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iMovie for iPad continues to suffer from location issue

updated 01:10 pm EDT, Tue March 29, 2011

App requires location services for video access

The iPad version of iMovie is continuing to suffer from a problem in which video file access is dependent on location services, a report notes. If location services are turned off for the app, an error message pops up. While users can keep working, iMovie allegedly prevents people from adding new video clips.

The problem is an extension of one affecting the iPhone version of iMovie, since the app is now a universal download. Why Apple would make the app dependent on location services is unclear. Although iMovie may take advantage of geotagging, GPS data is not strictly necessary. Third-party apps are said to be suffering from the problem, however, which could imply a common coding mistake.

by MacNN Staff





  1. sean_parent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why Many Media Apps Require Location Services

    A photo or video in the iOS asset store may contain metadata that includes the location where the asset was created. Applications that want to read the asset directly require permission from location services since it may contain location sensitive information. The granularity of the security protocol is less than ideal and the warning is a bit misleading. It isn't necessarily that the application is trying to "track" the user, but by granting direct access to the asset you may be providing the application with location information. There are calls to process some asset types that strip the location metadata and applications that use those don't suffer this problem. Those applications have other limitations such as losing metadata that iOS doesn't understand, since the APIs take a conservative approach, and performance issues from the additional processing. Hopefully Apple will provide a better solution in the future.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    In order to use a file that MIGHT contain location data, you have to enable your app to be able to see where you are right now? That makes no sense.

    It also makes no sense that this is some privacy setting to protect you from apps knowing where you've been, since it only knows where the picture was taken, not who took it.

    And is there no protection for OS X users who open the files from their iPhones! I mean, once iMovie on the Mac gets a hold of the videos, everyone will know where you've been!

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