Running Family Tracker with iOS 7

The new iOS 7 has many improvements over the previous iOS versions. While it introduced many new features, as with new operating systems it also introduces several new bugs that were not present before. 

Please see this note below for a workaround. In the meantime, here is an explanation of what is happening.

In the new iOS 7, the operating system tries to guess which apps are used the most by users. If iOS 7 thinks that an app is not used often, iOS will “kill” that app after some time (usually after a few days). 

There are three bugs with this new process that are affecting how Family Tracker runs.

  • First, unfortunately Apple’s detection of apps that are being used frequently fails to understand that the Family Tracker app is working continuously in the background updating its position. Because of this, if Family Tracker is not launched every now and then, iOS 7 will kill our app as it thinks it’s not being used often enough.
  • Second, in the previous versions of iOS, killing (force-quitting) an app still allowed the location services for that app to continue sending GPS updates to the app. Apple is mistakenly preventing this from happening in the new iOS 7.
  • iOS 7 supports the use of “stealth pings” being sent to iOS 7 devices. These stealthy pings are silent push notifications that allow apps that receive them to perform certain tasks. This allows us to use the stealth pings sent to iOS 7 devices to force an immediate location update. Another bug in iOS 7 may prevent these new types of push notifications to be delivered to the app (including our Family Tracker).

Workaround to minimize these issues - make sure you launch (bring to the foreground) the Family Tracker app every now and then (every few days should suffice). This should “teach" iOS 7 that you really want to use the app, and that it should not “kill” it when it’s not used.

We, along with other app makers, have been working with Apple to have them resolve all these issues. But as iOS 7 is a very new new and major update, it will take Apple sometime to address all the bugs present in this latest version of iOS.

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