Unprompted background location request on TestFlight 1.8.2 (227)


(Rika Raybould) #1

On poking around the latest TestFlight release of the iOS Monzo app (1.8.2 (227)), I was randomly prompted to allow location services with no pre-warning or interaction that should have caused it.

I believe it was triggered by me tapping along the tab bar between Contacts and Home to check if anything obvious in Card and Spending had changed.

From previous use of the app, I would have expected to see this as part of a feed item or some kind of modal explanation when trying to access a feature that requires it. The NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription, while likely accurate, did a poor job of explaining the benefits to me and why I should allow it without context.

On reinstalling the app fresh, I’m thrown the prompt at login after the excellent notifications explanation but at the same time as a contacts request (expected as I was using Payments with Friends but couldn’t this one be moved to the Contacts tab? I realise it’s also required to show payments from friends properly in the feed though).

Put simply, I’m asking that the places these device permissions are requested be considered a bit more. In my opinion, the notification permission request flow is great and an example to be followed with the rest (except camera and photos because that’s currently very obviously in direct response to a user action).


(Alex Sherwood) #2

I’m guessing that this setting needs to be switched on in order to enable Location-based security (a new setting under Privacy in the Profile page).

I didn’t receive a notification about the setting at all but I’d have been happy to simply see it the first time I open the app, after installing the update, as long as I was in the Contacts tab.

I agree.


(ole) #3

Hi @RichardR, thanks for reporting this. You should only get this prompt if you in the past have opted in to location-based security but your device no longer has the setting turned on (either because you got a new phone or removed the app and installed it again). We sent out feed items about this in August as a test to some users. Do you remember if you got one?


(Rika Raybould) #4

Searched my feed and I can confirm that I did not get one. The Monzo app on my device has only had location permissions while the app is in use for merchant corrections. This would be the first time it was asking for background permissions that I can recall.

It does appear however that location-based security is/was turned on under the profile. The fact that I do not recall being in any trials, this happened directly after updating the app from the last TestFlight release to the latest and while switching tabs across Card leads me to believe that this may somehow have been turned on by default in this version on upgrade? From then onwards, it acts about as expected.


(ole) #5

We found the issue! You were indeed not been part of the trial but probably turned on location services under merchant feedback (there is an option so search merchants near you). The bug has now been fixed. Thanks again for your help!


(Rika Raybould) #6

Yup, this is correct. Permissions were previously set to only when the app was open for this exact feature and the app was asking for the extended background permissions!