Location permissions: iOS 11 and Android 0 previews

Location permissions: iOS 11 and Android 0 previews
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Key Takeaways

Big changes are coming to iPhones and Androids. With the announcements of the upcoming releases of iOS 11 and Android O (code name Octopus?!), Apple and Google are updating their mobile operating systems.

Fear not! Zendrive has been hard at work preparing for these changes. We’ve been compiling the most useful information to help educate our partners about the new user experiences, and how they can minimize the disruptive impacts of the changes.

How Zendrive is Helping You Prepare for iOS 11 and Android O

Zendrive is already taking steps to help our partners prepare for these changes!

We’ve updated the Zendrive SDK to ensure it’s optimized for both iOS 11 and Android O. Our team has reduced the frequency of SDK alerts that “wake up” the device’s processors, further limiting battery usage to the bare minimum.

Here’s what you can expect from iOS 11 and Android O.

iOS 11

Zendrive staff got the inside scoop on some of the most important changes coming to iOS 11.

Location Services and Permissions

A significant change to iOS 11 involves setting permissions for location access. Previously, when app developers requested permission from users to access a device’s location services, they could simply offer two choices: “Allow” or “Don’t Allow.”

In iOS 11, every app must now offer three options: “Always Allow,” “Only While Using the App,” and “Don’t Allow.” This gives users the option of turning off an application’s location services while the app is not in use. The change is part of an attempt by Apple to provide users with more transparency into how apps are using device location services.

Zendrive encourages developers to update the language in their permission dialogs to accommodate this change.

For iOS 11 (right), Zendrive recommends that developers update the language in these dialog boxes, so users understand the value that their app is providing by accessing their phone’s location services.

Goodbye Blue Bar?

It turns out that one of the biggest changes in iOS 11 probably isn’t happening: according to the latest beta testing conducted by Zendrive, it looks like Apple is not going to make significant changes to how often the blue bar appears in iOS 11. In earlier BETA versions, alerting users when apps connected to their devices’ location services. Nonetheless, with this major update, it’s more important than ever to educate your users about the value you provide through their location.

Work with your Product Marketing and Customer Success teams to make sure the messaging in the location access dialogs clearly explains how your users benefit from your app knowing their location. Users will ultimately decide if they are getting enough value in exchange for location access; education will help inform their decision.

Zendrive will continue to monitor iOS 11 for any other changes to the blue bar. We know that many of our customers are concerned that it would negatively impact user (or driver) experience and discourage app use.

Do Not Disturb While Driving

iOS 11 will also give users the ability to engage a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode from the Control Center. It can be set manually or to automatically engage when the device detects that the user is driving a car.

When this mode is on, the iPhone screen will remain dark, and attempts to unlock it will display a message notifying the user that it is on. However, this can be overridden by tapping to indicate that you’re not driving (honor system, people!).

Zendrive applauds this update! It complements our mission to stop distracted driving and improve road safety. Our SDK does not send notifications, scores, or other feedback to host apps during a trip to make distractions to a minimum. We believe this approach leads to safer roads and safer drivers.

Android O

As Google prepares to release the newest update to its Android operating system, Zendrive has the important information you need about the changes.

Location Services and Permissions

One of the biggest changes in Android O is the way apps are permitted to use device location while running in the background. In the new OS, without a process running in the foreground, apps can only access location a few times an hour. If you have an app that currently uses location while in the background, consider adapting to the new OS by serving a notification when you need precise location data.

The latest version of Zendrive SDK (5.0.0) has been updated to promote the service to foreground whenever it needs location to track a drive reliably. Check out the new APIs.

Luckily, there are changes in the way notifications are handled too. In Android O, you can register your notification to be displayed with minimum priority level. In addition, you can hide the iOS-style badge that is shown on the application icon in the launcher using setShowBadge(false). We hope these technical tips will help your team create the best possible user experience.

The upcoming releases of iOS 11 and Android O mean big changes, and big opportunities, for Zendrive’s partners and users. We’re helping make sure you’re ready.

If you have questions or concerns, let us know! Reach out to us at

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