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Enable/Disable Location Services via Configuration Profile

I would like to be able to use a configuration profile to turn on or off Location Services on our iPads. For those who do not enable Location Services on their 1-1 iPads, the automatic time zone feature does not work, and there is no way I can centrally fix this.

Posted: by erin.miska

This is not currently available in Apple's MDM framework, but we'll be sure to keep our eye out for it and implement it if Apple adds support for this in the future.

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Posted: by tcam

@erin.miska with ios 9 is this now possible?

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Posted: by beth.lindner

@tcam, a worthy question for sure! Unfortunately iOS v9.3 did not bring the capability for Configuration Profiles to control Location Services. Please go through the Apple communication channels to file this request with them. They value feature requests as much as we do! Once Apple adds new functionality, we will work hard to integrate with the feature. Please keep the great requests coming.

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Posted: by crussell

We are hanging out for this feature as well - would be great to see it implemented.

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Posted: by bpavlov

@crussell Reach out to Apple so they can make it available and Jamf can implement it: http://bugreport.apple.com/ and http://apple.com/feedback

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Posted: by crussell

Thanks @bpavlov have just used both of those methods to submit a request.

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Posted: by jwalters310

Any update on if this will happen?

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Posted: by beth.lindner

@jwalters310 At this time, there is not a setting available to allow Configuration Profiles or Remote Commands to control Location Services, this remains a 3rd Party Apple Feature Request. Location can be skipped during the Setup Assistant with DEP devices but there is currently not an ability to Restrict Location Services from being setup.

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Posted: by jgabrysch

We use Square on our iPads, and it requires Location Services. @jwalters310 when you say "Location can be skipped during the Setup Assistant with DEP devices", do I need to re-configure the devices using Apple Configurator, and this time, skip location?

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Posted: by Robert.Lavender

Hi we are now looking to implement JAMF.
I believe control over Location services on Mobile device is more of a legal matter, but our current MDM we can do a device location Request from Apple, so it doesn't matter is location service is enable or not as Apple take a record every time the device is use.

Does JAMF offer this function where you can request location from Apple as it's come in handy when user's misplace their Phone.

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Posted: by ebonweaver

3 years later and JAMF still has no ability to turn Location Services on or off in any way? So this prevents devices from having the proper time zone by default, and there is no way to set it manually by configuration either? Once again JAMF is forgetting the Management part in MDM apparently... Really disappointing how many bugs and deficiencies are in this product.

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Posted: by gachowski

@ebonweaver

I think it's an Apple issue... Asking Jamf to try and do something without Apple's support is very very risky...

C

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Posted: by beth.lindner

@jgabrysch if we skip a Setup Assistant step, the user is not presented with the recommendation to configure those settings. I believe the Apple defaults are applied to the device. After they finish configuring their new device, they can still go into the Settings area later and customize the Location Services.

@CBCRob Jamf Pro does support Lost Mode, a feature which can disable a lost device and track the location of the device. Once removed from Lost Mode, the location is no longer reported and tracked in Jamf Pro.

@ebonweaver Unfortunately this remains a third party Feature Request. If Apple adds the ability to control Location Services via Configuration Profiles or Remote Commands, we will update Jamf Pro as well. Please go through the Apple communication channels to file this request with them.

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Posted: by ScottSimmons

@ebonweaver this is an apple issue. Jamf only has what Apple lets them do with profiles.

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Posted: by szultzie

@beth.lindner So if the user doesn't turn on location service, does Lost mode still able to track it?

-Peter

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Posted: by ssnyderMT

I was just caught off guard when I went to apply a Force On to Location Services and couldn't find it. This is absolutely a feature supported by Apple, and other MDMs have had this as an option for years...

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Posted: by MLBZ521

I cannot find any mention of Location Services Enablement being supported by Apple's MDM Protocol or Configuration Profiles.

https://developer.apple.com/business/documentation/MDM-Protocol-Reference.pdf
https://developer.apple.com/business/documentation/Configuration-Profile-Reference.pdf

While, I'd love to have it as well, I do not know how other Vendors are able to manage that setting. If it's enabled, then MDM/Config Profiles can work based on the enablement of it, but they can't enable it otherwise.

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Posted: by mike.paul

Hello all, thanks for the responses. As is stated above by Beth and @MLBZ521 , this is not currently a thing available or documented from Apple.

TLDR: Within the spec given we can report on location services status, we can disable location services via prestage, we can ask the user to enable during Self Service launch and we can temporarily enable via lost mode.

Forcing location services to be on is in that grey area of user privacy protection that Apple tends to limit control over. Similar to not being able to enable microphones or cameras for applications that require it via the new TCC/PPPC functionality. We can disable, but turning it on is really limited to an end users choice, regardless of management or supervision status (NOTE: See EnableLostMode below for the one caveat)

For more clarity:

CoreLocation is documented here in their developer portal but only talks about the reporting aspect which we have available in the General tab of a device record.

Our Self Service app leverages CoreLocation for its request to enable Location Services and that functionality is documented here from Apple. Per this page it states "The user can disable location services in the system settings, either for your app specifically or for all apps."

Per the MDM Protocol Reference there is skip_setup_items during a DEP prestage that allows admins to Disable Location Services which is available in both device type presages.

Per the Configuration Profile Reference EnableLostMode is the one MDM command I can find that has the ability to temporarily enable this because it includes the command DeviceLocation but that DeviceLocation command will return an error if it's sent to a device not currently in LostMode so it cant be a stand alone command. We offer enabling Lost Mode on any version of Jamf Pro 9.3 or later for supervised iOS 9.3 and above devices.

If there is other documentation or examples where this is possible we would be happy to look into this more. Thanks!

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