25 Replies
      Latest reply on Oct 27, 2019 3:58 AM by 9i9i
      TomThorpe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



        I have an app that uses geofences. For this, the "Always" location permission needs to be granted.


        I've always used requestAlwaysAuthorization() for this at the time where the user signals their desire to set up a geofence (the apps functionality is they get a notification when they enter this geofence with some up to date data about it - there is a settings screen where they can choose to start receiving this notification, if they choose to do this, at this point I request Always permission so I can set the geofence)


        I notice from 1:11:36  in the 2019 Platforms State of the Union - and from testing in the Xcode 11 Beta that calling request**Always**Authorization() now no longer gives the user the user the option to allow always. It only gives them the choice of While Using App, or allow once. The user apparently now has to grant the "While Using App" permission first, then according to the state of the union the app must ask for "Always" location later from the background. They didnt elaborate on how you will do this from the background or when you should.


        I'm just wondering how this is going to work for geofences? I want to be able to set up the geofences within the app as this is the best experience for the user, rather than them having to leave the app to give background permission, then re-enter the app to set up which geofences they want. It also seems a poor experience for them to have to grant the permission twice - once for in use, then again for always, when I just want Always permission.


        I do handle the app in a degraded state when the user chooses "While using app" - as this has been the requirement up until now. But there are areas of the app where it makes no sense for me to prompt and the user only be given the choose to accept the while using permission such as the use case noted at the start of this post, where I'm specifically asking the user if they want to set up a geofence.


        Is there a better flow that can be done to request Always permission while still in the app - or perhaps a different permission status for geofences?



        • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
          jdelaune Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

          I'm in a similar boat. I'm not sure how you get woken up in the background when entering a monitored region, to ask for 'always' location services to get woken up in the background in the first place. Seems a bit chicken and egg.


          I also have concerns for the user experience. Where monitored regions are required for app functionality it does seem backwards to ask people to leave the app to grant permission, and then come back in.

            • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
              TomThorpe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              Glad it's not just me that thought this, but the Core Location session thats running right now seems to have shed some light (I guess I should have waited, but I was getting very odd results in Xcode 11 and the simulator, which worried me)


              The presenter mentioned that the flow is:


              1. Request Always permission via requestAlwaysAuthorization()
              2. The user will only be given the option to either accept While in Use, or Allow Once. But the system will remember that you requested Always.
              3. If the user accepts While In Use -  the presenter said the didChangeAuthorization delegate will actually come back with a status of .always. Your app is in a provisional status where CoreLocation tells it that it has Always permission, even though the user hasnt yet been prompted for that.
              4. When the user hits one of your geofences, they will then be asked if they want to grant your Always permission (so they understand the context of where you were asking for), and if they accept, your event will be delivered as usual.


              This flow sounds fine, but its not currently whats happening in the Simulator and Xcode 11. In the simulator, even when asking for Always permission via requestAlwaysAuthorization(), the delegate callback from point 3 comes back with just .authorizedWhenInUse. Also CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() comes back with .authorizedWhenInUse.


              Hopefully this is a beta bug, and maybe anyone can confirm that the intention that for step 3, both the didChangeAuthorization delegate method, and CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() will come back with .always while the app is in provisional Always state?

                • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                  nickradar Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                  The docs and the talk also give the impression that after calling `requestWhenInUseAuthorization`, if the user grants When In Use, you should be able to call `requestAlwaysAuthorization` to incrementally prompt the user for Always without relying on "provisional" Always and a prompt outside of the app. However, this doesn't seem to work in the beta. Did you have the same understanding? Are you seeing this behavior as well?

                    • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                      TomThorpe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      Yeah, I'm seeing that if you call requestWhenInUseAuthorization() and then subsequently call requestAlwaysAuthorization(), nothing happens on the subsequent call. Even though its always been the case that calling requestAlwaysAuthorization() after the initial call for whenInUse should ask the user to upgrade.


                      I dont think they mentioned this in the talk though? And the Apple documentation pages for these methods don't seem to have changed at all according to the diffs - so I'm not sure what the expected flow is. Given that the documentation hasnt changed though, and that Apple have always made it clear that you should only request what you need - it doesnt sound right to me that the subsequent call to requestAlwaysAuthorization() does nothing. Seems like either the behaviour or the documentation is wrong.


                      I'd file a radar! I already have done for my issue, but the more the merrier!


                      (as a side note, given the new flow where requestAlwaysAuthorization() presents the same UI as requestWhenInUseAuthorization(), and given that Apple seem to want to prompt the user for the Always location while in the background to give the user extra context of what's happening - I'm not sure if there's even any point in the two methods being different anymore?)

                    • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                      jdelaune Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                      Yes that's what I didn't understand when they said that in the talk as when I tried it on Tuesday I was getting back whenInUse authorization even though I asked for always and the guy said you should get back temporary always.


                      From the talk I wasn't too sure of 4 in practise, it sounded like that if when you hit one of the regions you are monitoring iOS may not ask the user for permission if it isn't an optimal time... who knows what the logic is for this?


