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Apple's iOS 8 enhancing Location Services, adding Visit Monitoring

updated 02:36 pm EDT, Wed June 4, 2014

Pair of improvements gives developers more control and access to user data

With Apple's new iOS 8 release will come improvements to Location Services, according to the company. In the new revision, users will receive additional notifications that apps are using Location Services with new requests, and at the same time, allowing developers to get more location data with Visit Monitoring, a feature allowing developers to see what locations a user may be at more often and with more granularity than current functionality.

Visit Monitoring keeps track of where users spend the most time, and will glean context-specific user actions from said visits. For instance, if a certain location sees the user charge the phone, this information can be passed to power-hungry apps prior to the actual charging. Tweets could potentially be pre-fetched, or other such location-specific functionality can be triggered that wasn't previously accessible by developers.

A new authorization for location services, called "when in use" will allow an app to only collect location data when it is the currently selected app, rather than in the background. The old notification is now the "always" condition, and an app with such permission will constantly fetch location data. Apple is mandating that developers specify in the alerts when the app will fetch user data -- the example provided by Apple is "This app needs your location to automatically detect locations you visit during your day." Presumably, this functionality will be beneficial to services like FourSquare, Google+, health monitoring and other apps seeking more specific user travel and visitation patterns.

by MacNN Staff



  1. carloblackmore

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-28-05

    With all these location-based enhancement promised for iOS 8, if they don't update Maps to include better mass transit information or fix the inconsistencies in the data shown in location-based apps like Find My Phone, it will be a disappointment to me.

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