A note about Photoshop Express & location services

The newly released Photoshop Express 1.5 for iOS includes a dialog that’s too strongly worded, and it’s causing some confusion and consternation among App Store reviewers.  If you’ve turned off location services, the app says the following:

Location service denied. PS Express will now run with reduced functionality. Photo metadata cannot be added or preserved and browsing through photos in the library will be disabled.

Why does Express need location services enabled in order to support the new photo review mode? Wouldn’t you expect that this switch would simply govern whether location data is added to your photos?

The issue is related to security. iOS 4 gives third-party apps access to the photo library, including the ability to read location data from photos. Apple wanted to ensure that users could control the process, so they required that location services be enabled before apps could read the library. That way apps can (and must) ask permission to use location services. (In case my explanation doesn’t make sense, you can see this one from the makers of Camera Genius.)

The subtleties are of course hard to communicate in a few words, but we should have tried harder to find less threatening wording. I apologize for not having done so, and we’re now talking about ways to rephrase the warning. Thanks for your patience.

5 thoughts on “A note about Photoshop Express & location services

  1. Here’s a simpler explanation: “In order to read all your photos and the metadata, Location Services needs to be turned on. This doesn’t mean we’re going to record your location where you’re standing. It’s just how Apple allows secure access to photo location EXIF data.”

    1. Unless John is lying (and why would he be?) this seems like something you’ll have to take up with Apple – not Adobe.

  2. How about:
    This app requires location services for full functionality. Please enable location services to achieve the most with PS express.

  3. Turning on Location Services will allow Photoshop Express to access information about where your photos were taken. Photoshop Express does not use information about your current location.

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