                      I am very concerned the user experience for apps which do require always authorization is a bit pants now to say the least. If you app says it will do something for the user in the background and it doesn't because iOS hasn't gotten around to asking them for always permission and the delegate doesn't get the first few notifications through because of the delay this isn't a great first impression for the user of your app.


                      I don't like Apple second guessing developers. If there is a reason we want to ask for always authorization then let us, and if we get user push back then fine. But its worse not being able to do something because of Apple imposed limitations on what they believe is right. Why have two methods askForAlways and askForWhenInUse when they do the same thing now?

                        • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                          TomThorpe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          "I am very concerned the user experience for apps which do require always authorization is a bit pants now to say the least. If you app says it will do something for the user in the background and it doesn't because iOS hasn't gotten around to asking them for always permission and the delegate doesn't get the first few notifications through because of the delay this isn't a great first impression for the user of your app."


                          I 100% agree with this. I think its likely our users will blame our apps for not working when we have no control over the situation. And the user has no ability to understand or control when they will be prompted - they have to rely on the "magic" of this extra prompt choosing to appear at some time when they enter the geofence (and might not even understand why it is even appearing - as far as they're concerned they already gave permisison with the initial prompt).


                          This is aside from the fact that the initial prompt is now confusing (the user may think "why is the app only asking for permission while being used, when I'm asking it to notify me when I enter an geofence, do I now have to keep the app open?")


                          I suspect that we will end up with at least a few bad reviews appearing from this if users think its our apps that arent working. The presenter in the WWDC talk mentioned that it may result in at least the first few events being missed, but suggested this was an ok trade off - I disagree with this as we've told the user we have the geofences set, and they have no reason to believe they shouldnt be working.

                        • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                          DanSkeel13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          I had same issue.

                          I updated to Xcode 11 beta 5 and used `erase all contents and settings` option in simulator and now .always authorization comes after requesting always permission. But it seams like significat locaition changes are not yet working in ios 11 beta 5.

                          In ios 12.2 it works (tested in simulator using this method http://brainwashinc.com/2015/02/20/test-significant-location-change-ios-simulator/)

                      • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                        JohannesD Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                        Just want to say that I aggree 100% with what has been said here. On the current (first) beta, the delegate function reports "when in use" although the app should be in the provisional state after calling requestAlwaysAuthorization. Furthermore, I don't unterstand how "remind me at a location" services should work now, if iOS is blocking delivery until it decides to ask the user for permission. If this is really the way Apple wants to go, then this permission popup should be a local notification that is sent to the user when the region is entered, even if he has the phone in his pocket. Waiting for the user to be on the home screen defeats the pupose of the API.

                        • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                          david.fichou Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          Wondering if any of you folks have discovered any fixes yet?  My App also relies on Geofences and I setup two iOS 13 phones with the app that asked permission, I gave it the "While In Use" (vs One Time or None) and after a day my application has not gotten any fence crossings reported from the OS.  Which the user is going to blame me the developer, not Apple since the function that is failing from a user's perspective is my application.

                          • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                            jdelaune Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                            51475789 bug (temporary Always authorization given as whenInUse) still exists in Beta 2.


                            The bigger UX issue also still exists.

                              • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                                TomThorpe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                Thanks for checking - I hadn’t downloaded beta 2 yet


                                FYI my feedback bug report is FB6120856 and I did include a sample project too. I can only assume that they _must_ already know about this bug seeing as the provisional permission was such a big part of the wwdc talk, but hopefully the report helps if not.


                                And yes I really hope that - if we assume this idea of the extra prompt won’t be reverted - the permission prompt is at least delivered as a local notification when the user enters the geofence, and not just when the user next happens unlock, missing the geofence.

                              • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                                LaurentZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                Also in the same boat. The description of jdelaune on the user experience is exactly pointing the disappointment that can only occur in the user experience. When your app is based on Always you end up with the following:

                                • The user thinks the app is working, while it’s not and this leads to disappointment. After download from the App Store and install this looks all good. I even believe some may not notice the fact that there is a "While In Use" instead of "Always" presented especially if they have heard about the app and are eager to try it. Then they will put the app in their pocket or leave the app and at the next opening it will be "this does not work" . Or they will simply not leave the app!!!!
                                • The user has to accept twice an authorization and the second time without the context of the application.  Usually a user makes an App Store download with an intent that’s very clear, and it can not be futhfilled with what Apple is offering. If the second authorization appears at a non ideal time (like user is on the bike and should not look at their phone), it may get a totally wrong attention.
                                • Finally, from what I get from the WWDC video I do not see a way for the user to declare their intent at a sooner than when iOS decides about it. If I am correct the speaker is even using words like "it will appears at a good time" and then speak about how a location even is intercepted and not delivered because it requires the second approval. But in our tries we never saw it.

                                I can't believe it can stays this way with so many imprecisions in behaviors and UX flaws.

