Don't Allow

It's been 2 months since the launch of iOS 8 and I've made some changes when it comes to giving permissions. I'm finding myself clicking "Don't Allow" more and more and I can't figure out if that's because of iOS 8 or because as an iOS Developer I've finally gotten sick of being bombarded with notifications and having a hundred and one apps tracking my location.

Location Services

One of the most notable things about iOS 8 is the way it's redefined how we are asked to give permission for an app to use our location. Requesting access location services is now done on two levels.

  1. "When in Use" Authorisation which means the app can only have access to location when the app is open and in the foreground

  2. "Always" Authorisation which means the app can have access to your location even when the app is in the background. The app can even be woken up for new location information after you force quit it.

The way iOS 8 words the request for permission makes me think twice about pressing allow.

Screenshot of iOS asking for

I've started asking the question "Why do you need to always need to be using my location, surely you only need it when I'm in the app?". The worst part is that more often than not, the first thing you see when you open a new app is this dialog, and unless there's a pretty good reason pasted right under it that explains why it would need my location I tend to click don't allow.

iOS 7

Any apps that haven't been updated for iOS 8 automatically ask for "Always" permission when you start them up, and usually don't have a description of why they need to use your location which puts them in a pretty bad position.

I'd be interested to see if anyone has any stats on people clicking "Allow" and whether there was a noticable change with the introduction iOS 8. I'm sure I'm not alone in that the phrase "even when you are not using the app" makes me think twice before tapping.

I imagine that most apps only need "When In Use" authorisation but the only way to switch to that type of authorisation is to update your app for iOS 8. Thankfully most developers have been fairly quick to update, but some are lagging behind and that might lead to users questioning what permissions the app really needs.

Push Notifications

Another change I've recently made is clicking "Don't Allow" when prompted to register for push notifications. I came to the realisation that unless I'm installing something like a Twitter app, I probably don't need push notifications to tell me about your latest offer or to ask me why I haven't opened the app recently.

I've also made the decision to switch off most notifications that aren't call or text related that I had previously approved. I found that often I was getting distracted by pointless notifications somewhere in the region of 20-30 times a day. Most of these notifications didn't immediately need my attention so by moving them from lighting up my home screen to being neatly tucked away in notification centre or switching them off completely, it has made a big difference. Now I tend to push notifications when I decide I want to check my phone, not when my phone immediately throws it up in my face whilst I'm working. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try.

How about you?

I'm genuinely interested in whether anyone else has started pressing "Don't Allow" since iOS 8 or whether most people just click "Allow" whatever the message. Drop me a tweet on @MattCheetham and let me know or comment below.