You may remember a couple of years back that iPhones were secretly tracking your every move. This data was susceptible to attacks through a hidden file that iTunes copied to your computer when you synchronised it. Apple quickly addressed the issue and removed the exploit. I actually like to have my location tracked. I turned it on with the Google app for iOS and I even uploaded that original iTunes file to an open data project. The only caveat is, I like to know it’s being tracked, and I like to know what it’s being used for.
The iOS7 secret
iOS7 is tracking your every move. It’s recording key locations you visit in your life and it’s using those to improve its mapping facility. It knows where you live and it knows where you often visit. Question is, did you know? I certainly didn’t.
Yeah but the little location icon pops up in the top right corner, correct?”
Certainly, apps like Google Maps, Google and anything which uses your GPS location trigger the icon in the top right.. But it’s a little more shady for Apple’s latest option hidden way down in the location settings of your phone. You’ll probably never notice the little icon ever appear.
Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (bottom) > Frequent Locations
Yes it’s all likely innocent, yes it’s likely private data but, hiding it under a general “Enable location services” when you first setup your phone is a little sneaky. And hiding it under 5 difficult menus is just wrong.
For example, the Google app drops the icon in the bottom left corner, and is open about how and why they track your information. And you have to opt in to that specific feature.
Don’t get me wrong, the new updates for the iPhone are a much needed modification for the device. Cut/Copy & Paste, Tethering and MMS are all things which should (in my opinion) have been on the phone from the very first incarnation. These things were standard on even the most basic of modern phones.
Apple have played it clever. They brought out an amazing phone and missed out a lot of the basics. The annoying thing though is the fact that Apple is shouting about simple things such as “Read and write texts, emails and picture messaging holding your iPhone sideways.“. Wow! “Cut Copy Paste, Move text, numbers, email addresses between apps“. Honest to god these are not major selling points for the new iPhone software so why flaunt them? To say these are only 2 of the most flaunted updates how good can the other 98 be? Thank god Apple have updated the website today to show the other top features such as the search function, stereo bluetooth and the new language support.
Overall I’m happy with the new update and look forward to installing it next Wednesday (June 17th) but I can’t help but feel Apple have been deliberately holding this off for 2 years just to drum up a bit of cash/publicity. Classic Apple/Jobs, and to be honest, it’s worked on me, as ashamed as I am to say it, I’ll probably be on the phone to o2 next week about upgrading to the 3G S (which is a crap name by the way). :-D