iOS 7.1 to Fix Geolocation Issue That Broke Location-Based Apps

by

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
91 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
91 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
91 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
91 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
91 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
91 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)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro magsafe

MagSafe is Coming Back to the Mac: A Look Back at Apple's Original Magnetic Charging Technology

Friday January 15, 2021 12:16 pm PST by
Surprise late night rumors last night provided us with our first in-depth look at what we can expect from the new MacBook Pro models that are coming in 2021, and there are some significant changes in the works. Along with additional ports, a new flat-edged design, and the removal of the Touch Bar, Apple's updated MacBook Pro machines will readopt MagSafe. MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro...