Why on earth does the IOS app require location services?


#1

This is not for setup, but for ongoing use. In order to see all the Rachio devices on my account and switch between them I have to have Location Services turned on for the application. When I turn off Location Services I can no longer see my other devices in the app or switch to a different device from the currently selected one.

Requiring unnecessary services is a classic way to create security holes in a product, and in this case it’s a privacy issue as well. Rachio does not need to know where my phone is in order for me to switch from programming my front yard zones to my back yard zones.

This is with Rachio app version 2.7.0 on IOS 9.3.5

Bob


#2

Hi @bobp, apologies for any frustration. We require location services for a new feature we released in 2.7, called device lookup. This feature is very useful for service professionals as it will locate the controller nearest to their phone’s location; eliminating the need for them to search a customer list.

If I’m understanding your situation correctly, you just need to manage two controllers, one for the front yard and another for the back yard? As such, location of the controller is irrelevant for you?


#3

Basically correct. I have three controllers on my account, but they are all at my house and just manage different parts of my yard (front, side, back). It’s both poor security practice and irritating to have to give the Rachio app access to Location Services on my phone in order to switch from “front yard” to “back yard”, especially since I’m often at work when I’m doing this, so my phone location is totally irrelevant to which controller I’m selecting.

I understand the usefulness for landscapers who show up at a customer’s house and want to easily find that customer’s controller from a larger list, but for retail customers who have multiple controllers simply because they have more than 16 zones in their yard it doesn’t make any sense.

Bob


#4

This is not at all clear why you’re sacrificing your customers privacy for the benefit of third parties.

I hope you’re defaulting this feature to ‘Off’ ?


#5

The inability to turn it off is exactly my complaint. I don’t mind the concept, but I very much mind that if I turn off Location Services it becomes IMPOSSIBLE to switch from one of my controllers to another. There’s no option of sorting thru a long (or short in my case) list of controllers on the account, there’s just no way whatsoever to switch between controllers until you turn on Location Services.


#6

I just bought a Rachio, installed it this morning and the first thing I did was come here to see if someone posted this and yes they did. I support this complaint. At least offer the option to turn this feature off.

The explanation offered so far for supporting this feature (device lookup for service professionals?) seems insufficient. I bought a Rachio because I don’t want to deal with “service professionals” :slight_smile:


#7

@danchoe

This is being fixed in our 2.8 software being released very soon.

:cheers:


#8

Great to hear @franz!


#9

Glad to hear, this is the one big usability flaw in the current IOS app (in my opinion).


#10

@bobp @danchoe @ChicagoAndy Version 2.8 was released yesterday, and now after your setup process you can turn off location services and still switch between controllers with no issues. Thank you for the feedback!


#11

Thanks for the quick update. This is confidence inspiring and app development done right.

:heart:++ for making the app faster and reliable!


#12