Apple’s iOS will now confirm you meant to subscribe to that app

Apple has added another step to prevent users from accidentally signing up for an iOS app’s subscription – or, from being tricked into it by a scammy app not playing by the rules. The company recently rolled out a subscription confirmation dialog box that pops up as one final step to ensure you meant to opt in to the subscription being offered.

The change to iOS was first spotted by app developer David Barnard on Twitter and reported by Apple news site 9to5Mac.

The new confirmation box is a welcome addition, considering how many users were accidentally subscribing – particularly those with Touch ID-based phones who were trying to [...]  read more

Firefox is now a better iPad browser

Mozilla today announced a new iOS version of Firefox that has been specifically optimized for Apple’s iPad. Given the launch of the new iPad mini this week, that’s impeccable timing. It’s also an admission that building a browser for tablets is different from building a browser for phones, which is what Mozilla mostly focused on in recent years.

“We know that iPads aren’t just bigger versions of iPhones,” Mozilla writes in today’s announcement. “You use them differently, you need them for different things. So rather than just make a bigger version of our browser for iOS, we made Firefox for iPad look and feel like it was custom made for a tablet.”

So with this new version, Firefox for iPad gets support for iOS features like split screen and the ability to set Firefox as the default browser in Outlook for iOS. The team also optimized tab management for these larger screens, including the option to see tabs as large tiles, “making it easy to see what they are, see if [...]  read more

Endlesss shares details on its collaborative iOS music platform

Endlesss is built on “Rifffs” — short snippets of music with multiple layers that can be created using either the Endlesss app or external instruments. The app will use a grid-based interface that plays notes and adds effects, and when it goes live, Endlesss will come with sample-based bass, synth and drum soundpacks. You’ll also be able to easily import and export Rifffs to and from third-party audio software. If you create something on-the-go, you can bump it from your phone to your audio workstation, and vice versa.


The game-changer is that you’ll be able to create and share Rifffs with friends, in real-time. And since Endlesss is built for iOS, Rifffs will live on your phone, where you can presumably access them anywhere, anytime. “100 years ago music was a social activity that brought people together,” the company’s website says. “Today we’re surrounded [...]  read more

‘Avo’ for iOS shows even sentient stone fruits can be heroes

Developer Playdeo is about to release its first mobile game, and the protagonist it cooked up sure is adorable. In Avo, you’ll take control of an avocado, drawing paths for the cute fruit to take while helping him avoid some unfriendly-looking drones with the help of his human friend, Billie. Most importantly, it seems you can make Avo dance.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/26/avo-ios-avocado-game-release-date-playdeo/

Apple opens in-app subscription discounts to existing users

Apps will be able to use three discount models, allowing customers to access a subscription for free for a specific duration, pay a promotional price each billing period, or pay a one-time promotional price — Apple already uses such incentives with its own Apple Music subscribers. Developers will also be able to offer up to 10 active offers per subscription to test which work best. This added flexibility will be available with the latest beta versions of iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4 and tvOS 12.2, using the StoreKit API. While it’s just in beta right now, it seems likely these changes will go live to everyone when these software updates are fully released.

Apple began offering its current app subscription model a few years ago. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of revenue from apps in their first year, but apps that keep customers subscribed for more than a year only have to cough up 15 percent. So, keeping [...]  read more

Global smartphone growth stalled in Q4, up just 1.2% for the full year: Gartner

Gartner’s smartphone marketshare data for the just gone holiday quarter highlights the challenge for device makers going into the world’s biggest mobile trade show which kicks off in Barcelona next week: The analyst’s data shows global smartphone sales stalled in Q4 2018, with growth of just 0.1 per cent over 2017’s holiday quarter, and 408.4 million units shipped.

tl;dr: high end handset buyers decided not to bother upgrading their shiny slabs of touch-sensitive glass.

Gartner says Apple recorded its worst quarterly decline (11.8 per cent) since Q1 2016, though the iPhone maker retained its second place position with 15.8 per cent marketshare behind market leader Samsung (17.3 per cent). Last month the company warned investors to expect reduced revenue for its fiscal Q1 — and went on to report iPhone sales down 15 per cent year over year.

The South Korean mobile maker also lost share year over year (declining around 5 per cent), with Gartner noting that high end devices such [...]  read more

Apple tells app developers to disclose or remove screen recording code

Apple is telling app developers to remove or properly disclose their use of analytics code that allows them to record how a user interacts with their iPhone apps — or face removal from the app store, TechCrunch can confirm.

In an email, an Apple spokesperson said: “Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem. Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity.”

“We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary,” the spokesperson added.

It follows an investigation by TechCrunch that revealed major companies, like Expedia, Hollister and Hotels.com, were using a third-party analytics tool to record every tap and swipe inside the app. We found that none [...]  read more

Apple to compensate teenager who found Group FaceTime eavesdrop bug

Apple has said it will compensate the teenager who first found a security bug in Group FaceTime that allowed users to eavesdrop before a call was picked up.

The bug was initially reported to Apple by 14-year-old Grant Thompson and his mother, but the family struggled getting in contact the company before the bug was discovered elsewhere and went viral on social media.

The payout will fall under Apple’s bug bounty, which incentivizes security researchers to claim a reward for privately submitting security bugs and vulnerabilities to the company. Apple will also offer an unspecified additional gift to Thompson’s education.

“In addition to addressing the bug that was reported, our team conducted a thorough security audit of the FaceTime service and made additional updates to both the FaceTime app and server to improve security, an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch. “This includes a previously unidentified vulnerability in the Live Photos feature of FaceTime.”

“To protect customers [...]  read more

Apple has blocked Google from running internal iOS apps after certificate misuse

Apple has blocked Google from distributing its internal-only iOS apps on its corporate network after a TechCrunch investigation found the search giant abusing the certificates.

“We’re working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon,” said a Google spokesperson. A spokesperson for Apple said: “We are working together with Google to help them reinstate their enterprise certificates very quickly.”

TechCrunch reported Wednesday that Google was using an Apple-issued certificate that allows the company to create and build internal apps for its staff for one of its consumer-facing apps, called Screenwise Meter, in violation of Apple’s rules. The app was designed to collect an extensive [...]  read more

Apple disables group calling in FaceTime in response to eavesdropping bug

Apple has disabled the group calling feature within its FaceTime calling service while it works on a patch to fix a nasty bug that allows eavesdropping.

Apple’s status page shows that group calling via FaceTime is “temporarily unavailable” — that’s a stop-gap move while the company to deliver a more permanent fix to the problem this week. We were unable to set up a group call when we tried, having earlier been able to do and replicate the issue.

All being well, this fix means that users don’t need to completely disable FaceTime due to the bug, but it is understandable if some people are hesitant to switch it on again.

The vulnerability was unearthed on Monday and it is activated when a user initiates a group call but adds themselves as a participant, as we explained in our earlier post:

The bug relies on what appears to be a nasty logic screwup in FaceTime’s group call system. While we’re opting to not outline the steps here, the bug seems to trick the recipient’s [...]  read more