Developers accuse Apple of unfair competition

Developers accuse Apple of unfair competition

A number of app developers have written a letter to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. The group believes that certain changes in iOS 13 lead to negative effects on the development of their apps.

In iOS 13, a number of changes have been made in terms of privacy. Apple is trying to prevent the misuse of location services through these changes. This is part of the broader focus on the privacy of the tech giant.

Basically, iOS 13 apps have a different way of retrieving location data – with a “once-only” option. This means that users can try out a service before an app continues to send continuous location data immediately. In addition, there are the options ‘Allow while using the app’, ‘Do not allow’ and ‘Always allow’. However, the latter option is only available from iOS 13 onwards in the iOS settings menu.

Letter of criticism

The group of developers claims that these extra steps can lead to users who no longer use the app. This is because it is too much hassle for the apps to function properly. According to TechCrunch, this is also the reason why, for example, adblockers for Safari or alternative keyboards for iOS have never become mainstream.

The developers further state that Apple does not apply this policy to its own apps such as Find My. According to the developers, this is unfair competition. The developers also think it’s a pity that the PushKit tool from iOS 13 is only suitable for internet voice calls. Apple’s reason for this was again that certain developers used the tool to collect user data.

In the letter, the developers write the following: “We understand that there were certain developers, especially of messaging apps, who used this [the tool] as a back-door to collect user data. While we agree that such gaps in the law need to be closed, Apple’s current plan will have unintended consequences: it will effectively terminate apps that have a valid need for a real-time location.”

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.