iOS App rejection: Info.plist file should contain a NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription

April 07, 2019

We received a message from iOS App Team about adding NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription key in Info.plist file. Our last build was rejected for this specific reason.

Being clueless about what went wrong here. I googled up and found some interesting things.

NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription key needs to be added to your Info.plist file if your app using user's location data. You need to add a custom message about why you need user's location data as well. Quite surpised by this, we were not using geolocation service or tracking user's location. Our app didn't need this specific functionality. So why we do we need to tell the user that we are tracking the user location while we are not ?

Turns out React Native has a GeoLocation service which gets included by default into your build. Even if you do not use the GeoLocation API in your codebase , it is still in your app build. This triggers code bots about possible usage of Geolocation.

How do you solve this ?

Referring to this github issue - https://github.com/facebook/react-native/issues/20879. There are three possible ways. I tried the first and easy one and that worked fine for me. I deleted RCTGeolocation.xcodeproj from libraries folder in XCode and rebuilt the app. You can see on the left Libraries in current app in below screenshot. This solved the NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription issue.

Image of Yaktocat

Update- I am told that this issue will be fixed around React Native version 60.