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I run Google Latitude on an iPhone 4 with background updates turned on. How can I distinguish between when it's actively grabbing the location vs when it's using region monitoring to wait for the phone to move? As far as I can tell, both icons look the same in the status bar.

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In Settings --> Location Services each application that uses location services is listed. In that list any apps that are currently using locations services or have used location services in the last 24 hours includes a little arrow icon.

The icons differ based on whether they are currently or recently used location services, and if currently then whether it's a geofence or regular updates.

The icons and description for each icon are included in that settings panel.

Location services panel showing apps that use location service, including google maps with an arrow next to it, indicating recent use of location services

Description of each icon in the location services panel

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