Location Tracking in iOS 13

Apple has released a major change to the way Location Tracking is authorized in iOS 13. This new change is only applicable to devices running iOS 13.0 or greater. If you are unsure if your device is running iOS 13 - you can follow the instructions here to find the software version on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

This impacts the Time To Pet mobile app by adjusting the way location authorization is presented. Previously, a user could immediately grant the Time To Pet app with "Always" authorization. This allowed the Time To Pet app to track location data (GPS coordinates) even if the Time To Pet app was minimized or the device's screen is turned off.  As a reminder - the Time To Pet app never tracks location services of a user unless an event is in progress and the timer is running even if the Time To Pet app has been granted the "Always" permission.

What has changed?

iOS 13 no longer allows Apps (like Time To Pet) to immediately request " Always" authorization when asking to access your location. iOS now only allows the user to select "Allow While Using App", "Allow Once", or "Do Not Allow". Choosing "Allow While Using App" grants the Time To Pet app with “Provisional Always Authorization”. This allows the Time To Pet app the ability to track location services only when the screen is unlocked and the app is running.

After granting the " Allow While Using App" permission, the next time that a user unlocks their device, they will be presented with a new location authorization dialog window where they can select "Keep Only While Using" or "Change To Always Allow". In order to grant an app permission to track location services in the background (like when the app has been minimized or the screen is locked), the user will have to select "Change To Always Allow".

What issues may this cause?

If the Time To Pet app does not have access to " Always" capture location data, then the app will be unable to capture location data accurately when the app has been closed or the screen is locked. This will lead to missing location data for any device that has not granted the "Always" permission. As a reminder - the Time To Pet app never tracks location services of a user unless an event is in progress and the timer is running even if the Time To Pet app has been granted the "Always" permission.

How do I provide the Time To Pet app with the correct permissions?

There are two ways you can grant the Time To Pet app with the correct permissions. 

Option 1

For Option 1, the first time you access the Time To Pet app, you will be presented with this dialog window:

Location Tracking in iOS 13 - Allow Time To Pet to access location

Select the " Allow While Using App" option. The next time you unlock your device, you will be presented with this dialog window:

Location Tracking in iOS 13 - Allow Time To Pet to access location

Select the " Change to Always Allow" option. This will allow the Time To Pet app to capture location data even if the app has been closed or the screen has been locked. As a reminder - the Time To Pet app never tracks location services of a user unless an event is in progress and the timer is running even if the Time To Pet app has been granted the "Always" permission.

Option 2

You can also manually choose the correct location authorization setting by navigating to Settings->Privacy->Location Services->Time To Pet and choosing the "Always" option:

Location Tracking in iOS 13 - Always allow setting

If you have any questions about location tracking via the Time To Pet app - let us know.

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