iTip: Find My Friends.


Earl and I use Find My Friends on our iPhones quite frequently, including when I’m out on a long distance cycling adventure, he uses the app to find my whereabouts when I’m ready to be picked up. Since upgrading our iPhones to iOS7, Find My Friends’ functionality has been spotty at best.

This irritates me.

I think I have found a solution to the problem via the Apple Forums. I know that others are having issues with Find My Friends (Erik, Mark), perhaps they will find this helpful as well.

The suggestions in the forum post I have quoted below worked for me, but I needed to have the Find My Friends app running in order to make these things work. Once I got everything set the way it’s described below, it stayed that way.

(or at least something that some people may have overlooked)

In iOS 7, if Find My Friends is working for you WHEN THE APP IS RUNNING, i.e. you can see the Locations of family members and they can see you as long as everyone has the App running, BUT it doesn’t work once the App is closed (or wasn’t launched since the last restart,) then check the following:

Make sure the app is listed in Background App Refresh under Settings > General … In my case the FMF App was NOT listed there. I chatted at length with an Apple Support Rep trying various things (reboots, Airplane Mode on and off, etc.) She was unable to explain to me how Apps qualify to show up in that list, or how to get an App onto the list. What finally worked for me was DELETING the Find My Friends App and then reinstalling it from the App Store (Purchases.) It then showed up in the Background App Refresh List, I confirmed it was turned On, and FMF instantly started working as expected! I was afraid I would have to re-enter Follower information or re-send Invitations to Friends after reinstalling, but those settings were retained.

Note: I also happened to update to iOS 7.0.2 earlier today, so I’m not sure if that mattered or not.

Find My Friends also MUST be listed under Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and must be turned On, obviously.

When upgrading an iPhone there are lots of things to do, so it’s easy to answer a screen prompt about Location Services or Background App Refresh the “incorrect” way (at least incorrect with respect to Find My Friends working properly.) Sometimes it’s not easy to go back and find the specific Setting where that function is adjusted…

I hope this information helps other families get FMF working for their devices. Ours are all now working reliably.