                                • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                                  zscal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                  Hi there,


                                  I'm also working on an app for which the user experience depends heavily on Always On location authorization. I  agree with most of the points that have been exposed here. Even though the intentions are genuinely good, this could kill a lot of use cases right from the first run experience.


                                  It looks like iOS 13 Beta 3 finally implements the changes advertised by Apple, and I must say the user experience regarding the new authorization flow makes absolutely no sense.


                                  During my testing I've noticed that:

                                  1. the app now receives "Always" when the user selects "When in use" when prompted in the app (what's called "Provisional always location")

                                  2. the app does not receive "Always" if the user selects "Once" when prompted

                                  3. the system only prompts the user to go to "proper always" when the phone is unlocked (no notification, that is)

                                  4. the only way the user can give the app Always permissions without being prompted first is via the phone's Settings>Privacy>Location>Your App (could not even see it in Settings>Your App any more) – and we have no way to deep-link to this Settings screen from within an app AFAIK.


                                  In my opinion these changes are very detrimental to the user experience in many use cases, especially regarding first run experience.


                                  If your app depends on background location for anything useful to the user, it's basically useless until the system decides to present the "permission upgrade" modal. It works only if the user keeps the phone unlocked and active when the location events begin, which is exactly the opposite of what users expect for background location features.

                                  • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                                    jdelaune Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                    Well please do file feedback with Apple. Although sadly it looks like this flow will not change and our feedback is falling on deaf ears.


                                    Annoying if you go to the Settings screen for you app 'provisional always' shows as 'Always', its only when the user drills in to change it do they see that they really have 'While Using the App' permission granted. Can't even easily ask users to go in and change it manually as they will think they have granted Always looking at that.


                                    'Provisional always' is one of the bizarrest concepts Apple could have cooked up. Especially when they don't even expose the real state to us developers.

                                    • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                                      tapework Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                      For me the geofencing doesn't work at all in iOS 13 (Beta 4 and 5). Neither with GPS nor with Beacon fencing.  I even get the CLAuthorizationStatus "authorizedAlways" via

                                      func locationManager(_ manager: CLLocationManager, didChangeAuthorization status: CLAuthorizationStatus)


                                      The same code runs perfect under iOS 12.

                                      • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                                        egalindo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                        Hi guys, I have also noticed in our case that the application does not receive location updates in the background when this has the "Provisional Always" location access. We have noticed in simulator tests that once the "Always" prompt is shown by the system in the background, the application starts receiving location updates in the background as expected regardless of if the user chose "Keep Only While Using" or "Change to Always Allow".

                                        The application has enabled the location updates background mode and set the allowBackgroundLocationUpdates property to true.

                                        This is happening on iOS 13 public beta 4 (17A5547d). This is not an issue on iOS 12.

                                        Is anyone seeing the same behavior?

                                          • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                                            Gagandeep Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                            I am seeing the same issue. I have a simple standalone app where I am asking for Always permission with background location enabled and it calls `startUpdatingLocation` once authorization is granted. When in `Provisional Always` and the app in foreground the location updates come in fine. But when the app is backgrounded, I get the location updates for only a few seconds and then it stops. Now, if you bring the app back to foreground, you will see the prompt and location updates start working again. It seems like as soon as the app knows to prompt, the location updates stop.


                                            Another thing I noticed, if you set

                                            `locationManager.showsBackgroundLocationIndicator = true`

                                            then the location updates work fine and you are never prompted for `Keep When In Use` or `Allow Always`.

                                          • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                                            NichUlmon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                            I am experiencing the same wrong behaviour in my app. It is pretty frustrating that Apple, with the introduction of iOS 11, forced us to gently ask for location permission in a way that the users can better understand why an upgrade makes sense for them; but now this seems to be not the correct pattern anymore. I agree with the reasoning behind the excalation of permissions, but Apple should stick to his line.


                                            In my app I ask for "When in use" location permission once I first need the location data. At one point during app usage, a banner allows the user to upgrade location permissions to "Always" in order to receive location based notifications and activate other features that will enhance the user experience even when the app is not in use. With iOS 13 this escalation of permissions is not possible as the "Upgrade dialog" is not shown by the operative system.


                                            I hope Apple will find a solution for this, even if we are a week away from GM release and the issue still persists.

                                            • Re: Requesting "Always" Location Access in iOS13 for Geofences
                                              kenma Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                                              Since iOS13 beta 6, I can see "Allow Always" prompt with the steps below.


                                              1. My app requests Always

                                              2. User picks While in use

                                              3. The app’s delegate receives Always  (actually it is .authorizedAlways (Provisional))

                                              4. The apps goes to the background.

                                              5. Wait a while (10 secs)

                                              6. When the apps go to the foreground, "Allow Always" prompt appears.


                                              If User picks "Always" at the step 6, the app can get location update always (both in the foreground and the background).


                                              However, I found the app could not get location update at the step 5.

                                              At the step 5, the authorization states is ".authorizedAlways (Provisional)".  Does anyone know how to get location update?

                                              I tried to set "allowsBackgroundLocationUpdates = true", but location update does not occur.