Life 360Apple has reversed a change it made to how users quit location-aware apps in iOS 7. In the new OS, Apple changed how location-aware applications work when they are force-quit by users. In iOS 7.0, users who force quit an app -- by double-tapping the home button and swiping up -- also disable all location-aware functions which previously would continue to run in the background.

One app in particular, Life360, uses background location abilities to allow family and friends to locate each other. In iOS 7, when a user force quits the app, all location-aware background services were disabled. This caused the company to have a sudden influx of negative reviews and disappointed customers. Some apps even saw 30-50 percent drops in users following the change, according to Life360 CEO Chris Hulls who spoke to MacRumors yesterday.

Now, in iOS 7.1 beta 5, released a week ago, the change has been reversed and Hulls attributes that to a letter that Life360 and a number of other developers sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook on February 1. In the beta, background location services remain running when an app is force quit, same as in iOS 6.

VentureBeat has the first several paragraphs of the letter:

Dear Apple iOS Development Team,

We are a group of Apple developers who rely on iOS geolocation services for core parts of our businesses. iOS 7 was hugely exciting to us, as new features such as Location Beacons, Background Networking, and Multi-Peer Connectivity give us the ability to do things we never thought were possible.

In previous versions of iOS, if a user killed an application in the app switcher, developers were still able to get geolocation in the background. With iOS 7, once a user kills an application, all processes are terminated until the user manually restarts the app. We appreciate the intent behind this change, which we realize was done to give users more control over what is running on their phones, but it has caused major unintended consequences. … Many developers who rely on background geolocation have seen their app ratings fall by over 3 stars.

Life360 is a free download on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

iVoid Avatar
108 months ago
Huh? "In iOS 7, when a user force quits the app, all location-aware background services were disabled."

Well, DUH.

When I force quit an app i *EXPECT* all processes used by that app to stop running.

If i want it to keep running, I don't force quit an app.

I'm amazed that people can't figure that one out.

So basically, with 7.1 any app that has location services running in the background can't be stopped without disabling location services for that app or rebooting the iPhone.

Bad idea Apple.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
recklesslife85 Avatar
108 months ago
No. You can disable location services for each app.
But you wouldn't download a location app to start with to do that. Kill an app should mean kill an app.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jack Delgado Avatar
108 months ago
Hmm... I mean... if someone force closes an app, I wouldn't necessarily say the old behavior was... wrong.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bluespark Avatar
108 months ago
People continue to misunderstand when and why to force-quit apps. I know many people who incorrectly think they need to do this routinely to manage their phone's memory use.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
recklesslife85 Avatar
108 months ago
User should have total control over location based apps. If I want to kill an app that should be my choice. Simple solution, don't download apps like theres.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MikhailT Avatar
108 months ago
[LIST=1]
* The change in iOS 7 didn't break the apps, the developers broke it themselves by not educating the users as to what happens when the app is forced to be closed.
* If I'm force-quitting an app, I expect all processes related to the app to be terminated. By reverting this, it now breaks the whole consistency of explaining things to users, how apps should work, and so on.
* Apple, really? Caving in to developers because they're whining about getting bad ratings when it's just a matter of educating users rather than changing something that could hurt the battery life?


Everybody here who disagrees with this should send an email to Apple to undo this revert because it is not right.

Now, I'm definitely going to leave bad reviews for those developers who requested such a change.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.4 With Support for Studio Display Webcam Update

Monday May 16, 2022 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Monterey operating system that launched in October 2021. macOS Monterey 12.4 comes over two months after the launch of macOS Monterey 12.3, an update that added Universal Control. The ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Monterey‌‌ 12.4 update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday May 16, 2022 9:57 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5, the fifth major update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5 comes more than two months after the release of tvOS 15.4, an update that brought support for captive WiFi networks. tvOS 15.5 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple...