

What happens:

  • location icon is displayed for 10 seconds
  • location icon disappears for 2 seconds
  • repeat indefinitely

Because the icon is animating it is very distracting and is constantly trying to get my attention.

Is there a way to adjust the Arc location timing interval or something else to have the location pin just always turned on?

Hi @patrickplaggenborg!

That’s a curious change. Personally I’m seeing the arrow there permanently, not flicking on and off. I wonder what the difference is. Though I have a fair guess…

I think what iOS is doing is showing the icon when an app starts using location, then leaves the icon there for some seconds until no app is using location. So if an app uses location for 1 second, the icon might stay there for let’s say 10 seconds before disappearing (as long as no other app is using location, of course).

In Arc’s case, while Arc is in “sleep mode” while stationary, it wakes up every 12 to 60 seconds to check your location, to see if you’ve moved. When Arc thinks there’s a good chance you’ll be leaving your current location soon, it uses shorter sleep cycles (ie closer to 12 seconds), and when it thinks you’re unlikely to leave soon it uses longer sleep cycles (ie closer to 60 seconds).

My guess is that at that moment in time 1) there weren’t any other apps on your phone using location services, and 2) Arc’s sleep cycle duration was longer than iOS’s “leave the icon visible” duration. So for example if iOS is keeping the icon there for 10 seconds, Arc might be sleeping for 20 seconds.

Here’s a screenshot of Arc’s recording debug information, showing that for me right now, Arc is using the longest sleep cycle duration (60 seconds).

Hm. With a sleep cycle duration that long, you’d think I’d also see the icon flicking on and off. But that’s not happening for me. I guess some other app must be also using location periodically or consistently.

Looking in my iOS Settings → Privacy → Location Services, I see two other apps with a purple icon (Arc Mini, and Tile), and quite a long list of System Services with a purple icon. It won’t be Arc Mini filling in the gaps, because Mini is in standby, which means only checking every 2 minutes. I guess either Tile or one of the System Services is filling in the gaps.

Anyway, long story short: From Arc’s perspective there’s unfortunately not really anything I can do about that icon. Periodic location checks are necessary for Arc to function properly.

Out of curiosity, I want to ask how many seconds it is you’re seeing the icon visible for, then how many it disappears for. But honestly I think it’s best to just not look at it! It’ll be one of those things where the more you focus on it the more annoying it’ll be, so it’s best to just ignore it and try to forget you ever noticed :joy:

Thanks Matt!

Yes I think your guess is very accurate.

I’ve made a screen recording to show you the actual timing. Needs to be from the control center screen because the red recording status hides it next to the clock. The timing and animation is similar:

I normally don’t have any other app like Tile that keeps asking for the location status constantly. That would be a good workaround for me: finding an app that just always enables the location services so the icon is not animating.

I might get used to it at some point. For now because that animation is moving something in that corner of my screen it’s still grabbing my attention.

Yeah I suspect that’ll be the biggest challenge. Once you’ve noticed something like this it’s impossible to unsee it!

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