Private Messaging Apps 'Scrambling' to Overhaul Software Following Apple Privacy Changes

MacRumors

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Apple in iOS 13 introduced a change that limits data collection practices using VoIP APIs, which has consequences for messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

According to a new report from The Information, the makers of encrypted messaging apps like Signal, Wickr, Threema, and Wire are now scrambling to overhaul their software to protect key privacy features that they believe may be compromised by the changes.


In a statement to The Information, an Apple spokesperson said that Apple is working with developers to alleviate their concerns.
"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."
Julia Weiss, a spokesperson for Threema, said that Apple's changes may actually result "in the opposite of the privacy goals the changes were supposed to achieve."

What Apple is doing is limiting the PushKit API, which was designed to be used for VoIP calls but over time, has also been used for other purposes such as collecting data and, in the case of messaging apps, encryption. In iOS 13, the PushKit API is limited to internet calls, with Apple eliminating its other uses.

Encrypted messaging apps currently use the VoIP APIs Apple is restricting for decrypting messages on the iPhone in the background, and the change disables that functionality.

App developers will be able to work around Apple's changes, but Tom Leavy, a VP at encrypted Messaging app Wickr said that it's a "significant engineering effort" that was unexpected. Makers of encrypted messaging apps are said to be exploring "alternative tools" in iOS to work, but they're said to be "way inferior" to the existing PushKit option.

Apple is giving app developers until April 2020 to comply with the changes to the PushKit API, but developers who want to update their apps for iOS 13 and take advantage of new features must follow PushKit restrictions sooner.

Article Link: Private Messaging Apps 'Scrambling' to Overhaul Software Following Apple Privacy Changes
 

Amazing Iceman

macrumors 68040
Nov 8, 2008
3,880
1,433
Florida, U.S.A.
Or, now hear me out... Or you can just use iMessage...

Just my two cents
I do prefer iMessage over WhatsApp (which I hate), but some of my contacts don't have iPhones, and WhatsApp is a convenient way to contact them.
But now with the FaceBook data leak and continued mishandling of our private information, I'm seriously considering ditching FaceBook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
 

iosiseasy

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2014
28
95
Or, now hear me out... Or you can just use iMessage...

Just my two cents
Well iMessage feels heavy, it is bogged down and is so slow to send images and video, sometimes taking minutes to complete. The cloud syncing is also spotty, many times I find when I move to my computer the conversation is complete.

Personally, I prefer Telegram for many reasons.
 
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Paradoxally

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2011
1,597
1,870
Well iMessage fees heavy, it is bogged down and is so slow to send images and video, sometimes taking minutes to complete. The cloud syncing is also spotty, many times I find when I move to my computer the conversation is complete.

Personally, I prefer Telegram for many reasons.
Telegram is the Tidal of messaging apps. Sounds good, no one cares.

Everyone either uses iMessage, Whatsapp and/or FB Messenger.
 

BootsWalking

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2014
1,259
7,281
Considering the recent exploits disclosed by Google that left iOS devices vulnerable to deep hacks by passive web sites for years perhaps Apple should be focusing their resources on security and hardening iOS against attacks rather than the more marketing-friendly focus on "privacy", because without security you have no privacy either.