7.1 brings back Geofence behavior

Apple released a major update to iOS yesterday. This update brings a lot of new changes to iOS, mainly CarPlay. While this doesn’t mean much for users right now, it will in the coming months as vehicles come to market.

One unlisted feature of iOS 7.1, is the default behavior of Geofences and iBeacons has been restored to iOS 6 defaults. For those of you not aware, starting in iOS 7, if you force close an app (double-tap home, and swipe the app up) you are telling iOS that you don’t want this app to run anymore, and that the app should not be allowed to respond to background events. This is completely opposite of the behavior in iOS 6. If your app needs to respond to a Geofence update, it would get notified, woke up if you will, and be allowed to respond to the event. This new change has caused a lot of problems for our users that are used to closing apps from the app switcher and not getting updates to various background updates.

With 7.1, we have confirmed that force closing an app that is monitoring Geofences will respond to Geofence updates. This is great news for users (and developers) that want their apps to continue working in the background. We got word via a story about improvements to iBeacons in 7.1 that piqued our interest. We immediately confirmed their findings about iBeacons, and checked if this change applied to Geofences as well. We were very happy to find that this change applies to both.

While most users won’t notice anything different, that is great news for everyone. Developers don’t have to code around this change in behavior, as well as not being put in the position to train users how to use iOS differently. Users shouldn’t notice anything different because like Apple says, it just works.

You can download Simple In/Out and see for yourself. We are putting the finishing touches on a new 6.0 build that is just about ready to go live. We wanted to wait until 7.1 was released to make sure the update would work for everyone. A few last minute tweaks, and we’ll be out the door.