Friday, April 22, 2011

Morning Brief: As Apple remains silent on tracking logs, concern grows; Flanders Image app gets update, another can be expected; short day ahead

Even as Apple remains typically silent about its latest PR fiasco, concern continues to grow about why the tech giant continues to have its iOS devices track users and then retain the information in an accessibly file. CNet today reports of instances where police investigators have used the stored data in the course of their work, while readers comment about the intrusion of privacy.
Once again it is the culture of silence that is doing the company the most harm, where as a simple statement that a fix is in the works would have defused the entire drama.

Guess with Apple you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Shown here at right is my own iPhone data – or at least a portion of it. I found the file not 100% accurate when it comes to my actual locations, but then again the way the tracking works it involves cell towers so they would not necessarily line up exactly with your true location (this is apparent in the occasional one dot locations far off the main highways).

If there was ever an app that shows you that, well, things can go wrong, it has to be this one for Flanders Image. Earlier this week I looked at the app and tried to use the app as one of those "teachable moments" pointing out that publishers need to make sure their developers are responsive, etc.

In the case of this app the problems was simple: it wouldn't let you download the issues. I suggested that an update should be coming soon.

And indeed an update has arrived. The good news is that readers can now download the Spring issue of the Belgian film magazine. The bad news is that another update will be right around the corner.

It turns out that if you have your iPad in landscape, which I tend to do most of the time because of the case I use, opening the app will take you to the download area. There you will see the latest issue – displayed on its side – and the word "landscape" typed across the cover.

I took a screenshot of it but decided that this publisher has suffered enough drama with their app by now – better to simply show the cover of the magazine as it appears in my iPad now. But look for version 2.2 to be released any day now.

The youngest kid is out of school, the wife is off work, the dog is recovering from his latest injury . . . sounds like a good day to take off, at least part of the day, anyway.

So expect a quick look at the app, which honestly didn't impress me, and then off for the weekend. If that's your plan, too, then have a great weekend and we'll see you next week.