Facebook and WhatsApp among the leading encrypted messaging apps and developer community, have found the upcoming Apple’s iOS 13 operating software (which is also available for Public Beta testing) flawed undermining their data privacy goals, says paywalled website The Information.
Later this year, compatible iPhone and iPod touch 7th gen run on Apple iOS 13 will make them run faster, and offer a delightful experience to users.
iOS 13 PushKit API Seen as Villain of the Piece By Messaging App Developers
Apple Beta Software Program lets developers sign up on the expected lines to access and preview the same. App developers and those offering messaging services found Apple iOS 13 set up restrictions to their background running API (Application Programming Interface) via PushKit API.
This led messaging app developers is disarray looking out for solutions that got compromised due to subsequent changes made by Apple in the upcoming iOS 13.
Apple replied to The Information in an apparent bid to mollify their concerns stating, “We’ve heard feedback on the API changes introduced in iOS 13 to further protect user privacy and are working closely with iOS developers to help them implement their feature requests.”
While Messenger App helps connect and conduct voice call (VoIP) chat or a video call over the Internet, PushKit API shuts off the main Facebook app from running in the background. This purportedly stops Facebook to pry over the iPhone data inside, possibly.
Apple found it as a matter of concern, as it accords the highest priority to personal data of its users. No way it would allow any background running feature to listen or collect information residing in the Apple iPhone and exploit its privacy, overall.
Apple in iOS 13 tweaked specific codes to disable background listening functionality. This led the App Developer community to raise a hue and cry against the Cupertino giant on grounds seeking level playing field.
Last month, a battery of seven leading App developers including Arity, Happn, Tile, Life360, Twenty, Zenly, and Zendrive protested against Apple for the iOS 13 changes. They found curtailment of access on iPhone user’s location and data access failure of user location over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The Information ran their email message to Tim Cook, CEO, Apple Inc., wherein the above seven Developers wrote, “As Apple expands into additional services, some of which compete with developers like us, the need for a level playing field becomes ever more critical to allow the ecosystem to flourish.”
Now, app developers are finding it hard to accept the changes due to PushKit API, because ‘significant engineering’ will be required to factor all.
Tom Leavy, VP, at Wickr – a private messaging app service provider, conveyed to The Information that encrypted messaging apps developers were trying out ‘alternative tools’ in iOS to work. However, he lamented the fact that they are ‘way inferior’ to the current PushKit option Apple has provided.
Meanwhile, Apple has set April 2020 as the target for all App Developers to comply with the changes to the PushKit API. This looks like asking for a tall order, possibly leading to an inevitable logjam.
To break this, Apple and the app developer community must sit on the table and find amicable solutions in the interest of their users and customers, I feel.
Need we say anymore?