Apple Removes Some Ad Blockers From App Store for Installing Root Certificates

Apple tonight removed some ad blockers, among other apps, from the App Store for installing root certificates that would allow developers to view encrypted traffic from their users, reports iMore. In a statement provided to the publication, Apple said it was working with developers to get the apps back into the App Store.

Apple is deeply committed to protecting customer privacy and security. We’ve removed a few apps from the App Store that install root certificates which enable the monitoring of customer network data that can in turn be used to compromise SSL/TLS security solutions. We are working closely with these developers to quickly get their apps back on the App Store, while ensuring customer privacy and security is not at risk.

With iOS 9, Apple allowed developers to create content blockers that would block ads on websites in Safari. Some ad blockers were removed because they could use the installed root certificates to view customer data passing through them. However, iMore notes that the ad blockers removed from the App Store are slightly different than the content blockers Apple enabled with iOS 9.

The ad blockers removed from the App Store block ads and other content inside apps by „exposing all your private Internet traffic to the blocker,“ according to iMore. The apps are set up in a way that allows a user’s traffic to flow through the developer’s servers to perform the content blocking. One of the apps that has been removed is Been Choice, who notes that they will resubmit their app tomorrow with the necessary changes.

While Apple has enabled developers to create content blockers for Safari, it currently has no systems in place to allow developers to block content within apps.



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How to use content blockers in iOS 9 (and whitelist Cult of Mac!)

iOS 9 includes a new feature that desktop users have had for a while: content blocking. More conventionally known as ad blockers, this software cuts out all the advertisements and other cruft from web pages, allowing faster load times and a more streamlined experience. Of course, most websites you read these days (including Cult of […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Fresco News App Receives Major Update With Tools to Let Users Become Paid Photojournalists

Fresco News today launched a major update to its iOS app, introducing a new look and bringing tools to let Fresco News users become paid reporters and photojournalists, uploading photos and videos from newsworthy events around the world.

Any Fresco user can upload photos and videos that can be commissioned by news organizations worldwide. With the Fresco Newsroom Tool Suite, news stations can create location-based assignments as soon as an event happens, which sends an alert to Fresco News users who can go and capture photos and videos. Content is vetted by the Fresco content team, with content owners receiving credit and payment for their work.

„We want to make reporting in the media more transparent, and we think creating a way for viewers to experience news through the eyes of regular, everyday people is the best way to do that,“ said John Meyer, CEO and founder. „For newsrooms, we’ve effectively created a way for them to get visual coverage of anything in 30 minutes or less using the incredible smartphone cameras in our pockets.“

Using content gathered from Fresco participants, the Fresco News app is able to deliver news through the eyes of ordinary people around the world, providing a raw look at current events that are happening around the globe. A „Highlights“ tab within the app offers up a list of the most recent user-reported stories, while the „Stories“ tab shows a selection of images from trending global events.

A camera is front and center within the app, so all users can capture photos and videos should they encounter anything newsworthy. An „Assignments“ tab houses all of the content requests created by news sites, which is where a Fresco user can go to receive assignments to capture photos and videos at nearby events.

Fresco News also has an accompanying Apple Watch app that lets users get a quick look at breaking news headlines, with Handoff to the iPhone available for reading a story in-depth.

Fresco’s aim with the news Fresco News app is to cover a wider range of events happening worldwide. „We can shine a light on every relevant news event that should be read about and heard about,“ said Fresco News CEO John Meyer.

Fresco News can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]



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Apple Live TV Service Not Coming Until 2016

Bloomberg reports that Apple will be unable to deliver their rumored live TV-over-internet streaming service for the Apple TV until 2016. Content negotiations are reportedly stalling the launch of the service, which Apple had hoped to be ready for their rumored September 9th media event.

The company wanted to introduce this year a live TV service delivered via the Internet, but is now aiming for 2016, said people familiar with Apple’s plans.

Apparently, pricing of the new TV service is one of the main hurdles in the negotiations. Bloomberg reports that Apple wants to offer „a package of popular channels“ for $40/month, a significant discount from the average cable bill.

A new Apple TV set top box, however, is still said to be ready for release. The new Apple TV is rumored to have a touch-based remote control and full app store. Apple is expected to announce the new Apple TV on September 9th.



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Microsoft is bringing DVR functionality to the Xbox One, stream to any Windows 10 device

Microsoft has announced that they are bringing DVR functionality to the Xbox One and that you will be able to stream the content to any Windows 10 device and it comes at no additional content. Read more…

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iOS 9 Policy Change Prevents Advertisers From Seeing Installed Apps on User Devices

Apple is planning to introduce some important new policy changes that will extend its user privacy protections, reports The Information (via Business Insider). With iOS 9, Apple will no longer allow advertisers to access app download data for ad targeting purposes, meaning companies will not be able to see all of the apps that are downloaded on a user’s device.

Currently, companies like Twitter and Facebook are able to see which apps you have downloaded on your iPhone or iPad, sometimes using that information to deliver targeted ads. In The Information‘s example, Facebook and Twitter might use your app data to see that you have a lot of games downloaded, offering up an ad for a game you don’t yet have installed.

Advertisers are misusing a communication API in iOS called „canopenURL“ to get the app download data, something that will no longer be possible when iOS 9 is released in the fall.

When introducing iOS 9, Apple was careful to point out the lengths it went to in order to protect user privacy in new iOS 9 features. On stage, Craig Federighi repeated a statement that’s often come from Apple executives – we don’t want to know your personal information. New Siri and Search features are entirely anonymous, not associated with an Apple ID, use a randomized identifier, are not linked to other Apple services, and are not shared with third parties.

Apple also introduced a new VPN extension API and added Content Blockers for Safari Extensions on iOS, opening up a way for extensions to block cookies, images, ads, pop-ups, and more.

iOS 9 and the new privacy features will be available to the public in the fall.





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Google Expands Free Google Play Music Storage to 50,000 Songs [iOS Blog]

Google today announced an update to its Google Play Music service, expanding the amount of available storage. Users can now store 50,000 songs in the cloud at no cost, up from 20,000.

Content stored within Google Play Music can be played on computers via Google’s Music Manager app, on iPhones and iPads via the recently redesigned Google Play Music app, through a Chrome extension, through Chromecast, and on Android devices.

Google’s Google Play Music storage does not require a subscription to Google Play Music to use it, making it free for all users.

Those interested in using Google’s free music storage can access it by going to the Google Play Music website, skipping the subscription offer, and going straight to the music interface where there’s an option to upload music. Content can be uploaded directly from an iTunes library or from any folder.

Google, of course, hopes users will opt-in to its $9.99 per month subscription music service when signing up for free music storage, which offers on-demand access to millions of songs much like Spotify or Beats Music.

With the boost in free storage space, Google Play Music gains a bit of a competitive advantage over Apple’s iTunes Match service. iTunes Match costs $25 per year and allows users to store up to 25,000 songs in iCloud, but it gives users the benefit of accessing 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality music for any uploaded song that’s also available in the iTunes Store.

For those in the Apple ecosystem, it’s arguably easier to access songs on any device through iCloud using iTunes Match, but Google Play Music is a viable alternative as the company now has apps for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad available.




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