Find My Friends Now Useless

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by n4uau, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. n4uau

    n4uau
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    i see that Find Friends now only shows locations when 'this app is visible on the screen' so unless you and I are both using it I can't find you. In the past friends and I had fun following each other on trips.

    Non iOS 8 friends are still visible. This app is now useless. If we are both on I can tell you where I am or send a screen shot of a map.

    Want to know where I am? Ask the NSA. Only Big Brother is allowed to know.
     
  2. Somerled

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    Go to Settings -> iCloud -> Share My Location and turn it on.
     
  3. n4uau

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    It is! It does but only under those conditions.
     
  4. Somerled

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    The setting I listed overrides that. I just verified with a friend of mine.
     
  5. n4uau

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    Unfortunately doesn't for me.
     
  6. twerppoet

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    It's talking about accessing your location, and only for that app, for the purpose of computing your current location vs your friends location.

    That does not prevent the underlying service from checking where your friends are, or your friends from accessing where you are (provided you've shared that information).

    And this is pretty much how the app worked in previous versions. Before, you did not know when an app was using Location services. They might check only when the app was open, or it might be checking constantly in the background.

    Now Apple has broken the two down, and apps can request Always On, or only When Using the App.

    I use Find My Friends with my Mother. It works exactly as before. I open it, it spends a little time making sure it knows where I am, then a bit more asking here phone where it is; then I get to see what's what.

    Since Notify Me is still an options, it will (or should) still work in the background as needed. It doesn't need your Location to do that, only permission from the friends phone to query and receive their location; all in the background.

    Of course, given the number of bugs that have popped up in iOS 8, it's possible that it is not working as it should. And I' have to admit, right now it's not finding Mom, for some reason. It did before. She's still on iOS 6, btw.
     
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  7. n4uau

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    Well in theory it might be the same, in practice I can not locate my friend. To the user it just isn't the same.
     
    #7 n4uau, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  8. n4uau

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    I see a number of apps besides Find Friends now only allow location services 'while using' . This is, I believe ,a new category and I am baffled as to the reason for it. It certainly reduces the usefulness of Find Friends.
     
  9. twerppoet

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    It's not new, in the sense that it's new behavior. It's only new in that Apple is now being clearer on whether apps use location services only when the app is open, or whether they might be using location services even when they are in the background.

    Apps already did one or both of these before, but you only had an ON/OFF choice for control. If it was not spelled out in the app's description or obvious from it's features, you did not know.

    By default, apps that have not been updated for the new location permissions only give you the Off or Always on choices, and you still don't know if/when they are using location service. Going forward apps should start giving you choices appropriate for that app.

    Most will start using the While Using App. This is how the majority of apps have always worked. Very few apps need to access your location until you open. Most photo apps, for instance, only need to know where you are when you are taking the picture. (if you want them to include that information in the photo)

    Some will continue asking for the Always option. One example would be apps that offer notifications based on your location. They will need to occasionally check your location to see where you are, even if they are not open. Some of the activity tracking apps might do this as well.

    And a few apps will give you all three choices. Off / While Using App / Always. Those apps will probably have more limited features, depending on how much you restrict their access to location services. FaceBook is one of these.

    The key here is that Apple has not stopped apps from using Location Services in the background. What they have done is make sure that you know when your apps can access your location, and given you more control over restricting that access.
     
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  10. twerppoet

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    Maybe I wasn't clear in my previous explanation. Find Friends should not need your location' to work in the background. The background notifications are for when your 'friend' leaves or arrives at a location. Where you are is irrelevant.

    Now if it had a 'near me' notification, that would be different, and need your location as well as your friend's. And be a kind of neat feature.

    Keep in mind that Location Services only provides your location. The apps' ability to track your friend is a different service, which, frankly, I haven't the slightest idea of how it works.

    That said. Find Friends does appear to be broken, at least for me. I'm not sure why. It may just be that I need to renew the authorization from my Mom's phone, or an incompatibility because she is still on iOS 6 and I'm on 8. Or something else.

    However, the change in permission levels should have nothing to do with it, other than it might be a bug in that part of the app, anyway.
     
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