by Anıl Taşkıran, iOS Developer at Blesh
With the recently announced iOS 13, we see that Apple’s approach to location privacy is getting more and more serious. This new update will include recurring notifications for users to see whether the app uses their location in the background or not, allowing them to adjust the setting regularly.
App owners will have to do more than to let users know why they are using their location. iOS 13 will show how often applications request location APIs with the map and description for how they use your location in the background.
(iOS 13 developer beta has recently been released, with Public Beta to follow suit in July.)
Not much has changed on the Bluetooth side, only the devices that access the Bluetooth API need to write to info.plist why they are using Bluetooth. If this is not written, then the apps will crash.
On the location side, few things have changed but the changes made location permissions definitely a bit more complicated than before, especially for app owners.
As we already know, iOS asks users for the app to obtain location permissions. The application currently (iOS 12) can grant either “when in use” or “always”. With iOS 13 though, this is changing and a new option is being added.
If you want your app to have background access, it will not be granted right away and you will have to wait a bit more than usual.
Why? Because the users, at first, will be asked to allow the grant “just once” or while using the app, and not “always”.
Users will no longer have to give full authorization to the app. The application will now have to request for background access for location over and over again. (As you can see on the picture, the app asks the user to “Allow Once” or “Allow While Using App.”)
But the “always” option isn’t going away. Apps will still be able to ask for it. But how will apps access the location permission in the background? Here’s how it will happen:
- Applications will ask for the permission to be granted as “always”, as usual.
- Users will see one of the options “While Using App” or “Allow Once”, but the system will remember that you initially asked for “always”.
- You will register for the actions you want to see in the background, and if one of these actions occur, the user will be asked two options, as seen on the picture.
- If the user selects “Always Allow”, your application will have location access in the background.
iOS 13 will also tell users at regular intervals that the app accesses their location in the background (see picture below). With a map inside the pop-up alert showing the route and places where the user’s location were tracked. This warning will also explain why the application needs this permission. Developers will need to clarify why they are asking for permission and convince the users that it is not a concern for their privacy.
Apple has also restricted developers who want to use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to track users’ locations. Details are currently unknown but with the public beta coming in July, we will have more information on how this will change location tracking.