updated 02:54 pm EST, Tue February 11, 2014
Glitch devastating some developers
iOS 7.1 beta 5 appears to solve a problem that can kill all location tracking on a device, according to VentureBeat. In iOS 7.0.x, force-quitting an app that uses location services can also disable all location-aware functions, which were previously able to run in the background. This is said to be crippling some developers of location-based apps, such as Life360, which in the switch to iOS 7 saw drops in its userbase ranging from 30 to 50 percent.
Life360 is among a group of developers that sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on February 1st, complaining about the situation. "We are a group of Apple developers who rely on iOS geolocation services for core parts of our businesses," the letter reads. "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."
It's still not clear when iOS 7.1 will reach the public. Two separate reports, however, have both suggested that the update won't go live until March.